As passionate as I am about natural birth (and believe me, I am nutso for natural birth!), it bums me out that women who do like their cesareans are often made to feel that those feelings are wrong. That they should feel disappointed or cheated. As if actually liking your cesarean for any reason is wrong, and should be hidden away, only worthy of release as a confession.
I hope that my enthusiasm/advocacy for natural birth doesn’t imply an automatic condemnation of cesarean. Read on to see where I stand.
Here was my reply to this awesome mama:
“I have a confession, too. I loved my 2nd c-section as well (third baby – I had a totally natural VBAC between #1 & #3), because it was absolutely necessary for the safety of my baby. And as a doula and childbirth educator, I can unequivocally say that it was necessary, without any debate. There was nothing I could have done differently. There was no intervention that caused her heart rate to plummet. We tried everything we could to get it back up to a safer range. I was planning another natural VBAC, I very strongly preferred another natural birth, but I loved my cesarean because at the very least it spared my daughter from brain damage… at the best it might have saved her life.
Now, my first cesarean (with my first child), I hated. It was complete BS. I felt lied to (I WAS lied to), set up, and cheated. And the difference about how I feel regarding my two cesareans lies in the fact that the first time, my options and preferences were taken away… not for the safety of the baby, but because my OB was a jackass. During my third birth, my options and preferences very quickly changed. I don’t perceive them as having been taken away, in this case – just changed – for the obvious benefit of the baby.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with loving your cesarean – whether because it was necessary, or because it’s what you truly feel would be the best birth experience for you as an individual.
What I do hate, is when women who really don’t want or need a cesarean (or induction, or epidural, etc.) are led right into one with misinformation, bullying, and no valid medical justification. This is why I became a childbirth educator.
Believe it or not, even though my classes focus so heavily on natural birth, I don’t think it is wrong for a woman to just plain prefer a cesarean. I believe that every woman should have the choice to decide what an ideal birth would be for her. The discrepancy lies in the fact that if a woman strongly prefers an epidural and pitocin, it’s not going to be any sort of fight to get that. Hell, the hospital will probably thank her. However, if a woman prefers a low-intervention natural birth in a hospital, it’s usually going to be a HUGE challenge. And that’s why I’m so passionate about natural birth. Not that every woman SHOULD want one, but that every woman who DOES want one should have a real chance at having that experience without having to constantly fight.
For me it all comes down to women having the freedom of choice. In our society you have the freedom to choose a completely medicalized birth, but you generally have much more of a challenge ahead of you if you would like to just let the process happen naturally. Not a challenge because of the natural process itself, but because hospital policies are not generally conducive to natural birth. And I think that’s where we need to change – so ALL women can truly choose to plan the birth that they feel best about, and have a reasonable chance of actually experiencing it.
So get down with your bad self! There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving your cesarean! In your case it was the only possible way to a healthy mom and healthy baby, and I am so thankful that we have that technology available so you can continue to entertain me and feature my boobs on your blog, and such. But even if a mom had her own personal, non-medical reasons why she would feel that a cesarean would be a more fulfilling/better/happier experience for her, there is nothing wrong with that either. I just want those who do desire a natural birth to ALSO have a realistic chance of experiencing the birth they are dreaming of.”