This picture above is a bonafide badass mama of 2 girls (Francesca pictured) by the name of @hillarycoke, check out her IG! She posts the sweetest pictures of her babes and all around cute mama life.
I love learning about birth. When I found out I was pregnant and I had no one to ask questions to, I read book after book to prepare myself for the big day. I hired a doula, I switched to a more supportive Doctor, I read up on birthing techniques that I thought may help me get through an unmedicated birth… But none of these things prepared me for if my birth plan didn’t pan out as I had expected.
Lucky for me, it did. But what if it hadn’t? What if something went wrong and I ended up needing an emergency c-section I was never prepared for? It made me realize that I didn’t have a clue about cesarean births. Just because I planned for something, that’s not always the way that the world works.
You see, I myself was a c-section baby. I was upside down and turned in the opposite direction… Not suitable for a vaginal birth. The Doctors told my mum that a c-section was her only option so that’s how she delivered her first baby and she’s still got the beautiful scar to prove it. Being a cesarean baby though, was the extent of my knowledge about this major surgery. It is estimated that 30% of births in the U.S. are c-sections. That’s a large enough number for anyone to be more aware of what they might ended up going through while delivering their little. I did a search on Instagram for the hashtag #csectionawarenessmonth and was surprised to find only 1,013 posts. I was more surprised to find even less for #csectionawareness, at 208. I wonder why in this massive mommy community are we not speaking up more about and bringing awareness to the subject of cesarean births when they account for almost 1/3 of the births in America?
I’m grateful that we live in an age where women are becoming much more aware of their options and choosing birth plans that they feel most comfortable with for them and their babies… I can’t help but wonder though, is this new awareness turning some women towards judgment rather than self empowerment over differences in preference?
Although I chose to have an unmedicated birth, I’m an advocate for ALL births and all birthing techniques. There is no right or wrong way to birth. Some women choose vaginal births with an epidural, some women choose vaginal births without an epidural, some women choose scheduled c-sections, some women choose vaginal births but change their minds to have a c-section, some women choose c-sections and end up having vaginal births instead, some women choose vaginal births but due to certain circumstances end up having emergency c-sections… NONE of these women are any better or worse than the other. Let us not forget that some of these women leave the hospital without babies in their arms. Some of these women themselves, don’t ever end up leaving the hospital due to terrible complications. These last two examples are the real tragedies, aren’t they?
Safe birth is the most important birth of all.
So whether you’re a mother giving birth in a pool at home, or you’re a mother giving birth in the middle of the woods surrounded by midwives, or you’re a mother surrounded by inquisitive students while giving birth at a teaching hospital (me), or you’re a mother giving birth with a small curtain hung above your belly, anxiously awaiting that little baby being lifted up and brought to your cute little capped head… You’re a MOTHER. You’re a mother. You’re a mother. And you deserve equal respect for bringing a new life into the world, regardless of how that came about. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again: Mothers are superheroes. We’re literally delivering and raising the future. All birth is “natural birth”, there really is no other type of birth. Rather than judge, I think it’s time for us to educate each other and ourselves. And wear your scars proudly, c-section mamas. They are your badges of honor. Share your story, we all have a lot to learn from each other.
Love to you mamas xo