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Do you want to talk to someone who has had a c-section?

By December 30, 2008 - 10:17am
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When I had my c-section 2 years ago, I barely had any information about the procedure before I had it done. I asked for a pamphlet on the procedure at my doctor's office, but they didn't have anything. It's kinda strange -- when I had my wisdom teeth out, I had to watch a long, detailed video at my doctor's office beforehand & knew more than I wanted to about the procedure before I had it done. I thought -- amazing! I knew much more about getting my wisdom teeth out than about getting another human being out of my stomach!

So I looked on the web and found some more information, but I still had questions. The best information I received was from my girlfriends that had had c-sections. They told me what they went through and I learned things I didn't know from my doctor or the places I searched. I was happy to "pay it forward" that when a friend of mine, who was getting a c-section, called me in a panic a week before her date. I was happy that I was able to make her feel better by honestly answering her questions.

So, if you are having a c-section soon and have questions for me about my experience, please ask me. I know not everyone knows someone who has had this done & having this kind of information can really make a difference.

Also, I found a good page on our site that explains the procedure: https://www.empowher.com/media/reference/cesarean-birth

I look forward to hearing from you!

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As someone who's never had children, I find this fascinating.

There's actually two threads going here. One thread is that women don't get enough information about something that is important, medical and requires lots of decision-making. The second is that women second-guess one another and the decisions they did make about their own births.

In regards to the first, I find it nearly insane that any pregnant woman today doesn't get all the information she wants from her doctors and other health professionals. I guess in my naivete I would expect that doctors would embrace a patient who asked questions and wanted lots of information; it would seem that that patient would be far more prepared should anything go wrong or need new decisions made. If I was a doctor, I think I would far prefer an informed patient than one who doesn't know what's going on. I find it astonishing that women who know they have to have a C-section feel that there is an entire level of information they don't have acccess to unless they find other women who've gone through the same thing. My heart goes out to you.

I've never understood, though I see it happen in many ways, why we women are so unkind to other women when they differ from us. I saw it happen over and over again in the workplace. You see it when some women work outside the home and others choose to be fulltime moms. You see it when some women can or choose to breast feed, and others cannot or choose not to breast feed. It seems inappropriate at best and cruel at worst to tell a woman (up front or indirectly) that she is somehow a better or worse person because of a decision that was right for her and her child at the time.

I'm glad to see this lively discussion. I admire all of you who found your way through the maze, and Joanna, I think your offer is particularly generous.

December 31, 2008 - 9:32am

I had 2 C-sections. My doctor for the first procedure said that he could tell by internal stress marks (whatever they were) that my prior delivery should have been by C-section. I later learned that his hospital was rather C-section "crazed." All the same, he probably had a point, since my first delivery was after a very long and difficult labor that put my first son through tremendous stress. During that childbirth, I had had the epidural administered, not once, but twice (!). My DH, with all his scientific training and experience in hospitals, nearly fainted when he saw the needle. Anyway, my second child was delivered by C-section.

The surgeon for my second procedure also said that natural, vaginal childbirth would be dangerously difficult for both me and my child and confined me home for the last 5 months of my pregnancy. Both times, my incisions were vertical and recovery lengthy - although I would rather be able to sit comfortably than not be able to stand up straight for a while. Ever since, however, I've had very low core strength and persistent lower back pain. Better to live with that than to have put my children at risk during childbirth.

Why should we be made to feel guilty about how we choose to birth our children? It's really not for anyone to thrust their views of natural vs. C-section delivery upon another. How you birth your child is between you and your doctor. I believe that we women have a right to make an educated choice, if possible, in this very personal, individual matter.

December 30, 2008 - 9:41pm

What a wonderful idea! I wish someone would have been available to me, to discuss a vaginal birth experience. For some reason, when you are pregnant and most wanting information, the "extreme" people are the ones who come out of the woodwork and tell you what you need to do, what you MUST do, rather than provide all the options and scenarios.

For me personally, I was interested in learning about birthing options that did not entail an epidural, but wanted pain relievers if needed. The only information I found was black and white: either I could have a calm, "real", natural birth...or...I could have one of those "un-natural", drugged births! HA! Simply by naming one type of birthing experience as "natural" lends ALL other experiences no other name but "UN"-natural.

I was not wanting a "natural" birth for all of the "moral" reasons (why is it a moral dilemma, anyways??), but I was honestly just scared of a huge needle going into my back, and wanted to know other options. I was just told vaguely that there are some drugs available, but never knew which kind (I wanted to look them up, so I'd have some knowledge or choice).

There are so many experiences and options in-between the two black & white scenarios above, including not labeling one experience as bad (or "un" natural) and the other option as "the only" ideal option (or, as I was told: you do have options, but the best one is if you want to have a healthy drug-free newborn...who doesn't want that?! That is not an option, and then it also means ALL C-section births are drugged and un-natural. It's really awful what we say to women!).

Anyways, thanks for allowing women to ask you about your experience. I am not personally planning for a c-section (I'm not pregnant yet!), but I would love to hear your experience!

December 30, 2008 - 2:26pm
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