I just have to vent about this....

I delivered both of my daughters by c-section.

With Olivia, it was an emergency c-section, brought on because I was not "progressing" after laboring for damn near 36 hours. Emma was a planned c-section. My doctor would not allow me to labor again and risk having the same problems that I did with Olivia.

Which brings me to my vent for the day - I am absolutely infuriated when people suggest that having a baby by c-section is not "natural" or "normal" or somehow makes me a failure as a woman.

I bring this up because my sister was telling me today about a woman she knows who said she wants her daughter to have her baby the "normal" way (i.e., not a c-section).

The normal way? WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? A vaginal birth is "normal" and a c-section isn't?

Please, tell me what is so abnormal about a c-section?

Let me explain what a c-section is like for those of you out there who might wonder.

First, you're given a spinal - basically the doctor sticks a needle into your spinal area and numbs you from the wasit down. It's most unpleasant and somewhat painful in the application, and usually leaves a nice, ugly bruise. You are laying on the operating table with both arms outstretched, hooked up to various monitors, unable to feel anything from the waist down. There is a big blue drape at your neck so you can't see anything going on past your neck. When the doctor takes the baby out, it feels like someone just pulled a Mack truck out of you -- the pressure is horrible. Sometimes you throw up, sometimes you don't. After delivering the baby and the placenta, they stitch you back up. The drugs they gave you make you shake uncontrollably - usually for at least a day or two. You have to take Percoset [or some other painkiller] every 4 hours for the pain, which at times is unbearable - after all, you were just basically cut open from here to there. You can't get out of bed for 24 hours and when you do finally manage to drag yourself out of bed, you're in so much pain all you want to do is get back into bed. But no, you have to walk. They MAKE you walk, no matter how bad it hurts. You can't sleep lying down for several weeks. You can't lift anything heavier than the baby for 6 weeks...if you do, you run the risk of popping a stitch. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

Now, if you are able to have a baby the "old-fashioned" way....great. Congrats. I'm thrilled for you. I would never presume to say that you had it easier or harder than I did. Because really, there is NOTHING EASY ABOUT CHILDBIRTH. It's freakin' hard - whether you push the kid out or have a c-section....there is nothing easy about it.

I've heard women say that they don't want a c-section under any circumstances because it will mean that they somehow "failed" in their delivery. I've heard women say that they don't want a c-section because it's not natural and they MUST have their baby the natural way. Really....I don't know anyone who wants to have a c-section. But to imply that it's not normal or natural is infuriating to me.


  1. Wow.
    Not sure if I should have read this right after I finished my McDonald's fish sandwich.

    However, I support you 110%, Traci. Um. Whatever.

    Your description of a c-section was eye-opening (and scary) at the same time.

    I applaud you. (Though I know, that wasn't your point.)

    Quick qustion though: why can't you sleep laying down after a c-section?

  2. Why can't you sleep laying down (i.e. - on your side or back) after a c-section?

    Because it hurts too much. You've just been cut open and you've got stitches and well, let's just say you WANT to sleep sitting upright with many, many pillows surrounding you.

  3. Having had my little boy by an unplanned c section, I agree with everything you say. It is not the easy way out that people think it is. There are pros and cons to each way of having a baby and I wouldn't say that either was easy!