There is a reprehensibly disgusting meme that I’ve just been made aware of.
Basically a bunch of internet trolls/religious zealots have been posting it to shame and harass mothers who had c-sections, saying they got a “lucky break” because they didn’t actually have to give birth.
As someone who had an all-natural vaginal birth, I am still deeply offended by this line of thought. I fail to see how MY birth experience could possibly be more difficult than a c-section.
I have friends who have had c-sections. I know that some of them are okay with it, and others take the stance that c-sections suck big time. Both points are valid because experiences and feelings about those experiences are different for everyone. If you were to ask my personal opinion on having a c-section though, well, you probably already guessed I’m in the camp that c-sections suck in comparison to a 36 hour labor and pushing a baby out without drugs. But though a c-section is the very last thing I would ever want and I’ll do my damndest to never ever have to have one, it’s not for thinking that it’s a coward’s way out.
My c-section friends, I in no way think my long labor and delivery is any way more difficult than what you faced, and here’s why:
1) You had to have a needle. In your back. Seriously, that’s freaking BRAVE! I don’t think I could have done that; in fact, just thinking about that big needle freaks me out. It’s why I had NO desire for an epidural no matter how bad the pain of labor got. And this isn’t even factoring in the chance of the epidural causing back pain/back spasms due to its placement (yeah, that can happen).
2) You also had to have an IV. I’ve had an IV ONCE in my life and I am pretty confident in my decision to avoid it at all costs. IVs freaking HURT and I can’t imagine having to place one while suffering through contractions (for an emergency c-section) or just really having one in place AT ALL!
3) You had a catheter. Again, freaking bravery that you went through with that, even if it wasn’t really your choice. I was threatened with one after I gave birth to my son and just wanted to sleep a few hours longer before the nurse harassed me to get up and pee. I dragged my tired ass out of bed and had her draw me a hot bath so I could go in peace just to avoid such an unpleasant fate. I hear that a catheter can also cause urinary tract issues after the fact.
4) You had MAJOR abdominal surgery. You were CUT OPEN and then people were moving your organs around. I have heard this can cause your GI tract to be a little screwy after the fact, and why wouldn’t it? You had your whole digestive system and then some pushed around to pull a baby out. When I think about that I just cannot in any way fathom how my long labor and pushing stage could be considered more of an ordeal. You win, c-section mamas.
5) You HAD TO stay in the hospital. You had surgery, and a major one at that, so there was no early discharge for you. I was there for 12 hours after the birth and could have gone home an hour after had I not been talked out of it. And next time? I’ll ALREADY be home.
6) You had a loooong recovery. I hear it can take 2 weeks or longer to heal from a c-section and on top of that you now have a helpless newborn. That’s seriously a lot to go through; especially if you’re a first time mom! But even a seasoned veteran mom would have it tough since there are other tiny humans to care for in addition to this new tiny human. In comparison, my first few days of not being able to lift anything due to weakness in my arms (from gripping my husband during the actual birth) and feeling a bit achy is NOTHING when I think of you c-section mamas.
7) You are more likely to have complications in subsequent pregnancies, a difficult time finding a truly VBAC supportive care provider, and not to mention possible issues around your incision site. I have none of these worries; the only thing that is of any real concern to me is whether or not I can find a midwife who will stay hands-off and just let me call all the shots in my next pregnancy and birth. So while my trauma is no less valid, I also know that a lot of my friends have a lot more to deal with than just not getting the birth they had wanted.
8) If you didn’t plan your c-section, you probably have a lot of negative feelings associated with the birth; especially if it was a very stressful last-minute thing or you felt pressured into agreeing or didn’t know you had options. I only sort of understand this due to my own disappointment in where my son was born, but had I not been such a stubborn pain in the ass pregnant mama and listened to the medwife then I could have very well ended up in your place. They WANTED to induce and section me; it was my own refusal to see an OB or do ANYTHING other than go in for ultrasounds and non-stress tests to reassure them (and myself) that my son was okay and that there was no danger in waiting for labor to start on its own. And I get that a lot of people inherently trust the “experts” and wouldn’t think to question their recommendations; we’re biologically hardwired to follow those we perceive to be the most knowledgeable or most capable in a situation we are unfamiliar with. But sadly if you didn’t plan it, and you didn’t want it, but felt you had NO choice, only to later find out you DID…that’s rough. And the moms who really DID need a c-section, well, you’re likely to worry that the same complication could happen again. After all, you did everything right and got dealt a crappy hand anyway, and you have no one to blame for it. That’s got to be terrifying and devastating. I’m sorry.
So those assholes who say you got a lucky break, or those ignorant first time moms who are currently pregnant and think a c-section would be easier, and also those non-pregnant childless women who think they’d rather be cut open than endure the horrors of labor and delivery (of which I was once one because I didn’t KNOW—and I’m sorry to all the moms who chose a non medicated labor and delivery and I told them they were insane)…they are ALL wrong for saying it. YOU are the ones who are BRAVE and STRONG, and I couldn’t imagine having to go through all of that. You, c-section mamas, are the true birth warriors as far as I’m concerned. And you can totally quote me on that in whatever empowering meme you want to create in response to the haters!
Or you can snag this image and post it in the comments section of any forum of which they share it 😉