ON BEING EXCLUDED FROM THE CLUB
Originally published March 9, 2015
It’s almost impossible not to get caught up in them. Before you even conceive, you’re already on one side or the other on a multitude of issues you may not have even thought were that big a deal – but will define you as a parent.
Breastfeeding v Formula Feeding; Vaccinate v Idiocy (#sorrynotsorry); Stay at Home v Work at Home v Work Out of Home; Circumcise v Keep Intact; Spanking v …Not Spanking; Baby signs, sleep training, public or private school, daycare, playdates, solid foods…
There’s a lot. And no matter what side of these things you’re on, you’re wrong.
The big one, though, and arguably the first one you’ll take sides on is “Natural” Birth v C-Section and how you feel about that. You CAN choose to have a c-section, and – since we’re weighing in here – that’s totes ok with me. As long as you get a healthy baby out of it, I don’t care if you aren’t particularly inclined to push a bowling ball out of your vagina. But, I have to tell you, if you have a c-section, there’s a whole slew of mommies out there who are determined to make you feel like you don’t belong in the club. The Birth Club. Because, technically, you didn’t give birth. Your child was removed. Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
I can’t speak for all c-section mommies out there, but I hate the fact that I had to have two c-sections. I had a plan. I dreamed of that huge tub in the birthing suite to naturally deal with my contractions, adamantly refusing drugs, the games Ryan and I would play to keep my mind off of the hours of waiting. I had soothing aromatherapy things and music to keep me focused. Ryan was going to hold my hand and be my rock while I pushed – and I had studied pushing so I was going to do it RIGHT. He was going to cut the cord, and the baby would be laid on my chest immediately so we could bond. It was going to be amazing, and wonderful, and perfect.
The fact that I couldn’t do that, that my body would not cooperate and do what it was designed to do, that I wasn’t even in the right hospital, that all of my plans went directly to Hell as soon as I checked into the hospital….it was heartbreaking. Ethan began having decells before I was even moved into L&D. The Pitocin made the contractions excruciating and never-ending, the drugs barely took the edge off. Finally, my body failed me and I had to have my baby removed. I failed. I was a failure. Wheeled into surgery, nuzzled Ethan’s face for a brief moment, and then he disappeared for hours. I wasn’t even the first person to hold my baby. This life I had spent 9 months dreaming about.
I mean, you get over it, you move on, and at the end of the day you have a healthy baby. But that doesn’t take away the heartbreak of having failed to do it yourself.
I wasn’t given an option for a VBAC with Logan because our hospital didn’t perform them. I desperately wanted one, but no dice. Then, further complications with his delivery meant I would never have that option again. He had to be resuscitated, so I didn’t even get to see him before he was rushed to the NICU for hours. More heartbreak.
I don’t speak for all c-section mommies, but I probably speak for a lot of them. We didn’t choose it, we didn’t want it, but it was necessary. We already feel like failures, so please think about that when you’re sharing your opinions of how lazy we are, how we gave up, how we should have tried X, Y, Z methods to fix whatever was going wrong so we could do things the right way.
But when it’s all said and done, we did what we had to for our babies, to make sure they made it into the world. To protect them. To keep them safe and healthy. We are moms, just like you. And rather than making us feel less worthy, how about remembering that – no matter how our babies came into the world, or into our lives – we’re all on the same team. We’re moms. That’s what’s important.
Just…remember that. That’s all I ask.