giving birth

I’m Secretly Really Glad That I Had A C-Section

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mother-holding-baby-after-c-sectionI had a pregnant friend at my house yesterday. Because she is vying for some form of sainthood, she drove three hours to see me with all three of her kids in tow and one hitching a ride in her uterus. To pay her back for being awesome, we went out and got some really delicious pies and ice cream to consume while our kids played together upstairs. I got some much needed conversation and my daughter got some much needed playtime and my friend got some much needed deep-dish caramel apple pie.

As it is wont to do, conversation turned to pregnancy and labor, and I found myself admitting something to her that I have never admitted to anyone but my husband before. I am secretly really really glad that I ended up with a c-section when my daughter was born.

Of course, I’m not glad about the circumstances that led to it, namely, my daughter’s plummeting heart rate and oxygen levels. I’m not glad about the staples or the pain or the violent shaking. I’m not an idiot.

But oftentimes, when I’m talking to other women about their birth stories, I’ll just straight up lie and say the things that I think I’m supposed to; that I wish I’d given birth vaginally or that if I had to do it again I would fight for a VBAC. They all nod approvingly and tell me how sorry they are that things went so wrong. The problem is that when it comes right down to it I don’t and I wouldn’t.

Vaginal birth terrified me. Not in an “oh, everyone’s afraid of labor kind of way” but in a very real, very panic-attack inducing kind of way. An assault at 14 left me and the notorious V.A.G. unable to fathom or welcome pain in the nethers of any kind. When I gave birth at just barely 20 years old that was still pretty fresh.

When it came time to get down to business, I suddenly found that everything hurt way worse than it should. Maybe it was in my brain or maybe it’s a legit thing but everything from the cervix checks to the I.V. placement hurt like a flaming bitch and I almost punched the nurse when he placed one. I did not even want to think about what a nearly eight-pound baby sailing out of my birth canal would feel like.

After laboring for about five million hours, things went pear shaped and alarms went off and everyone was all freaked out but once everything died down and it was clear my daughter would be okay, all I could think was, “Oh thank god”. I felt as though I’d dodged an awful bullet.

I have a lot of reasons to be grateful for my c-section. I’m grateful that we have the medical advancements that we do to save a baby when they need saving. I’m grateful that I don’t pee when I sneeze. And even though this is really not cool to say in some circles, I am forever grateful that I never have to, as a friend of mine so eloquently put it, “push a watermelon through a grape-sized opening”.

So there you have it. One of my deepest, darkest secrets.

Damn, what was in that pie?

(Image: Rob Hainer/Shutterstock)