Wednesday, September 21, 2016

C is for Complicated



I came across an article yesterday by Lisa Ling entitled, “Why I regret my c-section”.

Articles like this always give me a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I don’t-can’t-regret my c-sections because for me there was really was no other way.

The condition I had with Rip meant that “natural” childbirth would mean imminent death for my child. And, honestly, my first c-section didn’t phase me in the least. After 6 weeks on hospital bed rest and all of the joys and tragedies that followed my body and what it did and did not go through were the least of my concerns.

When I got pregnant with Gracie shortly thereafter my extremely respected high-risk doctor told me I was not a candidate for a VBAC because the risk for uterine rupture- putting my child’s life and my life in danger-was too high. Tell that to a mother who just lost her baby and I will show you a mother who signs a consent form faster that you can get a pen uncapped.

It wasn’t until after my c-section with Gracie that I started to have some feelings of-well, I don’t really know what.

For me, “the more you know” does not turn out to be a good thing on the operating table. The second time I knew what to expect and for someone who likes to be “in control” (insert hysterical laughter here for all things pertaining to childbirth) being literally tied down to a table is fairly panic-inducing. Okay really panic-inducing. 

After my healthy baby girl was born (hallelujah!), I had complications that resulted in a really gory, painful eight weeks post-partum. Let me tell you, if you want to test your partner’s love for you- have an extremely nasty issue that you yourself cannot care for. That’s love. 

It was not fun. It was hard and scary and also for me, somewhat in perspective because I had a living, breathing child.

Ling’s issue was somewhat similar, a nasty infection after the birth of her second child. She has every right to feel regret about the way she birthed her child, and to talk about it…but the thing that gets me is that at the end of her article and of so may of these c-section articles is the statistics on c-sections in this country. And she does a very good job of pointing out that some are medically necessary but there is a large rise in others that aren’t and surgery is a big deal and comes with risks and shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Which is all so true and I agree wholeheartedly. 

But at the end of the day, the light that seems to be cast in the articles is that c-sections, even when medically necessary, are the wrong way to go. Like, sorry you had to take the losers way out.

Many articles I’ve read go to great pains to talk about how c-section babies have more incidents of asthma (which Gracie does have) and don’t get certain bacteria passed to them at birth that are needed to help fight allergies. Basically its another breast is best argument but with much higher stakes.  So yeah, I have some complicated feelings about my c-sections.

I would absolutely not choose to have a c-section if I had the choice. But I don’t. Didn’t. So I can’t regret it. Don’t. Didn’t.

 I’ve had three of them. The first allowed me 7 days with my son. I have two additional living children. I guess that’s the bottom line I wish they would put in these articles.

Let’s try to avoid generalizations and leave it to individuals and their medical professionals to come up with a plan. It may be complicated, but in my book any method of receiving a healthy baby is a good one.