I had a C-Section – So What?

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.

I shared my birth story with the world a couple of years after Tiny was born. At that time I was still pretty bitter about it. After all, my beautiful, gentle, intervention free birth experience turned into a cold, sterile, surgical birth.

Yes, I had a C-Section.

Three years and three months post-partum and I am finally ok with it. I am more than ok. I honestly really don’t care anymore.

You see, I still carried Tiny under my hearth for 41 weeks. I nourished her. I gave her life. I still BIRTHED her.

So she was pulled feet first from my belly. Big deal. She was still born. Tiny was healthy and safe. I was healthy and safe.

When I first started reading a lot of natural parenting blogs, I think I actually slid backwards insofar as embracing my birth experience. All these beautiful birth stories just solidified the fact that I had failed to give Tiny the birth I had envisioned for her.

But guess what?  Now that I know Tiny, I know that the way she came into this world was exactly the way SHE WANTED to get here. Yes, I firmly believe that Tiny opted to come out of my belly. What Tiny wants, Tiny gets.

The important thing is that she got here.

There is so much talk about empowering mothers, encouraging them to give birth as our ancestors did. But while all of this support for natural birth is going on, there are a lot of women out there who are making informed birthing decisions but not getting the birth experience that they had desired. Dealing with the loss of a natural birth experience is difficult as a new mother. So we sort of push those feelings aside to concentrate on figuring the motherhood thing out.

But then those feelings resurface. And you know what?  THAT is the time when a woman needs support! When we are feeling so low, so angry, so upset that we did not get the birth we so desperately wanted…that is when we need other mamas to say, “hey – no big deal. You are no less of a woman for anything you chose or that happened to you. You are still a mother.”

I feel so free these days. I no longer feel bogged down by what I did not get to experience. Instead, I throw myself fully into mothering the little girl in front of me. At the end of the day, she is what matters. Her birth story is just one small slice of her life. And it was still beautiful.

So here is what I would like to do. I would like to rewrite Tiny’s birth story. It is simple. It is honest. It is real. So here it goes:

Dear Tiny,

You came into this world feet first, emerging from my belly in the wee hours of the morning. I caught a brief glimpse of you but in that second, I felt a wave of love so crushing, so powerful and I knew that I had become a mother. Mommy. Your mommy.

I desperately wanted to feel you against my skin.  I wanted to smell you.  I wanted to hold you and never let go.  I wanted to look into your eyes.  I wanted to kiss you, snuggle you, and tell you how much I loved you already.

I did not get that chance for two hours.  I was like a caged lion…waiting, watching with a sharp eye, growling, unable to get to you. I needed you and you needed me.

When we were finally united, time and space stood still. The world literally stopped as I looked into your deep brown eyes and prayed harder than I had ever prayed before.  I prayed that God would guide you, protect you, and support me as I mothered you. 

I had the most beautiful birth imaginable, because I gave birth to you. My heart. My love.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • I Had A C-Section. So What! — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama rewrites her birth story now that she has worked through the feelings of inadequacy and disappointment of not having the “perfect” birth.
  • The Perfect Birth — Kellie at Our Mindful Life reflects on how a birth can be far from what we imagined, but still perfect.
  • Own Your Birth: My Hope For All Expectant Moms — Andrea at Tales of Goodness shares how she owned her birth spiritually (while navigating it physically) in order to have a joyous experience.
  • Carnival of Natural Parenting: My Birth Experience — It wasn’t what Lily at Witch Mom wanted, but it was everything she needed.
  • The Painless Natural Homebirth of BabyE — Shannon at GrowingSlower wants women considering natural birth to know painless births are possible.
  • Reflections on Jemma’s Birth … 20 Months Later — It took a second pregnancy for That Mama Gretchen to fully embrace her first birth experience.
  • Loving My Unnatural Birth Experience — Erika at Cinco de Mommy cherishes her very first birth experience, in all its unnatural glory!
  • Be Careful What you Wish for in Birth — Amber at Strocel.com had two births, and it was the one that went to plan that she struggled with embracing.
  • Redeeming an unexpected hospital transfer — Lauren at Hobo Mama looks back at her first, interrupted home-turned-hospital birth, and finds the beauty in what happened.
  • All of it — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen had to learn to embrace the whole experience of birth even though it meant being naked . . . with an audience.
  • Birthing Dreams & RealitiesMomma Jorje never had a “dream birth,” but she wouldn’t change a thing about her births.
  • Memories of Birth: Calm Amidst the Storm — While neither of her children’s births had been quite what she expected, Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife cherishes one moment in particular from each of her birth experiences.
  • Embracing Our Birth Stories — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares a sensitive post on her recent birth which both did and didn’t go ‘to plan’, and writes about the journey of coming to terms with the good and the bad.
  • Two Beautiful Births — Sheila at A Gift Universe remembers how her mother brought out the beauty in each of her children’s births, and tries to do the same with her sons’ birth stories.
  • Embracing My Supernatural ChildBirth Experiences… — Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy shares her fond memories on both her supernatural childbirth experiences
  • Embracing the Hospital Birth Experience — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction believes that sometimes a medicated, induced hospital birth is the right choice for a natural parent.
  • Carnival: Embracing Your Birth Experience — Stephanie at The Other Baby Blog embraces the birth experience from a paleobiologist’s point of view and takes a look at how humans defy their anatomy.
  • Reflections on My First Birth and Preparing for a Second — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares the strength she didn’t realize she had until she gave birth to her son.
  • becoming a mama – embracing my birth experience — Meegs at A New Day remembers the birth of her daughter Gwenivere, and the empowered feeling it left her with.
  • What About Us? A Poem About Birth — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares a poem she wrote about healing from an unexpected and emotionally painful birth experience.
  • Be a Man: One Father’s View of Birth — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares her husband’s advice to other fathers and partners.
  • A Birth Monologue — Kat at MomeeeZen shares a monologue she wrote during the process of healing from her birth experiences.
  • Forgiveness: My Birth Journey — Leah at The Crunchy Farm Baby discusses what happens when her planned homebirth doesn’t end up the way she wanted, and explains her journey of forgiving herself for losing that “perfect” birth.
  • Patching together a perfect birth — KrissyFair at Think Mama, Think learned that sometimes a perfect birth happens in pieces.
  • Celebrating and Sharing the Possibilities of Perfect Birth — Terri from Child of the Nature Isle joyfully shares details of her perfect births and wishes to inspire a more positive cultural expectation about birth.
  • Instinct – Embracing Your Birth Experience — Laura at Laura’s Blog reflects on instinctual moments during and after the births of her two daughters.
  • I was Foolish Then — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings describes how foolish lack of preparation for childbirth led to a feeling of powerlessness and fear, but that in the end she had her baby in her arms, and that’s one thing she can celebrate.
  • Sometimes no plan is the best plan — Tat at Mum in search contemplates that maybe she doesn’t need a birth plan for her upcoming birth.
  • Disturbing the peace — Kenna at Million Tiny Things thought she would be a calm, quiet baby-haver. Ha!
  • Accepting the Unexpected During Birth — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM imagined herself laboring on a birthing ball but she never imagined where she’d really be most comfortable when the time came…
  • Sacred This Time, Too — Kimber at The Single Crunch learned enough to know that the way she birthed wasn’t they way she wanted to; but she also knew to enjoy it for what it was.
  • The Birth Partner: A Great Natural Labor Companion — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger thinks that the secret to her pleasant natural labors was having a great support system.
  • the Best Thing About My Labor ExperienceCrunchy Con Mommy realizes that amidst all the things that seemed to go wrong with her labor, the love and support of her husband was the one thing she could always count on!
  • Your Birth Was My FavoriteDulce de leche describes some of the highlights from each of her four births and explains why despite the differences, they are all her favorites.
  • Birth Story: Part One – Moon on a Stick! Gentle Mama Moon tells the first part of her birth story to share some of the delight of labouring at home.
  • Embracing My Birth Experience by Sharing My Birth Story — Dionna at Code Name: Mama made peace with her first birth by sharing the story with her son.
  • Focusing on the Beauty of Birth — Julia at A Little Bit of All of It shares the beautiful aspects of her birth center water birth.
  • A Joyful Induced Delivery — Amy Willa: Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work notes the meditations and perspective that helped her achieve an unmedicated birth despite being induced for medical reasons.
  • Finding Joy in an Imperfect Childbirth Experience — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells what she learned from her two very different childbirth experiences.
  • What’s to like about a c-section? — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is glad she her second child at home, but she also cherishes much about the c-section she had four years earlier.
  • What Story Will I Tell? — Rachael at The Variegated Life realizes that the way she tells the story of her second child’s birth matters — and could be exhilarating.
  • I Quietly Put My Hopes to Rest E — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her emotional ups and downs with the highly intervened birth of her special needs daughter, Bella.
  • Tale of Six Births — Jessica at Instead of Institutions appreciates that unique challenges and joys of each of her births.
  • Labouring naturally: nature’s gift — Caroline at stoneageparent describes the most beautiful, spiritual aspect of the labour of her son, the first stages along a bumpy road to giving birth.
  • All The Woman I Am. — Lindsay at This Woman’s Work shares a poem about letting go and surrendering during the thralls of labor.
  • A twin birth story: embracing the unexpected — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her twin birth experience and how she found the silver lining when faced with preterm labor, premature birth, and a two-week NICU stay.
  • Giving Birth With Eminem — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how fiery rap music contributed to an empowered homebirth with her third baby.
  • Two Different Births — Cassie at There’s a Pickle in My Life shares how she learned from her first birth experience and how to trust yourself and your body.
  • Embracing Our Potential: Birth as a Metaphor — Sheila from A Living Family guest posts at Natural Parents Network and expresses how birth has served as a metaphor to help her through other experiences in life.
  • Little Sister’s Birth Story: Our VBAC Adventure — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama describes the recent birth story of her baby girl, her pride in an epidural-free VBAC, and how her story isn’t exactly the birth experience she had planned for.
  • A Journey in Birth Confidence — Shannon at The Artful Mama shares her experiences with labor during both of her sons’ births.

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  1. says

    Oh, that is beautiful. I’m sure Tiny will be proud of her birth story. My mom was completely disrespected and separated from me at my birth, and yet I’ve always been proud of the story, the way she tells it. Because at the end of the story, the takeaway is always “I was so happy to have you in my arms at last.” And that’s what a child wants to know, more than anything.

  2. says

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Mama!! Love the new birth story. You found the way to bring your child into this world that would keep her healthy, you did a wonderful thing.

  3. says

    I think there is so little support for women birthing naturally in the culture and medical institution in general that it’s easy for the natural parenting community to go to the other extreme. I adore your re-written birth story. The way you expressed your love for Tiny is just beautiful!

  4. says

    Ok, I’m crying now. That is beautiful, Jennifer.

    It’s so true — as important as birth is, culturally, individually, it’s not the sum of what parenting is. No matter how your child came into your life, the fact that she’s there is the beautiful thing.

    I really think one reason birth is a tricky topic to navigate is that natural birth supporters are trying to change a whole system that’s running counter to our ideals. That can sometimes make it seem like we blame the women who get enmeshed in the non-natural system, but that’s not it at all (or shouldn’t be). Kind of like not blaming women for choosing to or having to formula feed, but advocating for more support of breastfeeding at a wider level. All that to say, you did exactly what you were supposed to to help Tiny arrive, and what a blessing she is to the world!

  5. says

    Jennifer, the rewritten story is so moving, so powerful… it brought tears to my eyes as love welled up in *my* heart. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, you are right on! Love you. :)

  6. says

    Jennifer, the rewritten story is so moving, so powerful… it brought tears to my eyes as love welled up in *my* heart. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, you are right on! Love you. :)

  7. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama says

    We do need to do more to celebrate every mama’s birth experience. You are an incredible mama to Tiny and a wonderful mama friend to me – your birth is a part of what makes you so fabulous.

  8. says

    I know more than a few moms who are searching for this kind of permission to let go. I think your story will be very helpful to many. It literally gave me shivers. Thank you for your honesty.

  9. says

    Oh, there must be something in my eye… *blub* Thanks for sharing. I really needed this. I was where you were as well and getting past that “My body failed me, therefore I failed at birthing because I didn’t get what I planned for and wanted.” haunted me for a LONG time. Getting ready for Katherine’s birth I’ve been unpacking the last of the baggage and am looking forward to the whole thing, no matter what happens.

  10. Witch Mom says

    I, too had a C section with my first birth. You did well for it only taking three years to be OK with it. It took me so long and EMDR treatments to overcome the trauma.

    Tiny is beautiful and so loved!

  11. says

    I’m so happy to hear that you have embraced Tiny’s birth.
    I keep thinking if we have a third I’ll look into VBAC since H didn’t need to be a c-section.

  12. says

    I prayed that God would guide you, protect you, and support me as I mothered you.

    Out of this whole story, this sentence right here just eats me up each time I read it.

    Your story is beautiful. Your love for your child is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  13. says

    Oh I can relate to your experience on so many levels. Thank you for sharing. Your story for Tiny brought tears to my eyes and filled me with love and joy…and it is wonderful knowing there are many of us out there who are in this together! Thank you!

  14. says

    I’m bawling. This was beautiful. There is so much tension in life between what we want and what we know we can have. There are many things in life that aren’t as “ideal” as we want them to be. But when we look back, most of us know that this is the right path. We can see it in hindsight. We embrace it in hindsight. It’s so unfortunate that sometimes, our birth experiences are so hard to embrace, even in hindsight. But you did. I love that.

  15. says

    Hi! I came across your blog and had to read the birth story. It sounds so eerily like mine it’s insane. We were going for the all-natural, low-intervention birth, when just after 38 weeks my baby turned around and nestled her head under my right ribs. They discovered she was breech at 39 weeks and immediately said I needed a scheduled c-section. We resisted, though, and did whatever we could to try and turn her. We said if I went into labor and she was still breech, then we’d do the c-section. We found out at 40 weeks that she was partial footling, and that frightened me a bit. I went into labor the next day, though, and the c-section happened at 1am on Dec 16.

    It wasn’t what I wanted. I still struggle with the emotions. For one, my baby is healthy and beautiful and HERE. But the scar is the nasty reminder of what I had to do for that. I’m hoping with our next child it will be a different experience.

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