A Baby Story: Part 2


After my medical school obstetrics rotation, I knew I never wanted a cesarean section.  The whole procedure seemed so brutal and unnatural.  I couldn’t imagine that there were people who elected this procedure over a vaginal birth (read more about what ACOG thinks of this here).  While my first delivery was an uncomplicated vaginal delivery of a 5lb 2oz boy, my second was more challenging.  After two hours of pushing, I found out that she had flipped face-up and gotten her 8lb 1oz self stuck.  Unable to get the baby to agree with flipping herself back into the proper position, the OB eventually recommended that we proceed with a c-section… and I cried.  I cried because I knew exactly what this procedure would entail and envisioned myself in the operating room where I had stood many times before: cutting, cauterizing, pulling, irrigating, sewing.  I cried because I felt like I had failed at doing the first motherly duty for my daughter; My body had failed to perform what it was built to do.

Over the years though, I have witnessed many horrifying birth stories, where the outcomes for the baby and/or mom are devastating.  Stories that I wouldn’t even want to share here because they will only scare those still planning on bearing children.  So, I am thankful that despite needing a c-section, my daughter and I are healthy and our birth story has a happy ending.  I am also thankful that I live in a time where interventions like c-sections are available and that I was giving birth in a place where this service was quickly and safely available.  Not so many years ago, my daughter and I would likely have died during childbirth without the medical knowledge and skills that the specialty now possesses.  And who knows what would have happened even now if I had been doing this at home or hours from a major hospital.  So while I was scared, disappointed, and frustrated about having a c-section, when I looked into the faces of my obstetrician, anesthesiologist, and neonatologist, I felt grateful, confident, and safe.  Minutes later they were introducing me to my precious daughter and I cried tears of joy and relief.  I thanked all of the doctors and nurses involved.  There were times that I stood beside them performing this procedure that I thought barbaric, but it wasn’t until I was lying on the table that I learned to appreciate it and the heroes who helped me deliver my baby.


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  1. Katie, I had two C-Sections. The first was unplanned and it was pretty devistating. The second was planned and was a totally different experience. I felt calm during the process, my recovery was much faster. I was so unhappy after the first time that I was shocked honesty that when it came time for number two I felt that I didn’t want to try to V-BAC. I know women who have had amazing and positive experieces with VBAC and I still wonder if I would have, but I was in labor for close to five days with my son and couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to try and labor and end up with a section anyway. When my daughter was coming, I just had a feeling that it was the right path for me to plan a C.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story! Yes, the decision about VBAC is an interesting one and one that I find more complex now that I have had a C-section myself. I have heard that planned C-sections are much easier than laboring first. I had labor for about 2 days, then active labor for 7 hours and pushed for 2 hours and ended up with a C-section, which is where some of my frustration and disappointment comes from. It seems like no one talks about how devastating C-sections are, so that’s why I wanted to write this post and I am glad to hear other women like you share their stories too. Thanks!

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