I had a vision ... I had ideas... and I had plans for our “perfect and natural” delivery. After almost 42 weeks of pregnancy, I was still not dilated, and there were no signs that baby Skyler was ready to make her debut. Initially, we had planed for an unmedicated "natural" birth without any interventions, but due to me being so late in my pregnancy, Dr. Littrell scheduled our induction.
A caesarean birth (c-section) was the furthest thing from my mind. Everyone kept telling me how easy my delivery would be because I was in such good shape due to my regular yoga practice and workout regimen. Other than the normal morning sickness, and a pandemic with a quarantine, my pregnancy had been relatively easy. On the day of our scheduled induction, I brought my beautifully printed birthing plan, but after several hours of various interventions, my dilation had plateaued. After 27 hours, Dr. Littrell suggested that we begin considering a C-section. My husband and I discussed, prayed and ultimately decided to go the route suggested by our doctor whom we trusted, and we are so happy we did!
The full delivery was no longer than 45 minutes, and we were wheeled to our room after several checks to ensure Baby Skyler and I were steady and healthy.
I was up the next day walking with minimal pain and I opted to reduce my pain medication dosage, as I was feeling quite strong. After my C-section, I was instructed to only pick up my baby and nothing else to assist with my recovery.
Months later, I found a C-section therapist and went in for a C-section manipulation massage, which was recommended by another mom friend to help break up scar tissue. I remember the therapist telling me that I had an incomplete birth. I went to the restroom during the session, prayed and told God that I did not receive that claim. The therapist did not mean any harm but was only relaying to me what they had seen, heard, and learned over their years of practice with C-section recoveries. While I enjoyed the physical aspect of my session, I did not receive the mental claim they spoke over me. I took what I needed and left the rest. This was the beginning of me understanding the difference in how society viewed C-sections versus vaginal deliveries.
I joined various online groups where soon-to-be mother‘s lamented over having a C-section versus a vaginal delivery. All of the “natural” and VBAC deliveries were praised, while many of the mothers who had C-sections had tones of disappointment and failure, with a plan to have a more “successful” birthing experience next time. I saw the snowball effect of how one post would impact the thoughts and mental state of other pregnant women as fear set in regarding C-sections.
I began to see that the fear of c-sections were ingrained into women due to what society portrayed as a perfect delivery. I began to be mindful of what I allowed into my spirit through what I read, what I watched, and who I spoke with because the thought of not being attached to my new baby had not entered my mind until I was told I had an incomplete birth.
I learned that many C-section mothers felt un-attached to their babies because, due to being medicated, they did not push their baby forth, and therefore did not make the connection between their mind and body that the baby was birthed from their own body. I looked at pictures of my protruding belly, and spoke alignment over my mind and body. I refused to let the world dictate how I should feel about my birthing experience, and my connection with my daughter.
I enjoyed the process, and healing has been phenomenal. I do understand that every physical body is different. There can be difficulties and there are blessings in every birthing experience... but I want to change the narrative surrounding C-section births.
We should praise all births as all deliveries require both physical and mental strength. Let us end the narrative that C-sections are unsuccessful or incomplete birthing experiences.
The mind and body have a strong connection, and we must be intentional in what we "feed" ourselves. Our minds impact our bodies and our bodies impact our minds... and this connection can be either positive or negative. The word "mind" is not synonymous with "brain". Our mind consists of our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs which is built on what we feed ourselves. That is why it is important to be mindful with what you allow to enter your body, as well as your mind. Your internal dialogue can either strengthen or weaken the mind and body connection.
I told myself that even with the medications and a C-section, nothing about our delivery was unnatural.
If society calls unmedicated, vaginal births "natural", and if the opposite of natural is unnatural, what does an unnatural birth look like?
I have come to the realization that all birthing journeys are "natural", and there is no such thing as an “unnatural birth”, whether you have a vaginal birth, a VBAC, a medicated or unmedicated birth, a planned or unplanned C-section, or a surrogate. I believe all birthing journeys are beautiful. One journey is no greater than the other. Every physical body is different and will have a different experience, but the end result is ordained and blessed by God. Everything happens as it is supposed to, and we all embark on different delivery journeys, but the end goal is a healthy baby.
I had a successful C-section.
My successful C-section brought forth a healthy and happy baby girl.
Our journey and delivery was blessed. Your journey and delivery is blessed.
All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose!