A mother who births through a c-section is an unsung hero. At no other point in your life will you have a major surgery performed on you (with all its risks and side effects) and not only have no one really pay attention to your recovery, but will also be told repeatedly to be thankful for it (even though it causes you great daily pain and has permenant repercussions emotionally, mentally, and physically for you). "Healthy mama, healthy baby," is the mantra I was told over and over again, but I have to tell you that post c-section, especially if that c-section was unexpected and the recipient is not sure if it was or wasn't completely necessary, most mothers feel anything but "healthy." When you go in for a c-section, you sacrifice a lot. Often you sacrifice your ability to be the first one to hold your baby, you sacrifice your ability to hold your baby skin to skin right away (in our case, my husband was allowed to step in and give my baby that, but it tore me up to see that I would have to wait), you sacrifice your own health, you (sometimes) sacrfice your ability to breastfeed successfully (I was lucky in that I did not have this problem, but it is very, very commen for women with c-sections to have all sorts of post-surgery delayed milk production and other breastfeeding issues), you sacrifice your own mental and emotional health (many women find that the trauma of a c-section is much more than they ever thought it would be; not all, but many) and sometimes you allow yourself to sacrifice your own ability to say you "birthed" your baby, preferring instead to say your baby was "delivered" (I still struggle to think I "birthed" my baby through a c-section). I've met many women (me among them) who felt that their agency in the birthing of their own children had been negated just because they had a c-section. I often have found myself apologizing or giving excuses for my c-section as if I had let everyone down (most of all myself and my child), by allowing myself to be lain on a table and sliced open to give birth instead of managing to do it on my own.
This is taken from The Connected Mom, and it pretty much sums up how I feel most days about my c-section. I very much feel that I am looked down upon because I have had a c-section and have apologized to others for it on numerous occasions. I'm sure my fellow c-section mommas know "the look," the look of pity and judgement that happens after you tell other women you had a c-section or that you are planning a repeat. I can't tell you how many times I have seen it, even after having a vbac - especially since I got an epidural during my vbac when I had planning on doing it unmedicated (which is an entirely different post about that judgement!). I can also tell you that it almost never comes from a non-c-section momma either. It frustrates me to no end because unless you've been through it, you have no idea. I'm not saying that there aren't traumatic vaginal births out there because I know there are. I just read about one yesterday. However, don't judge us, just be glad you haven't been put through the hell us c-section mommas have gone through.