What Up, Cesarean?

The midwives called. My placenta has not moved. C-section y’all.

I had a good ugly-cry about it. I hugged Adam and felt it all – anger, disappointment, sadness. I called my family to update them on this new development and let my mom comfort me in that familiar way that only moms can.

I’m a bit heartbroken. I also feel, inexplicably, like I’m cheating. I’m getting the baby without doing the work. I feel like a huge section of this whole experience (pregnancy/birth/baby) will be missing, torn out. A blank, replaced by a blue curtain, surgical steel and scalpels. Adam in scrubs standing by my side, blending in with the doctors.

Now I need to let go. I need to finally let go of what I had always thought the birth of my first child would look like. Those movie moments; my water breaking, feeling contractions, labouring through deep breaths and tightly held hands. How I thought it was going to work, how I thought it was going to happen.

It’s a damn hard thing to do, saying goodbye to something you always assumed would happen, something that I had always assumed went hand in hand with pregnancy – actually giving birth.


On our after dinner walk tonight I tried to reflected on the positives. I focused on how blissful it felt at that moment to be walking in the cool night air after a hot, muggy day, hand in hand with my husband. I thought about how lucky I was to be pregnant at all, to be waddling around with a big basketball belly watching our newly four-year-old dog frolicking in and out of the streetlight’s shadows.

I rested my hand on the rounded shape of our little one’s fat butt poking out above my bellybutton and I started to mentally make the following list:

                                                 Positives to Having a C-Section

  1. We will get to meet our son or daughter earlier (with placenta previa they want to avoid the start of labour as there is significant risk of hemorrhaging, so they typically schedule the surgery for 37-38 weeks, that’s under two months guys, HOLY SHIT!).
  2. My vagina will not be torn asunder by the giant heads that seem to run in Adam’s family.
  3. I will be done work earlier (Ha-lle-lujah yes please).
  4. We will have a concrete date for baby’s arrival -for a planner like me this is fabulous. I might even tempt fate by ordering a cute wall hanging with the date printed on it.
  5. I get to neatly sidestep the unmedicated birth issue, the kidneys and labour issue, the whole shebang.
  6. Since I will be put on more strict limitations re: the amount of lifting and activity I can do, I get to do a lot more ordering around. Adam called me “Bossy McBossBoss” tonight, but sweet lawd he hasn’t seen the half of it yet.
  7. My mother (a former nurse) swears that c-section babies are the most gorgeous right after birth because they have perfect heads and faces, not having to be smushed through the birth canal and all.
  8. I don’t have to talk about my stupid placenta anymore. Can we all just celebrate this small fact? No more placenta talk, this could be the last time I ever write the word placenta. HAPPY, PLACENTA? 

I need this list. I need to keep adding to this list and focusing on this list and embracing this list.

As a natural-birth fan I have long been a mildly card-carrying member of the “C-sections are evil” brigade.

I thought of them as an easy way out, pushed upon people by overzealous doctors worried about potential lawsuits. I read the books and watched the movies and tut-tutted over the 30% c-section rates of some hospitals.

I could recite a dozen reasons that c-sections are bad for the baby, bad for the mother, just bad in general.

But, as is often the case with this sort of black and white thinking, I never considered that in some cases this looming spectre might be your best option, your only option in fact.

If I wasn’t able to have a c-section, Baby G just…wouldn’t come out. Like, ever. So I now need to forget all of that anti-cesarean propaganda and embrace this surgery with open arms.

I need to welcome it and be happy about it and love it because hey! Hi cesarean! You are what will enable me to finally meet our baby, and isn’t that fabulous? Good for you! Thank you!

You are the means to the end, a rainbow at the bottom of which sits my darling demon baby, healthy and strong and ready to wreak happy havoc in our lives.

So hey, change of plans guys – I’m suddenly pro-cesarean!

Let’s DO this!

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