I usually don't share my children's birth details for a few different reasons. Mostly because I do not want clients to have expectations that their birth will be like my births. We are different people who will experience things differently. I really meditated on if I would open up and share my cesarean experience. After lots of internal discussion, I came to the realization that my experience may be similar to those who have had a cesarean or who may one day face one.
So, I’d like to write about my thoughts and feelings surrounding my mental health after having a cesarean. That even though I am a doula, a cesarean birth can happen to anyone and it really might be the best choice to safely bring your baby into this world.
When I 1st brought baby Violet home, sharing my experiences didn't feel safe. I gave cliff notes and vague details. I needed to process and work through what I had been through. Slowly but surely I began opening up.
I talked to friends who had cesarean births, joined facebook groups, shared my thoughts with my husband and eventually got to a place where I could open up to those around me. I had two things that I believe helped me process and understand what I had gone through:
During Violet's birth I had an amazing hands on partner, a team of Midwives that supported me, my doula, knowledge of my rights as a birthing person, information and statics and a understanding of how birth works. And you know what? Having a cesarean birth was the safest way to bring my daughter Earth side in those moments. I was clear headed, not forced and knew the reasons behind the decision. I BIRTHED my daughter, no matter the process.
There seems to this stigma behind have a c-section, that it might not be a "real" birth or the "easy" way out. I really want to help end the stigma behind a cesarean birth. If you have had a cesarean birth I encourage you to talk about it, if that feels safe. If you haven't had a cesarean birth work through any feelings you might have about a cesarean birth not being a "real" birth. Let's reshape the way we think about and talk about birth. Can we please stop using the term “natural birth” for a vaginal birth? There is no "natural birth", it's a vaginal birth or a cesarean/surgical birth. By using that term it can make a cesarean birth sound “unnatural” or “wrong”. Cesarean birth IS birthing a baby.
If you are struggling with the details surrounding your birth I encourage you to find a provider to help you work though your thoughts. There are also some amazing resources online that are available. Disappointment, anger, sadness and confusion are all normal responses to a unexpected birthing process. It may take months or years to work though those feelings. You may not be able to rewrite your birth and how you thought things would go. But you can come to a place of understanding and acceptance.
Please reach out if you ever need to talk or share experiences.
A special thank you to:
My husband Marcus
Midwives of Hudson River Healthcare Beacon, NY & Peekskill, NY Location
Birth Doula Allison with Gentle Beginnings Doula Services, Cannon CT
Birth Photographer Casey with LewisLeigh & Co., Middletown NY
Robyn Garrett, LCSW, Beacon, NY
Hi I am Danielle. I am a doula, childbirth educator, placenta encapsulation specialist, mother, wife & passionate about birth in the Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland & Orange County, NY area.
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