Caesarean sections receive such bad press, all the time. I have a friend whose natural labor did not go as planned and it ended in an emergency C-section. Her mother admonished her for not trying hard enough, and she cried despite having successfully delivered a healthy baby. And when I discuss delivery options with pregnant mothers, they always say, oh I really hope a C-section does not happen. I know that feeling very well because I used to be one of them. I think there is a lot of negative stories and facts about C-sections going around and that everything natural is considered good because its uhm, natural. I don’t even really think people understand what natural means. In Singapore, C-sections are extremely common and there isn’t such a culture of fear surrounding C-sections here as I have experienced in the States.
I was so horrified that I had to do C-section for the triplets because of all the horror stories that I have heard. And I know some are legitimate, but I think majority are exaggerated. My own C-section was such a non-event from start, to finish, to the recovery. The actual recovery was easy. I just listened to my body and took things one step at a time. It just so happens I was ready to walk by day 2 and things sort of returned to normal fairly quickly. What turned out to be difficult and in the sense that its annoying were the side effects like swelling, aches, and even fatigue, and the postpartum Buddha belly.
And I find it hard to share my story because a lot of mothers do not view C-sections as legitimate births. Its like in the ranking of deliveries, C-section is the least favorable. Its quite ridiculous because although the procedure is pain-free, it is anything but. The recovery is much longer than an actual labor. Some women cannot walk for a week or more. It takes a lot of courage to also go through it because you are surrendering your life and your babies’ lives to your surgeon. I remember death was on my mind the entire time when I was prepped for surgery.
Its time we celebrate all ways of conceptions and births, and stop demarcating them as natural or not natural. Just as how families are diverse, so can the ways children are born or accepted into these families.