I wrote recently how my birth story is not exactly how I had envisioned it. (You can read that here.) I wound up having an unplanned c-section because my body and Baby E would not cooperate.
Now back up about 4-6 weeks. A woman I know who has been a mother for a few months messaged me on Facebook. To put this in perspective, although we are “Facebook friends,” we only hung out once through a mutual friend neither of us keeps in touch with anymore.
So anyone, she messages me, unsolicited, to tell me all about her birth. How her birth was a dream and went absolutely according to plan. She was able to have the natural birth she wanted without drugs, in the tub and surrounded by family and a friend as doula. She goes on to say that she thinks it is sad most women have epidurals and don’t know when to push (regardless of your opinion, I’m including this to put the message in perspective).
That’s great. I’m really happy for her. And before I had baby E I was happy to hear everyone’s birth story (though I preferred for people to wait until I asked for their stories!).
So after baby E was born I posted a large album of photos to my personal FB page including this one:
Now I think it is pretty obvious from this picture that I had a c-section.
So this morning this same woman messages me telling me she can’t wait to hear my birth story. But here’s the thing….I know she’s seen my photos because she has commented on some! She must have seen this picture and therefore knows I had a c-section. So after going on and on about how glad she is about her natural birth, I was a little taken aback by her asking about my non-natural childbirth.
I was tempted to write something explaining why I had the c-section (i.e. 34 failed hours of forced induction) and how they started the induction early because baby E didn’t have a lot of fluid left and how his heart rate started dropping which led them to recommend stopping the pitocin earlier than planned (by 2 hours).
But then I stopped myself. Because the truth is, I don’t need to defend my birth experience. When I first went to my OB it was because I trusted them and felt sincerely in my heart they would make recommendations based on what was best for me and my baby. They didn’t jump to a c-section and were in constant contact with the nurses and residents at the hospital to learn what was going on with my labor.
So instead of writing back a big explanation email which implies I feel like I did something wrong, I simply wrote back “In the end it was exactly as I wanted … healthy baby and healthy momma.”
Because in the end, that’s all I ever wanted. My birth story isn’t to be tsked or pitied. And perhaps she didn’t mean anything by asking to hear about my birth story and I’m just being sensitive. But in the end, baby E is here and he’s safe. I’m recovering very well from my unplanned c-section and I’m a happy (albeit exhausted) new momma.
Isn’t that all that matters in the end?