i’m a statistic

Did you know that 30% of all deliveries are Caesarean sections?  Matt + I first heard this statistic in our childbirth class back in August.  There were 9 couples in the class, meaning that 2 or 3 of us would end up with a C-section as our delivery outcome.  Matt + I looked at each other and said, “Not us!”

As my due date got closer and they told me she was head down, I was excited.  She wasn’t breech, which meant I already avoided a C-section in that sense.  All I had to worry about now was the umbilical cord + placenta behaving themselves and I would come out with a great vaginal delivery.

Or so I thought.  You can’t plan out what is going to happen during the birth of your child as I came to find out a week ago today.  I never thought I would be a statistic.  Sure, I never actually pictured myself going into labor on my own or even pushing my baby out.  But, I still never thought I would be one of the 30% of women in the “zipper club”, as my cousin put it so well.

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Like I said last week in my birth story, I am not disappointed with how my delivery turned out.  I still ended up with a beautiful, healthy baby girl and, to me, that trumps whether my stitches are across my abdomen or down there.  However, I can’t help but be a little jealous of those women who have given birth vaginally, were back home after just a night in the hospital, and are quickly returning to their “new normal” lives.

I know I brought it up a little yesterday, but I’m struggling.  Sure, I’m adjusting to parenting just fine – MacKenna is a great little baby + I don’t think I could love her any more than I do.  But, to not be able to go about my day like I normally would (although normal is much different now) is a struggle.  I want to be able to walk farther than to the mailbox and back without feeling like my insides are going to end up on the outside.  I want to be able to take a shower + put on makeup without feeling like I’m going to pass out.  I want to be able to pick up my 12 pound cat and tell her that I still love her despite the recent addition to our family.  I want to be able to comfortably hold my baby while breastfeeding without her sitting right on my incision.

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She’s not a big fan of the headbands yet.  Obviously…

I’m feeling better + stronger every day and I know that it would’ve taken some time for me to feel normal after a vaginal delivery also.  I just have to keep reminding myself that even though I didn’t labor, I still gave birth to this child.

A cesarean is a way of giving birth. Please don't disrespect mothers & WOMEN by suggesting a c-sec is anything less than what it is: BIRTH!

 

And that’s all that really matters.

  • aww hang in there girl! I know for me that would be so hard because I am always on the go–i’ll be praying for you!
    natalie (the sweets life) recently posted..Greek Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

    • Kristen

      Thanks Natalie!

  • Jen

    Hugs Kristen! I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I know this isn’t the same, but for awhile I truly believed I’d never get pregnant and my only path to motherhood was through adoption. I finally realized that it doesn’t matter how a child is born or who’s womb he or she grew in. All that matters is that I’d be his or her mother.

    It’s so odd. In the beginning of pregnancy, I was all for natural birth and trying to read up on everything to guarantee I’d have success. Now, I don’t care at all. I just want him to come out safely- however that may be.

    Hang in there! I know it’s only a matter of time before you’re running again <3
    Jen recently posted..Charlotte baby shower

    • Kristen

      It’s not the same, but I can’t even imagine what you went through trying to get pregnant. To me, THAT’S not fair to any woman and much, much harder to deal with than a scar.

  • You and I have very similar birth stories. Like you, I was determined that there was no way in heck I was going to have a C-section. I fought it tooth and nail. But 16 hours stuck at 7 cm with no signs of progress and me growing increasingly delirious by the hour sort of changed my mind. And my baby was also “sunny side up” too, which made those many hours of back labor a real bitch.

    All I can say is that every day, you will feel better. It doesn’t feel like it, but someday soon, you won’t feel like your insides are going to fall out when you go to the bathroom. And before you know it, it will no longer hurt to sneeze or laugh. And you’ll be so happy when the Boppy doesn’t make you want to scream out in pain.

    Two weeks was the magic timeframe for me. After that, things started getting much better.

    I’ll wait to share some of the more long-term affects of the C-section (it’s not that scary but just some things I wish I’d known … hmmm, maybe I should do a post).

    Maybe you’ll be different but for me, I’ve never been able to get over that jealousy of the vaginal birth. For a variety of reasons, we’re a One and Done family. But when we were still thinking of having a second, I got so angry at all the roadblocks to me attempting a VBAC. My doctors, whom I love, told me I’d have to find a new practice. My hospital said it wasn’t a possibility. It’s so frustrating. If you decide to go down that path later, you should start reading the Feminist Breeder. She’s a VBAC warrior.

    Sorry for the novel but I just want you to know that these are the roughest days. You’ll get through them. I promise.
    Jackie @ MomJovi recently posted..Boo!

    • Kristen

      Thanks for your story! I would love to know more about the long term effects – I talked to 2 of my aunts this weekend who both had c-sections, so it was nice to have someone to relate to. I think I just feel that I have no one to relate to on this topic and read about all these other bloggers who recently gave birth and they are doing great, are back out running, and I’m just waiting to feel good enough to walk farther than the mailbox + back. It’s nice to know there are people who understand what it’s like to go through a c-section. I might not have dealt with the labor pains most women have gone through, but I am certainly dealing with the after pains now. It definitely doesn’t help with the baby blues either!

      I am waiting to decide whether I’ll do a VBAC until after I’m fully recovered – and if my doctor is willing to do it.

  • You are not a statistic. You are an incredible mom that carried and grew a beautiful, healthy baby girl for over 9 months and brought her into the world in the healthiest way possible. You are a rockstar.

    • Kristen

      Thank you for the sweet words!

    • Yes to this! You are not a statistic! There is nothing ‘less’ about a cesarean birth. You grew and nourished that baby. You birthed that baby. And you are mothering that baby. You are no less a woman and no less a mother for birthing the way that you and your doctor felt was safest for your situation. If anything, that’s a very motherly decision to make, to sacrifice what you wished for in order to ensure what you felt was best for your daughter.
      Jamie @ I am totally that mom recently posted..Holiday Fitness Challenges

  • Hugs! Know how you feel. With my twins, it wasn’t too much of an option bc twin A was transverse. My doctor was super in letting me try for a VBAC And I tried knowing how horrible my recovery was esp. trying to care for twins. (this is increasing as studies show there is a better outcome for mom/baby and it is safe- so look into it next time). What I didn’t know is that I would have 7 days of painful prodromal labor in which I got 2×45 min of sleep. We tried breaking water, epi etc. but ended in emergency c-section with placental abruption. Obviously did not go as planned but I’m glad I tried, however would have thrown in the towel sooner knowing now how long it lasted. My recovery took about 4 wks before I felt I could move well but everything is great now. Definitely is child birth no matter how baby gets here and sometimes you don’t have a choice how it goes. If you are lucky, everything goes smoothly- just never know.
    Andrea recently posted..BLOG: October #womensrunning twitter chat

    • Kristen

      My husband has already been looking things up on VBAC (I’m not quite ready to think about the next one yet) and he’s concerned about placental abruption and such. We are definitely going to have to do some research in deciding which is the way to go the next time around. I left the hospital a day earlier than I could have (just for comfort measures), but I definitely took full advantage of the nursing staff and nursery while I had trouble getting around those first few days.

  • Julie

    You are such a good mom! Hoping your recovery goes smoothly and you start to feel better. Can’t wait to see that sweet baby!

  • Emily

    Awww, so sorry to hear how rough recovery is.

    I found your blog just recently and wanted to leave a comment. I’ve never had kids, but had abdominal surgery in March. I’m not sure how different c-sec’s are, but I can tell you that it was ROUGH that first week. Not being able to stand up straight, walk anywhere, stand up on my own, pick up my cat, let anything lay on my belly. I think my cat thought I rejected her because she kept trying to lay on my stomach and I would th
    But you will recover!! And then you will never know any different, and the scars will slowly fade. My belly looked DESTROYED, but its normal now, and I promise, you will be too.
    Cuddle that baby and smother her with kisses, and I promise that this will all be a memory and you are more than strong enough to get through this.

  • Awww girl I feel for you! I had surgery at 16 weeks pregnant (major surgery) and the recovery was so terrible. Couldn’t imagine having a newborn to take care of (even though I have two toddlers, but others cared for them). You are a strong woman!

    C-sections are there for exactly that….emergencies! You didn’t plan to have one, or have an elect c-sec, it was out of your control, you can’t feel badly about that. You and baby are healthy, and you will be out running before you know it. I thought I would never recover from this surgery but a month later I couldn’t even tell I had it! You will be the same in a couple of short weeks.

    And good for you for breastfeeding even with the tough circumstances! I know some running ladies on twitter that recently had a successful VBAC if you want her name let me know. :)
    Hugs to you and precious baby.
    Adrienne Osuna recently posted..Baby Osuna’s Nursery w/ Pictures A DIY Nursery on a low budget!

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