Tag Archives: c-section

I am an inferior woman! Hear me roar!

Ugh. Why? Why do stupid people have to keep saying stupid crap, making me dust off my soapbox YET AGAIN?

Now I have to go looking for it YET AGAIN and …(grunting sounds)… it’s probably buried under a huge pile of dirty onesies and empty wine bottles and …(rummaging noises)… I could be using this time to do something much more productive …(floor scooting squeaks)… like drinking wine while doing laundry.

…(out of breath wheezes)… All right, let me just dust this bad boy off and step up …(more grunting sounds)…

I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet, but there is a meme making its way across the Internet that brings a whole new level to the term “Mommy Wars.” Allegedly created by some religious group, it essentially tells women who have given birth via cesarean section that they are weak and didn’t “actually” give birth and that they should bow down to the superior women who did have vaginal births.

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And angry female rant in 3…2…1…

Only in a country that so devalues its women can the idea that having a baby via major abdominal surgery be considered lazy. Can the idea that being sliced open and having a nine pound baby plucked from your womb before your organs are returned to their rightful place and you’re literally sewn back together be considered the easy way out. Just look at that inconsiderate lady, lying on her back, letting her doctor do all the hard work of ripping her body apart and plunging his hands deep inside her farthest recesses while she is fully awake.

Chicks, man. Am I right?

I feel this should go without saying but obviously it doesn’t, so, here it goes. There is no easy way out of giving birth. There are only two choices and they both suck. Because you either have your baby’s head ripping an exit through your vagina or you have a scalpel ripping an exit through your lower stomach. Both involve a lot of pain, a lot of fear, a lot of blood and a whole lot of strength.

And sure, I can understand on some level how a woman who had a natural, drug-free birth might want an extra pat on the back. And I’m more than happy to tip my hat to her. Cause that is some Wonder Woman-level of strong right there. Especially when you can, such as in my case, holler for a nurse at 3 a.m., grab her by the lapels and gently but firmly yell directly into her face “GIVE ME THE DRUGS!” and ten minutes later some guy is shoving a very large needle through your spine.

However, all of us moms went through the same war. And none of us are less of a hero for how we fought in that war.

And while I’m hoping that the person or people behind this ridiculous meme are on the far, far, FAR fringes of society, it can’t be denied that we as a country have an unhealthy attitude toward reproduction and all the baby-havin’ in general. Hell, take the actual reproductive cycle itself. We treat periods like they are the most shameful thing a woman can admit to.

Is that a tampon I just saw fall out of your purse!? A blood stain on your pants?! A commercial for feminine products!? On the TV where anyone can see it!?

AVERT YOUR EYES, CHILDREN (even though none of you would exist without the presence of a monthly period)! BURN THE BLEEDING WITCH! OR AT LEAST MOCK HER MERCILESSLY!

And then there’s our whole “I guess you can have an entire six weeks off to heal your traumatized post-pregnancy body while also keeping your tiny infant alive but we sure as hell ain’t gonna pay you for it, ya bum” attitude.

We belittle stay-at-home moms and yet in the same breath say working moms are selfish. We insist that true moms breastfeed their children but oh dear god, woman, not where I can see it. Gross. We want to know why you haven’t lost the baby weight yet but also why are you at the gym and not at home spending time with your baby?

Moms truly are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But this particular meme is perhaps the cruelest way we’ve thought up to punish moms yet.

Babies are born every day. But to the woman giving birth, it’s a miraculous, painful, beautiful and utterly terrifying experience. And no should have the right to take that away from her.

No matter how the baby finally gets into her arms.

A swamp demon is born

I’m back, folks. Sorry it’s been so long since I posted. After a gestation befitting an elephant, I can now finally say I have a human. And not just any human. My very own human. Made from scratch, thankyouverymuch.

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And as such, I’ve had very little time for writing, what with my days being filled with the following scenarios and all:

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But it wasn’t easy to get here (here, of course, being an exhausted new mom with crazy witch hair and covered in bodily fluids of varying consistencies that are not her own).

Then again, it wasn’t the dramatic and chaotic tale that Hollywood likes to tell.

Oh, you know what I mean. You’ve seen it a hundred times in the movies and on TV. There she is, some pregnant woman (who gained a grand total of seven pounds…all in her boobs) out and about when suddenly her water breaks in a giant gush worthy of a scene in “Titanic.” Immediately she starts having hardcore contractions because the baby is coming RIGHT NOW. Naturally, dad is freaking out and hilariously struggling to put his pants on (which he can’t because they are actually HER pants and of course they won’t fit because, again, she has only gained seven pounds…in her boobs). Cut to him frantically pushing her through the hospital in a wheelchair while she does that weird breathing thing (because, again, the baby is coming RIGHT NOW). And then immediately after this, she is pushing with all her might while screaming PG-13 obscenities at her husband. Cut to a zoomed-in close up of his face twisted in pain because she is squeezing his hand so hard and then BOOM. The baby is out in roughly 45 seconds, clean as the pure-driven snow and definitely not screaming like some horrific swamp demon.

Now, as you parents know, this is not the way it actually happens. Especially the part about cursing (women in labor could put any sailor to shame). But for you uninitiated out there, let me show you what a real birth story is like.

First of all, and most tragically, I never got a ride in a wheelchair. In fact, I never even saw a damn wheelchair. But that is my cross to bear, not yours. So…moving on.

My story starts a week after my due date when I went to see my doctor.

Doctor: “Wow. You’re still pregnant? That must be wicked uncomfortable.”

Me: “Get. It. OOOOOOOUUUUUUUTTTTTTTT!”

Doctor: “How about we induce Monday?”

Me: “How about you just hand me a knife and I’ll cut him out myself?”

Doctor: “How about Monday?”

Me: “…(feral growling noises)…”

So, since apparently it’s against some arcane medical code of ethics to let pregnant women cut out their own giant, overdue babies with a kitchen knife, I arrived to the hospital promptly at 8 a.m. the following Monday. And let me tell you, the trip there was full of tense, dramatic dialogue such as:

“You got the hospital bag?”

“Yup.”

“Cool.”

And, of course, this Oscar-worthy exchange:

“I have to pee again.”

“Again?”

“Yeah.”

But as exciting as all that was, it was only once we got there that the action really took off. For instance, there was the moment when my husband and my mom surrounded my bedside as we all watched a movie on my laptop. Then we had to make the agonizing decision of what to have for lunch. Then there was eight more hours of watching crap on the laptop as we waited for me to dilate. Then my mom left to go take care of our dog. And my husband and I watched more movies on the laptop.

Over 12 hours later, my water finally broke. Or at least that’s what the nurse said that barely perceptible trickle of water down my leg was. Soon after that, I started to have real contractions, which was immediately followed by this conversation:

Me: “Oh wow, yeah, I’m a wimp. I’d like drugs please.”

Nurse: “What kind?”

Me: “All of them.”

Alas, it is also apparently against that same arcane medical code of ethics to give a pregnant woman all the drugs, so I settled on an epidural, which I’m convinced is made up of unicorns and rainbows and the happy tears of a teacup pig.

And then we watched more movies.

Thirty-three hours later, however, some actual, non-sarcastic action did take place. The doctor informed us the baby wasn’t responding well to the efforts to induce him and his heart rate was dropping. With the doctor leaving the decision up to us, my husband and I quickly opted for a cesarean. And I will admit that was the scariest thing I’ve ever gone through (although that is a story for another blog).

But after what felt like an eternity, I finally heard the doctor exclaim “Look at that red hair!” and then the sweet, sweet sound of my own little swamp demon bellowing with all his might.

And that is what Hollywood, despite all its special effects and big budgets, can never fully capture: The drama and beauty and chaos of parents meeting their baby for the first time.

I’ll take the real thing any day.

Birth story 7