I am the veteran of two c-sections and while I am completely fine with it now and grateful for my healthy children, I still sometimes have that nagging wish that I had experienced a vaginal birth. I even tried for a VBAC but made no progress and ended up in a repeat c-section. I respect my doctor’s advice and I have no question that it was the right thing to do but I won’t lie- when I hear women gushing or bragging about their amazing birth experience I get a little annoyed. Ok, a lot annoyed. I understand their pride in their experience and I have no doubt that hard work and perseverance got them there but at the end of the day, they are really just very lucky. There are many factors that could require a medical intervention in childbirth and if they did not encounter any of them, it is largely due to good fortune. It would do them well to remember that and not brag about their “perfect” birth because they might be hurting other mothers without even realizing it.
A Reddit home-birthing mom inspired this post today:
Oh yeah? Well, I have never had cancer before and my cholesterol and blood pressure are better than perfect but do I go around rubbing those facts in other people’s faces? That might sound like a reach but pregnancy and birth are about health and also, good luck- why would anyone brag about that while potentially in the presence of someone who’s fortune was not so great? It just seems pointless and mean.
I get that people prepare for home births and med-free births for months and that the outcome being a successful one is a very exciting thing that they should give themselves credit for but what of the ones who prepare for months and end in a c-section or “imperfect” medicated hospital birth anyway? I guess I am not sure of the purpose of bragging about something that is successful due largely to factors out of a mother’s control. Like, I never asked for my ovary to grow a gigantic cyst that would require post c-section surgical removal and that would have made a vaginal birth impossible. It was literally something I had no say in and when I hear natural birth or home birth veterans smugly patting themselves on the back for their successful birth it really stings. Like, could I have done SOMETHING to avoid the misfortune that came upon me? Well, no. But for a stupid minute, I do start to wonder. And when I did not dilate even the teeniest bit for my second pregnancy- was I a failure? Because no one really brags that they had a repeat c-section. It’s hard not to wonder if you have done something wrong when someone else says they have “bragging rights” because of how great their body was during the whole birthing thing. Well, my body kind of sucked and I really don’t think that was my fault. It sounds like this Reddit mom was very lucky and I won’t lie- I am a little jealous.
If you had a wonderful and “brag-worthy” birth, I am incredibly happy for you but also, a little envious. It is understandable to want to brag and talk about every single detail but maybe be sure you are doing so with people who won’t be wounded by your words. There is a lot in my life I am proud and happy about and bragging about it doesn’t make it any sweeter- but it could ruin someone’s day. Just don’t do it.