You never heard me say this in the delivery room…

The labor and delivery of my daughter was anything but easy. I believe the number one wish for any mom-to-be would be a fast and simple delivery. Probably the biggest fear for each mom is needing a c-section. At least, that was my biggest fear anytime I thought about childbirth.

At this day in age, we know that c-sections are common and the majority of women who have them recover with no issues at all. C-sections are an important part of modern day science and medicine that have undoubtedly saved numerous women and their babies. Yet, very few women would voluntarily choose the procedure during their first childbirth experience. When it all comes down to it, it is a surgery. And any surgery is a scary thing to think about. Even though I came really close to needing a c-section during my own experience, I ended up avoiding it in the end, and I attribute that all to what I DIDN’T say in the delivery room.

Watch any movie or TV show depicting a woman giving birth, and you’ll hear them all shout the same thing: “I can’t do it!” It’s a common thought and statement among birthing mothers. So common, in fact, I’ve read several accounts of women who had barely so much as muttered the words in the delivery room and the doctors and nurses all shouted back, in unison: “YES, YOU CAN!” It’s as if the labor and delivery teams have come to just expect women to doubt themselves in this way at one point or another during the whole process. I, on the other hand, refused to let the thought even enter my mind.

After 19 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing, with my baby facing sideways and not staying in the right position even after the doctor turned her several times… I’ll admit that I was growing just a tad discouraged. Each time my doctor paused to think about what else we could try, a part of me just knew that he was going to suggest a c-section to finally get the baby out. But he didn’t. As exhausted as I felt, I kept my perseverance and put every ounce of my energy into each suggestion the doctor made next. Never once, though, did I say to them, “I can’t do it.” I didn’t want them to give up on me and I didn’t want to give up on myself. I had come so far, and I knew what my body was capable of. And after just little bit more effort on my part (and only slight medical intervention with use of the vacuum extractor), my baby was born.

The next day my doctor came to check up on me, and only then did he admit that he had been starting to think that maybe the only way we were going to get the baby out was to do a c-section. I am so thankful that it didn’t come to that, but that I trusted myself and my body to deliver my baby.

There is no shame in mothers who have had to get a c-section, and in some cases, they are unavoidable for one reason or another. Personally, I think you have to be one tough cookie to recover from a c-section while taking care of a newborn. Props to you! Yet, if you are like me and just the thought of a c-section makes you queasy, remember to stay strong in the delivery room. Trust yourself, trust your body, and never ever doubt your ability by claiming, “I can’t do this!” I’m here to tell you: “Yes, you can!”


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