Many women, on telling stories of how they felt abused or traumatized during birth — or some other negative feeling, like having failed as a woman after having a C-section, or something — have their feelings dismissed with, “at least you have a healthy baby.” While there is certainly a place for looking for the “silver lining” in the midst of any cloud, no matter how dark, there is also a place for just putting your arm around somebody’s shoulders and “weep with those that weep, and mourn with those that mourn.” Dismissing a woman’s feelings does not help her — if anything, it only makes her feel worse, because then she has the added guilt of not being able to “just be happy” that her baby is healthy. Certainly she is happy that her baby is healthy… but can she not also be sad that it came at the cost of severe bodily trauma? — Especially if she is fairly certain that the C-section or whatever else that she endured during birth, was in fact not necessary for her baby to have been born healthy and well.
The above image came from this story on the Birth Love website, and was the woman’s way of expressing how she felt after her C-section. Even though I’ve not had a C-section, it certainly speaks to me; I can only imagine how women who have endured birth trauma would react to that — probably, “YES! This is how I feel!” Also, read Gretchen Humphries’ post on the topic.
Certainly, not every woman who had a C-section is going to feel this way — and I’m glad of that, otherwise there would be at least 31.7% of women last year who were as traumatized in body and spirit as this apple was brutalized, which would be unconscionable. It’s horrific enough that even one woman feels this way, much less every woman. This can be a point of contention among post-C-section women — some women can’t understand why others feel victimized by the same surgery that they had no problems with, or were even grateful for. Perhaps this image will help everyone who does not have negative feelings about C-sections (or other birth trauma) understand those who do.
So, the next time you hear someone process her negative birth experience, and you’re tempted to say, “At least you have a healthy baby,” remember the picture of the mutilated apple, bite your tongue, and if you can’t think of anything else, just say, “I’m so sorry.”
h/t to The Unnecessarean for the original post
Filed under: birth experience, C-section, Uncategorized Tagged: | at least you have a healthy baby, baby, birth, birth trauma, C-section, cesarean section, childbirth, PPD, pregnancy, pregnant, PTSD, unnecessary c-section