|also feel like I have to justify or explain all the reasons why we had a c-birth, why we had NO other options, why we were unable to breastfeed, how long and hard I tried so "they" don't think of me as "one of those *icky* mainstream moms."
Background: I worked in early intervention with 2 families whose babies had brain damage - severe brain damage - as the result of negligent care during thier labor and deliveries. Both women should have had c-sections, but were not given them after many, many, many hours in labor. As a result, their children have been permanently affected. One child had to have half of his brain removed at age 1 due to near constant seziures. The other child will probably never walk. They both have vision impairments and delays in all areas of development.
So, my first pregnancy was high risk. I have a bicornuate uterus (not completely septated, but heart shaped at the top) which put me more at risk for late miscarriage or early labor. I made it all the way to 40 weeks after 3 months on bedrest and my doc decided to induce b/c my son was already 9 lbs. 5 oz. and we didn't know how my uterus might "perform" (?) if he got any bigger.
Long story short - labor did not progress, he was presenting face first, heart rate began to drop during contractions, so we went to c-section. I actually told them, "If there is any chance something could affect the baby - I want a c-section. I know two kids that have severe disabilities that may have been prevented had the moms been given one!!!" This was after we knew the heart rate was dropping, about the presentation, etc. The doc was already going to do it - but I sure didn't resist.
I did not have that much trouble after the c-section. I mean, the recovery was a pain, but emotionally I really felt like I knew what these families I worked with were facing for the rest of their lives and I was grateful to have been able to avoid that possibility. I know part of me felt a little "less than" women who had vaginal births, but that was b/c of the things I had heard them say!!!
Second baby: placenta began to detach at 35 weeks and my water broke. Emergency c-section right away. Again, would rather that than a hurt or injured baby.
I do feel like the c-sections (and the slight prematurity w/ #2) interfered with breastfeeding. I had two very sleepy boys at the breast in the beginning. We made it through the problems with #1 and bf until 10 mos. and then with #2 stuck it out for about 5 or 6 weeks and that was it.
And I didn't get to have that "immediately after birth" holding, bonding and breastfeeding time. I got to see them and touch them, but then I was being sewed up, etc. I did room in with both kids, though, and got to see each about an hour after the surgery.
I know I had some issues with not being able to experience a vaginal birth, but I guess seeing firsthand children whose moms should have had them and didn't - and what devastating results arose... kind of put it in perspective for me.