I laid there in the hospital bed, just learning I would be having an emergency cesarean section. My first delivery was natural and I never anticipated things going any other way with my second pregnancy.
I was already crushed simply because I had invested so much time in preparing for my natural labour and delivery. I was just coming to terms with the fact that there was no other choice. I needed to do what was best for baby and myself. That’s when a loving family member walked in and said “Oh this is just awful. I was praying you would not have to get a c-section. Nobody wants a c-section.” The flood gates broke and I sobbed uncontrollably.
Was I a bad mum for having to get a c-section? Was I less of a mother because of how my baby was being delivered? It was the worst thing that could have been said to me at that very vulnerable moment. Trust me, there are plenty more things I heard over the following days and months. Let me spare you the foot-in-mouth moment and share with you what not to say to a c-section mum.
1. “At least you won’t have to go through labour.”
Actually, this is wrong. With my second pregnancy that ended in an emergency c-section, we were unaware it would be needed. My baby flipped last minute turning breech. I laboured for hours the entire day before, all through the night and the next day until I went into the hospital. With my third child, a scheduled c-section, I went into labour early the day before and waited it out at the hospital until the following morning for surgery. I was very dilated and refused an epidural because I knew more medication was to come during surgery. Trust me, I have laboured with each.
2. “I’m having a hard time deciding who I want in the delivery room with me.”
That must be a very nice problem to have. C-section mums do not get to pick and choose who comes in the surgery room with us. We get one person and for most we can’t record or take pictures until after baby is in recovery area with us. We don’t get to have someone in there taking pictures at most hospitals, or have loving family members cheering us on. I remember crying over the time I wanted my husband and my best friend with me only to find out it wasn’t allowed in the operating room.