“Maybe next time…”, they say with a reassuring smile.
“Oh well…”, they sympathise.
“At least it was for the best…”, they console me.
It sounds like I’ve experienced a huge tragedy. Something has happened to me that has been so incredibly sad. Or worse, I’ve missed out on something so incredible.
So, what is it?
I gave birth via Cesarean. Apparently, welcoming my daughter this way means that I missed out on something incredible. Apparently, this type of birth is a sad, horrible thing.
But don't worry, the people who think that my c-section birth was a shame are relieved it wasn't my choice - it was medically necessary.
At my 20-week scan the woman conducting the ultrasound informed me that my placenta wasn't sitting right.
"What does that mean?" I asked.
"You might have to give birth via Cesarean. But don't worry, hopefully it will move." The way she said it gave me the impression that she was more worried about me having a c-section, than she was worried about my placenta.
I was worried about my placenta and what "not sitting right" meant for my unborn baby.
My obstetrician did a far better job explaining it to me. My placenta was one centimetre from the birth canal (placenta previa for those wanting to be all medical). It was like that annoying party guest. You know, the one who hovers near the door and prevents you from leaving the party by telling you their life story while you try to say goodbye.
The only difference between my placenta and the party guest was that the party guest is annoying. My placenta was potentially dangerous to both my baby and I. But only during the birth. Only when it came time for my daughter to leave the party.
So, we watched and waited to see if my placenta would move out of the way.
Read more: The polarising photos of placentas.
At 36 weeks, it was still there. Hovering at the door.
"Okay, so how about Friday week?"
That was all my obstetrician said (locking in the surgery).
There was no discussion of risk factors.
There were no options given to me to go home and think about.
The only safe way to meet my daughter was a c-section. I took it with open arms.
During my pregnancy, I told a few people that I might need to have a c-section because of my placenta. I got quite a few, "hopefully, it will move" comments.
Sure, I wanted it to move, just to have one less thing to worry about. But I honestly didn't care how my baby was coming out. All I cared about was her safety.
Since giving birth, I've had to tell countless people how she entered the world. From doctors to midwives to curious people. Each time, I feel like I have to give an explainer - "my placenta was in the way". That's probably more my insecurity than their judgement.
But more than often I get the "what a shame" comment/feeling/mood. I'm sure they just think that giving birth vaginally is the best option. I'm sure they just mean that they're sad I didn't have the best option (according to them).
But I take offence that they think my birth was a shame.
Just because I didn't push her out of my vagina, didn't mean my heart didn't drop when she was placed on my chest.
Having a Cesarean didn't mean I lost out on the miracle of birth.
It mean that I got to meet a little person that, before Cesareans, I wouldn't have been able to.
If it wasn't for the option to have a c-section, my sweet little girl wouldn't be here today.
Quite possibly, neither would I.
Share your birth story below, we would love to hear it.
TAP on the image below and scroll through the amazing gallery of placentas which first appeared on Cordmama. You can follow Cordmama on Facebook and Instagram. You can also see more of Monet's work at www.monetnicole.com.