Becoming a mother can be one of the most daunting—and
overwhelmingly amazing—experiences. For many, the delivery process is the most intimidating part of
the pregnancy journey.
I remember being a 23-year-old girl beyond excited to become a mom. As the date got closer, I
became more concerned about giving birth. I couldn't wait to meet my baby girl. But the idea of actually bringing another person into this world was very
The date arrived, and, as a very opinionated girl, I declined
pain medications and decided to do everything the natural way. I was very
naïve. I wanted to be strong and claim this
moment as my final step towards becoming a woman. However, 24 hours later, in pain
and not even close to the dilation needed for delivery, I was tremendously
exhausted. I accepted the epidural, not because I was giving up, but because I
knew it was the right decision in order to move the process forward.
Five hours later, I was feeling the warmth of my 7-pound princess close to my heart. Just
as I had dreamed I would for the past nine months. A week later, I felt great. My
baby was healthy, I was recovering at a fast pace, and I had lost 28 pounds—four pounds more
than what I had gained during the pregnancy. I was on top of the world. I
preached how much better natural childbirth was. How you would get your body
back in no time, you would feel great sooner than expected and you could get into a routine faster.
So, when I got pregnant the second time, it was
no question that I would do things naturally, but more effectively. I planned
everything in my head, but, little did I know, things would go differently.
I woke up the morning my baby boy was ready to see the world. I took a shower, put on makeup—I mean, my prince charming could not see me like a hot mess—and got ready. Everyone was so nervous, except me. I knew that
my body would do what it was meant to do and that I would be strong and in control this
I have walked both paths, and I have been the best mom I could for both my children.
Again, I was very naïve.
Twelve hours and two epidurals later (the first one only took the right side), I was in more pain
than during my first time in labor. What's worst, the baby had lost all the amniotic
fluid and there was no sign that I was dilated nearly enough. Again! That's
when the doctor delivered the news: I needed a C-section or the baby could die.
My world fell apart. My perfect plan had been thrown on the floor and, with
that, my dreams of a speedy recovery. I remember I asked everyone to leave the
room so I could be alone.
I prayed. I asked God to give me the strength to accept His
plan. I asked my body to toughen up and take this as a survival scar. I cried a
lot. I cried for the body that I had been in for the past 27 years that was about
to change forever. I cried because I was afraid of the surgery, and, moreover, because I knew I would be in a lot of pain after that. Then, I went
into the operating room. A C-section was not my choice, but when I touched my
son's tiny hand, I knew I had done the right thing. He was born a healthy 9 pounds 4 ounces, and, at that moment, any bad feelings dissipated.
He was here, with me,
and that was all that mattered.
In the end, what truly makes a difference is not how we
deliver our children but the plain fact that we are able to do so. That is the
extraordinary part. When I hear people saying that moms that go for C-section
are less of a mother than those who do it naturally, I tell them: You're
wrong. I have walked both paths, and I have been
the best mom I could for both my children. I love them both equally, have taken
care of both with the same love and have been the same person regardless of my scars.
A C-section does not make any woman less of a mother, nor does it make her a "lazy" mom, as this inflammatory meme trolling around Facebook contends.
made me a better mom that I already wanted to be. Neither made me less
sensitive to their needs or close to them. Neither made me less prone to make
mistakes and learn how to improve along the way.
Do I advocate for natural childbirth? Definitely! It's easier,
faster and less traumatic for the body. You recover more quickly, your
body is not subjected to a major surgery, you lose the weight more rapidly and
the pain dissipates within a week.
But, that does not mean I reject C-sections. There are times when there is no other choice: the safety of the baby and the mother is the priority. The goal is to deliver a baby without
harm, in good health and to make sure that baby has a mom who would take care
of him or her.
A C-section does not make any woman less of a mother, nor does it make her a "lazy" mom, as this inflammatory meme trolling around Facebook contends. If anything, a surgical birth makes a mother more aware of
the sacrifices she would have to make for that baby to come into this world and, in a selfless way, accept and embrace the changes in order to welcome that
little one into her arms.