Cesarean Sections

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I have to admit that I’ve never felt as hollow and disconnected from the miracle of birth as I did with my c sections. It was one of the most disconcerting experiences in my entire life barring having a preemie baby twice. The inability to connect with my baby unencumbered and without false preconceived notions from the medical field was the hardest thing I have had to endure in my life.

To top it off, the notion that a hospital can be so cruel as to place a woman without her baby (her baby being in NICU) with a woman who has her baby at bedside was the most emotionally straining and painful experience ever. It only worsened the pain of feeling emptied unnaturally by a medical procedure that takes away from the emotional beauty of birth.

No other procedure or experience in my life has ever caused this much emotional distance and pain – almost a deadening of my senses and self – than any other one in my life. The very fact that it caused me guilt, pain and extreme emotional distress warrants me to question the very practice of cesarean sections and implication of emotional turmoil it causes.

Granted, as in my own medical history and need, cesarean sections are indeed a procedure that is needed and warranted in some instances however what is needed is what is beyond the very act of the procedure itself: the emotional support and well being of the mother whether that be in the form of psychological help or therapeutic help or even a change in procedures of the cesarean policies in hospitals that support a mother in every aspect of bonding with baby. As I watched the slew of nurses take care of my 33 weeker preemie I couldn’t help but note that I was a side thought, not even an after thought for my well being (other than physical well being) emotionally or psychologically. Nor was I ever asked about my emotional stance afterwards at all. If only one person would have taken the time (the nurses, doctors, even anesthesiologist would have been welcome) to ask after my emotional needs I would have been open and glad for it. It seems once baby is born, mother is no longer worried about except on a physical level medically.

It’s like the quote from the article “Drugs, Knives and Midwives” :

“the contrast between the two delivery floors seemed to sum up a failure to give women decent choices in childbirth. I did not understand why the polarity was so stark: the beautiful floor with its rigid set of options regarding pain, or the slaughterhouse atmosphere of the regular birthing rooms where I could receive medication for the body if I needed it, but nothing for the soul. My heart longed for the alternative birth center, its beauty, the openness. But could I stand the pain? And would my labor go so smoothly that no complications would arise to get me sent to the warrens down below?”

I was indeed treated, or felt like I was treated as a prisoner rather than a human being – my body was not my own. My experiences have made me feel more like a disease than a life bearing Goddess that our ancestors viewed child bearing women as. If only the medical profession could learn from our past to fix our present and secure our future then perhaps people like me would not be so inclined to feel like a procedure or disease than the honorable life bearing woman that deserves respect rather than cold and calculated\timed procedures or patient numbers.

If I seem ungrateful to those who helped save my babies lives, it is a mistaken assumption, I am very grateful for a procedure that not only saved my babies but my own life as well. I am just not as grateful for the emotional absence in a time where emotion is what this world should be turning on its axis with.

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