I found a wonderful piece about unnecessary c-sections, from a mom that (maybe) had one. I am in the same boat as she was, though I did not labor as long. Here are some of the bits I really appreciated:
You know why my c-section was traumatic? Because I felt like it was my fault. Because everything I read about c-sections treated them as something that happens to women who are uneducated and don’t advocate for themselves. Because I had bought into the idea that, if you don’t give birth vaginally, you did something wrong.
I don’t know if my c-section was necessary and I never will. Maybe if I had been somewhere without access to modern medicine, I would have been in labor for a few days, vomiting, in mind-warping pain, increasingly weaker and more exhausted, and eventually her head would have turned and I would have given birth vaginally.
Would that have been better?
Would that have been the way an educated person gives birth?
I identified with this so much. I can’t believe how I spent time wondering what I could have done differently to avoid a c-section. I know that self-blame for things that aren’t controllable is a sign of an unhealthy relationship (or unhealthy self esteem). To me it signifies the way Natural Child Birth causes an unhealthy relationship between women and their bodies. They teach you that you can control your child birth destiny by being Good Enough. Strong, trusting of your body, positive, self assured, etc. It is a part of why NCB is so alluring to so many people- birth can be scary and feel very uncontrollable, if NCB were true we could all have much more control over our own birth experiences. This is an especially alluring thought for women who maybe haven’t always been in control, like the 1/4 of women who have experienced some kind of abuse in their life.
Another bit that resonated strongly with me:
There are some births where c-sections (and other interventions) are clearly unnecessary. There are other births where c-sections (and other interventions) are clearly necessary.But an uncomfortable percentage of births fall in that gray area in between, where it is simply not possible to tell if the c-section is necessary or not. In that gray area, there are four possible outcomes:
1. True positive: A c-section is necessary and performed
2. True negative: A c-section is not necessary and not performed
3. False positive: A c-section is not necessary, but performed
4. False negative: A c-section is necessary, but not performed
Now, think about the consequences of 3 and 4:
- A c-section is not necessary, but performed: Well-documented risks of complications increase.
- A c-section is necessary, but not performed: Death or permanent injury of mother, baby, or both.So, obviously, we want to err on the side of more false positives than false negatives.