Today’s interview is with my dear friend Summer who was one of the first girls I met back in our freshman year of college. Back then, Summer was the “mom” of the group always trying to keep us on task and reminding us of what we needed to accomplish at any given moment. It’s no surprise that in the years since then, she’s been an excellent elementary teacher, children’s pastor and mother to her young boys. She had a rocky and scary start on the motherhood journey through her experience with her first son, but she’s risen above the challenge in the way that Summer always does. I’m thankful for her participation in this project.

How many children do you have and how many were born via cesarean? I have 3 children, 2 were born c-section

If you’ve had more than one cesarean, were the others planned? If so, what was the reason? If not, what happened in the birth that ended up resulting with a repeat cesarean? My first son was a vaginal birth with an epidural. I had nerve damage and I was unable to walk to or even get myself up from a position without assistance. I had to undergo physical therapy and retrain myself to walk again. I had certain areas around my knee that we numb for 6+ months after his birth. I still have numbness on both big toes 10 years after he was born. Since they were unsure what caused this and I have big babies, I opted for a c-section the 2nd and 3rd times because I didn't feel like I could go through that again while having toddlers running around.

Were you happy with your experience? If you’ve had more than one cesarean, were you happy with one and not with another? Explain? Yes I was, I almost passed out after my first son and got to see him much less, I didn't have the strength to hold him very well after he was born. With my c-sections I was blessed to have a nurse from church in the OR with me and she told the doc that if these babies were fine mom was going to hold them immediately. I actually got to do skin to skin and see my second son much faster then my vaginal delivery. My third son I had the same nurse, but he was born with Cystic Fibrosis so they did a few more checks on him, so I had him in my arms as soon as possible.

Have you ever experienced any shaming or questioning that made you feel uncomfortable after your cesarean? I don't feel from any of my friends I have felt that way, no. However, I have felt that vibe from society in general. Social media and just the general vibe.

Were you able to do skin-to-skin with your baby immediately after the birth, even before leaving the operating room? Vaginal, not immediately, 1st c-section quicker then my vaginal, and 2nd 2 c-section yes, but it took longer.

Was there a clear, see through drape between you and Baby at the time of the operation? I don't remember (not the girl who wants to see) but my husband was able to see.

What was your recovery like: Better or worse than expected? More emotionally or physically draining than you were prepared for? Better then my vaginal due to my experience. I felt like after my first c-section I knew what to expect with my 2nd.

If your cesarean was planned, did you feel well-prepared for the procedure itself, what to expect regarding recovery and was your healthcare provider willing to work with you to get the birth experience you desired? I would say yes.

What are three things you’d like the world to know about cesarean birth?

1. Baby's and Momma's heath are #1. No shame in that game.

2. Making clear your desires can help a lot even through c-section may not be your first choice.

3. You still did it!!! Gave birth.... no one needs to take that away from you!

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