Carol is the woman whose story you get to read today and goodness, is she a special woman in my life! For the first four years that Matt and I were married, we lived in Bowling Green, OH away from our families and our close-knit friend group. We often felt very isolated, lost and alone up there. Carol and her husband welcomed us into their home for meals, to celebrate holidays and helped care for our young daughter. After a short time, Matt and I felt much less alone and like we had family in our new town. Carol and her husband were (and still are) like parents for us and our children have affectionately referred to them as their grandparents. Though Carol’s cesarean took place over thirty years ago, I’m so thankful for the detail with which she’s able to tell her story. Thank you, Carol!

How many children do you have and how many were born via cesarean? 2 children, 1 cesarean

Have you ever experienced any shaming or questioning that made you feel uncomfortable after your cesarean? I have not experienced this.

Were you able to do skin-to-skin with your baby immediately after the birth, even before leaving the operating room? I was given a general anesthesia, so the answer to this is no. Plus I don’t think that this was a thing in the 80s.

If you chose to breastfeed your baby, were you able to try nursing your baby within the first hour after birth?No, because of anesthesia.

What was your recovery like: Better or worse than expected? More emotionally or physically draining than you were prepared for? I didn’t think that it was uncomfortable. I nursed the next day without even giving it any thought that I had surgery.

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

  1. It’s not a failed birth experience. A healthy baby is the goal.

  2. A c-section doesn’t have to mean all births are c-sections. Depending on the reason, ask about a VBAC. Don’t just settle for a repeat without questioning why. My VBAC was in 1986.

  3. After many hours of labor and pushing, it was disappointing to need a c-section. Don’t judge any mother for this happening. You weren’t there. Nor are you likely a medical professional.

Anything else you'd like to share about your experience(s) or that you want the public to know about cesarean birth? I missed out on the first 12 hours of his life because of the anesthesia. Ask before labor about the anesthesia options for an unplanned cesarean. And a c-section shouldn’t mean that you can’t nurse because of the incision. I didn’t even give it any thought.