Lisa Factora-Borchers is the interview of the day. She’s got a son and a daughter and they were both born by cesarean section. I met Lisa through our involvement at Zora’s House. She is a member, I’ve been an Ambassador there for over a year. She’s just one of the many perks about the hours I’ve spent there. I really appreciate her candor and willingness to share her stories. Thanks, Lisa!

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

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? It wasn't planned but I likely I developed eclampsia and Rosie was born preterm at 35 weeks when there was spiked protein in my urine.

Were you happy with your experience? If you’ve had more than one cesarean, were you happy with one and not with another? Explain? That's such a difficult question to answer. Am I happy that both my kids were born healthy and are thriving today, of course. Am I regretful that I had 2 cesareans—well, what does that mean? I'm not sure if both were necessary, but I trusted my doctors when they said C-sec was best given the situations. But they were so medically invasive and my second was particularly traumatizing. There was so much rough handling of my body during prep, I cried throughout most of it. I felt like an object even though my doctor tried her hardest to humanize everything.

Have you ever experienced any shaming or questioning that made you feel uncomfortable after your cesarean? I haven't experienced shaming like that, but I did carry shame that it wasn't vaginal birth which was something I really wanted to experience. Also, my second cesarean was linked to other medical problems and complications so I felt a certain level of shame that I didn't have a completely healthy experience. I know that there's no reason to feel shame, but that hasn't stopped shame from descending on me!

Were you able to do skin-to-skin with your baby immediately after the birth, even before leaving the operating room? No.

Was there a clear, see through drape between you and Baby at the time of the operation? No

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

What was your recovery like: Better or worse than expected? More emotionally or physically draining than you were prepared for? So much worse. I am sensitive to meds. I threw up so much. In my 2nd C, I had a cyst that was removed during the surgery and was biopsied. Report was "abnormal" which added an entire layer of stress to postpartum. My BP did not return to normal levels, nor did my body! I was diagnosed with diabetes in postpartum even though I didn't have gestational diabetes. It was like my body couldn't handle the pregnancy and couldn't return to healthy levels of anything.

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 knew what to expect since I had surgeries prior to birthing. I've had a history of ovarian tumors and cysts.

What would you like the world to know about cesarean birth?

  1. How breastfeeding is done after a c-section.

  2. How plus-size women can experience shame.

  3. What are my options for being able to SEE my child as they're brought out into the world?

  4. Why all the fear mongering for vaginal birth?

    Anything else you'd like to share about your experience(s) or that you want the public to know about cesarean birth? I think this is such important work, Kelli. Thank you for doing what you do!