Updated: Jul 8
Women who have given birth are always bifurcated into two classes. One, the vaginal or normal delivery and the most favoured one. Two, C-Section which is, apparently, for weak women.
The moment relatives and acquaintances come to know about the woman not delivering vaginally, is enough to set their tongues wagging for a long time.
When I had to undergo emergency C-Section because of my baby's oxygen levels dropping dangerously low, my first reaction was sadness. I felt bad that I could not deliver naturally. I was so sad that I did not register the fact that I had given birth to a beautiful baby boy, he was safe, sound, and healthy or that I was a mother now.
Nobody could notice that something was missing in me. Everyone was happy and marveling over the new member in the family. So many questions were popping in my head and I had no answers to them. Our minds are trained to think that women who deliver normally are the strongest and that they would turn out to be the best mothers for their children. And that affected me the most.
Ever since I came to know I was pregnant, I had only one thing in my mind. Deliver normally. Everyone pushed me to work out, walk and be active. I did the best I could and ended up undergoing a surgery to save my baby. I was devastated. I thought I would be criticized for my choice of labour process.
It was only my gynecologist who understood my emotions and said "I had two C-Sections and both my children love me unconditionally." Those words brightened up my mood instantly and I tried to come out of the guilt phase.
But over the days I realised not everyone think like my gynecologist. Amidst all the typical "did you have normal delivery or C- Section" questions, I had to face women who made "I am disgusted" faces on the mention of C-Section, women who came up with more questions about why I had opted for surgery when I should be delivering normally. I had to narrate the story of why I had to undergo surgery to every person I met post delivery to justify myself.
Every time people passed a comment on my labour process, I felt like screaming at them. But I kept mum. Because I knew it is not worth fighting with each and everyone.
Because I learnt that the way a woman delivers does not define her motherhood. Though my surgeon cut my stomach and removed the baby out, I underwent the same nine months of struggle, body changes and lot more emotional, physical and mental changes. I nurtured my baby for nine months in my womb just like women who delivered normally. I care for my child just like the mothers who delivered normally. I am strong as a mother and I can bond the same way like other mothers do. And yes, women who have C-Section undergo major changes post delivery, experience pain, discomfort, and take longer periods to recover.
Vaginal delivery or C-Section, mothers are mothers. Nobody should ever question, joke or sympathize with the woman's choice of birthing. Do NOT judge. Mothers, irrespective of their birthing process, should be respected wholeheartedly.