Less than a month ago I put on a white gown, covered my hair in a hospital cap, and was wheeled into an operating room where a team of surgeons and staff from the NICU stood waiting for me. They were there to help me get my child into the world via cesarean section because I could not survive a natural birth. You wouldn’t believe how many people think this is cheating or lazy or “the easy way out.”
One Aussie mom, Olivia White of parenting blog House of White, also heard the degrading comments about C-sections and got fed up with how unfair and hurtful they are. So, she took to Instagram, posting a powerful image of her freshly bandaged incision and a lengthy manifesto for anyone who dare think that C-sections are “easy.”
“This is what you really look like a few hours post C-section,” she honestly writes. “To anyone who thinks it’s the easy way out, well try having a 6 inch gash in your abdomen like a gutted shark who had the body parts of the surfer it ate retrieved! That’s then sewn back together with fishing wire while it feels like your vital organs are trying to escape!”
To those who mock the drugs that help a woman get through the procedure she continues:
“I mean sure, everything is [rainbows] and [lollipops] till the spinal wears off! After that it’s like you’ve been hit by a bus which then backed over you just to make sure it didn’t miss you the first time! If you don’t time the Endone exactly before the previous lot wore off then you will most certainly know you are alive (while wishing you were dead).”
One particularly unpleasant reality of a cesarean is the mesh underwear that holds everything together without ripping at new stitches. To this White says, “… worst of all you’ll feel as if you’ll spend your entire life wearing nanna knickers up around your waist because the thought of anything settling in the canyon between your gut and pubic region is the stuff nightmares are made of.”
Her post has struck a serious chord with women the world over. The authenticity of her words made us wonder if people had said insensitive things to her about her C-sections in the past. “I certainly have had comments about it because both girls were a C-section and I never naturally went into birth,” White shares with Babble. “A lot of people say ‘you’re so lucky,’ ‘oh that’s the easy way,’ ‘you haven’t given birth,’ etc.”
But she also heard some great feedback too, as her post has been racking up comments from other women who have been there.
“The reactions [have] been overwhelming, to say the least, but for the most part it’s been very positive!” she tells Babble. “[There are] so many women sharing their own stories and resonating with my comments — it’s been amazing, and I think it’s great we are talking about it and showing people it isn’t at all easy!”
What the world needs more of is tolerance and acceptance, particularly with regard to women and their birth choices. Body positivity can be a hugely impactful element in postpartum health for women, and White agrees.
“I’ve always shown very honest and raw images of birth, my post-baby body, etc.,” White says, adding, “I think it’s so important that in a sea of bounce back bodies, we need to see [that] the reality for some of us is not that! The same goes for births — they may not all look/happen the same but we are all mothers and we all need to stick together regardless!”
Congrats to White and her family on their new bundle of joy. And THANK YOU to White for using her courageous voice to call out the hurtful comments that moms get on C-sections. We need more fierce ladies like you!