Wednesday, October 21, 2015

three reasons I love my C-sections.

Both of my kids are C-section babies. They came into the world after long labors, and my first peek at them was as they were held up, screaming, over a thin curtain at my chest. My first time ever in an operating room was after 30 hours of labor with Silas. I rock an awesome scar that reminds me of their arrivals each time I get dressed. While each of my C-sections had a fair amount of uncertainty, fear, and physical discomfort and pain, there was also sweet relief that the labor part of it all was over, and pure joy it was time to meet my precious babes.

I think C-sections get a pretty horrible rap in the birthing world. In every birthing book or article I read, there are only a few paragraphs dedicated to C-sections, and they're usually pretty damning and guilt-inducing. Even after discovering that my body literally cannot birth my babies naturally, I have to confess that I harbor a twinge of guilt and remorse that I can't birth a baby quite the way I'm "supposed" to. Silly, but true.

But oh gosh, you guys, I'm so thankful for C-sections. I don't care what the heck those birthing books say. As I was lying in bed the other night, my mind wandered to the days Silas and Delia arrived, and I began to think again about how our next baby will be a scheduled C-section. I felt a bit of sadness creep in, until I began to think of the reasons that I really love my C-sections. This post may be more for me than for you-- a reminder that even with all of the scary, all of the painful, and all of the unpleasantries of C-sections, there's still some goodness and sweetness in there. Crazy, I know, but let me just share with you.

[one] They saved my life... and my babies'. 

This is absolutely the #1 reason I love my C-sections. Both of my labors were long and saw very little progress. I had a 30 hour labor with Silas and barely got to 5 cm, only to go backwards. With Delia, I labored for 16 hours, and I'm not sure I even made it to four centimeters. After Delia's C-section, the surgeon told me that I have something called a prominent sacrum, where my bone structure will not allow me progress in labor and to give birth naturally. I almost sighed with relief after hearing that-- something tangible that allowed me to see that I wasn't a failure after all. There's nothing I could have done differently, my body was just made differently. 

Each time I think about my kids'  births, I get choked up at how thankful I am that we have this gift of modern medicine, and the doctors were able to deliver my babies for me. Because without C-sections, my babies and I would have died. I think of the days long ago, when this was a very real reality, and women died in childbirth with no other options available to them. And I think of the countries this very day who lose women because of this reason, and I can't help but feel a deep and profound thankfulness for this life. 

[two] More hospital time. 

After a C-section, most hospitals require you to stay 3 or so days to recover. The days and nights in the hospital after my C-sections hold some of my dearest memories of my newborns. Some people escape to home as soon as they possibly can, but I'll take all the quiet moments discovering each other, sweet time watching Chris love on our babies, and delivered meals that I can. Especially now that we have more than one kid, that quiet time in the hospital proves all the more special-- a little pocket of peace and healing before heading home to a wild and crazy house.

[three] Learning to take it slow and accept help. 

I don't know much about the recovery after a natural birth. All I know are C-section recoveries, and I'll just lay it right out-- C-section recoveries are a bitch. Sometimes I feel like a newborn myself, barely able to walk, or even roll out of bed some days. The searing pain of my incision, the inability to lift Silas, bend down to tie a shoe, or even wear Delia in a wrap. But that's the beauty of it-- I can't do anything on my own. We have been superbly and overwhelmingly blessed to have my mom come to stay with us for the ten days following Si and Delia's births. I wish I could send a clone of my mom to each of my friends after they have babies. She's an angel-- making nutritious and filling meals for us, bringing me water while I'm nursing, doing laundry, dishes and diaper changes that I wasn't even aware needed to be done. We've also been really fortunate to have friends bring us meals and come over to entertain Silas after Delia was born.

I imagine this next part pertains to anyone in the first days of their kiddo's life. The month or so after my kids' are born is one of the sweetest illustrations of God's grace in my life. I have nothing to bring to the table. I'm disheveled, weary, and practically helpless. But heaps of goodness overwhelm me. Meals, gifts for Silas, dishes washed. Babies held, clothes folded, being sent off to take a nap. Learning to just say "thank you" and accept the much needed help is a beautiful practice when most of the time, I try to reciprocate as much as I can. Resting in His grace, and soaking in the ways He loves us through our friends and family when we're a wreck is a really beautiful picture to me of the way Christ loves us, even at our worst.

The next Wilkins baby is Lord willing, not coming for a long time yet. But when he or she does arrive, it will be by scheduled C-section. Remind me to come read this post over again. I'm sure I'll need a refresher.

And if you're interested-- this post is where I share some of my favorite tips for C-section recovery, and here's Delia's birth story, and Silas' birth story.


  1. My sister-in-law and a good friend both had c-sections and I too am so grateful for them... without them these beautiful moms and their babies would not be here! Nothing to feel guilty about! So sad that is the outlook for some people. I think that it is a badge of honor... that is not simple task to have surgery and then have to take care of a newborn!

  2. All 3 of my pregnancies were thru natural/vaginal delivery.. with the first kid, the doctor wanted me NOT to drive for a week... that was the advice back in the early 80's... with the second kid, nothing was said.. I guess the doctor assumed I would follow the same course/what was right for me.. by the time the third one came --90;s.. I had him in a birthing center... I LOVED it.. The experience was great.. Too bad, the idea back then didn't catch on.. A friend of mine had her son there as well.. We were the only 2 to take advantage of it.. It eventually closed... I guess people are skeptical of birthing centers, but I enjoyed it.. More one on one attention from the nurse... and it was soooo quiet...

  3. I had a csection with my first after a failed four day induction. I'm currently pregnant again & am leaning toward scheduling a csection again. My experience was so traumatic that I just don't want to repeat it, let alone be away from my firstborn for a week or so. I've gone back & forth over this, because a teeny part of me wants to experience a vaginal birth, but sanity & safety are ultimately more important, you know? ;)

  4. Yes, yes, and yes! I, too, have had two C-sections. My first after 68 hours of labor and my second was scheduled after prodromal labor when my daughter was in transverse position. I have felt defeated at times that my body doesn't birth my babies. I've been bitter, might still be, about my C-sections. I actually chose to stay an extra night in the hospital because me and my husband were enjoying it. Ha! Thanks for your post! Xx, Tamara -

  5. Schedule C-Sections are the bomb diggity! Katelyn's birth day is such a great fond memory with no disappointment I ended in the OR again or shear exhaustion hours upon hours later. I was in my room with big brother snuggling his new sister by 10 am! It. Was. Awesome. I'm excited for you to experience the wonderful side of a schedule Section. Oh and mama you kick serious delivery butt! We get to have scars to daily remind us our bodies experienced amazing gifts from God. I love my scar!

  6. I had a c-section with my daughter, and while it was fine and standard and whatever, I never ever ever wanted to do it again. After my son's VBAC and amazing recovery, I know that's the way I want to go from here on out. But I support a woman's right to choose what sort of birth she wants and feels is best for her!

  7. I had a c-section for my twin delivery because I had pre-ecclampsia. But I wanted one throughout my entire pregnancy because of the fear of delivering one baby vaginally and one via c-section. Who wants to recover from both? Not me! I had a great experience and wonderful doctors and staff throughout my delivery!


hello you! Thanks for taking a minute to comment! I like to reply to your comments in the thread, so if you have a question and you'd like to get a notification of my response, feel free to click the "subscribe by email" link.