|The frog legs. The hair. Love her so much.|
In our walks around the neighborhood and late-night feeding sessions, I've had a lot of time to think about pregnancy, birth, being a Mom to a living baby (wow, never thought I'd write that), and just how life is so different. Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my best friends who is also a pediatrician at a hospital. We were discussing two things I have found to be totally crazy about giving birth and having a baby: c-sections and breastfeeding.
I had a c-section. You can read my delivery story here if you'd like, but mine was medically necessary to save Baby B who was having decelerations. It was terrifying (the decelerations) and I could not have cared less about how she came out of me, as long as she was alive. That said, I didn't care ahead of the birth, either, except for the fact that I was on massive quantities of blood thinners, so a c-section was riskier for me than it normally us.
What I'm trying to get around to saying is that I have been astonished by the number of people who have expressed disappointment on my behalf because I had a c-section. She is here safe and sound! Sure, would I have liked to avoid major abdominal surgery? Of course! But am I upset because I didn't get to have a vaginal delivery? No, not at all. I don't feel like I had a worse experience or that I failed in some way. My baby is alive. I'm fine. Mission accomplished. I've just been really struck by this cultural bias towards vaginal birth and the desire to do so at all costs and then feeling disappointment or guilt after the fact if you end up with a c-section. Obviously everyone is entitled to feel how they do personally, but do you really need to project your opinion onto other people!
And breastfeeding! It is going well for us and I am extremely grateful for this fact. It is so nice to be able to easily soothe her when she is hungry and to feed her on demand. Perhaps I'd have a different perspective on this subject if it weren't going well for us, but I was astonished by the pressure in the hospital to breastfeed, the number of visits we had from the lactation consultants, and the realization that if B weren't latching, eating enough, etc., I would have been made to feel terrible about it. I get that there are benefits to breastfeeding, but the pressure and the judgment is just so extreme these days. Isn't the most important thing a happy, healthy, well-fed baby? If that requires formula, so be it! I just listened to a great podcast on this subject if you want to hear more.
Just my thoughts on two early motherhood observations. It would be easier if we could all just be nice to each other. Everyone is doing their best!