All I had ever heard people talk about were the negatives associated with ceasarean sections; the pain, the lengthy recovery, and the possibility of infection, to name but a few.
The topic was surrounded by negativity.
And here I was, facing the possibility for myself.
It's amusing to me that I now sit here, viewing my caesarean birth as my most favourable in many ways. Yes, the recovery was painful, and lengthy. Almost 5 months on, and I'm still recovering. I'm not trying to paint caesarean birth in a bright shiny new light, it does leave a lot to be desired.
But there are always multiple ways in which to view a situation.
I gave that labour my all, was guided by the most amazing midwife and obstetrician, had the kind of labour that I'd always wanted, and she still wouldn't fit. I know now, without a doubt, that I did everything I could. So from where I sit, it's a win.
The before and after views, of my c-section experience, are vastly different. Before hand, I would have done (and did do) anything and everything that I possibly could do to avoid it. I was petrified. After, I could not be more proud of where I've been, what I've been through, and how much I've achieved.
My c-section experience has given me an even greater appreciation for what the human body, particularly the female body, is capable of. Yes, sure, our bodies are designed to give birth in a certain way, and that in itself is an incredible thing to consider - but sometimes even a seemingly impeccable design can be thwarted by the occasional flaw. In my case, I without a doubt, grow babies far too big to exit my body in the traditional way (trust me, I've tried).
Sometimes the choice isn't really a choice, and we need to take more drastic measures.
And this is what I find incredible about c-section mummas - after major abdominal surgery, we are up and walking within a few short hours.
We cannot think of ourselves as much as we would after other kinds of surgery (as much as the pain makes us want to), because the reason for that major surgery is the tiny little life that grew inside of us. The one that we silently promised to love and protect, the one that we chose to bring into this world. Not only have we grown this human life, we've had that tiny little life surgically removed. Then we must go on as if nothing ever happened. We must protect, provide for, and nourish this tiny little life, while in some of the worst pain many of us have ever felt.
The longer, more painful recovery did mean that many activities were limited. This gave me the most amazing bonding time, far more time than I had allowed myself to have in the early days with my older two. With my second born, I was running around after a toddler within a few days. This time had to be different, and it was time that I'm truly grateful for.
For me, having had the experience of both vaginal and caesarean births, I've been given an even greater understanding of the processes. Of the lengths that we all go to, to ensure safe passage for our little ones. It's given me an insight into the level of selflessness that a mother is truly capable of, when their little ones need them most (had you asked me prior, I wouldn't have thought I'd cope the way that I did). I have a huge respect for my body. It 100 percent did what it was needed to do. For us in that moment, it birthed a baby.
We're happy, and healthy.
Ultimately, we all want our babies to be birthed, and to survive. It's not the only thing that matters, but it's the thing that matters most.
Sometimes we're forced to let go of what we thought we were going to have, and to hold onto what we've been given. You see, not all caesarean births are negative, and not all vaginal births are positive.
In the end it doesn't matter whether our babies were squeezed out through the driver's side door, or whether they were lifted out through the sunroof. Healthy is what matters.
But sometimes, just every now and then - the sunroof can actually let in the most light.