Thursday, April 29, 2010

C-Section: A Father's Perspective

As C-Section Awareness Month 2010 comes to a close, I thought I would offer a spin on this topic. Though the mother is the one that has the c-section, it took both parents to create the child and both parents (hopefully) are present for the birth. Both parents have emotions, rememberances and thoughts about that day. Very few people stop to ask the man how he feels about the birth of his child. I asked my husband to write up his side of our c-section birth story. In his own words:

As we started through the birth process, there were only a couple of things that I really felt strongly about. First, I did not want to know the gender of the child until delivery, and second I did not want to have a c-section. Why you ask? Not because I felt it would change the way I felt about the child or because I felt it was wrong in any way. It boiled down to a couple of things. First, I had heard from other fathers that from the dad’s perspective, there is just something that doesn’t feel natural about a c-section baby vs. a non-c-section baby. But second, and more importantly, this requires surgery and more healing time for the mom and I always try, at great length, to avoid sharp objects cutting skin.

But as the birth rolled around, and it began to linger, and nothing was really happening, it became apparent that options were running very slim. Poor Ian just was not going to come out without some type of outside help. The doctor sat down and ran through the options, and it surprised me how quickly the response “Cut me open” came out. In hind sight, this was the right decision, and the only option that would save both mother and child, but the fact that without even really getting into specifics on what could be done, it was as though there was a cheering squad for c-section.

For me, that was an upsetting decision at the time. I did not want to see a surgery when there could have been other options. But time was a critical factor and a quick decision was probably best. As we headed down to the operating room, they all went in and started prepping mom while I scrubbed up and donned the gown. I sat and peeked through the window as everything was prepared for the doctor to come in and do his thing. The time came, I walked in and found my stool to sit on, camera phone in hand.

As the surgery went on (and this one was a tough one), it quickly became apparent that this was a necessary surgery and it began to ease my tension on the decision as a whole. But then when Ian was born and I was able to see him for the first time, look face to face at the person I created, the person who would immediately be called my clone, I no longer cared how he was born. The fathers who said the moment wasn’t as magic were dead wrong!! That moment could not have been more magic!! Regardless of the original intentions of birth plans and preconceptions, the end goal was achieved in that mother and child were both healthy and on their way to recovering.

Now, there is a child and a scar that will forever commemorate that day, that decision. And at first, the scar was very nasty!! I never looked at it with disdain or contempt and I never will. I did look at it and it turned my stomach only because it was bloody and stapled and all around not pleasant to see for someone who does not do so well with medical things. But as the months go by, the scar continues to heal. My only hope is that it will one day no longer protrude from the body and will flatten out. But even if it doesn’t, who cares?

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