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Caesarean Section Awareness Month

It's Caesarean Section Awareness Month

I want to honor everyone who has delivered a baby via c-section. 

I recognize the significance of this birth. 

Maybe you delivered via a carefully planned and scheduled c-section. 

Maybe you felt empowered and involved throughout. 

Or perhaps you had traumatic, unplanned crises, or difficult aspects with yours. 

For some, they experienced fight/flight/freeze or fawn responses during their c-section. For example, feeling immobile can activate a survival response, or others may have found themselves being the "compliant nice patient" when later they look back and wished they had spoken up about what they had needed, or how they were feeling. 

Remember, a level of intervention plus a person's perception of care is a strong predictor of whether or not they experienced a traumatic birth. Having an urgent or unexpected cesarean section is not in an of itself traumatic, but coupled with a feeling of being out of control, not having supportive care, or being overpowered or coerced, for example can certainly create a traumatic environment. 

There may have been challenging hurdles to recovering physically (while also tending to a little one!). I mean, when else do people have major abdominal surgeries, and then get handed a baby to take care of, learn to feed, and get expected to deal with sleep deprivation on top of it? It can be difficult to deal with pain, vulnerability needing help and having to rely on others while also feeling raw and emotional. For many, this can be triggering, or bring up memories of vulnerability from childhood.  It's really hard to have to ask for help, or feel dependent on others. Perhaps you have difficulty giving yourself permission to be cared for when you're sick or hurting anyway (a lot of us do!), and this is an especially challenging time to allow yourself the time to heal. 

You may have difficulty looking at, or touching your scar now. Perhaps you have numbness or strange sensations there. Maybe it reminds you of what you went through and this triggers you. For many trauma survivors, seeing their body after a traumatic birth, and or touching parts of their bodies (bellies are a particularly vulnerable place) can be really hard, and a spark for potential dissociation. 

Or maybe, your scar reminds you of what you’re capable of, and that you are a survivor. Perhaps you have positive beliefs about yourself, and feel victorious and powerful, changed by your experience in a transformative way. 

Whatever your experience, it was important and part of your reproductive story. Your experience, and feelings around your c-section, no matter how complex, are valid and deserve to be held 💜