Editor’s note: April is Cesarean Awareness Month, an international observance designed to reduce unnecessary Cesareans, advocate for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) and help women heal from the sometimes-difficult emotions surrounding a Cesarean birth. Attachment Parenting International‘s First Principle of Parenting: Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting advocates for parents to research their options regarding childbirth choices. While API promotes choices with the least interventions possible, Cesareans are necessary in some situations. It’s important for mothers to fully process their experience, not only for their own emotional health but also for their bond with baby, so their Cesarean birth story can be beautifully retold, again and again:
I gather her in my arms and feel her head rest against my chest. “You were ready to run out!” I say, and she giggles as she always does. “I could feel your head right here by my heart and your feet were straight down and ready to go.”
“I wasn’t upside down like other babies,” she adds, looking into my eyes.
“No,” I reply, “you were special and so excited to come out and meet the world.”
“I was ready to run,” she repeats. “I’m a fast runner!”
“Yes, and that’s why you got to come out a special door in my tummy,” I say, putting my hand over the spot where my Cesarean scar is. My daughter puts her hand over mine and echoes, “a special door.”
“And when you were born,” I remember, “Daddy and I snuggled you and kissed you and said, ‘Welcome!'” My voice gets husky and tears spring to my eyes.
“Did you cry, Mommy?” my daughter asks.
“Yes, I did,” I reply. “A little, because I’d waited for so long to meet you, and because I was so happy to hold you in my arms.”