April is Cesearian Awareness Month. Raza was born via c-section. I got a lot of comments on how awful c-sections are and very few questions about why this was the route I was taking.
Two years ago Asghar and I started trying to conceive and were emotionally devastated each month when we knew we had failed yet again. I started getting tested for different things and was labeled as "infertile" for insurance purposes. This was not only humiliating but also emotionally heartbreaking. No one could explain why. And this cold, sterile word had also led me to believe that I would never carry a child.
Our next option was IVF. It was these fertility experts who very quickly realized that I wasn't "infertile" but was carrying a 12 cm fibroid that was blocking anything from entering my uterus. I was thrilled to have an actual reason! And I was really angry because this should have been detected months ago. All the medical staff kept asking me, "didn't I feel the pain" but like most women, I just assumed this was a normal part of womanhood.
The doctors scheduled my Myomectomy (removal of fibroids) within weeks of the diagnosis. And six weeks after the surgery, I was pregnant. The proximity of my pregnancy with my surgery pretty much confirmed that I had to have a c-section because of the high risk of bleeding. I personally didn't care how I would have a baby, I was just elated that I was going to have one. However, others constantly felt the need to remind me that I was missing out on something special. That I needed to get other opinions until I found a doctor who would let me have a natural birth.
One, I always want the option that keeps both me and the baby healthy. In this case, this was a c-section. Two, while I understand that some women really want a natural birth experience, it shouldn't be assumed that all of us do. Three, it is somebody else's body and therefore let them make the decision that is best for them.
Because it was scheduled, I got to choose my delivery date. Between Feb 13 and Feb 14, Valentine's day was a no brainer. I was also emotionally, physically and mentally prepared for what was to come because I had time to process what was about to happen and when. Some might feel that I lost out on something really beautiful and special but I don't think I did.
The experience was beautiful and special for me. Asghar and I made a playlist and it was extremely comforting to hear each and every song as I laid on the operating table. I had my husband beside me, holding my hand while my doctor walked me through what was happening. Hearing Raza's first cry was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. And it was made even more special because of the song he chose for his arrival into this world.
The method through which Raza arrived makes no difference to the fact that he is my son and I am his mother. I still get to clean his diapers, feed him, get unsolicited and solicited advice on how to raise my child and questions on when I'll loose my baby weight. Let's remember that we already have plenty of things to fight for as women. We don't need to fight each other, make one another feel like less of a woman because of how we gave birth. We need to celebrate and uplift each other. Each birth is a life changing, sacrificial journey and we need all the help we can get.