cesarean section


Writing your own story can be part of the process of understanding and healing. This page is intended to reflect what it feels like to have a caesarean and your personal experiences - this page is yours.

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Thank you for your initiative. I discovered your site 13 years after undergoing a caesarean section, and yet the memory is still painful for me. Here is my testimonial.
I gave birth to 3 children at the ages of 31, 34 and 40. Childbirth is a sport! But my first 2 children were born without any difficulties, and I was very much in favor of reclaiming childbirth, so I wanted childbirth to be as natural as possible, active, on the move, with no epidural, no episiotomy, no probing, no venipuncture... Having had to fight hard to have my wishes respected during the birth of my first child in a clinic close to my home, at a time (in the 90s) when it was customary to give birth on the back, with an IV, and when women refusing an epidural were considered crazy, I knowingly chose a highly reputed establishment for its less medicalized approach for my 2nd child. This second birth met all my expectations.
But then, in 2003, my 3rd delivery ended in an unscheduled caesarean! Despite the fact that the operation was carried out quickly, the father was present in the operating room without any problems, and the baby was placed on my chest immediately after being extracted and remained there for some time, the birth was very traumatic for me. The operating room was freezing and I was shaking so violently that the team decided to tie my arms to the operating table, which shocked me to no end.
The obstetrician also seemed distant and cold. At one point, before the decision to operate was communicated to me, after 9 hours of ineffective contractions, she said: "That's what happens with an aging uterus". A violent sentence for me, very incongruous in a hospital renowned for its friendliness to women. It may be true scientifically, but in any case, it had rather devastating effects on my morale.
I denied the physical effects of the C-section. The operation took place at 9pm, and with the help of morphine, I was up the next morning to care for the baby in the nursery as if nothing had happened, despite a massive and painful hematoma around the scar, which took a long time to heal. I was discharged 3 days later. But I soon realized that I needed psychological help because I felt shattered. I was familiar with the post-partum hormonal low, having experienced this fragility when my 2 sons were born, but this was much worse.
I had a few sessions with the hospital psychologist, who even arranged an interview with the obstetrician. Nevertheless, that caesarean section remained a traumatic event for me, and more than 13 years later, I'm dismayed to realize that I still sometimes cry when I think about it.
My daughter had a disturbed childhood (night terrors, systematic opposition, constant tantrums, rejection of school) that required psychological treatment, and I always feared that this was linked to the Caesarean section and my own insufficiently resolved anger. I couldn't help thinking that not only had I failed to deliver my daughter "correctly", but that I'd also traumatized her with my distress... The good news is that my daughter has become a 100% adorable, calm, humorous teenager with no more problems at school...
I think that "my" caesarean section was first and foremost a huge narcissistic slap in the face for me, as I was used to being in control, and had "succeeded" with flying colors in my first 2 deliveries. A C-section confronts us with what we perceive as a failure, an incompetence: we didn't succeed in giving birth!
And it's true, the fact that no one around you understands the depth of this distress is quite destructive. In fact, I've had the same attitude of incomprehension towards friends who gave birth by C-section before me: since mother and baby are healthy, what's the problem?
This widespread refusal to accept women who have undergone caesarean surgery is a way of keeping them alive.
The scar quickly became almost invisible, but a strange physical after-effect still prevents me from forgetting this caesarean section: I've lost the sensitivity of part of the skin on my belly above the scar, which has formed a bulge since the caesarean, even though I've put on weight since then, I was relatively thin at the time of delivery.
This sensitivity was supposed to recover after 6 months / 1 year according to the diagnosis of the medical team I had warned, but in fact it never came back. The nerves were supposed to recover. However, I still feel like I'm touching a cushion, not my stomach. This strange and unpleasant sensation of touching a part of my body that I can't feel has had a negative impact on my relationships and reminds me of that C-section years later, even though I've gradually got used to it. (J.P., August 17)

26 years old, first pregnancy, everything goes well. I suffered contractions throughout the pregnancy and was put on utrogestan 200mg, which was later increased to 400mg. I'm told that the trick is to make it to 37 SA. I imagine that I'll certainly give birth before the due date. From 36 SA onwards, I experience false labor, which becomes increasingly intense. One day, at 38 weeks' gestation, I started having painful contractions every 5 minutes. As we were on the road, there was no way to take a bath and it took over two hours, so we went straight to the maternity ward. Once there, nothing.

At 39 SA + 2, I see my gynecologist again, who tells me that baby is "getting tired", exchanges are no longer excellent and I have almost no amniotic fluid left. He peels back the membranes and tells me he'll induce labor at the end of the week if it doesn't start on its own.
I was relieved, as the end of my pregnancy had been chaotic, with several painful episodes of false labor a day, insomnia, indigestion, backache and a baby who didn't move around much anymore. On Thursday, I went home at 8pm for my induction. At midnight, I take my first prostaglandin tablet. At 2 a.m., a second. My pelvis starts to ache, contractions but no labor in sight.

At 08:00 I was told that I had to fast, because at 12:00 I would be put on a drip in the delivery room. I'm taken to the delivery room and the drip is inserted. Once again, labor begins and stops. In the afternoon, the pain in my pelvis increased. It becomes difficult to bear. It hurts a lot when I'm examined, always this pelvis... I cry... from fatigue and also because the dilation isn't happening and I'm finding it harder and harder to bear all this. At 5pm, he breaks the water sac and the epidural is inserted. An hour or two's respite, but I soon realize that it only works on the left... I'm turned over but no improvement.

The pelvic pain returns, again at the limit of what is bearable. The anaesthetist is called back and an extra bolus is administered to try to numb the right side. I'm told that the baby is in the wrong position, his back is on the wrong side and his chin is up. Under epidural, I'm asked to try to get on all fours anyway to help him turn over. I do so, and as soon as I'm in position, the pain in my pelvis becomes unbearable. I cry, not really feeling the contractions but the pain in my pelvis. The epidural wears off at around 1 a.m., I'm dilated to 7 and the midwife tells me they won't call the gynecologist again until I'm dilated to 9. At 3am, finally dilated to 9, crying and screaming like never before, I could no longer put my pelvis on the bed. She asked me to try to push and baby wouldn't come down. Yet the cervix was perfect. The midwife leaves the room and calls the gynecologist. At the sound of my voice, he asks to prepare the operating room, and I'm taken up for a Caesarean section. He arrives and examines me. I'm in a daze, crying non-stop, screaming at every contraction that pushes the baby further into my pelvis. On the way, I hang onto the hook of my bed, so as not to put my pelvis down. At the end of my rope, I hold on anyway, pulling myself up on my arms to stand over the bed.

I am placed on the operating table, the epidural is removed and the rachi is applied. I relax, my lower body paralyzed. I start to vomit, my blood pressure is 8... I can't feel anything and I close my eyes. A few minutes later, I hear a cry. My baby is born... and I don't care. I'm knocked out, barely able to open my eyes. He's presented to me, I look away and ask my companion to leave with him. I'm stitched up and go into recovery, still unable to rejoice. I arrive in the room, Dad is with baby, skin-to-skin, they're adorable and yet I feel nothing. They're adorable, yet I feel nothing. I don't even remember him. I heard he was calm. I just asked them to put his clothes back on because I wanted to sleep. It took me two days to be able to take care of my baby and start enjoying it all. I had to get up. Barely able to walk, bleeding badly and unable to touch or look at my scar.

Breastfeeding is a nightmare, my body is in pain and I develop bloody cracks. I can't feed the baby I couldn't bring into the world. I feel guilty, I wonder what's wrong with me. I cry... a lot! The midwives asked me to express my milk and I was given supplements. I was discharged after 5 days, not really ready to cope. I still have this lack in my relationship with my son, even though I love him with all my heart. I think there's a part of me that will never heal. It was brutal... (G.B., March 2017)

I came across your site and its testimonials. I'm still not "cured" of this stage and I think that telling my story could help me. If you wish, you can publish it, I don't mind.

I was young, it was my first pregnancy. At first, everything went well, no particular worries. Although I was monitored a bit more than normal, given my medical history and heart problems. Things started to go downhill when my partner and I were put out on the street. I felt the baby was different. But according to the gynecologist, everything was fine. Then, from one day to the next, around 32 weeks, I started to swell, but literally. My ankles felt like balloons, I couldn't fit into any shoes. I could hardly do anything. I had an appointment for an ultrasound a few days later, so I waited. Once there, as soon as the gynecologist saw me, he knew something was wrong. He took my blood pressure, which was much too high. He weighed me; I'd taken too much. We do an ultrasound and he tells me I'm full of oedema. He understands that I'm having pre-eclampsia. As it's a level 1 maternity hospital, he decides to keep me for the time it takes to do a monito, and then to transfer me urgently to the level 3 maternity hospital, as I'm at risk of an emergency caesarean with the baby in the neonatal unit, and it would be stupid to separate us. I'd like to thank him again for this gesture, because he could have decided to keep me and not cared about me in order to get his money.
I arrive in the room for the monito, and the midwife tells me it's my fault, that I shouldn't have put on so much weight. I've put on all my weight at once, and apparently it's water, so what can I do? Anyway, on the monitor, baby's fine. That's the least of it.
I arrive at the emergency room, and receive a "but why are we sending you here?" ... because it's an emergency perhaps? Finally, she understands and I'm taken care of. As my blood pressure was still too high, they decided to admit me for 48 hours, with a magnificent device to monitor my blood pressure day and night. With my dad working, I'm on my own. But the team was really lovely, so everything went relatively smoothly. Especially as baby doesn't feel the effects, he's fine. I still get cortisone injections, to mature baby's lungs if need be.
At the end of the 48 hours, a gynecologist arrives, and tells me without any humanity that I have to stay there and that I have to stop hoping to get out because my condition is getting worse. I burst into tears, but a very kind midwife told me that as I was going to be staying with them and it was almost Christmas, she would bring me a little Christmas tree to brighten up my room a bit.
After work, Dad joins me for a cup of tea in the hospital store, and suddenly everything starts to get worse. I have an unbearable headache and pain at the top of my ribcage. Signs that my hypertension is getting worse. I go back up to the room. They give me a doliprane and some medication to calm my blood pressure. It doesn't work. My blood pressure doesn't go down, on the contrary. I start getting spots in front of my eyes. I start crying. I don't want to risk my baby's life. I'm given stronger medication, the very kind midwife puts a wet cloth over my head to help me and tells me that a doctor is coming to check on my condition. In the end, I'm so tired from the pain that I fall asleep.
I wake up around 3 a.m., still in this damn pain. I call, they give me some more medicine, put me on a monito and call a doctor. She arrives, and tells me that it's just me, that baby's fine, so I have to choose between my baby and myself, to see if I want the C-section now or wait. How can anyone ask me that? I'm in tears. And despite the medication, I'm getting worse. Again and again. Before the morning shift, the midwife who had stayed with me during the night returns and warns me that the doctors are talking about my condition and that I'm at risk of having a C-section this morning because my blood pressure is rising despite the medication. I call my partner to come quickly. And then it's the wait.
Finally, around 10 a.m., without having seen anyone in the meantime, an orderly arrives with clippers and tells me she's going to prepare for the C-section. I tell her I haven't been told, and she curtly replies that she doesn't know, but at least I'll be ready if I ever am. Once I've finished, she asks me to go to the shower and get my gown. When I'm in the shower, a midwife comes by and shouts through the door that I'm going to have a C-section, so I have to wash with the hospital soap, and she leaves. And there's the wait again.
Finally, around 12 o'clock, a gynaecologist comes by, telling me that he's the one who's going to operate on me and explaining a little about what's going to happen. Very good, indeed. Almost immediately afterwards, a woman comes in, telling me she's going to give me the anaesthetic consultation. She asks me if I've got any problems, and I tell her I've got a vertebral compression at L4; if that's going to be a problem. "None," she replies. At around 2pm, another anaesthetist arrives, introducing himself as the one who will be there during the Caesarean section. He explains what he's going to do to me, and how to put me in the right position, so I'll have a rachi.
Then I was given an anti-vomiting drug to prevent vomiting during the caesarean section, which tasted horrible but which I swallowed whole.
And then the waiting continued. Around 4pm, a very nice woman comes in. She explains that she's a pediatrician. And that she and her team will take care of baby when he arrives, and whatever he may be. She tells me about the hardest cases, and about the neonatal unit. Then she tells me they'll come and get me, wishes me courage and leaves. I cry, I can't take it anymore. Why wait so long? I'm afraid for my baby and myself.
The stretcher-bearer arrives and picks me up. He explains to Dad where to go and that once the anaesthetic has been applied, he can join me.
Once I'm down in the OR, I don't understand a thing. It's like bees buzzing around a flower. Lots of people introduce themselves, midwife, nurse, anaesthetist, etc. ... and a paediatrician who makes me sign papers for when the baby comes. The only familiar face is that of the anaesthetist who had come to see me, who takes my hand and tells me that everything's going to be fine, not to worry. They start to prepare me. They try to do the rachi. They inject me 6 times in all. They can't do it, I'm in pain, I scream, a woman holds me and tries to calm me down. But they can't.
Then a nurse arrived in a panic in the operating room, saying that there was a big problem with another lady, and that the baby had to be taken out immediately because he was in serious pain. They decided to give me an epidural and make me wait in the recovery room. The epidural went in just fine. And again, the wait. A midwife comes to see me, telling me that the father is next door and keeps asking to come in, but they can't. The other woman goes into the recovery room. The other woman goes into the recovery room, and almost immediately afterwards is shown her baby, in an incubator, on respiratory support. I cry, even more afraid for my daughter. They finally come to get me.
They prepare me, place the drape and test the anaesthetic, which seems to be working. Daddy comes in and sits next to me, as the anaesthetist had provided him with a seat, and tells me that everything's going to be fine.
The incision begins at 7pm. I feel everything. I scream. The gynecologist stops and asks what's wrong. The anaesthetist asks him to wait, gives me a dose, tests me again. It works, we go back. Except that I can still feel everything, I'm screaming in pain. They don't understand. The gynecologist says, "But it's normal to feel, isn't it? I start convulsing, and vomiting, even though I'm not supposed to with the medication they'd given me. The gynaecologist continued anyway, while the anaesthetist asked him to wait, I heard him say things like "look at all this fat", despite everything I still remember it very well.
Finally, as my condition worsens, the anaesthetist starts to panic and shouts that they're going to put me under general anaesthetic. I scream, I struggle, I don't want to. I want to see my daughter. I want to know she's all right. I feel my head being grabbed violently, a mask being placed over it and I hear "get the daddy out!" being shouted. Black.
Suddenly, I hear my name being called. I recognize my husband's voice. He tells me my daughter is there, and asks me if I want to see her. Still reeling from the effects of the general anaesthetic, my eyes still closed, I can't open them. And I turn my head, to say no. I think I'd be mad at myself for the rest of my life for saying no. Black again.
Finally I wake up. I'm alone with the two nurses in the room. She checks on me and lets my partner in. He kisses me and tells me I've been very brave. I don't believe it; if I'd been brave, I'd have gritted my teeth and been able to see my daughter. He shows me some photos. She's beautiful. But she's tiny, like a premature baby after all. She's fine, that's the main thing. The nurses prepare me and send me back to my room.
I think it was the longest night of my life. Every half-hour, a midwife came to check on me, especially my blood pressure. I couldn't sleep, I was a wreck. The next day, the probe was removed. I was told that after the treatment, I could go and see my daughter in the neonatal unit. It was finally around 3pm that I got to see her for the first time, me in an armchair, her in her incubator. They put her against me, and she raised her head, her tiny little head, and looked at me with a look like "Is that you, my mommy? What took you so long to come? At last baby, at last I'm here.
In the end, I was discharged almost a week later, as my blood pressure was still struggling to come down. And baby stayed in hospital for almost a month because she refused to eat. But now she's 6 months old, has no after-effects and is developing well. On the other hand, I can't seem to turn the page. I still have nightmares about it. And the possibility of having another child seems impossible, especially as the scar is so high, I'm bound to have another caesarean. But at least the father agrees with me, because it was very traumatic for him too. But despite everything, seeing her grow up, I'm slowly turning the page (S.T., June 2016).

"It's like having the baby ripped out of my belly ..."

My daughter was born on August 18, 2015 by cesarean section. I'll be brief because it's still very difficult for me to talk about it because I remain convinced and perhaps you'll say to me "do you have proof?" That I underwent this C-section because it was felt that my so-called excess weight would prevent me from giving birth normally. I was induced because two days before term, I still hadn't had any contractions. I was due on August 16, but after a final check-up on August 18 at 10 a.m., I was told that I would be induced today. I was 2 cm open when they put in the propesse tampon, then after an hour's monitoring they told me that they were going to speed things up a bit because it was taking a bit long. I should point out that it had only been an hour since I'd been induced, so they took me to the delivery room, removed the tampon and told me that they were going to give me a syntocinon infusion after giving me the epidural.
They give me the epidural, then the infusion, only it's not syntocinon but glucose, why? I don't know, I ask and they tell me it's to give me energy. ...
Another hour of monitoring and then the midwife comes back and, in view of my rather high imc recorded in my file, she's surprised that I've only put on 9 kilos that I haven't developed diabetes that I haven't had flebite - in short, I ask why I had to go through all this and she tells me that I'm rather an exception with a smug look that I'll never forget, my husband who was present was breathless. ...I didn't know what to answer. ...only 30 minutes later I see the gynecologist come in and tell me that since it was so long, he was considering a C-section, and then they tell me that they've even observed a very slight drop in the heart rate, reassuring me that it's normal because it's the effect of the epidural, but it's better to have a C-section.
At that moment I burst into tears because at that moment I'm afraid for myself and especially for my daughter.
I'm taken to the operating room, my husband is allowed to attend, I start praying, I'm not a believer....The operating room is freezing cold, my husband tries to reassure me, after ten minutes I hear my daughter's first cry, I'm told she's fine, she's taken to another room to receive first aid, then she's presented to me, she's beautiful, then she's taken back to the treatment room. While they were closing me up, they told me not to move, they asked me if I was feeling well, if I wasn't dizzy, I just said that I wanted to get it over with and see my daughter and husband.
After what seemed like an interminable amount of time, the gynecologist approached me and said, "Madame, I'll come and see you tomorrow morning. Well, she had to go out, it was taking too long, and with the weight and your fatigue, I'll see you in the morning.
I didn't realize it right away, but much later ... I understood that it was especially long for the medical team who wanted to finish their day and above all that it had already been decided at the start that it would be a Caesarean section because it was felt that I was too fat to give birth normally. I'm 1m65 and I weigh 85 kilos, the difference is that I have big bones, thick bones and my doctor and midwife never considered me obese.
It seems to me that women much fatter than me have given birth normally. I feel that I was robbed of my birth for reasons of personal comfort for the doctors, but above all because of vulgar considerations about my weight.
I was robbed of the first moments with my daughter, I was in pain for weeks and even today I still haven't regained any feeling in my lower abdomen.
The people around me, apart from my husband, haven't supported me, they think I'm crazy, I'm currently asking for my medical file which still hasn't arrived - it's been three months.
Above all, I want to understand and get answers, although I remain convinced, as I said, of what really happened.
I hope that my testimony can be useful. Thank you for the existence of your site, we feel less alone. (B.P., June 2016) Hello to you. I would like to give my testimony. I was pregnant since March 26, 2015 but during all my ultrasounds I was told that I was going to give birth vaginally because everything was normal. On December 31 at 4 am I felt pain, so I decided to go to the hospital. The midwives kept me there, telling me that labor hadn't really started yet. At 12pm, they wrote the prescription my husband was going to buy, but nothing. Some time later I felt pain, so I called them and they told me to push. Which I did, but still nothing. They tell me that the child can't descend, so they evacuate me to the university hospital at 3pm. There, I was given an ultrasound and the gynaecologist told me he had to operate because there was foetal distress. I had no strength left, all I wanted was to save my baby and myself. She was born at 4pm, but I wasn't able to see her because she had drunk the liquid, so she was put into neonatal care. I went back up to my room hoping that my baby would be brought back to me as soon as possible, but nothing. She died 2 days later because the water she had drunk was too much. I went out 4 days later and everything's fine. But I tell myself that if they'd done the C-section quickly, I'd be with my little girl. But the Lord's voices are unfathomable. I wanted to tell all those women who give birth by C-section to be proud, it's a great pain that we endure just to be with our baby. It's the greatest proof of love we have for our children and our husbands. May God bless us (L.D., April 2016)

Hello, my name is A: and I have 2 lovely children, a boy and a girl, 4 years and 6 months old, both born by caesarean section. 
The boy, aged 4, was born by Caesarean section because, after an induction at D+3, my labor wasn't progressing, so I stayed open at 1. After nearly 24 hours of suffering due to strong contractions, I had my epidural, which was also not without pain, and the baby's heart was starting to weaken, so they decided on a Caesarean section. I have to admit that at the time I said "thank you", I couldn't take it anymore and didn't feel able to push. I was disappointed, but somewhere along the line I told myself that I wanted another child, so I'd have a "normal" vaginal delivery. 
L. didn't go out alone because he was surrounded by his shoulder cord. 
My daughter, 6 months, was also born by caesarean section at D-3, normal contractions, much gentler and more manageable than for L., but like the caesarean section for the first, they gave me my epidural very early on to avoid tearing the uterus. A little disappointed, I thought I'd be able to live through this moment a little longer, at least as long as it was bearable. The anaesthetist was very good, I was afraid of the anaesthetic needle, I'm afraid of needles, he explained to me everything that was going to happen even though I already knew because I'd already experienced it, but this time he allowed my man to stay unlike the first time when he'd asked him to leave. His look reassured me a lot. 
After 5 hours of labor, the midwife tells me she's going to check with my doctor, but she thinks it will be a cesarean section. The labor isn't moving, 1 finger there too, and the baby's heart is starting to weaken.
That moment was like a heartbreak for me - I can't even find the right word for it, it hurt so much inside me. I'll never be able to give birth by whisper, and I'll never be a real mom. 
For the 2 C-sections, my husband couldn't come with me to the operating room, because in this clinic, dads wait in the delivery room. For the 2, I saw my children pass over an operating edge, heard them cry, quickly nose to nose and left to join them in the delivery room. I didn't see my husband's reaction as he became a father, his tears, his joy, doing the hand-to-hand that I've never had with my children, even after leaving the operating room. For my daughter's birth, I even found myself alone in the delivery room, unable to move, with my daughter in bed next to me, unable to pick her up or touch her, my man having had to leave to look after the older child at home. 
Today, I know I'm missing something with my children - I can't say what, but there's a void I can't fill. R., my man, says the most important thing is that the children are healthy, and laughingly calls my scars zippers.
I don't want any more children because I know it will be a C-section and I often say: "My belly has been barbarized enough, stop it!
Everyone tells me that I'm a very good mom, that I'm caring, loving, organized, that I don't drown in a glass of water, ... but I haven't been able to do the essential: bring them into the world properly, and that really hurts. I don't know how to move on and move on to something else.
I don't know you but I want to say thank you anyway, because I've never been able to say and write all this, it's done me a lot of good. thank you again.
How can I get back my life as a couple, my place as a mom and myself in the process? (A.C., April 2015)

I so needed to talk about my C-section, but no one could really understand why I was so unhappy about it....

First of all, thank you for your initiative. I see myself in some of the testimonials and I feel the need to express myself too.
I had a C-section on April 29, 2011 for my first child because he was breech. During the last months of my pregnancy, I tried everything to get him to turn around, even the manual version. The measurements of my pelvis seemed to allow me to attempt a vaginal breech birth. I really wanted to give birth naturally, even if I didn't want to put my baby's health at risk. Thursday April 28, 2011, last gynecological appointment, my baby's weight is estimated at 3kg650, and according to my doctor, he won't attempt a vaginal breech birth if the estimate (including the margin of error) is above 3kg600. However, she listened to my wishes and told me that she would discuss the matter with the board the following morning and let me know the decision, because if a caesarean was imposed, I would have to go home the following Sunday.
Still on Thursday April 28, around 10pm, my water broke. And believe me, I experienced it as something magical, because my baby was in natural labor despite a possible C-section.
Off to the maternity ward. A professional and friendly welcome. After consultation with the obstetrician on duty, I was scheduled for a Caesarean section, but not until the following morning. The midwives put me on a drip to prevent me from going into labor too quickly, and placed me in my room. The only bed available, the only double room in the ward, was already occupied by a patient. My husband had to leave. It was the first time we'd suffered because we knew things wouldn't turn out as we'd hoped, but we thought we'd be able to live all these moments together.
I couldn't sleep all night, and despite the infusion, the contractions were getting stronger and stronger. But once again, I so appreciate feeling the labor of this birth.
The next morning, my husband was able to join me in the bedroom. A man knocks on the door, doesn't introduce himself and asks my husband to leave. I understand later that it's the anaesthetist. He wants to look at my back, but I'm contracting and I've lifted the bottom of my bed, so it's difficult to make a real round back. The anaesthetist gets annoyed and says curtly, "If it's like that, it'll be in GA", then leaves. I couldn't reply. Not to mention his lack of diplomacy, I had to translate that AG meant general anesthesia.
When my husband came into the room, he found me livid and in tears, and it was impossible to explain what had just happened.
Second operation, the midwife on duty kindly introduces herself. We ask her to explain more, i.e. whether it's really a GA, who's going to operate on me etc.... She doesn't know and tells us she'll find out and get back to us as soon as possible.
The wait is long and agonizing. We still don't know anything about the arrival of our child, or even if my husband will be able to be present.
More than 3.5 hours after the midwife was due to return, and more than 12.5 hours after my water broke, I dared to disturb the medical staff by beeping.
Then, like a flower, the famous midwife arrives and says, "Come on, let's go", but where are we going? In fact, I'm off to the operating room, but this midwife can't tell me who's operating on me or what anaesthetic I'm going to have. In my mind and that of my husband, it will be a GA, which terrifies me and rules out my husband's presence. I'd like to make it clear that I'm not terrorized by the operation or even the pain, but by this birth by absence.
Fortunately, when I arrived in the operating room, the nurses welcomed me warmly and immediately sensed my discomfort. They explain to me and my husband, who's still there, that they don't think I'm going to have a general anaesthetic, and even if I did, they tell me how the caesarean works.
I leave for the operating room, where the staff are lighter and try to relax me. Medically, everything's going well, but I'm exhausted, and the tensions of the last few hours have drained me. I watch for the slightest sign of life from my son, when I hear the crying. He's introduced to me very briefly, and I repeat over and over again "he's fine, he's fine???". The answer is yes, but I confess I have no image of my child when he was born.
We took him in (he ended up weighing 4kg), and finished my operation. In the recovery room, I was told that a possible visit from my husband or even my son would be possible. So despite the fatigue and the dose of anaesthetic, I struggle not to close my eyes and as soon as I recover a little mobility, I move as much as I can, rub my legs etc.... I've followed all the arrivals in the recovery room and I've also seen all the recoveries in the room before mine. The time is long, where is my child, when will I be able to meet him? The stretcher-bearers seem overwhelmed, and despite my right to go back to my room, I'm still waiting. I'm angry at the elderly lady who came up right in front of me. I wondered who could be waiting for her. I've got my kid waiting for me somewhere! After 5 hours in the recovery room, I finally went up to my room and discovered my son. It was certainly magical and good to feel him against me, but I'll never forget his arrival, which in all shame but also in all sincerity was not the happiest day of my life.
The next few days were normal, I think, but it was hard not to be able to give the first bath, etc.... Breastfeeding was also very difficult, but that's not the point... On the third day I had a high fever. I was up to 40 despite the antibiotics. My son and I underwent a battery of tests, but to this day the infection remains unresolved. So I stayed in the maternity ward for 10 days. Even if it's not pleasant, for a first child it's not too serious. I would have found it more embarrassing if I'd had an older child waiting for me at home.
Since that birth, and despite the bond I have with my son, I feel a huge lack for not having given birth naturally. I pass on to you the responses of others: "You're healthy and so is your baby" "an episio is so painful" "your sex life is less disrupted" "your baby suffered less" etc..... Yet this wound is still painful, and every thought or vision of natural childbirth makes me weep for a long time. Since nobody understands me, I tell myself that I'm really not normal and that my reactions and feelings are disproportionate.
Today I am 32 weeks pregnant with my second child. A week ago I had a monthly appointment with my gynecologist. After a vaginal ultrasound to check my cervix, she looks at my C-section scar and I feel puzzled. After several minutes, she explained that part of my scar was thin, probably too thin to attempt a vaginal delivery for my second. According to her, for zero risk I should have a second caesarean. I'm stunned. I didn't even know scars were checked.
Of course, I knew the consequences of a C-section on subsequent births, but once again, I wanted to take a chance and give birth naturally. I was aware that I wouldn't get the same labor as someone else, but at least the right to try. When I heard my gynecologist's speech, I held back my tears and didn't even enjoy the rest of the examination. I'm ashamed, but I didn't even look at my second son during the ultrasound. I just wanted it to be over. I cried non-stop for 24 hours, not wanting to be pregnant anymore. Today, I'm sad and confused. Should I insist on trying to give birth naturally, against a medical profession that is perhaps too considerate, or should I resign myself to accepting and preparing as best I can? My husband and I are going to discuss this with my midwife.
and talk about it again with the gynaecologist at the next appointment. But this examination and my gynaecologist's words will always be with me, and will be more distressing and guilt-ridden if things take a wrong turn. My story is long and very personal, but if you read it to the end, I hope it will have brought you some comfort, as it did me when I read some of the testimonials.
Thank you (A.B., November 2013)

Hello, here's my story: on July 11, 2013 at 11am I left for the mat with contractions every 2 minutes. The midwife takes me in charge, quickly she does all the exams I need. Dilated by almost 3 cm, she tells me, I'm keeping you, it's going to go fast, it's your second, the first one came out in three pushes. So I'm going to put you in a room, it was about 12:15. In the meantime, she's getting me ready for peri if it's going to be quick. At 1:30 p.m., I call her because I was in too much pain. She looks at me and I'm at 5cm, so we go to the delivery room. I call my husband to tell him because he was working. My baby's head was normally down. The anaesthetist arrives quickly and puts me in peri, but I'm still in pain, so she asks for an overdose of peri, which was accepted. At 3pm, she looks at me and says I think I'm touching my buttocks: no problem, an ultrasound to check, a gynaecologist arrives and tells me he's turned around but vs has a very wide pelvis, no worries. Then he tells her at around 4 p.m. to pierce her water bag, at 3:30 p.m. it's too painful, so I tell her to pierce the bag, so she pierces the bag: I had 1l2 of liquid and then I feel my baby clogged, I had more water, more labor and dilated by 10cm, my baby had risen to the top, so she sits me down so that it descends. At 4:30 pm she checks and then she turns white and tells me I'm going to get the department head and I'm going to warn the anaesthetist. I ask her what's going on and she tells me I think it's her arm and her hand that I feel, and panic takes hold of me, overwhelms me and I collapse. The chief says it's impossible for the arm to go through, you've made a mistake, and then he looks at me and turns white: he keeps his arm inside me, but his head down and his feet up, and says we're activating it now, it's blocked. At 4.45pm they give me a spinal tap and tell me you can feel it, I tell them yes, they tell me it's fear that's making you say that, so they cut me and I tell them it's burning my stomach, they all stop and tell me to grit my teeth, there's nothing else we can do, but my son was blocked and they couldn't free him, they shook me, pulled the skin from my stomach, I had him on my face, they still couldn't, I was crying so hard it hurt, the anaesthetist got angry and told them to hurry up, it wouldn't hold, he caressed my face and said I'm putting you to sleep, tell me I can, I won't leave you like this, they took my son out after 2 hours and 10 minutes, he had cardiac massage plus mask, placed in neo but everything's fine, he's going to be 4 months old and in good shape. (November 2013)

 Hello, I'm taking advantage of a quiet moment to share my story with you! December 26, I found out I was pregnant! What a wonderful Christmas present! 3 months later, all is well, baby is doing well! 6th month of pregnancy, it's a girl, estimates 3kg7! 1 sciatica, and the little discomforts of pregnancy pass, last month's appointment, I prepare my perineum, do the birth preparation exercises with breathing... I'm at the TOP! I can't wait to see her face! At the top? Apart from one little thing, edema in my hands and feet, hyper tension (17..18)..and contractions. Gynaecologist and midwife decide to induce me...I'm happy, the end is nigh! 7am capsule to soften cervix... CLEAR 12pm small meal pasta and soup... Light! 16hoo balloon exercise... Not for tonight! D+1 7hoo morning monito... Flat calm! 9hoo second capsule+ oscitocine RAS No meal in case of anaesthesia! 12hoo contraction work is slow but starting, cervix at 2cm superrrr 16hoo I go into the delivery room... Water breaking by the gynecologist (very painful)! I'm thirsty, hungry... I'm waiting...18hoo Breaks in the bag... Very intense contractions, epidural! (what happiness)! 20hoo at midnight 4 cm cervix... I'm confident, but it won't be tonight! D+2 6hoo in the morning, A night of thirst, fatigue, exhaustion, I was checked every hour ... Cervix at 9.5cm I'm almost there! I've seen mothers and babies in the next room! I've seen midwives go through it! I'm at the end! The gynecologist arrives, examines me and tells me: 1st feeling: relief, 2nd feeling: worry, but I'm not prepared!!!! 3rd feeling: it's all for nothing!!!!
The result: little Coline was born at 8:32 am, more than 48 hours after I went in. Today I'm the happiest of moms, even if I feel like I missed my birth! At last MY birth! Today I'm slowly recovering and this is perhaps the longest labour! To be continued...(M.T., September 2013)

I've just spent a long time reading the various testimonials posted on your site and I wanted to add my little stone to this great edifice with a rather positive testimonial.
My daughter was born on ... March 2012 by emergency caesarean section. After a difficult pregnancy, with gestational diabetes and intense fatigue, we were lucky enough to be able to stop very early.
to meet a liberal midwife who prepared us very well for the arrival of our princess. We were aware of the possibility of a C-section, but we didn't really think about it. I was due to give birth on April 3, but on March 29 the pains began to be quite intense. After a first visit to the maternity hospital on the morning of March ... for monitoring and an examination which revealed zero dilation of the cervix, we went home on the advice of the midwife, who advised me to rest as much as possible. I go home and sleep for 4 hours! When I wake up, the contractions are frequent and painful, so we head back to the maternity ward at 10pm.
When we arrived, I was taken care of very quickly. I was examined and the midwife announced that I was 3cm dilated. She then asks me what we had planned: an epidural, lying still, walking or going to the nature room to relax in the jacuzzi! The contractions are extremely painful and I choose the epidural for my first birth. After a short 1/2-hour wait, my partner and I are placed in a delivery room and the anesthetist arrives. The dose is too strong for me; I'm very sensitive to
The midwives were very present and attentive. The midwives were very present and attentive, examining me every hour, but at 3am, 4 hours after my arrival, the final blow fell. I'm at 8cm, but the baby isn't descending and his face is turned upwards. My cervix is closing. I have to act fast, but as it's a big baby, they advise me to have a caesarean for less suffering. I go to the operating room without Dad, but with the same midwife. Everything is explained to me, and despite my daze, I'm ready for my delivery. At 4 a.m., I meet my little S. for the first time, in great shape. I'm told she's going to Daddy. 15 minutes later she's with me and I'm able to breastfeed her in the delivery room.
Throughout the caesarean section, they held my hand, talked to me, reassured me, and I had skin-to-skin contact with my daughter from the moment she was born. For me, it was a real birth, thanks to an extraordinary team that was present and reassuring.
The first few days were difficult as the pain from the scar was severe, but thanks to the support of the medical team and an attentive family, we overcame the difficulties.
Today S. is 7 weeks old, in great shape and I remember her birth and not my operation! ( J.R., May 2012)

Now it's my turn to add my stone to this great edifice. It's only now, almost 9 months later, that I realize just how traumatized and wounded I was by this C-section. My pregnancy was great; I lived almost 9 months on my cloud, no nausea, no backache, full of energy to spare, happiness, despite gestational diabetes. It wasn't until 15 days before my due date that I started to feel less well, and for good reason: my blood pressure was going through the roof...
Episode 1: One morning, after a basic appointment, my gynecologist checks my blood pressure over a 30-minute period. I'm hospitalized, on medication to regulate my blood pressure. My doctor tells me I'll be induced the next morning if there's no improvement. The medication works; my results stabilize; I don't see my doctor again that day; I wonder... The next day, a nurse comes to my room to "prepare me for induction". I refuse, ask to see my doctor (after all!); I end up going home after seeing him at last! I tell myself that it was a bad time, that now it'll be all right.
Episode 2: Next appointment, Ascension weekend, my gynecologist is not present and has referred me to a colleague. My blood pressure is bad again. It's straightforward: full-term pregnancy, diabetes (although totally under control thanks to a strict diet) + high blood pressure, it's the obligatory trigger. I break down and cry in her office, where she reassures me and explains exactly how the next few hours will unfold. I can feel that there's something wrong with my body, that my sensations haven't been the same for a few days, and so I find it easier to accept the idea of an induction. And I'll say it again, because it's important: I'm afraid for my child's life.
I call my partner, who joins me, and while we're waiting to be picked up and taken to the delivery room, I feel a contraction. 8 minutes later, a second one and so on every 8 minutes! My baby understands! (It's normal, she's my daughter, so she's obviously very quick-witted...) We inform the gynaecologist, who's almost as happy as we are. It's now 3pm. She decides to let nature take its course and we wait. The contractions aren't very painful, but unfortunately they're not very effective either. My cervix doesn't move. My blood pressure continues to be irregular. At around 7 p.m., the midwife comes in to explain that, to help things along, she's going to put something in the drip to increase the frequency and intensity of the contractions.
Not very effective. Nothing's moving... My baby's not coming down. And my blood pressure is spiking higher and higher. The midwife is worried, she says so and it shows, she also tells me that to try and lower this pressure, I need to have an epidural. I haven't had time to feel any pain yet. I'm going through the epidural insertion; horrible thing, there should be a whole message dedicated to this subject...
Not very effective either. My blood pressure is still rising and my cervix isn't moving any more. What's more, at every gynaecological examination, I jump 2 metres... I jump as soon as someone brushes against me. I don't know if it's the hyper tension I'm feeling or if I'm just very nervous or anxious, but I'm an electric battery. The midwife has a hard time osculating me.
The night passes. Around 5 a.m., cervix dilated to 4 cm... My baby has descended a little, but the midwife finds her position odd. She calls the doctor. I see them more tense, more worried. The final straw: Caesarean section. Ah, that famous Caesarean section! We've been hearing about it since the day before as possible, but this time, it's the hard truth.
My partner reassures me, asks me to breathe, to think only of that and of our baby. How I love him! Unfortunately, I leave him there and go to the operating room alone, empty and cold... I'm shaking all over, or rather, I'm shivering! The team arrives and the mood changes. Up until then, everything had been explained to us. I know why I'm here: high blood pressure, the baby doesn't seem to be in the right place, the cervix isn't moving and I'm on the eve of term (which doesn't seem to be a good thing, but I don't think to ask why). But in the OR, it's no longer a laughing matter, nobody's talking, nobody's me talking, I try to be funny... failed... I only stop shaking when the rachi starts to take effect. And then I realize that I'm going to be conscious while my belly is being cut open. It's stupid, but nobody had told me about this detail. I can't bear the thought. I'd like someone to explain it to me, I ask, I say "but I can feel when you touch me, that's not normal, is it? I can feel it right now! "And the answer I get is a mask over my nose. And I feel myself leaving. The anaesthetist is kind enough to say, "Let yourself go". Except that I don't want to be completely asleep either, I just want to be talked to! but it's too late. I wake up, I'm not sure if it's begun or already over, I don't know where I am in the unfolding of time. I look around, ask around and am told everything is fine. "I'm glad to know she's not alone, but I feel empty.
Intensive care. The longest hours of my life. The high blood pressure is dangerous for me for the next few hours. I'm still feeling the effects of the drugs I was injected with. I can't feel a thing. And worse, I don't feel anything. Yes, I do. I'm impatient, so impatient that I'm ignoring this feeling, afraid it's driving me crazy.
The brand-new dad comes to see me after skin-to-skin with his daughter; he shows me photos, she's so beautiful! But it's totally unreal. She's my daughter and I'm seeing her for the first time on a screen, as someone else's daughter. I cling to the image of her skin-to-skin with her daddy. She had that contact, that first contact that was so important, so dear to me, she had it even if it wasn't with me.
As I move, my hand falls on my belly: a hollow, a huge void, a gaping wound, more disturbing than the real wound under the bandage a little lower down. And the lack becomes biting.
My daughter was born at 5:45 am; I met her at 2:00 pm. This particular birth is my greatest pain. I'm afraid of the consequences for her love for me and for our relationship. I miss having had the 3-way meeting, and it's painful to think that it can't be made up for. I kept her against me all the time in the maternity ward, without telling myself that this would compensate, I did it because it was a visceral need. I didn't intellectualize all this until much later, partly because the anesthesia knocked me out for so long; was it that or was it psychological? Will the bond that unites us be as strong as with a vaginal delivery? Will I be able to cope with the next one? because the conclusion that comes to me is that I am responsible, not to say guilty, for the way that night unfolded. Even though it was explained to us that she was restrained by her cord, in a sling, which meant that she was at an angle and bumped against my pelvis. Even though the gynecologist told me it was normal to be anxious, that it was an ordeal. I wasn't able to bring my child into the world.
Me, who'd fantasized about a low-medical delivery...
On the outside, I seem to be doing well, which is true most of the time, but there are a lot of contradictory thoughts and feelings. I have great difficulty managing my emotions. It's like an overflow. I can't watch reports on maternity wards; the mere sight of a labor room triggers an anxiety attack.
That's how I realized there might be a little problem and started looking.
And I found you! Thank you for reading. Thank you for allowing me to express all this. I feel that, even by e-mail, it's already doing me good. Putting words to these feelings of frustration and helplessness.
(C., February 2012)

I discovered your website with a great deal of sorrow, thinking that there are obviously many of us suffering from similar situations involving a cesarean section or even several... My story is not very different from others, but today I'm at an impasse. Two years ago, I gave birth to my son (October 2009). After a harmonious pregnancy with no problems whatsoever, I was convinced that my delivery would be in the same spirit, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. After long hours of contractions to erase the cervix, almost 12 of which were triggered by the fact that my water broke, baby was not yet ready to come out. Then it was time to enter the delivery room to undergo the ordeal of labor! My contractions were always artificially generated by a drip at this point, but my son never entered the pelvis and my cervix never dilated too much after several hours. So the decision was made, the medical profession imposed an Eesarean section. I was totally unprepared, and when I went into the operating room a few minutes later, 24 hours after my water had broken, I was extremely upset. I'd done everything I could to try and, above all, I'd hoped to be able to bring my child into the world. But lo and behold, a surgeon's hand came and cut open my belly in a matter of minutes, took my son out and immediately handed him over to a pediatrician, even though everything seemed to be going perfectly for him. I didn't even get a chance to see him. They called for the father to follow them to the treatment room, and there I was, in a room that had become completely empty, with the anaesthetist and the surgeon. Not only was the room empty, but so was my body. After 9 months of total fusion, my son had been taken from me without even being presented to me, having only been able to hear his cry a few seconds after he came out. At that point, I asked the anesthetist when I would be able to see my child and how long it would take to sew me up and get out of surgery. The only answer I got was a cold "let us do our job". So there I was, alone, motionless, in a cold room, not knowing for how much longer. Then came the pediatricians, midwives and medical staff of all kinds, as well as my husband, with a little being, wrapped from head to toe, who was presented to me saying: "Here he is, it's your child and he's perfectly healthy". So I was relieved, but still lying on the operating table, and I couldn't even make out his face, because turning him to face me was probably an impossible act! So I had to content myself briefly with kissing him on the cheek before he disappeared again somewhere I was not. Then I was transferred to the recovery room, where I saw my husband holding the result of 10 years of love in his arms. Unfortunately for me, between the fatigue of childbirth, the annoyance of the caesarean and the anaesthetic, I wasn't immediately allowed to hold him against me. According to them, I was too tired and risked brutalizing him or something, which was unheard of! It was only 2 hours later that I was finally allowed to hold my child. The aftermath of my stay in the maternity ward would allow me to write many more lines of distress equivalent to the few above, but that would not be entirely on topic. Fortunately, my son is still doing very well and is even the cream of the crop. I wouldn't regret conceiving him for anything in the world, but I still regret not having been able to bring him into the world.
Happy as a family of 3, we wanted to become 4. Our little sister is about to arrive (September 2011), 2 years later but here we are again. Pregnancy was harmonious, but the doctors rated the risk of childbirth as high, due to the first scar, so we'll have to schedule a cesarean section. I'm currently thinking about how to approach my second birth ......
Your website allows us to share our more or less painful experiences, but I'm sorry we can't do more and take charge of our lives! I really hope that one day the world will become more humane again and that society will become aware of the injustice it inflicts on us... (M.Y., August 2011)

 Thank you for your site which allows me to put words to my pain. This pain that must not be mentioned because, and I quote: "The baby is fine and you are fine". Now I know why it's unbearable that no one understands that I'm still suffering from my caesarean. It's as if someone had raped my belly to take my child away from me. As if I wasn't a woman. My partner keeps telling me that the medical team helped me and that I was the one who gave birth. I don't agree, I wasn't able to bring my daughter into the world. It hurts me deep inside...
At 8 months, I learned that I had a placenta just a few millimeters thick, so the C-section was scheduled for April 11. I had spent several months visualizing my vaginal delivery and thinking that my goal was to bring my pregnancy to term on April 25. I'm very disappointed, but I'm trying to prepare myself psychologically for the C-section.
Finally, my water broke on March 27, the amniotic fluid was tinted, the baby was in pain but I wasn't having any contractions. Ultrasound scan on arrival at the maternity hospital: I'm very happy, my placenta is up, I'm going to be able to give birth vaginally!
After 36 hours of waiting in the labor ward: countless monitors, infusions, a 24-hour prostaglandin strip placed in my vagina, I walked the maternity ward corridors as long as I could to get the baby down. But there were still no contractions.
On the morning of March 29, the medical team decided to induce labor with an oxytocin infusion. I enter the delivery room with my partner. After 3/4 hours, I'm 10 cm dilated and having very strong contractions. The epidural was inserted and I had to push. I wasn't given a choice of position. I would have liked to squat down, but I had to lie on my side in a strange plastic system. I push for 1 hour in this position. The baby is positioned very high in the pelvis and won't descend, she's stuck... A monitoring sensor is placed on her head because she has a hematoma and is in pain.
I'm still not allowed to squat, nor sit down to try and use the earth's attraction to help me. I have to lie down, my stomach is pressed, I'm told to block and push. I refuse, wanting to push while exhaling to avoid tearing my perineum. Finally, I agree to push as I'm told, and I suffer a 1st fainting spell.
The assistant gynaecologist arrives to use the suction cup. At the second suction, I scream like I've never screamed in my life, I feel like my baby's skull is being smashed in, and I suffer a 2nd malaise. The gynecologist decided on an emergency C-section. In total, I would have waited 36 hours in the labor room and pushed 2 hours and 15 minutes in the delivery room. My partner helped me a lot during this time, playing the guitar, cuddling me and saying sweet nothings throughout the pushing phase. He was invited to leave the room, I was shaved in 4th gear and taken to the operating room. My partner is not allowed to come in because "the medical team has better things to do than deal with a man who's fainting...".
I'm injected with an extra dose of epidural anesthetic and my belly is cut open. I can't feel anything, just see a blue sheet (the field they've placed in front of me). I hear my daughter's first cry and I'm so happy, I don't realize what's happening. My daughter is brought to me for a few seconds so I can give her a kiss, and then she's taken to her daddy who's waiting for her. He's going to spend 2 hours alone with her, in a room full of empty incubators... As for me, I'm told that they're going to sew up my stomach and vagina - I've actually got a vaginal tear from the suction cup!
It should take 10 minutes, but I'm hemorrhaging and it lasts longer. During this hemorrhage, I feel like I'm leaving, like I'm going to die. It would take me several weeks to realize that this "feeling of leaving" had occurred at the time of the hemorrhage. It was as if my head had been separated from my body during the operation.
After the treatment, I'm taken to the hospital's recovery room, where all types of surgeries are performed. In the corridor, I pass my partner with M. in his arms, and he lays the baby against my neck for 30 seconds. I'm seated next to a man with a green complexion and opposite a woman with a yellow complexion. I feel terrible, abandoned, alone without my baby or my partner, and I wait for 1 hour, crying because I'm afraid I'll be forgotten here. I'm scolded by a nurse who tells me that I'm fine, that my baby is fine, that in 3 days I'll be up and about, so I shouldn't cry. I tell her I can cry if I want to because I need to!
The recovery room is a horrible place, with about thirty beds, and the nurses shouting at each other from one end of the room to the other. They're complaining about their working conditions, and I want to scream!
I'm taken back to my room with my partner and daughter. I try to put her to the breast, and she suckles for 2 minutes. She'd been through a lot during the birth, just like me. For the next 4 days, I manage to get breastfeeding underway, despite the acute pain of the scar, the milk not coming in and M. being so tired. I want at least to make a success of it, if not to have missed the birth altogether...
It's early June, I'm feeling much better, breastfeeding is going really well. M. is doing well, she's very sweet, beautiful and well-behaved. However, I feel guilty for having made her suffer. If she cries and I can't figure out why, I tell myself it's because of the birth. I wish it could have been different.
We'd like to have another child, but I'm afraid I won't be able to get pregnant because I haven't come to terms with my C-section, and I don't know how long it'll take me... Anyway, I have to wait at least 6 months to avoid having a ventricle, and that doesn't reassure me either. I'm also afraid of giving birth by C-section again, I feel so much like I'm the one who's blocked my pelvis so as not to let the baby out.
On a day-to-day basis, I act as if nothing had happened, but I'm a mess and I can see that my partner is, too. I hope it will pass one day... If you have any advice for us, I'd love to hear from you. We've already had skin-to-skin "like after the birth", on April 25, the day my pregnancy should have come to term. We've talked about the birth several times, but I can tell it's hard for my partner too, and I don't dare "stir the pot".
I'm working with a psychologist but I don't feel she understands my suffering, I feel she's missing the point. Probably because I pretend I'm fine... (L.R., June 2011)

 I gave birth last Monday, May 23, by caesarean section, for presentation in the seat and premature rupture of the membranes. In the end, a vaginal delivery was impossible, as my water broke and I didn't have any contractions. I arrived at the maternity hospital at 6 p.m. The gynecologist on duty wanted to give me 2 hours to see if contractions were coming, but as nothing was happening, she decided to give me a caesarean section. I went into the operating room at 11:15 p.m., and my daughter was born at 11:53 p.m. First of all, the anaesthetist put me under. First of all, the anaesthetist gave me a rash, which wasn't painful at all, just a stinging sensation in my back, even though I'm a very painful person. Then the nurses rubbed betadine on my belly, applied the sterile drape, and pulled a drape in front of me so I couldn't see anything. The gynecologist made sure I was well anesthetized and started the operation. I didn't feel any pain at all. After 10 minutes, a nurse told me that my baby was going to arrive very soon and barely 2 minutes later I heard my daughter give her first cry. She was introduced to me and left with me for a few moments. Afterwards, we took her to the first aid center, where her dad was waiting for her and stayed with her. My baby was brought back to me, and then the three of us went to the recovery room, where we waited until I could get my legs together again, and then went back up to the room.
It's true that the post-operative period was quite painful at times, and I was very tired. I was made to get up the next morning, the catheter was removed and I was able to have a quick wash. The day after the operation, I was able to get up on my own because the infusion had been removed, and I was able to change my daughter, give her her bottle and shower on my own.
I have to say that the pain was well taken care of, and above all that I don't feel like I missed out on my birth at all. I felt my baby come out of my belly, I welcomed her and it's definitely the most beautiful moment of my life.
You shouldn't be afraid of a caesarean, even if you're a very gentle person, it's still a birth like any other, I think, with the same amount of pain in the end. Today I'm at home with my daughter, who is 9 days old. I still have the staples on my scar, but I've already had one removed, and I didn't feel a thing when it was removed either. On the other hand, I take the time to take good care of my belly, which has been through a lot: pregnancy, caesarean section, injections against phlebitis. I massage it gently every evening and thank it for what it has endured to give life to my daughter in the best possible conditions. (E.M., June 2011)

 JI wrote to you last November to tell you about my pain and discomfort following my 2 caesarean sections. These difficulties led me to develop an ovarian tumor. I'm coming back to your site this evening, more out of curiosity than necessity.... because since I've "emptied my bag" by writing to you, I feel completely liberated. Similarly, when I read the new testimonials, I sympathize with these mothers who are suffering, but I no longer feel concerned. That's why I'd like to say a big THANK YOU again, for giving all these people the opportunity to place their burden on your site and share it with others going through the same difficulties. Today, I'd also like to offer a little hope and comfort to all those who are still stuck in that terrible moment of their lives that is a Caesarean section. Whether it's been 1 week, 1 month or several years, the pain doesn't go away until it's acknowledged and recognized. It took me more than 4 years to get over this hurdle, but now I can say it's in the past and I can finally move forward, live and see my children grow up... without constantly closing in on myself. But you can get out of it, you just need to be able to talk about it, to relieve yourself. And for that, this site has been a precious help and an excellent therapy. The only thing that still saddens me is knowing that all this could perhaps be avoided, if only maternity ward staff could be better informed or made more aware of these situations, rather than making moms who are already finding it hard to look after their babies even more guilty because of the physical pain! I tell myself that if I'd had better support at the hospital, I'd have wasted less time and been able to blossom much more quickly as a mother, without constantly having to carry this weight. Thank you again for your work and above all, keep going.... for all those who are still going through it! (C.C., May 201)

 I'm writing to you because I really need a professional to reassure me or guide me...
I had a wonderful pregnancy with no worries. Birth preparation classes and haptonomy. My due date was June 25, 2010.
On the evening of June 2, I had to go to the maternity hospital emergency room because I had severe pain (cramps) and vomiting. After spending half the night doing tests and examinations, I was diagnosed with gastroenteritis! I spent the other half of the night in the toilet... At 6 a.m., when I was finally feeling better, I felt my water break. After a call to the hospital, I arrived at 8am. The doctor wanted to induce me as quickly as possible, but the midwife disagreed. Things got heated... And there were no more free rooms, so I was in a cubicle next to a delivery room, with no windows, and above all experiencing two live deliveries... one of which really frightened us (my husband and I) because the woman was screaming! We dared to talk about it again only a month ago, when we admitted to ourselves that we had only one desire... to flee!!!
(the staff walked past my bed, didn't close the curtain and left the delivery room door open!!)
Anyway, I was finally induced and had contractions for 10 hours. For the last two hours, I was in terrible pain, with regular, close-quarters contractions, but the doctor didn't want to give me an epidural because I wasn't very dilated... Then 3 doctors arrived and told us that the baby's heart was slowing down with each contraction, so they advised a Caesarean section. I had no hesitation at the time, and to this day I don't regret my choice for a second.
But everything happens so fast... I find myself in this cold room with so many people around me, and I was imagining the most intimate birth possible! And then the sensation of someone jumping on my belly like on a trampoline, and all of a sudden this little baby being shown to me, he's so beautiful... but I'm also so alone.... for an hour and a half, which is terribly long...
When I was at the mat, I didn't think for a second about the C-section, I was so happy! In fact, 12 hours after my C-section, I was up and happy!
The medical team were lovely and always explained what they were doing with humour and good humour.
And then I come home to a horrible midwife who only comes when she wants and makes nasty remarks about my baby's weight and so on. (He was born at 36 weeks and 6 days and weighed 2kg700.) She comes 3 times and I tell her I don't need her anymore.
It's been almost 6 months and even though I feel like my pain is subsiding a little, I still hurt...especially deep inside... I feel like I've been cut off from my birth, that I haven't finished giving birth... That I haven't fulfilled my role as a woman and a mother... It sounds so stupid, but I feel so bad about it... With all the courses I've taken, not once has anyone explained to me what a caesarean really is. And then the people around me... when I talk about my pain, they tell me I should be happy, because my baby and I are fine. So if I understand correctly, since everyone's physically fine, we don't have the right to suffer internally?!!!
I do... almost every day I cry, replaying the film of the birth that should have been so magical.... If I cry in front of my baby, I explain that it's not his fault, that I'm sad but that I love him dearly. In fact, I wonder how he felt about it, but he seems to sense that I'm sad.... He's adorable, laughs, gives me beautiful smiles, doesn't cry much, has been eating and sleeping well since the beginning, it's as if he sympathizes... My husband is coping well with it, for him there are two ways to give birth and he had a good experience with the C-section. I think it's just me who's having a hard time... (V.B., November 2010)

 I've just discovered your site... I wish it had existed at the time of my two caesarean sections (May 2000 and April 2002). I had a bad experience and I'm going to tell you about it. I agree to have my story published, as it may help other mothers. Today, I'm fine, just a little pinch sometimes... For my first pregnancy in 2000, at the beginning of the ninth month the baby hadn't descended and the cervix was still very hard. The gynecologist then had me take an X-ray of the pelvis, which revealed a transversely narrowed pelvis... He told me that I could only deliver small babies (under 3kg 200) vaginally. But my daughter looked rather large and there was no sign of dilation. He then told me that there would be a trial of commitment with an epidural, and in the event of failure, which would most probably be the case given the situation, we would go ahead with a Caesarean section. When I heard this, I felt as if the heavens had fallen on me. I wanted so much to give birth vaginally, to be a real mother, and I was even ready to give birth without an epidural. It has to be said that I was born by caesarean section, with an operation that went badly wrong (uterus and peritoneum sewn together with non-absorbable thread) and a poorly made scar that left knots of thread years later. My mother always made me pay for it, on each of my birthdays. So it was necessary for me to experience a real birth, to exorcise something and truly be born myself (as you so aptly put it). What's more, I spoke to my mother about it, and she said that it was all for the best, and that in the end she'd preferred to have the C-section and wouldn't have wanted to give birth by vaginal delivery. This was a very difficult sentence to digest, knowing that for 26 years she had been making me pay for the C-section of my birth.
My first contractions came 3 days early, at 7am. However, at midday I was only 1 cm open... I left again... At 2 a.m., I was 5 cm so they kept me... In 2 hours, I gained 2 cm then nothing... They pierced the water bag... Colored liquid (so a bag of antibiotics) but no advance on dilation... They brutally put in a live urinary catheter (just before putting in the spinal anesthesia) telling me that this would be necessary given my pelvis to give birth vaginally... They put in a rachi... Nothing... I had oxytocin to speed up the contractions... My daughter couldn't stand it and her heart started to drop with each new contraction... With all that, they said it was a failure and we went to the operating room... I stayed alone with my husband for 10 minutes, crying... Then my husband accompanied me to the operating room.
Elena, my first daughter, was born on May 27, 2000 at 7:45 am. She was 51 cm long and weighed 3.580 kg. She had the cord around her shoulder and would never have been able to come out, forceps being impossible given the size of my pelvis. As I was being stitched up, my gynecologist told me that, given my pelvis, the next time would also be a C-section.
I recovered very well physically from this caesarean but with a huge psychological wound that I buried very deeply with the feeling that, despite successful breastfeeding, I wasn't a real mother...
14 months later, I became pregnant again with my second daughter. I tried hard to forget that one day this baby would have to come out... I forgot so much about this stage that I only remembered 2 weeks before the C-section (scheduled 15 days before term) that I had to do my childbirth preparation classes (swimming pool only because for the preparation, I knew that this second baby was announced to be bigger than the previous one and that if I started the 9 months, any natural childbirth was out of the question).
Alexia, my second daughter, was born on April 15, 2002 at 8:30 a.m., as planned, by Caesarean section scheduled 15 days before term. She measured 49 cm and weighed 3kg480 before term. If we had waited, I know that her full-term weight would have been close to 4kg and she would not have been able to pass... Once again, I recovered very well physically from the C-section, even better than with the first one. However, as I had no choice in the matter of this scheduled C-section, I kept for a long time the silly feeling that perhaps I could have succeeded.I tried not to think about my suffering... The people around you don't understand your suffering... I was lucky enough to have two beautiful, healthy dolls... Yes, but I couldn't call myself a mother... I knew I'd failed... I realized I had to get out of there before I did what my mother had done and missed out on my life and my daughters. Everything's fine now... I adore my daughters, who are 10 and 8. They know that they were born by Caesarean section and that this operation was necessary for their birth. I know that this "transversely narrowed pelvis" malformation is hereditary and transmissible. My daughters or granddaughters (if I have any) may have this problem. What's certain is that if they do, I'll accompany them and help them psychologically, as I would have liked someone to do for me... I won't abandon them in this ordeal by minimizing the impact of the C-section, by pretending that there were no consequences, but rather by showing them another facet of the C-section... I personally know that without these two C-sections my daughters would never have been born... I'm lucky enough to have given birth in 2000 and 2002 and to have been able to benefit from a perfectly controlled technique that enabled me to give birth to my daughters. I now know that I gave birth to my daughters, albeit less naturally than by vaginal delivery, but just as honourably... I have nothing to reproach myself for, life is like that and so is my body. I get pregnant very easily, I have ideal pregnancies but I can't deliver on my own... Fortunately, there's a simple solution to this difficulty, whereas many women don't manage to have children or have very difficult pregnancies. And in that, I know I'm lucky... it just depends on which side you're on, like the theory of the glass being half full or half empty... (M.C.K., January 2011)

 I'm writing to you because I gave birth just 1 week ago and it's hard for me to forget this day. Throughout my pregnancy I've had difficult moments such as nausea every day and lack of sleep. At my 27th week of pregnancy, I suddenly started to feel pain, so I went straight to hospital, where I was diagnosed with gallstones and the risk of premature delivery. I had to stay in hospital for 1 week on a very strict diet, eating the same things almost every day for fear of being in pain. My spirits were very often low because I was afraid for my baby and frustrated by it all, but despite everything, we dealt with it. I went home with a great midwife who helped me a lot during the depressive moments, because time was moving on and I just wanted it all to end. When I passed the 37th week mark, I was relieved because at last my baby had gone from premature to well formed. My pregnancy was due to end on December 28, but on December 31 I started to feel pain all the time, and that's when I went to the maternity ward and my nightmare began. I say nightmare because what I experienced was nothing like what I'd been told. I started to have my epidural until the pain was bearable, then nothing happened, my water broke and from 5 centimetres I went to 10 with pain that reached 10 too! The epidural was no longer working, nor was the bolus, nothing, the pain was too much, the screams too, and I was beginning to tell my husband I was going to die. During this time, 10 centimetres away, I had to wait 4 hours and 00 minutes to push. It was only then that two doctors came and saw that the baby wasn't well positioned! At that point, I'd say I felt a strong sense of hatred, because they could have seen that something had to be done after 4 hours! The anaesthetist had already come 3 times to give me a dose and nothing, no baby and we wanted to turn baby and nothing!!! just writing this I'm all turned around again !!!! Then after all those hours of pain and anguish they saw that I really couldn't anymore and they opted for the caesarean!!! Even though I said I couldn't after 4 hours, they said ("oh, it's a shame, after all you've done, to have a caesarean! it's not going to happen!"). After the C-section I went to the recovery room and then to my room. I didn't sleep a wink during my entire stay in that room, remembering all my pain and anguish. After not even 24 h00 I was forced to get up and that was the ordeal and I was told now that's enough you get up and take care of your baby! No but I find it very inhumane and not tactful after all we endure! I was very lucky to have a husband who was there from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and took care of the little one while I closed my eyes, even if I wasn't asleep! The last night, a young girl was put in the same room as me, and then, my God, the ordeal continued: she was on methadone and her little one was being weaned, except that the baby screamed in pain until the morning! So put all the experience plus the lack of sleep etc... I was at my wits' end and the midwife, to complete the picture, went around saying that I was depressed - no way! I had to see a child psychiatrist and she saw that I was fine and that it was what I was going through that was difficult! In short, I can say that I'm still very upset. I didn't expect all this and it's very difficult to get over this hurdle, but I'm already better; from time to time I get the blues because I want to look after my son better but badly because of the scar and the backache, but soon, I know, I'll be better. I'm writing all this down because for me it's been a very difficult time, nothing that's happened was planned, I didn't have time to prepare myself and psychologically it's trying and sometimes we need time and some people think we're putting on a show! Thank you for creating this site: it allows women to free themselves, to get rid of all that difficult stuff (Y.A., January 2011).

 I discovered your site shortly after I gave birth 18 months ago, and I'm coming back to it today because I realize that I can't get past what was a very difficult time for me: I had a "dream" pregnancy (it's my first child), I was in great shape right up to the end, and then I went into labor one night, even though I felt ready (I'd finished my childbirth preparation classes, sorted out all the administrative issues, done the housework...!) and I had told my baby that now she could come! So everything was going really well. After 2 hours of contractions, my water broke and we left immediately for the maternity ward. The first midwife to examine me asked me if the baby was well positioned, and I replied yes, because at the last examination, about 10 days before, the gynecologist had told me that she had her head down. I later realized that I wasn't convinced. The midwife didn't see anything wrong, so I was sent to the delivery room. After a while, they came to give me the epidural, but it only worked on one side, and I didn't really feel relieved. On the third or fourth examination by the midwife (my cervix was now dilated to 6), she found my cervix too soft, then told me she felt something but that it didn't look like a head, and asked me if my baby had moved around a lot recently. She had indeed moved a lot 2 days before, but I hadn't felt her turn! She then called the doctor, who came to do an ultrasound and discovered that my daughter was breech and that I'd have to have a Caesarean section. I took this news as a blow, because I hadn't prepared myself at all for this. My friend and I had often dreamed of a normal birth, of the baby being placed on my stomach straight away... and then I panicked. I've never had an operation and the idea of my stomach being cut open, while I was awake to boot, made me lose my nerve. What's more, the sudden agitation of the hospital staff (more numerous and distant, without a word of support) and the rapid arrival in the cold operating room, the fact that my arms were tied... I was shaking like a leaf. To top it all off, the epidural still wasn't working properly and I could feel the stress all around me. I thought they were going to cut my belly open even though the anaesthetic wasn't working, because in the rush it seemed they weren't listening when I said I could feel the cold ice cubes they were putting on my belly and the pinching they were doing (my friend even shouted "she's telling you she still smells!"). So they quickly decided to give me a general anaesthetic and took my friend out (at which point I thought I was having the worst time of my life). Waking up from the anaesthetic was both a relief and very difficult. I was alone, then my friend arrived and showed me photos of our daughter because they didn't want to bring her to me right away (she wasn't warming up well and they'd put her in an incubator). My friend had to insist that they bring her to me as soon as possible. I was in tears. When they finally brought her to me, it was such a great joy to see her that I thought I'd forgotten everything else...but it all started to come back a few days later (I was sick for a week when I got home, I couldn't swallow anything and vomited everything).
I had not been present at my daughter's birth, that's how I felt (and still feel today!), I had missed her first hours of life (fortunately her dad was there, he was also very affected by these events), and I had (have) lots of questions on my mind: when did she turn over? was it a mistake by the gynecologist (I already had my doubts that day)? or did I not feel her turn? why didn't I listen to my instincts, since I had my doubts about her positioning? How did the birth go? I was so focused on other things at the maternity hospital that I didn't ask the doctor who delivered me for details, and the questions came later (too late...?)... Finally, the midwife who was supposed to come and care for my scar at home, and who was a great listener and psychologist (I could have used one), had a stress fracture in each foot and couldn't come! My daughter is doing very well, she just had very difficult sleep for more than a year, she has some nervousness in her, and I wonder how she felt all this. Thank you for allowing us to express ourselves on such a sensitive subject, and I apologize for the length of my message (and there's a lot more to say!) Thank you again (E.C., November 2010).

I've just discovered your existence thanks to a TV program (TSR 03.11.10, 36.9°) ... finally someone who can understand me...
I gave birth by caesarean section more than 6 years ago... I had 2 wonderful little girls... I had a beautiful pregnancy with no particular problems, I loved being pregnant, it was so incredible to imagine what was happening in my belly and then x2. I was taken off work for a while beforehand so that I could rest, as there's a greater risk of giving birth beforehand with twins, so we have to keep them warm for as long as possible. Everything was going well. Then the news broke...
I knew this was a possibility in a twin pregnancy, but hearing it from the doctor was very difficult for me. My daughter, who was to be born first, was breech and didn't have room to turn around, so the C-section was scheduled for early August 2004.
I had to integrate the idea of a C-section, but I knew deep down that I wouldn't last until August 6, the date of the C-section (my daughters were full term on August 16). Looking at a calendar, I said to myself in my head that July 20 would be a nice date, a round number, in short a whim of a pregnant woman daydreaming...the days go by.... On July 19, around 6pm, my stomach started to hurt, nothing very strong, but strangely enough it's happening every 7 minutes, I'm not sure what's going on, every 7 minutes it comes back, I stay in front of the TV because it's preventing me from sleeping, midnight comes, 1am, still the same rhythm but a little more painful, no doubt because of the fatigue... At 2 a.m., I tell myself something's wrong, I wake the dad and after calling the hospital, they tell us to get off right away... another 40-minute drive, we arrive at the hospital... I'm examined, they tell me I should have come earlier! They do a vaginal echo, and I wait.... No info... I don't know what's going on, is it time? or is there something else... suddenly a nurse arrives and sees that I'm wet, I didn't feel anything....everything speeds up... my water has probably broken... I'm fitted with a catheter and told it's time.... It's about 5 a.m.
I suddenly realize that my life is going to change... I'm overwhelmed with emotions... my children are going to be born..... on July 20!
They prepare me, prick me on the back, and off I go to a new life....... The father is there, I suddenly have a very bad headache, I'm told it's normal, it doesn't last long, in fact... I wait, I can't see anything, a curtain in front of me, I can't feel anything..... 2 doctors I hear talking, it's the young one who's operating on me, the older one gets angry, explains who, what, when, how.... I'm not having a great time at all, I'm having an operation, my first operation, I feel like a cobail, lots of people gravitate around me. All I remember is a nurse's face or something, asking me how I'm doing... and all of a sudden tears... here's one, 5:57....I'm crying with joy...... I try to see her... I feel like my stomach is being sucked out...... and then suddenly there's crying, 5:59.......there's the second one......... I'm crying..... I hear crying..... I told Dad to follow them everywhere....which he did...... and then silence....
Waiting..... I haven't seen them, they haven't been shown to me.... What's going on? I tell myself there are two of them, born a little earlier, they're being looked after and I'm going to see them afterwards... After I don't know how long the father comes back, he tells me that everything's fine, that they're doing very well, they're in neonatal care but they don't need incubators, just for observation.... I say I haven't seen them....I want to see them, smell them, touch them.... Everyone has forgotten....
Daddy goes back to his daughters, I preferred him to stay with them.
Finally the doctor comes to me... tells me everything is fine and "apologizes"...they forgot to show me my children.....
I'm moved to a rest room... I feel strange, my stomach is empty, I can't feel my legs... I wait.... I ask when I'll be able to see my children, I'm told soon, in the afternoon... in the early afternoon I'm moved to my room, a doctor passes by, I recognize him, he's the one who operated on me, the youngest, he comes to ask me how I'm doing... where are your daughters he asks me? I'd like to see them too I tell him.... It's not normal, he says, they're doing fine, they don't need an incubator... He leaves again, and I think to myself that he's finally going to do something....... They're bringing me polaroid pictures! I can see them...they're so beautiful..... Family arrives, friends arrive....they all go to see my daughters, I still haven't seen them, haven't touched them....
Evening.... I can't take it anymore, it's 9pm, this time I'm going, it's not normal, it's disgusting!!!!
I get up...it hurts...they put me in a wheelchair.... Departure, my heart is pounding, it's like a rendezvous, I've waited so long....
The elevator...2 floors down... we arrive in neonatology... an impression as if people felt guilty....everyone left in silence looking at me.... Deliverance at last.... Finally in my arms, my two loves... I cry, everyone cries...
I'm told they're coming to my room, but they're only brought to me 2 days later... no explanations, no real help, you're left to fend for yourself, so much the better in a way, it prepares you directly... I'm just told to feed them on demand, well... one wakes me up, I haven't had my milk come in yet, I put her to the breast to stimulate her, nothing yet!!! I ring for the bottle. Everyone falls asleep again, 10 minutes later her sister arrives, ditto..., etc... I felt guilty for my room-mate, I was keeping her awake.... I already knew I wouldn't do that at home, the 2 of them together is easier. I had to stay between 7 and 10 days in hospital... at the end of the 5th day, I wanted to go home... I forced myself to walk as much as possible, to show that I was okay. I ask the pediatrician, one of my daughters has lost quite a bit of weight and is jaundiced... she hesitates... then I collapse... that's it, I've heard about the baby blues... I'm there now... I cry... I don't know why, I can't control it, it comes and goes, for no particular reason, she was more embarrassed than anything else, I had no explanation, it only lasted 2 weeks - phew!
They finally came to take care of my scar... catastrophe.... I get an infection, I have to open it up again... I'm scared, this C-section is a nightmare.
The pediatrician finally agreed that I could go home on condition that a midwife came to the house every day... for the girls and for my scar... she found one near us... I could finally go home... Luckily for me, the midwife in question was great, kind, I lived for about a month with a piece of open scar, I was injected with serum to clean it, a piece of gauze inside so it wouldn't close up.... I didn't want this scar... to have it reopened it remained ugly.
Unfortunately I won't have any more children, I'll never know what it's like to give birth...
My C-section started badly from the beginning, I'm missing a piece, my memories have been taken away from me, my first moments with my children have been taken away from me. As I'm often told, they're doing well, they're healthy, and it's true, I'm very happy and proud of them, I didn't go through all that in vain. But that doesn't make up for it, I feel guilty for not having had them with me, for not having been there those first moments.
It's a very personal feeling, it has no impact on the love I have for my children or the love they have for me, it's just for me, a pain that belongs to me alone.
A Caesarean section is not harmless, it hurts, and until you're able to breastfeed it also takes longer... It's not a natural process, and it's good that it exists because it's necessary in many cases, but it's still an operation. There's nothing intimate about it... and that's what I don't find normal, when you're forced to undergo a Caesarean section, you need to create a better setting, create intimacy, make it look as much like childbirth as possible, and not like a banal operation or an anatomy lesson!
After all these years, it's still very present and it's good to talk about it. Thank you for this site... (C.C., November 2010)


I dreamed of a vaginal delivery, without an epidural, but as I had high blood pressure during the pregnancy of my first child, it was imperative that I have an epidural. At 35 weeks, even though I was under medical care for my hypertension, the doctors decided to induce labor... After several hours, I was given an epidural, which caused me a great deal of pain, and once the water had broken, my daughter began to palpitate... I had to have a Caesarean section because the induction hadn't worked. It was hard and painful during the operation ... but the saddest thing was that I couldn't see or touch her because she needed care as she was premature ... It took me months and months to get over it. I felt as if I hadn't given birth ... of course, people who haven't experienced it tell you ... well, your baby's fine ... you know, vaginal delivery is excruciating, it hurts ... I suppose it does hurt ... but at least they know what a contraction is! Every time I saw pregnant women in the street, a feeling of sadness and nostalgia came over me. And then, a few months later, I'm pregnant again... again with hypertension, but this time it's non-medicalized because it's less severe... I'd got used to the idea of an epidural, telling myself that if I could give birth vaginally, it would be a win-win situation. Despite my fear of the epidural, which had caused me so much pain the previous time, I consulted both a homeopathic midwife and a midwife sophrologist to alleviate my anxiety. At 37 weeks, my blood pressure was rising dangerously, and following a check-up at the maternity hospital, they decided to keep me and have me give birth by caesarean section once again. The tragedy ... I cried all the tears of my body ... I would have liked at least one contraction ... just one to know what it feels like. But as my cervix was well closed and long, it wasn't possible to provoke a contraction as I risked tearing my uterus ... I had a wonderful team, adorable and above all attentive to my fears and regrets. They performed a spinal anaesthesia, I felt absolutely nothing, I smiled throughout the birth and ... the most beautiful gift, I saw my daughter when she came out of my belly, I was able to touch her and hold her a little before she went to the neonatal unit (small respiratory problem). Now I've come to terms with the fact that I gave birth vaginally, because I saw my daughter come out of my belly ... this time ... I gave birth (S.F.D., June 2010).

 I gave birth on April 28, 2010 at 3:48 a.m. I had a wonderful, pain-free pregnancy, with immense joy in my everyday life. My sister is a midwife and she helped me a lot with this first pregnancy. At no time did I realize that I could have a C-section on the big day.
And on April 27, at 12:30 p.m., my water broke alone at home. I had no pain, no contractions. I didn't go into labour until around 5pm. But what a labour! My contractions were immediately very painful and my cervix wasn't opening enough. The monitoring I'd had since 1:30 pm showed my baby's heart rate was not good. It was 2.30 a.m. when, for the first time, I was told about a caesarean section. In 9 months, no one had ever suggested that I could give birth by C-section, so I only had an hour to get used to it. At 3:30 they took me to the operating room. I cried, of course, but I still don't know if it was tears of fear or frustration. My only joy in this ordeal was of course the sight of my beautiful little boy. First I heard his cries and when I spoke to him and gave him a kiss, the magic between us happened and his crying stopped. Then he went to see his daddy. And I was able to see them both again an hour later in the recovery room. The midwife put my baby on my chest and he suckled for the 1st time. I'd like to say how good breastfeeding makes me feel; it allows me to experience this first birth better. Above all, it makes me feel like a mom. I'm having a wonderful time with him and seeing the weight my baby is gaining (+ 1kg500 in 1 month and 1 week), he must be enjoying the breast too.
I hope he won't suffer from his birth, which was so difficult for me (M.D.C., June 2010).

 I'd like to give a slightly different account of my caesarean birth. Even though I dreamed of giving birth by vaginal delivery, I experienced this caesarean section as a liberation, given the way my delivery was going. My son was born by C-section a year ago at D+6, after 38 hours of contractions with no effect on the cervix.
Contractions began a few hours after the midwife had detached the membranes on Thursday (at D+4), to induce labor.
At 2am on Friday morning, I felt the first painful contractions, 8-10 minutes apart. I waited until 6.30 a.m. to wake my partner and tell him that "it was time". But when I got to the clinic, my cervix was barely dilated and I was sent home with the message "see you later, come back when the contractions are 2 minutes apart".
I waited again until 5pm with my contractions every 7 minutes, breathing as we learned to limit the pain. At 5pm, I returned to the clinic and my cervix was at the same point: I was sent home again...
This was followed by a night interspersed with contractions every 5 minutes... which is to say that I slept very very little (although I think I must have dozed off at least once for 10 minutes!).
At 6 a.m. on Saturday, I couldn't take it anymore and we went back to the clinic. I was afraid... afraid that the baby wouldn't be able to endure so much waiting and contractions. He was hardly moving at all, and I was anxious that something had happened to him. When I got to the clinic, the monitoring was perfect. He was calm, but my contractions hadn't had much effect on my cervix. I was really exhausted and demanded to be induced; I needed help.
At 8.30 a.m., I was given the epidural and the infusions for the induction. The epidural was magical! I was so relieved and relaxed that I wanted to sleep... and I think that's why the contractions didn't have any more effect throughout the day.
The midwives paraded through the labor room to check every ¼ of an hour on my cervix... nothing better. At around 3:30-4pm, the monitoring started to panic a bit. But I didn't understand a thing! The midwives were really very, very delicate and gentle, even if I did hear one "look at the curves, it's not normal..." which threw me a bit. They went to get the doctor, who said to me, "Well, we'll have to go and get him," with a big smile.
At last, we were going to meet our long-awaited child and at last, I could let my guard down: everything would be taken care of for me, I would be relieved and my child would be relieved! OUF!
My son was born at 4:20 p.m...I kissed him when the midwife presented him to me and let myself be happy as I was stitched up in the operating room and my son was taken into his father's arms.
I have to say that I had a strange intuition a few days before giving birth. Like many mothers-to-be, I was watching the TV show "Les maternelles", which had a feature on caesarean sections. And there was a report showing exactly what I experienced (contractions with no effect for hours / caesarean section). I talked to my husband about it, telling him: "On the big day, you're going to wear a shirt because if there's a need for a C-section, you'll be the one having the baby skin-to-skin. It's important, I want to be sure you'll keep him close to you." That's exactly what happened: my two men stayed glued skin-to-skin for 2 hours, the time it took for me to get out of the recovery room after the C-section. That's all I thought about for those two hours.
I think it was this psychological preparation for this eventuality that completely reassured me. I'd seen how it could happen and it didn't worry me at all. Afterwards, listening to my friends' accounts of their births, I even felt lucky, because my suffering was, in my eyes, much less than theirs! I didn't have the pain of expulsion or the episiotomy. The pain of the scar is painful but totally manageable. I didn't cope well with the anaesthetic (I threw up all evening) but everything else went very well. I got up after 36 hours and breastfed my baby without any problems.
But that's just my experience. I may change my mind for my next births, if I'm "lucky" enough to have a vaginal delivery... (S.M., April 2010)

.... I realize that thinking about my C-sections makes me cry. I feel a great sadness. I feel guilty for not having been able to give birth to my children naturally. I feel like my privacy has been violated. I don't talk about my births because I'm ashamed. I want to find peace in my heart and heal the scars on my soul and body... (S.M., Nov. 2006)

I had a very hard time with my C-section, which was totally unexpected. I had been dreaming of this day for 9 months, imagining the most beautiful scenarios, and after 14 hours of labor, the news was like a bomb in my heart. Of course baby and mom are fine (as many claim), but I'll always have this feeling of INACHEVE... as if I hadn't carried out the "mission" I'd been given. This feeling that my baby, with whom I shared sublime moments during my pregnancy, has been taken away from me.... all that's left is one wish...to be able to have a second natural pregnancy.... (M.E., March 2008...1 year later)

I've just discovered your site via an article in Migros Magazine (19.01.2009) and while browsing through the testimonials I started crying because even though 25 months have gone by, I still can't read an article about caesarean sections without crying my eyes out...
After 2 long years of waiting, I finally became pregnant by artificial insemination in early 2006. I had what you might call a beautiful pregnancy with no major complications. My husband and I took childbirth classes and haptonomy. I was ready for the big day, even impatient I'd say.
With 5 days to go before my due date (Saturday), I lost a little blood after returning from one of my many nocturnal visits to the toilet. I woke up my husband, called the hospital, ate some toast... 2 hours later we were at the hospital. I'm having very mild contractions, far apart. After a check-up, I'm sent home, obviously I've just lost the mucous plug. At the end of the day, the contractions intensify, but last more than 10 minutes. Sunday 5 a.m. I didn't sleep a wink, waking up every 9 minutes... We go to the hospital again. My cervix hasn't moved and the contractions are too far apart to keep me. The gynecologist on duty nevertheless gives me a suppository to calm the contractions so that I can get some sleep. When I get home, I hurry to use the suppository because I'm exhausted. After 30 minutes in bed, writhing in pain every 8 minutes (a little evolution...), I get up again. It's becoming painful because I'm exhausted. My husband goes to bed for a while. He finds me crying in the living room at 9 p.m. I can't take it anymore, I'm in too much pain and the contractions are always at least 8 minutes apart and I'm on my 4th bath of the day. My husband calls the hospital and tells them that this time we're coming back, but that he wants me to spend the night there because I can't stay like this...
When we got to the hospital, I was checked again and, oh miracle, I was dilated to 2cm (it was 10pm on Sunday and I hadn't slept for over 24 hours). My husband and I are over the moon and in a few hours we'll finally meet our princess. My labor is progressing well, and at around 6 a.m. my water broke, telling us that before 7 a.m. our baby would be here. I'm under epidural, so I'm not in too much pain. The SF is encouraging, she's seen our baby's hair, I try a first push... nothing. We're given a little more time. Suddenly, the machines start ringing. Two SFs come running in and tell me not to worry, then 2 other SFs join them. I'm scared... They explain that both I and the baby are tachycardic and that I'm also running a fever. They call the gynecologist on duty, who suggests I try pushing again. Nothing to be done, our baby comes back up each time. Then it's the head doctor's turn to arrive, I push again... nothing... I'm told I might have to go for a C-section. "No, I don't want to" my voice breaks, I cry. I push one last time, SF and my husband pressing on my belly, suddenly the verdict comes down: "We're going to the operating room or we'll lose them both". At the time, I didn't understand. I cried, afraid, afraid of being in pain. My husband left to get ready. In the operating room, the anaesthetist is obnoxious. Everything goes so fast. I feel my princess being taken out of my belly, she doesn't cry right away, we question the gynecologist with concern... phew 8.14 our pearl gives her first cry. I only see her for a few seconds. My husband brings her to me 30 minutes later. 30 long minutes during which all I could hear was her crying. Then I go to the recovery room and won't be able to see my daughter again for another 2 hours.
I'll never forget the first bath I gave my daughter. I arrived in a wheelchair among the other mothers, unable to walk or carry my daughter. The other mothers were on their feet looking after their babies, and I was reduced to watching strangers take care of my child. I'll never forget the pain I felt at that moment, that feeling of being powerless, unable to take care of my daughter. The right to become a mother had been taken away from me.
In the months that followed, I shed a lot of tears and heard I don't know how many times "but you're fine, that's the main thing". I wish it could have been that simple. So much for my story.
It's been 25 months now, but the scar is still there on both my stomach and my heart. I've become a real mother hen who worries about her daughter's cold, but it's certainly not for nothing. I thank the doctors for saving our lives, but I wasn't ready for this. Now my husband would like a second child. I don't want to, because I suffered too much from this delivery, which in the end I didn't experience.
(D.B. January 2009)

 ... I asked my husband to tell me in detail about his first hours with the baby, and we realized that we hadn't really taken the time to tell each other about the birth...

... it enabled us to take ownership of a common story for the birth of our baby, whereas until then we had experienced it as a separation, as two parallel stories brought together only by a strange little being, whom we were afraid not to understand ... (S.SCH., Nov. 2006)

 "When I think back to my first caesarean, I see the same flashes, the panic, the gynecologist's faraway gaze, the descent into the operating room, I shivered all the way through the procedure. I had come to give life, not to lose it. I didn't see the umbilical cord, the link that had connected us for 9 months. I didn't feel baby's warm body on my belly, a story so familiar and so inherent to every birth. I was introduced to him, but too far away (I'm short-sighted and don't have a telescope in the OR).

I spoke to him but with a distorted voice (I had the oxygen mask over my mouth). Poor little thing! welcomed with a distorted mommy voice. This little being cried out, but I really felt that he was crying out his anger at having been dislodged from his cozy little home, welcomed in a cold temperature, groped with barely warm latex hands. I gave birth, but I didn't give birth, the gynecologist did. Me? I didn't do anything, I just suffered. Baby? he wasn't an actor, he suffered. For 9 months, I created this fragile life so longed for, and now it's being ripped away from me with no mercy.

During the second C-section, 3 and a half years later, I expressed my disappointment and how the first one went: I shivered just the same, but I was able to SEE baby up close and talk to him. I welcomed baby. My first C-section was 9 years ago, and I can't envisage a 3rd pregnancy, much to daddy's despair." (V.H., March 2007)

"I felt so helpless on the operating table, like that strapped down, arms crossed. I was shown my baby, but there was almost nothing I could do to welcome her."

...... A Caesarean section saves a woman the pain of delivering her child. That's how I see it, and it's true that in the old days, when there was no Caesarean section, women died before seeing their child. ..... Stop saying that you felt powerless with a Caesarean section, it's still useful to avoid the worst, that you didn't experience it well, because if we do a Caesarean section it's to save your life, stop complaining about the things we do to make it more comfortable for you to give birth (extract from S.C.'s testimony, May 2008).

 I wanted to write you a few lines, following my own story, but also to reassure all those women who are going to have to give birth in this way. For ten years now, I've been reading all kinds of articles and testimonials from women who only talk about Caesarean sections as dramatic deliveries; and if I'd read all that back then, I'd have been scared to death! I have three children, and all were born by caesarean section because of a high birth weight. For the first, after 36 hours of trying to give birth normally, the child wasn't breathing, so an emergency C-section was needed; for the second, everything was programmed and finally the same for the last! I've also had three difficult pregnancies, with heavy weight loss, hospitalization and so on. My experience tells me loud and clear that just because you've had a caesarean doesn't mean you're any less close to your child, or that breastfeeding won't work, and so on. I would add that two out of three of my C-sections have gone badly, and that the after-effects have not been easy; but in my case, I had no choice but to give birth differently. I have no regrets, not even bad memories, only the joy of being Mom, and that's what matters most! In short, there's no need to make a big deal of it, and for the future Mums who are reading this and who have to give birth this way, don't worry; you'll have exactly the same contact with your child as if you'd given birth vaginally! My children are now 10, 8.5 and 6 years old, they're in great shape and so am I. Everything's going great (K., September 2008).

Hello, My name is N: and I am from Quebec (French Canadian). I am 35 years old and have 3 children. A 16 year old, born by caesarean section due to a crossed breech and 6 month old twins, also born by emergency caesarean section after attempting what we call here a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean section). For the multiple birth, it was my daughter's heart that couldn't take the induction, so I was rushed to the OR, where we were able to save both babies.

For me, a C-section represents a painless birth (I was terrified when my eldest was born that I would be allowed to give birth naturally). But if I can reassure some mothers-to-be who feel helpless in the face of their future intervention, it's also a beautiful moment. You can see the baby coming. There's time to see daddy's reaction, and daddy (at least here) has time to experience skin-to-skin contact with baby(ren) while waiting for mommy to return from the recovery room. After 9 months with baby in your belly, I think it's only fair that dad should have the privilege of the first moment with him.

For those who wish to breastfeed (hospitals here are very pro-breastfeeding), a C-section doesn't prevent it at all, and I've never experienced any difficulties in this respect. I'm not advocating C-section as the "normal" way to give birth, but long live modern medicine, and why risk it when the alternative exists? Bravo for your site and feel free to publish this e-mail if you think it's relevant. (N.V., July 2008)

I've just discovered your site, which I find very good and very useful. I'd like to share my experience with regard to caesareans.... I had one for my son 19 months ago and a second one is coming up for the birth of my daughter in August... the 1st was totally unplanned, an ideal pregnancy, apart from some back problems from the baby's point of view, everything was going well. After 16 hours of contractions that were useless, I was finally given an epidural and then, only at the end of the day, when nothing had happened, I was taken down to the operating theatre for a caesarean section. I had been suffering for so long between the contractions and the whole day spent on the delivery table that I experienced the caesarean section as a deliverance!!!!! 100 years ago, we might both have died... I'm not at all traumatized by this one, and when my son was brought to me, he was crying and as soon as he was put in my arms, he stopped and stayed there for a good 6 months.... as for the second c-section, it's not a sure thing yet, but my daughter is breech and not through her bottom, but through her legs? having had a c-section a short while ago, the gynecologist told me that if she didn't turn over, he wouldn't take the risk of having me give birth vaginally... I'm 8 months along and she's big... so... I'm not sad about it, but the father is much more disappointed, and it's because of him that it's hard!!!! to conclude, as long as the support is well done, as long as dad can take care of baby right away, we have our whole lives to take care of our child, don't we all have our sufferings? even if we want to spare our child everything, sometimes our role is to heal for lack of having been able to prevent... I explained his birth to my son when he was 19 months old and believe me, he feels very well that mom and dad are there and always have been, and they've never been taken away from us!!!!!

The only after-effect, if it really is one???? to be seen later, is that he hates the medical profession.... for a simple visit with no vaccine, just a fever and screaming as soon as he is handled.... and that's been the case since the very 1st visit of the 1st month... keep an eye on it... courage to all, I'd like to add that I'm not trying to convince anyone, everyone has their own feelings, but if a mother-to-be were to read me because a Caesarean section was looming and it was her 1st pregnancy, perhaps she could be a little reassured... (M. V., July 2008)

I'm 24 and the mother of a little girl who's about to turn 1...also born by caesarean section...until then I hadn't really thought about "how she was born", she was there in good health, that was the main thing. My sister just gave birth 1 hour ago and now the feelings are all mixed up....I'm so happy for her and I can't stop crying...I've just understood why....my sister had a "normal" birth, that's the word people use...yet I consider mine to have been "normal" too....not in everyone's eyes apparently.
I went into the maternity ward on September 24, 2007 for an induction...why? I'm not sure. On the evening of the 26th, still nothing, no contractions, no dilation of the cervix, at 9:29pm I was taken to the operating room for a Caesarean section. My daughter is exhausted and so am I. I've never asked myself why. I never asked myself the question, but now I envy my sister: everyone is crying around her, smiling, congratulating her, telling her that she was "a leader" and that she "managed"! I too would have loved to hear these phrases....My baby came into the world, and was immediately taken away from me to be taken down to the father. I saw no one crying, no one congratulating me and telling me that I had "managed" .....and yet.... In the days that followed, everyone came to see the baby, and I felt neglected......I'm still a good mother, even with a C-section....the scar from a C-section is not just physical....I long for just one thing: to have a 2nd child, and I hope that when I do, I'll feel like a normal person with a normal delivery, and that I'll be congratulated too. Indeed, now that I've written my testimonial, I feel better and I'm going to .... to congratulate my sister. .... I haven't been there yet.
Bonne continuation, thank you for this site and courage to all moms!!!! (E.C., September 2008)

I came across your site by chance, and it's so nice to know that I'm not the only one to have experienced a painful C-section, either physically or mentally. Reading other testimonials does me good. I wasn't ready to go through that. Having attended childbirth classes where you hear very little about caesareans, you only hear about vaginal deliveries. My first caesarean was a terrible shock for me: a provocation with no result, done in a bit of an emergency for hidden problems that I found out about a few years later. At the time I was told that the baby was suffering. After the birth, I had some minor complications, but no support. But 2 things stood out for me: the day after the caesarean section, my belly swelled up and became as hard as a rock.l The midwife didn't seem to believe me and I was in terrible pain, and at the end of the day I was told I had air in my intestines. And they gave me some medicine. Because of my complications, I couldn't get out of bed and had to have the baby put in my arms, as I couldn't take him on my own. It was 11:30 p.m. the day after my C-section, and I couldn't put my son to the breast. I tried for 30 minutes, but my breasts were bleeding, so I rang the nurse to ask for help. She came and told me I'd have to do it myself, because when I got home I'd have to do it alone. I left in tears. That birth and the follow-up were traumatic for me and I still have bad memories of it. I went into hospital with baby blues and nothing was detected. Then I became pregnant with my 2nd child in 2001. I changed gynecologists because I'd lost confidence in my first gynecologist and the maternity hospital where I'd given birth. I was so scared, I was traumatized by my caesarean section in 1999: he was very kind, understanding, listened to me and did everything to reassure me. 9 months of supervision was the best. He tried to deliver my baby vaginally, which was important to me, but unfortunately the provocation didn't work, the cervix didn't dilate, so it was decided that it would be a C-section, and then the world fell apart. I didn't want it to happen that way, but it did. A well-managed C-section, top-notch supervision, everything went perfectly, nothing to say. Everyone was so attentive to me, perhaps because I gave birth in a clinic. But now I'm 9 weeks pregnant and I'm panicking, the old demons are coming back. I'm scared to death because there's no choice but to have a caesarean. Thanks for reading and thanks again for this wonderful site (L., September 2008)

I've just stumbled across your site by chance, and to be plunged back into the wound of C-section birth is not without stirring up old emotions. Both my children were born by C-section: my daughter first, 5 and a half years ago. After a dream pregnancy, with a real and BIG ENVY of giving birth without any fear, I arrived at the clinic in the early hours of the morning, set in a dream setting with a view of the mountains and radiant sunshine. I was moved to tears to begin this process in such magnificent circumstances.
But after 10 hours of efficient and promising work, suddenly nothing. The last centimetre was no longer dilating, the water had broken, the pushing was useless and the head was enormous. I left for the operating room in joyful euphoria: "I was finally going to physically meet my baby". As for the father, he was furious and frustrated (already), but didn't dare show it to me. I wasn't able to make contact with my Flea until 2 hours later. All was well and happy (for me, not Dad, which I wouldn't know until later). Then once I got home, my head took over. "I didn't give birth, I was operated on", "a birth under these circumstances 100 years ago, we'd both have been dead, so you're illegitimately alive since medicalization made it possible", "why me/us?".Etc.
My gynecologist is a friend of mine, a very skilled and experienced surgeon and the mother of 2 children born by C-section. She found the words to comfort me and convince me that a vaginal birth in our circumstances would probably have led to multiple tears and incontinence, not to mention fetal suffering. I made my peace with it; it's certainly a frustration, but all in all, it's by dwelling on it that you make the situation worse. "Moving on" soon became my motto, without rancor. Then, during my second pregnancy, macrosomia was also suspected (=big baby like my daughter who was 4.2 kg). So, in spite of myself, there was never any question of a vaginal birth, although I would have liked to try it and end up with a caesarean section EVENTUALLY AND ONLY IN CASE OF NECESSITY. "Don't forget that a C-section is a risky procedure, and that it's best performed under better conditions if it's planned". In short, the technicality and comfort of the medical team won out over the spiritual... It went as far as the choice of day and time... But in the face of this obvious cynicism, I managed to make myself see reason (was it a survival instinct?). A single idea kept me going: as much as we loved waiting for our first, born a week after term, chatting to her every evening and inviting her to join us, knowing A COUP SUR that our second would be with us on a fixed date also had a crazy charm.... but I would have liked the birth to have taken place "as a family", with our daughter, if not in the operating room, at least in the immediate vicinity of the clinic to take part in the first moments.... and here again it wasn't possible to take this desire into account: a C-section at 7 a.m. meant getting up at 6 a.m., arriving at the clinic with her dad in a hurry... not exactly a dream setting.... so I had to spend the night ALONE at the clinic. HORROR!!! Waking up in the middle of the night, panic, frustration, tears, feelings of guilt and awful isolation. I felt terrible inflicting this terrible shock on my baby, who hadn't asked for anything, especially when I wasn't sure it was really appropriate. In the middle of the night, a sweet midwife lulled me with reassuring words, "imagine that in a few hours, you'll be holding your baby in your arms". I thought to myself, "Poor scatterbrain, is she so blind that she can't understand my suffering and feed me her honeyed words?" Nothing could reach me then.
And the next day, all hell broke loose. The pediatrician (also a friend) had said he wouldn't be there; finally he was able to make it. It was a wonderful surprise. There was a playful atmosphere, a stimulating effervescence that enabled me to stay in touch with baby. The staff were lovely and relaxed. The whole thing lasted 17 minutes. And one little cry, "it's a boy" (the king's choice), and it all goes away (even if it turned out later that he was "only 3kg500...!!!).
In short, I'm still a person who has been frustrated and hurt by births that didn't take into account my aspirations, my femininity, and the "ideal" role I wanted to play in the history of humanity. With time, however, I've come to the conclusion that these ruminations shouldn't be given any more space than they need: they end up being digested thanks to the pleasures of family life and dialogue. And, after all, women are strong, and this ordeal is not so difficult compared to the others that punctuate their lives. A woman is generous, her heart knows how to give of itself to give life and leave a little of its own, or even forgive. Today, my little ones are 5 and a half and 2 years old. They are so adorable, bright and competent, that I am sincerely and deeply consoled, even if the scenarios were light-years away from what I had dreamed. In fact, I spoke to each of the babies about it, presenting the (few) advantages for them too, and taking care not to make them carry my burden, but rather wishing to lance an abscess so I could move forward. It's said that words often heal, and I have the proof. This "debriefing" is now somewhere in their consciousness and represents a milestone in my (their) life: the poisonous unspoken never had its place and therefore was never able to unfold its perverse effects. One thing I do regret, however, is the clinic where this happened: it claims to be "baby-friendly" as a fervent supporter of breast-feeding. But there's no special provision for mothers to have their babies with them from the moment they take their first breath, and in the company of their fathers. I've never understood this: I don't see any contraindication to having your baby with you, even if it means being supervised if necessary. I was shocked by the scoliosis in the face, the cold, the distress and panic of the father who was left unattended (the rooms there are not only dedicated to births). Admittedly, the father was there at the very beginning (another wonderful consolation), which enabled him to take advantage of my absence by "appropriating" these births in complete intimacy, but there is still a great deal of progress to be made in this area, so that medical technicality and spirituality can meet.
Girls, ladies, COURAGE. It'll pass with time! (C.C., October 2008)

Thank you for creating this site and giving us the opportunity to talk and share. I'm also of the opinion that too often the mother's experience, if the child is doing well, is considered harmless. She's an adult and has to take on the few worries of motherhood. I know women who are so terrified of childbirth that they opt for an automatic Caesarean section, even one under general anaesthetic. I asked myself this question when I found out I was pregnant, amidst the hurricane of emotions and sensations that so many of us experience.
The image of my grandmother, who sadly died some ten years ago, came to mind: married to a peasant, she had to leave her family at a very young age to go and work for a little old lady, but who knew a thing or two - the old lady was a midwife! With her beloved farmer, she had 13 pregnancies, 11 of which gave birth to children, 7 boys and 4 girls, and to earn a little food for all these people, she took others in as nursemaids and breastfed them. She never had maternity leave, just a healthy mother of her own to help out around the house. The 11 are still alive... all born at home, in the country, and my grandmother never had a worry about restraint and used to tie her shoes by herself at 89!
So I read Ina May Gaskin, and others, I dreamt and wanted to give birth at home surrounded by my loved ones and... no the father called me a "murderer by negligence" and other names so I looked for a compromise solution, an outpatient birth, but... I felt so accused throughout the pregnancy, even my parents-in-law couldn't stand the fact that I didn't have gynecological technology, the pregnancy was otherwise going very well, but on the due date nothing happened, so I had to go for a check-up, and the medical machine was set in motion... ultrasounds, monitoring, touch-ups... in 14 days I had 4-6 difficult pregnancies... after 2 weeks (although I think there was a margin in the dates) I was told "it's pathological, you have to induce" and that's when I got scared, I asked my husband to ask a gynecologist friend what it involved and he was honest, it involved at 90% 2-3 days of synthetic oxytocin and then a cesarean by exhaustion of mother and fetus.(On the sly, I took the castor oil cocktail, then had acupuncture... nothing) And that's what happened, no clear explanation of why, and I had such a hard time with the c-section, the peri that worked half-heartedly, the OR team that treated me like number 7 of the night and didn't explain anything to me about what was going on, they were tired ok, the oxytocin in horse doses just after the baby's *birth that shakes me all over my body while I'm tied up, which I've been shown, all wrapped up in a green cloth and from a distance and I was tied up and couldn't even give him a hug... doubt for weeks that... who knows maybe I had a big ball and the baby's an alien... luckily I still had enough strength to protest and I was able to breastfeed an hour later in the recovery room, which helped both of us. For me, the terror now comes from the medical establishment's heavy-handed approach. It's a big machine that takes precedence over the individual and his or her subjective (and therefore unscientific) experience, which is so important!
What can we do to make this happen less and less? There's the baby-friendly hospital label. We need one for baby- and mum-friendly hospitals! (Artemisia C, November 2008)

 I saw my children go over the edge of an operating theatre, heard them crying, quickly nose-to-nose and left to join them in the delivery room. I didn't see my husband's reaction as he became a father, his tears, his joy, doing the hand-to-hand that I've never had with my children, even after leaving the operating room. For my daughter's birth, I even found myself alone in the delivery room, unable to move, with my daughter in bed next to me, unable to pick her up or touch her, my man having had to leave to look after the older child at home. 
Today, I know I'm missing something with my children - I can't say what, but there's a void I can't fill. R., my man, says the most important thing is that the children are healthy, and laughingly calls my scars zippers.
I don't want any more children because I know it will be a C-section and I often say: "My belly has been barbarized enough, stop it!
Everyone tells me that I'm a very good mom, that I'm caring, loving, organized, that I don't drown in a glass of water, ... but I haven't been able to do the essential: bring them into the world properly, and that really hurts. I don't know how to move on and move on to something else.
I don't know you but I want to say thank you anyway, because I've never been able to say and write all this, it's done me a lot of good. thank you again.
How can I get back my life as a couple, my place as a mom and myself in the process? (A.C., April 2015)

Hello everyone. I'm here to tell you about the caesarean section I had in June 2013. At the end of May, the obstetrician found that my pelvis was narrow at the last check-up and decided to do a CT scan (indeed, at 8 and a half months of pregnancy, baby was still not engaged in the pelvis) which confirmed that my pelvis was too narrow, while the baby's ultrasound showed a relatively high cranial perimeter. The doctor then told me that he was scheduling a caesarean section for 3 days before my due date, and that if I went into labor before then, I shouldn't force myself and should have a caesarean section instead of forceps. I came out of her consultation in tears. I must admit that operations scare the hell out of me since an appendicitis operation that left me with a few after-effects, even though I'd suspected that the outcome of my pregnancy would be a Caesarean section for a few weeks already. My family and friends surrounded me until the big day, but I continued to cry and not sleep until the date of the operation. As I didn't feel any contractions until the fateful date, I went to the maternity hospital on D-day, a little stressed but eager to discover my little darling's face. I was put on a monitor for 1 hour, prepared (drip, gown) and then taken to the C-section room. The anaesthetist made me laugh a lot and I didn't feel a thing of the spinal anaesthesia (the infusion was much more painful I think!) I asked for music so I wouldn't hear what was said during the caesarean and was quietly on the table behind the field. I waited quietly for them to place the urinary catheter and found the time a little long. One moment I felt the table moving and was told that they were adjusting it for the obstetrician. Shortly afterwards, the headphones were removed and I was told "it's done". I thought of the urinary catheter, but no; when I turned my head I discovered the cutest little face in the world, 20cm from mine! All was well, he quickly went off to be cared for by his daddy while I was being looked after (no music at that moment, my son is fine, his daddy is getting to know him after nine months of waiting - I don't care about the various sutures!) and I'm announced a beautiful baby weighing 4kg 170.
After 3 hours in the recovery room, half of which with the father and my son by my side behind a screen, I returned to the bedroom.
Getting up for the first time in the evening was tough (it pulled and there were a lot of aches and pains), but the pain was bearable. The only problem was that at first you couldn't take full care of your child, but thanks to the team I knew that my son was in good hands and that the priority was to recover as quickly as possible to look after him. The pain quickly eased as the days went by, and certain moments were more than welcome: the first shower, leaving the maternity ward and especially the removal of the staples!
The early days were a bit difficult at home: finding your own rhythm, being very tired for the first month, the little one calming down more quickly with Dad than with me (it's true that I had skin-to-skin contact with him when he was born, and I didn't breastfeed my son) but today, 6 months later, I can take stock of the cesarean section:
disadvantages: not really being able to see your son at birth, the anxiety of the operation, the aches and pains, the scar (still so beautiful that it's hardly noticeable, and what more beautiful scar in the world than the one that allows you to give birth to your child!
advantages: not as painful as all that (perhaps less painful than a tear or episiotomy), I'm in great shape today (no more tiredness, no pain), my son is in good health and above all I get the most beautiful smiles in the world every day.
I understand that for many people a caesarean section is difficult or didn't go so well, but thanks to the medical team and those around me, everything went very well for me and enabled me to put things into perspective by telling myself that the most important thing is the health of my son and me before anything else. I was scared to death before the C-section, and I would gladly sign up for another one today. (H.M., December 2013)

Everything happened so fast that I still don't understand what happened to me. Even though the midwives took very good care of me, I could do almost nothing at first and had to ask for help with everything."

I came across your site and have come to give my testimony. I think it might help me to talk about it, even though I've already talked about it a lot. I don't mind having my story published anonymously.
I had a C-section on July 15, 2013, for my first baby. The C-section was scheduled because my baby was breech. I had more or less the choice between a vaginal delivery or a C-section, but being primiparous, with a normal pelvis but in the low range, and blood pressure problems, my gynecologist preferred the C-section. From the start, I didn't like the idea of a C-section, because I dreamed of a natural birth, without an epidural. A C-section was the antithesis of what I dreamed of. Nevertheless, I chose a caesarean section, taking into account only the health of my baby, and ignoring my "whim". But it was a reluctant choice. I did everything I could to turn my baby around, but he remained breech. I cried a lot at the end of the pregnancy, thinking about the C-section. I talked about it with my midwife, who was perfect, listened to me and tried to reassure me. I also talked about it with the people around me, but that was very different. For them, it wasn't a big deal and they told me I'd forget everything once I had my baby in my arms.
My fears about this caesarean section weren't physical at all: despite the fact that I'd never had surgery, at no time was I afraid of the operation or the pain. My fears were more psychological: not giving birth, not even knowing what a contraction is, the fact that baby was being forcibly taken out before he was really ready, the separation immediately after birth, not seeing and feeling my baby being born, dad not being there, not experiencing this unique moment for the 3 of us, not being there for my baby in the first few hours of his life, the most important for me, not being able to look after my son in the early days because of the operation... I'm sure I'm forgetting others.
I went into hospital the evening before and was taken to the operating theatre at around 8am the next morning. Despite my expectations, labor hadn't started on its own, so I wouldn't know what a contraction was. Dad was barred from the OR, but fortunately at the last minute he was allowed to attend. Everything goes very quickly, I can see the beginning of the operation in the reflection of the lamp, but then the lamp is turned and I can't see anything. I'm told "here it is already" and I see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing... I'll just feel the gynecologist looking for my placenta. I see my baby for the first time, wrapped up in a blanket. I give him a kiss and the midwife takes him for tests, then takes him back to me 2 minutes before leaving with him. I can't take him in my arms because of the operating field, I can only caress his face and give him kisses. But it's very quick, and I have to take him away quickly, as it's too cold for him in the operating room. I don't realize that this baby they're showing me is mine. I find it hard to be moved... Birth at 9.12am, I have to wait in the recovery room without any news until 2pm, when I'm allowed to go back to my room. But on that day, there were so many births, the midwife didn't have time to look for me right away, so I had to wait until 2:30. That's also why I didn't get any news, because they usually try to give it to the mother. Back in the room, I learn that my baby has been put on a monitor because I took blood pressure medication during my pregnancy. He's going to stay there for 48 hours, so I won't have him with me... I can fetch him whenever I want, but I'm stuck in bed... They're looking for him so I can finally take him in my arms and breastfeed him, almost 6 hours after he was born.
Physically I'm recovering well, and mentally I'm okay too, because I'm not thinking too much. The first night, my baby is on a scope and they have to take him to me for a feed. I woke up at 2 a.m., missing him; they'd probably be taking him away soon. I can't sleep a wink, I'm waiting for my baby. But he doesn't arrive. At 4 a.m., someone comes to give me some medicine in the drip, and I ask for my baby. He's asleep. I won't get him until 7 a.m., when his daddy comes to pick him up, since I'm unable to.
Now, looking back, no, I haven't forgotten everything, quite the contrary. I didn't give birth. I suffered enormously from the separation, first those 6 interminable hours, then those 48 hours of scope. I'm sure my baby also suffered from this separation and I wasn't there for him... Even if I can't help it, I blame myself, I wasn't there, I wasn't able to bring my child into the world, I didn't see or feel anything, I don't deserve to be a mother... The birth of my son should have been the happiest day of my life and in fact it wasn't, not at all. I hate myself for thinking that, but that's how I feel.
They say that a scheduled caesarean is better than an unscheduled one, but for me it's the opposite, I think. I had time to prepare, but I didn't succeed. I still have this regret that it was too brutal for my baby, who wasn't yet ready to come into the world. As for me, the fact that I didn't go into labor meant that I really didn't give birth. As soon as I think of his birth, I cry. I'm unable to read birth stories. When I hear about a friend's or family member's vaginal birth, I spend all day crying, I'm jealous.
I had a hard time with this C-section, both before and after. I know I'll never get over it. I think I'll eventually be able to live with it, but not get over it and definitely not forget it. (August 2013)

 I would like to contribute to this site and express my experience following a scheduled caesarean section for placenta previa. This C-section took place in a level III maternity hospital in 2010.
First of all, I wanted to explain that even though this C-section had been scheduled, I was completely prostrate and stressed right up to the operation (it was my first surgery, by the way), with no psychological help from the gynaecologists other than "resign yourself, we have no choice, we can't know what's going to happen" and the usual, never-ending comments from those around you that end up coming out your nose: "don't complain, it's the baby's life first" or "and then if you have a 2nd pregnancy, will you be able to give birth normally?"or others like "oh my, it's super medicalized, I wouldn't want to go through that, I feel sorry for you, it's going to be difficult" accompanied by a grimace on your face. Anyway...
Dad wasn't admitted to the operating room, but that wasn't a strong claim for us. On the other hand, I do remember all the noises - unpleasant ones, by the way, especially the sound of the retractors, which I still have nightmares about - and the sensations, even though I was concentrating on the baby to ignore all that. The negative points during this birth: the impossibility of touching the baby taken away shortly after its extraction from my belly. I had to insist to the OR team that someone come out to check on me... My emotion when the baby came out was completely denied: "can we know why you're breathing like that?!!". My baby came out grey without a cry and was taken away from me...I didn't even have time to cuddle. I was crying softly on the operating table. Obviously, I was told to stop and manage my emotions, otherwise the tension would build.... What followed was a series of ups and downs: the baby and dad were waiting for me in the intensive care unit dedicated to caesarean sections, but baby was first placed in an incubator (but everything was fine, we assure you, little lady...) with a ban on touching him, and then placed in a cradle (a nurse forbade my husband to unclasp him in order to take him in her arms, the better to show him to me, as we were supposedly too emotional and might drop him on the floor...).In short, there are two of us, completely static, he because he doesn't know where to place himself and is suffering for me, and I because of the caesarean section, which I experienced as a rape, and also because of the severe haemorrhage.... So we're leaning over a cradle where a baby is sleeping, exhausted, without the slightest contact with his parents, after having screamed for a good hour for "first aid", to which dad was only a spectator... A stormy arrival into this world, our child was - it's true - a difficult baby in his 1st year, so much so that he cried, and the first contacts with his mom were also complex: it took me a long time to feel like a complete mother and to take him in my arms serenely. Fortunately, you're not born a mother, you become one, and I was able to cultivate this feeling by working on myself and on our relationship as 2 and then 3 with dad. No psychological support was offered to me after the birth, including a meeting with the surgeon who had operated on me or a psychologist... I had to wait until my second pregnancy to have my operation report explained to me. The post-operative aftermath and my stay in the maternity ward were just as bad: despite this difficult birth, I was urged to get up quite early ("come on, let's get motivated, we've got to get up" - as if a young mother were bedridden because of lack of motivation...) even though I was completely anaemic and had suffered a heavy haemorrhage. I had to ask for a wheelchair to accompany my husband and the nursery team from day 3 onwards. Indeed, the feeling of arriving "after the battle" is very strong, but my husband has the intelligence and complicity to block all visits and to do the minimum service to the outside world before I regain my footing and finally take my place with my child, despite the pain of the scar and the post-operative after-effects. It's up to me to tell my loved ones what I want to say about the birth, while my husband remains silent on the subject. I have to confess that I couldn't begin to talk about what had happened until a long time afterwards... In any case, it was only to be met with reactions like those described in the other posts: don't complain, take it in because everyone's fine, compassion masking holy horror... etc. Only one gynecologist took the time to listen to me "spill my guts", without judging me or making hurtful comments, on the occasion of a routine visit a year after this operation and it's thanks to her that I was able to start turning the page.
Today, in 2012, our child is a handsome, lively, cuddly and mischievous boy who is doing well, and our family is about to be enlarged by two twin brothers. For this 2nd pregnancy, I was left with no choice: it would once again be a scheduled caesarean section, although the reasons for this were clearly explained to me. I experienced this announcement differently: I was a little more philosophical or resigned. Of course, I'm dreading the operation itself, so traumatized was I by my 1st birth. But I've been monitored by the same doctor, who's going to deliver me in a smaller, more humane facility - at least I hope so... And I'm dealing with the sadness, which is nonetheless very present, of an over-medicalized birth and what it implies for my family, my newborns and me. I've informed the entire medical team of my experience and drawn up a birth plan. I feel confident. However, all my experiences mean that, for me, motherhood is defined more by everything that happens before and after the birth than by what happens during it. The moment of childbirth will remain a parenthesis in my life as a woman, the content of which escapes me, and the challenge of which is to survive in the best possible conditions in order to take care of my children afterwards. I avoid thinking too much about this parenthesis; the wound is there, I don't deny it. I just try to live with it. For me, the aim is to avoid it provoking disgust or pain. But I must admit that I cried when I read some of the testimonials, which brought me back to my own experience. Thank you for reading all the way through. I hope that this medical procedure, which often saves lives, will become more humane (Ch., December 2012).

An unforgettable birth... After two scheduled births at 37 and 38 Sa by Caesarean section for breech, I wanted something different for a third birth...
Something other than a surgical procedure, where you forget that it's first and foremost a birth, welcoming this baby you've carried and hoped for for 9 months... Something other than being alone on an operating room table, without your husband, with a furtive glance at your baby before seeing him again 2 hours later... everyone around me was talking about their weekend, their next vacation and I had just given birth to a child by cesarean section!!!!
Long before considering this third child, I knew I wanted haptonomy to accompany and support me, but my husband, the scientist and "Cartesian", had to agree to this adventure. Even though I knew the birth would be by caesarean section, we wanted to experience a "real birth".
My pregnancy confirmed in January 2010, I joined the waiting list for haptonomy sessions, as my husband was keen to embark on this new adventure. We were lucky enough to start early, at 15 sa. I'd been feeling my baby move for 2 or 3 days, but that day was different, it was an "encounter": I discovered that this baby I was carrying inside me was interacting with me, the sensation was quite different from just feeling him move, other emotions emerged, a magical moment... this baby nestled under my hand, then went to nestle under his daddy's hand. My husband was feeling things, but not with the same intensity as me, and it was only after 2 or 3 sessions that he was won over by this very special approach to haptonomy. We wouldn't have missed this appointment with our baby for the world, and even if it required a bit of organization, we were really looking forward to it. Our pregnancy progressed to the rhythm of our meetings and exchanges with our gynecologist, with a few anxieties and fears at times, but supported by our doctor and haptonomy.
I remember another very special session just 2 days before the last ultrasound (around 32 sa). My little girl, like her brothers, was breech and this worried me because of my atcd for congenital hip dislocation. I wanted so much for her to be upside down... after talking it over with Dr G., we worked on the place she occupied in my belly. That day, I felt that she could still do it, that my uterus wasn't so small after all... That evening, back at home, we continued to show her how much room she had, and 2 days later the ultrasound confirmed what I had already sensed: she had turned over.
I've never had sciatica-like pains like I did during my first 2 pregnancies. During contractions, haptonomy showed us how to invite her to position herself differently so that they would be less regular.
The C-section was scheduled for September 13, at 39 hours. In my heart I hoped that my little girl would decide the day of her birth herself.
Then came September 12, when Dr G came to see us to prepare us for the next day's Caesarean section, to invite her to come down, to be born... during the night, I was awakened by a few side-fist pains, which I put down to stress... Monday September 13: I'm being prepared for the Caesarean section. During the insertion of my rachi anesthesia, a violent pain is felt in my belly, but I say nothing. Dr G perceives my nervousness and invites me to focus on my baby. Finally my husband arrives, he sits beside me and holds my hand in that special way, the way you feel he's there, the way that invites the baby to be born, as Dr. G had shown us. As he makes the incision, Dr. G lets us know that our little girl had listened to us, as she had descended, and he even has to bring her back up... so our little girl was ready.
I focus on my sensations and Dr. G's words. My baby is being born, I can feel him slipping out of me, very gently. Then a sneeze, that of Lise, our daughter, the one who had just been born without noise, without screams. Nothing like the extraction of my boys, when I felt as if my insides were being ripped out.
During this time, I forgot about the operating room, the team around us, it was just us and our daughter, who was being born with all the modesty, respect and dignity that should be present at that moment. Even today, when we talk about L.'s birth, we talk about a real birth, with all the emotion that surrounds it, and we forget about the method: Caesarean section. All that remains for me, for us, is the memory of an unforgettable encounter, the extension of a bond already forged during pregnancy (thanks to haptonomy). It was as if we already knew this baby, it was just a matter of discovering his face as well. During the rest of the operation, my daughter remained skin-to-skin with me, I could feel her, discover her, recognize her like an animal giving birth to its young. She's our baby, our daughter. She only leaves me for a few minutes, to be sucked up and held against her dad for a while, before joining me in the recovery room for her first feed. The three of us are here...
Even today, she's a very calm little girl, attentive to everything around her, loving to be touched and caressed. At 14 months, she is still breast-fed;
What we experienced so intensely during this birth, I wish for all parents, is an indescribable feeling of happiness. We don't have enough words to thank Dr. G, our midwife and the rest of the team for respecting our birth plan and accompanying us through such a wonderful moment as the birth of L. (I.S., Dec 2011)

 1st part "before:
I stumbled across your site by chance and was immediately moved and challenged to the depths of my soul. Indeed, it resonates with my experience, or rather with what I've never dared to say, because it's too often trivialized and, above all, not understood. Most of the people around me tell me that a caesarean section is quick, convenient and at least you know when your child is going to be born. But my own experience was quite different, so I told myself that I was the one who was crazy, or almost crazy, for not having "appreciated" the C-section.
I am 35 years old and pregnant with my third child. I'm entering the last month of my pregnancy, at 36 weeks. I already have two wonderful boys. The first was born by caesarean section because he was breech. The only problem was that he flipped over at 36 weeks, because before that I had no idea he was head up and I wasn't at all prepared for the possibility of a C-section. The genycologist who saw me explained the possibility of a version, but with the pain and risks he told me about, I preferred not to opt for this solution and let nature take its course. The C-section was scheduled for a week later. I received a summons in the mail telling me the time and date I had to return to the hospital and the date of my baby's birth. I left the appointment in tears, devastated. I told myself that I was already a bad mother, incapable of carrying on a normal pregnancy to the end and giving birth.....
My first son is now 5 years old, but it took me a long time to recover from this ordeal, because for me a Caesarean section is a medical operation where they rip your child out of your womb, but certainly not a birth. I didn't even touch him; he was taken in and cared for straight away. Fortunately, his dad stayed with him the whole time. As for me, I had to wait an interminable time for myself in the recovery room, and I didn't have my child with me until a good 2 hours later for the first contact. The relationship was affected. My child always cried a lot for the first 6 days of life, and I had a very long baby blues. Not to mention the pain of not being able to take care of baby on my own and so on..................Not to mention my son's respiratory problems, which you also mentioned on your site.
Two years later, I gave birth to my second son by vaginal delivery!!!! Once again, even though everything was normal, the doctors strongly advised me to have a caesarean, claiming that it was dangerous because of the thickness of the scar, and my two boys are 18 months apart.
After further tests, everything revealed that I could safely give birth vaginally, so I made the decision to do so. I spent 17 hours in the delivery room (in total at the hospital) until my child was born. I saw it all in that delivery room, failed epidurals, painful contractions, vomiting and more, but I wouldn't trade that moment for a C-section for anything in the world. At the moment of the explusion and when they put your child on your belly, this warmth, this emotion and the medical staff leave you for a good while with your child and his dad, an intense moment for the three of you; you forget everything, you forget the pain, the tearing, everything, everything. and nothing is more magical in the world......... The relationship with my second child was immediately experienced differently. I was able to get up and take care of myself without any help or dependence on the nurses.
Today, at 36 weeks of pregnancy, I know that my child had his head up at the last ultrasound. I have an appointment in a week's time to see how things are going...... to be continued
But I'm very apprehensive about another C-section.................In any case, I know I'll be asking a lot of questions to prepare myself as best I can........
Thank you so much for listening, and I hope that my testimonial will help to lift the taboo surrounding Caesarean sections........

Part 2 "after:
a few weeks ago i discovered your site and told you about my first experience..... so this is the end of my story, my experience...... it was with great emotion that my third son was born on august 23, a beautiful baby weighing 3kg720 and measuring 51 cm, to our great joy he came to enlarge the family. his two brothers are delighted and would have liked to play soccer with him straight away.......
a caesarean section proved necessary, as the risk of intrauterine rupture was too great, the baby being estimated at 3kg800 and given the size of my scar. in the end, it was i who decided to fix it, as with the different doctors i saw on several occasions, no one ever agreed, depending on the person in front of you, opinions differ and you don't know what to trust anymore.... the last part of my pregnancy was confusing and really destabilizing.
there's no consistency within the medical profession, opinions change at every appointment, they don't leave you in peace, I've had I don't know how many appointments, once for this, once for that, in short, as long as you've already had a caesarean, they never let you go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at first, I really didn't understand why, since despite my first c-section, I'd been able to have a vaginal delivery for my second child for my third, I didn't see things any other way, but finally, after having been to a last appointment where the genycologist, who was very brutal, spoke to me of the death of my baby or of myself because rupture was possible given my scar and the estimated piods of the baby, I therefore chose to fix this c-section to finally be at peace. 
because otherwise we could have waited until term and the c-section would have been scheduled anyway. so we scheduled it for 39 weeks and 4 days.
the c-section itself was a completely different experience. the baby was a beautiful baby, so i was right not to take any risks. in any case, things had been presented to me in such a brutal way that it would have been impossible to make any other decision. that's why i find the lack of consistency and follow-up unacceptable, but my experience this time was marvellous. i was shown my baby straight away, my husband and i discovered the sex of our child together, with tears in our eyes. i was able to touch him, see him, smell him. then in the recovery room, my husband and child were by my side the whole time. the medical staff were very attentive, empathetic and always respectful........... this time the caesarean was a birth, a real encounter with my son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the day after my caesarean, I was already up and about....... and my spirits were high!!!!!!!
today, looking at this little being, i have no regrets. i've had three beautiful children, each with a different and unexpected experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i think that's the message i'd like to pass on. despite a painful first c-section, i was able to have a vaginal delivery, and then another extraordinary c-section. every child is unique, every birth is different because every woman has her own body, her own heart, her own experience and her own story - and that's what i'd like to share with you!
 the most important thing is to live in harmony with oneself, to express oneself and to fight for one's convictions ........ but I could never have imagined writing this one day, but a caesarean section may be necessary is a magnificent encounter and birth in itself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(C.A., July and September 2011)

 For my 1st child, the vaginal delivery went badly! He was stuck for 20 minutes before the doctors decided to use forceps to "help" me. I was often told afterwards that I had NOT PUSHED! I had a very hard time "digesting" the birth, wondering all the time what I'd done wrong to make him come out all purple...
In my 2nd pregnancy, the gynecologist took an x-ray of my pelvis to find out what was wrong and told me that even a small baby would not fit through, that it was missing 1.5 cm... So it wasn't my fault! He then announced a caesarean section, but the appointment was short-lived as I fainted! On Tuesday January 26, 2010, I received a call from the hospital secretary who told me that I'd be returning to the hospital on Wednesday January 27 at 5 p.m. for a C-section at 9 a.m. on Thursday January 28! No time to cash in, I pack my bags and off I go. At 9am on Thursday, I was taken down to the operating room, my baby was taken out and left without me having seen him... I was told he was too cold and that's why he'd been taken away! Once he's all bundled up, they ask me if I want to see him for 2 minutes before they take him up to his warm father, and I say yes. He's so covered up (hat, blanket...) that all I can see is his little nose, eyes and mouth. I'm moved, tears are flowing. The nursery nurse, not knowing what to do, takes him upstairs to see his father. I stayed alone in the recovery room for 2 long hours before going back up to my room, where I discovered my baby, skin-to-skin with his dad. Stunned, I saw that he had very dark hair! I felt completely helpless! I had "missed" details about my baby, I hadn't taken him out, I hadn't taken advantage of him straight away... For 2 days, I was left "connected" to an infusion, a urinary catheter... so I couldn't even get up to change my baby! Afterwards, I find it hard to turn around to hold my baby in his crib and breastfeed him, I can't sleep because I'm in so much pain... Everyone tells me that at least everything's fine, that I didn't have the pain of contractions! 3 months after the birth, I try to tell myself that it's better, that he didn't suffer, that he's healthy... but I feel that something isn't right! That something was that I was experiencing depression due to this C-section "overnight"! So I went to see a psychologist who helped me come to terms with what had happened to me. It took me several days to realize that I'd given birth effortlessly, and several weeks to resume normal activity without wincing in pain!
Today, pregnant with my 3rd child, 17 days after my second caesarean section, I'm not dreading the medical procedure but the return home! I'm very afraid of the pain that has prevented me from moving properly! But I know that without a C-section, I wouldn't have had the family I've always dreamed of... (S.M., June 2011)

"I felt so helpless and dependent after the C-section ...."


 I dreamt of giving birth without an epidural, a natural birth, several hours in labor. I dreamt of feeling my baby come out. I dreamt of seeing my partner cut the cord. I dreamt... After 8 haptonomy sessions, a homeopathic treatment to prepare for labor, 38 weeks of pregnancy with no real problems, the verdict fell on us... Baby remains too high, pelvic X-ray to see what's going on... "2 measures too small" the nurse told me, "but don't worry, the decision will be made by your gynecologist." As we leave this appointment, we prepare ourselves for it anyway, so as not to wait for the final verdict. We tell ourselves that it's no big deal, that we'll have a "beautiful" baby straight away, that it'll be scheduled, that we won't have to go to the hospital in a hurry (which is 45 minutes from our house without too much traffic), especially given the weather at the moment. It's Wednesday, December 8... The stress is mounting, we have an appointment with the gynecologist on Friday, we're nearing full term and nothing's moving... Here we are, despite the few hours of discussions with my partner, I tell him that if the gynecologist tells me it's going to be a C-section, I might cry. Here we are in her office, the usual questions, nothing has changed since last week (and yes, I've been going to her office once or twice a week for the past 5 weeks). She looks at the results of the X-ray: "We're going to have to do a caesarean section, I can't take any chances, there's 2cm missing if I leave you like this and labor starts, we might have to do an emergency operation"... I'd warned her... The tears start to flow! As she says to me, "It's not serious, a C-section if I leave you like this, baby will be in pain, we'll have to use forceps, there's a risk of you tearing and, in the end, an emergency C-section. I prefer to plan ahead. For other pregnancies, it'll be a C-section too, of course! The verdict was in and the appointment was made... Between the excitement of knowing that our baby would be here at 10am on Monday and the disappointment of knowing that "my dream" had fallen through, I was lost. My partner is with me, lost too. He knows that he won't be with me, that he won't cut the cord... I went into hospital on Sunday evening, and on Monday morning, after a sleepless night, the nurses arrived and said to me: "We'll put the catheter in you, and then we'll head for the delivery ward for the monito with your Caesarean section. Cheer up, baby will be here soon! It all seems surreal to me, in a maternity ward, isn't this really hospitalization? I feel so bad, I'm scared, I'm in pain. What's going to happen? What if it hurts too much? What about at home? So many questions that still have no real answers... I wasn't able to see my son directly, I saw him for 3 seconds, he was taken away to be measured, weighed... He was brought back to me for 30 seconds while they moved me the compresses and got me ready to be stitched up. My baby's gone again, I know he's warm against his daddy's skin, but I feel sick, I'm alone... Everything's spinning around me, tears are flowing, I'm short of breath... What's happening to me??? The nurse assures me that it's the backlash... I wait, I cry... I'm happy that my little guy is finally here in our arms (well, not mine yet), but today, almost 4 weeks later, I still feel like I haven't given birth. I've gone from pregnant to not pregnant, from a big belly full of life to a limp, empty belly. My son is full of life and in great shape, but my morale has taken a hit. I couldn't take care of my baby on the first day, as I was in bed and still under the effect of the anaesthetic. The next day, first bath, without me, I'm too sick... I lost the first 2 days of my little one. Even if I'd have many more, the first times were important to me... Breastfeeding, the only thing I've got... But that's failing too! I can't take it anymore, I have to stop. The dream is completely over! I feel like I've missed something, like I haven't given birth at all. Everyone's telling me "but the baby's fine, that's the main thing, isn't it? Of course it's the main thing! But that doesn't stop me from having this feeling of unfinished business... A pain that's both physical and moral. As soon as I broach the subject I can't stop crying, hoping that everything will pass in time... I'd like to "forget" this moment, but the scar will always be there to remind me that my happiness wasn't born naturally! Ever since my son was born, I've been unable to put him in the arms of grandparents or anyone else. I have the impression that if I keep him for myself I'll be able to "make up" for the 2 days I've lost, that he'll know that despite my despair I love him more than anything. I need to work on myself to be able to "leave" him, but I'm too afraid... Afraid of what, I don't know... I'm a bit lost, I want to keep my son for myself and my partner and for no one else... What should I do? Will things work out? I feel alone in this situation, I feel misunderstood... (J.A., January 2011)

 My baby was breech (1st pregnancy). I postponed the operation several times to give birth vaginally, but my water didn't break until it was time to go to the operating room (at term +4). Today, 3 months after the birth of my ray of sunshine, I'm still finding it very hard to accept this "botched" birth. But I'm not downhearted about a second child...
("émilie 68", April 2008)

 In August 2008, I posted a message to tell you about my first 2 caesarean sections. I was almost 4 months pregnant at the time. On February 10, 2009, I had my third C-section, 13 years later, and I have to say that it's night and day compared to the first 2 times!  
First of all, the visit with the anaesthetist, 15 days before the due date, gave me total confidence. He explained to me, with diagrams, what was going to happen. I wanted a partial caesarean to experience the birth of my third child. He also took into account my fear of pain by setting me up with a "program" of pre- and post-operative painkillers. This was very important for me, because my first two experiences were nightmarish! I left the consultation reassured and confident.  
On the morning of February 10, after a night at the clinic, I was taken to the operating room. The atmosphere was relaxed, the OR nurses smiling and friendly. The anaesthetist arrived. He first pricked my back to desensitize the area, so that I wouldn't feel the "real" prick, the one that would anesthetize my whole lower body. As he went along, he explained what he was going to do, preparing me for what I was going to feel so that I wouldn't panic or make any sudden movements of surprise. It wasn't long before I couldn't feel my legs, first a warm numbness, then cold, then no sensation at all. My obstetrician and pediatrician arrived. We talked about the procedure while they set up the drape in front of me (so I couldn't see the operation). It was an incredible feeling! To talk to the surgeon while he's delivering your child...! They too were explaining what they were doing. Then, the pediatrician starts laughing and says: "ha! now we know it's working properly!" All the OR staff laughed: when I took my baby out of my belly, he peed on her! The anaesthetist then untied one of my arms and the paediatrician put my son on me... I'll never forget that moment... his first cry, his first look, and to feel him on top of me, even though I hadn't seen my first two born... There are no words strong enough to describe that moment.
Then they "closed me up". They took my son for first aid, and I went up to the recovery room. There was no pain. Sensitivity in my legs returned very quickly. Two hours later I was in my room, with my son and husband, with no pain! They were already putting something in my IV for the pain.  
I can't say I felt absolutely nothing, that would be lying. But compared to the first two times, it was quite bearable. And knowing that they wouldn't refuse to give me painkillers must have played a big part in my apprehension. The evolution of pain management is incredible. I feel like I've gone from the Middle Ages to modern times!  
My only regret is that my husband had to stay on the other side of the door. He couldn't be in the OR with me. But he held his son in his arms as soon as the nurse came through the door. My baby is now 3 1/2 months old and in great shape. My scar is very fine, I have no more pain, and Life is beautiful! (V.-I., May 2009)

 I offer you my testimony and you can publish it if you find it relevant of course. I had my daughter by C-section three months ago. She presented by the feet and a natural birth was practically impossible. I then tried an assisted version, which didn't work. I went through ultrasounds right up to the last week, hoping until the day before the operation that she would decide on her own to turn over. I was really scared, not of the operation but of what would happen afterwards. I was afraid of not being able to look after my daughter, of not being aware of all the precious moments because of the medication, and above all of being in a lot of pain. I decided to accept what life threw at me, because there was nothing I could do about it. After 3 years of infertility treatment, a miscarriage and many little problems during my pregnancy, I was too close to the goal to take the risk that something might happen to my little flea. So, on the day of the operation, I arrived at the hospital overexcited, I couldn't wait. The operation went very smoothly, I'd even say in exemplary fashion: in less than 15 minutes my daughter was born. My husband was by my side, and he even got up to see our daughter come out of my belly, screaming loudly. A nurse took my camera to immortalize the moment, and the anaesthetist told me all about the procedure in detail. The whole team (there were a lot of people) was in a good mood, the atmosphere was almost festive, they were joking and laughing. I got to see my daughter for a few minutes, gave her a hug and then left with her father. Sure, I would have liked to take my daughter in my arms and nurse her right away, I would have liked to keep her with me longer, but at least I knew she was safe with her father. I was in recovery for an hour, which was without doubt the longest hour of my life. A nurse was kind enough to call and tell me her weight and height. I really began my love affair with my daughter when I got to my room and was finally able to hold her in my arms. I'd asked the family not to be at the hospital, so I could get to know my daughter alone in peace, as if I'd been in the delivery room. Surprisingly, I recovered quickly from my C-section; the next day I was already walking, had no difficulty moving around and no trouble looking after my daughter. The nurses were surprised at how quickly I recovered. I was discharged earlier than expected and hardly needed any painkillers. It was a lot easier than I thought. I hope to have a natural birth with my next child, but if that's not possible, it won't be as bad as all that. We shouldn't feel any less of a woman because we weren't able to give birth like others. We had the joy of carrying a child, and in the end that's all that matters. To hell with those who don't understand, who have prejudices or who denigrate our childbirth. I wanted my daughter, I carried her, I'm a 100% mother and I feel like a woman. I gave birth. I would have liked to add that, as in any operation, you have the right to choose your surgeon. Mine was very meticulous. He didn't use staples and he did internal stitches. In other words, you don't see any stitches, just a tiny line. Good luck to anyone going through this (C.G., September 2008).

Hello everyone! ...Despite the POST-caesarean testimonials, mine is that of a PRE-caesarean... I have an appointment on October 2 and it's September 29, 08.  
This is my first pregnancy. I'm 31 and my baby is breech. I've tried everything, acupuncture, osteopathy, homeopathy, versions... nothing has helped. She's 2 to 3 cm from going around but something's stopping her.  
All the frustrations I read in your testimonials are identical to the ones that have been running through my mind ever since I found out I was going to be caesareanized.  
They wanted to do it 2 weeks before term, I still wanted to give her a chance and pushed it back to 4 days before term. Maybe she'll turn again by tomorrow or Wednesday, after which it'll be too late.  
I didn't know you could lose feeling in your belly for life, or that the post-operative pain could be so severe. It's true, they don't explain anything to you. It's almost like ordering a cab. Here we are, giving you a spinal (anaesthetic, comparable to an epidural, H.E.) and then waking up and having your baby. Period.  
Like you, I'm quite disappointed and feel trapped. In France, breech deliveries are done, but here nobody dares to take the risk. Why is this? Are there really any contraindications, or is it just a comfortable solution for doctors? How to find out...  
Of course, everyone always repeats "as long as everything's going well for both of them", but not everything's going well for her psycho, her body and her husband's view of a future scar that will remain an unwanted gash. Selfish? unrealistic, because health also depends on morale, and that's taking a serious hit right now. I dread this C-section, I even hate it, but I have to accept it, and I also wanted to send you my testimony before going through it. Kisses to you all.  
NB: you can publish this testimony and thank you for understanding us by making this site available to us, thank you from the bottom of my heart... (pseudo: Tenkiss, September 2008)

I found out I was pregnant in June 2015, I was 23, everything was going well; in September my gynecologist did the morphological ultrasound: he told us it was a little boy, we were so happy and then the tragedy, he told us our son had a diaphragmatic hernia, a real bombshell!!! We had to go from one hospital to another, and I suffered enormously. The due date was February 1, 2016, but due to his health problems, we had to induce early. I went into hospital on January 14, 2016 to give birth on January 15. After 17h of labor, emergency c-section, baby had respiratory failure, umbilical cord 2x around his neck, I was tired but what a relief to have heard him cry. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see him, so they took him straight to the NICU. I thought it was all over, so they told my partner to go to my room and I'd go to the recovery room... the worst happened: hemorrhaging, 2x surgery in addition to the C-section, 14 bags of blood, I ended up in intensive care and saw my son for the first time when he was 2 days old... what I had is called placenta accreta. This story is about 3 years old and the fact that they had to remove my uterus, I'm missing a part of myself, my first and last child .... let's not talk about the caesarean, because of that I still have a little belly that complexes me and this scar ... thank you for creating this page (E.V., Dec. 18)

 I'd also like to tell you about the excruciating birth I went through. Today it's been 8 months and I'm slowly recovering. I had an idyllic pregnancy. My water broke at 39 weeks. I was lying on the bed with my partner and it was a very special feeling, like a balloon bursting all over my body. My first reaction was to scream and jump out of bed and say: "That's it, my water has broken. I was anxious, lost and scared. It was the unknown for me. I was only 17 and a half. I arrived at the hospital at 9.30pm. I was taken care of immediately. My cervix was dilated to 2 ctm. They put me in a delivery room at around 3am. I was in excruciating pain and then they told me they could give you an epidural, but the problem was that this bunch of incompetents didn't succeed: they pricked me more than 10 times and called in more than 3 doctors. After that, my cervix wouldn't dilate, so they gave me a drug to induce labor. But the problem was that my cervix was too narrow, so my daughter was trying to get out, but she was getting stuck inside. So after several hours of waiting and suffering, my daughter's heart started to race, and at 7:30 they took me to the OR for an emergency C-section. And then the nightmare began... I was so scared, I was trembling, I was alone... they put a mask on me, they pricked me but I felt the pain again and again, for over an hour I felt everything that was happening... I begged them to stop! My daughter came into the world at 8.13am, but unfortunately I didn't get to see her because I had a haemorrhage: my uterus couldn't hold any more, so they put clips and screws in... And then the black hole: my heart had stopped, I went into cardiac arrest and woke up in the intensive care unit... I spent almost 5 hours without seeing my baby, my better half, my angel... And then I was finally able to hold her close to me. I was on morphine for 3 days. I can tell you that they're really incompetent, heartless people who don't love their job, it's not possible any other way.
I was in hospital for 10 days, and those 10 days were the worst nightmare of my life. They put me through hell, treating me like a nobody. They didn't give a damn about my pain and grief... one example among many: I had a bladder leak because I was in so much pain I couldn't get up to go to the toilet, it took them over 3 hours to come and change me despite several reminders and they told me "you don't feel like pissing anymore, you're 90 years old", that's the kind of person they are... it was hard for me to get up from all that.... And maybe my daughter will be the last, because I'm not sure I can have any more children. If only they hadn't induced labor and fatigued my uterus, knowing that in any case it wouldn't pass... none of this would have happened... I was lucky to have had a great family. I thank God with all my heart for giving me my daughter, my treasure, the one I love with all my heart and for the rest of my life... (M.M., Sept 2015)

"The C-section was like a steamroller that went over my head."

Good evening, I'm taking the plunge... This is the first time I'm telling you about the birth of my little girl... I got pregnant very quickly after stopping the pill, what a joy! I had a perfect pregnancy, no nausea, not much weight gain, and I gambolled proudly all day long! Then at 38 her appointment with my gynecologist for a monitoring (with him we're all entitled to one a week) my placental functions weren't top notch, so he directed me to the emergency room for another monito in the afternoon... Well, we left the house with my husband a little stressed... 2 hours later the diagnosis came down: induction... I felt terrible, as if I hadn't succeeded in completing my pregnancy... So we went home for our "last evening" together! Finally, the hospital called: induction at 7 p.m... The contractions started right away and lasted for 17 hours before I had the epidural. I was trying to contain myself, take a shower, etc. I hadn't even managed to finish my pregnancy, so I wasn't about to deprive us of a magical moment either! I had my peri IN FINALLY! Happiness and relief, I settle down for a nap, my husband leaves to eat, open with 2 fingers, he could have! But no, the gynecologist came into the room, hop, hop, emergency cesa, the fetal rhythm is no longer good at all... My husband comes running back, not even time for a kiss, and I'm far from him, alone, trying not to cry... 20 minutes later I see my princess, as if torn from me, but who is making herself heard from behind the operating field... I'm introduced to her on the shoulder, given a look and a cuddle, then he takes her to dry off with one last kiss and she leaves with her daddy... I go into recovery and they give me 4 sedatives, I can't stop shaking, I'm sad, tired, empty, scared and above all, alone!!! 3 hours later I'm back in my room, and at last I can see my two sweethearts... But I feel like I've "missed out" on everything. I'm back home very quickly, breastfeeding is going wonderfully well, but I can't look at or touch my scar. It's been two months, and I feel like I've missed out on a part of my life, that I'm not a full-fledged woman... A mother, yes, but one who blames herself for not having been there for her child, to accompany him through his first hours of life with us. I just didn't manage to finish my pregnancy or my delivery... It's very hard to live with, and the comments from the people around me don't help either: "Oh, but you still don't know what it's like to give birth..." "Aline's fine and you're fine too..." "I'm so happy! "Aline is fine and you too, what more do you want? Sometimes I feel like answering that what I want is for people to tell me that I've done a good job, to recognize that it's not a trivial thing and that minimizing everything keeps the pain alive, and I'd give anything to be able to live with my daughter in her first minutes of life...
Thank you for allowing us to talk about this without judgment or comment! Of course you can publish my testimony! (F.C., May 2014)

 Hello. I'm 24 and this is my story.
I got pregnant in January, it was my first pregnancy and I couldn't wait to see this baby. But here I was until 40SA' no pain, nothing at all. She didn't seem to want to come out. My midwife put a tablet under my tongue to induce labor and let me go home with instructions to come back if labor really started. All day long' I had no significant pain, and no matter how much I walked, there was nothing I could do to speed up labor. That night' I slept like a baby. The next day I went to the hospital because I couldn't feel my baby moving as usual. They reassured me that she was fine after listening to her heartbeat, and they kept me there at the same time. Another day went by and the pain had increased, but it still wasn't there. I was only 1cm away. The next morning I was put on oxytocin. The pain was excruciating
and my collar wouldn't open properly. They said I had a lazy collar. I couldn't eat or drink and I was falling down from exhaustion. I was exhausted. The child's heartbeat was monitored frequently and everything was normal. As it was taking so long, my water broke. It wasn't until 6 p.m. that I was taken to the delivery room, but I was too exhausted to do anything. No matter how hard I pushed, the baby wouldn't come out, even with the help of the vacuum. I was rushed to the operating room. The anaesthetic was a relief for me. As soon as the pain disappeared, I fell asleep. I woke up in intensive care. I had made a 4.5 kg baby girl who was in the NICU. That night, I had lost a lot of blood and they had massaged my uterus to evacuate all the blood clots. The next morning, I was transferred to my room. As soon as I was settled in, I asked to see my daughter. My husband took me to see her. The nurses told me that she was having trouble breathing and was staying on oxygen. I couldn't spend a minute with her, and they were already taking me out. I couldn't even give her a hug. I went back to my room, all worried. She had been resuscitated because she had absorbed meconium, they told me. My daughter died that evening. A day after she was born. I was devastated. I told myself that if they'd operated on me earlier ' I'd have my daughter in my arms right now. My husband and I decided that the next ones would be by Caesarean section, and as soon as possible. Of course' the physical pain is great after the operation but I think it would be more bearable if we had our child in our arms. It's a shame I can't get pregnant again straight away' the operation means I have to wait at least a year. How far away that is. Nothing will ease my pain except holding my child in my arms. For me, a caesarean section is not a trauma, but a natural birth is. Thank you. (E.K, October 2013)

The hardest part was that the baby was taken away straight away to the neonatal unit and I didn't get to see him straight away.

I'd like to share with you my experience of my emergency cesarean section: I went into hospital in the evening at around 9:30 p.m., 4 cm dilated. 1 hour later, dilated to 10 (as with my second child, which went very well without an epidural), contractions not too bad, mostly shaking, so no epidural yet. The midwife checks, because the baby had probably trapped a nerve, giving me mini cramps in my right leg, and she feels the tip of the baby's nose. She called in the gynaecologist, who confirmed the midwife's diagnosis: the baby was coming frontally. For more than half an hour, he tried to put the baby back in the right cranial direction, but the baby didn't want to and was beginning to suffer respiratory failure, so there was no choice: emergency cesa. The operating room had been notified in advance, and I went to the operating room with the midwife, who was holding the baby so that it wouldn't go down. I was quickly put to sleep under general anaesthetic and woke up at around 3.30 am, then in the morning with a somewhat reassured father and a little girl who was born at 12.23 am. It was all very, very painful, but a joy when I saw my little Gaëlle in good health. I had a lot of emotions two days later, but I told myself that now the hardest part was over and that I knew that for a few days I would be able to move around with a lot of pain and sorrow, but with the help of a good team at the maternity hospital. She was born on September 4, 2012 for the start of the new school year, today is the 17th and I'm getting better and better, still quite painful the scar, especially at night to get up but a quiet little girl. I didn't experience the caesarean section like other moms with epidurals, I don't know if I regret it or not for not asking for an epidural, it happened like that very quickly and now a page has been turned and another is just beginning with my flea. (VBQAQ, September 2012)


 I've been browsing the testimonials on your site for several months now. I wanted to thank you for keeping these pages up to date. I discovered you in 2008, a few months after the birth of my first child, born in November 2007 by emergency C-section. At the time, I cried almost every day at the injustice that had been done to me. I came to your site to read testimonials that were almost identical to mine. The wound was raw.
Today, I'm finally here to share my story, because after the birth of my second child in October 2011, also by caesarean section, I'd like to share my double experience.
I've tested two maternity hospitals over the past 5 years, one a Level III, impersonal medical factory, the other a Level I, friendly to babies and moms. I met several types of midwife: the bitter, the jaded, the overbooked, the inattentive, the unpleasant... and the others: passionate, respectful, human, full of empathy and not without a sense of humor.
My first son, S., was a big baby, estimated at over 4 kg at term. We were allowed to go 7 days past term despite this "macrosomic" baby (I hate that word). Every time I mentioned my fear of a C-section, I was told "there's no reason...". And yet... I came home the day before for an induction, and went into labor spontaneously on Friday at 9pm. I was alone in my hospital room, far from my image of a maternity ward departure mixed with stress and joy. Monitoring, touch: dilation at 3. I'm taken down to the delivery room, dilated to 4. Barely enough time to tell daddy. 11.45pm: epidural. I didn't want one, but the strong contractions followed one another without pause (even the anaesthetist couldn't find a moment to pause for the epidural). In just a few seconds, the epidural took effect (I was told it would take 1/4h... I was later told it was the wrong dosage). And then I was told "fine, it's midnight, you can sleep". I can't believe it! They leave us. The contractions almost stop. We're told that this is normal (normal?) "take the opportunity to rest...". And then, the labor that had been going on painfully, but rapidly, slows down. I'm lying down, my legs totally inert. People come to see me every hour. I'm nowhere near the birth I thought I'd have (let alone the one I'd idealized...). But we trust each other... At 9am, the team changes. The midwife examines me, has me examined and re-examines me. I'd been dilated to 9, almost 10 (despite that damn peri) for 2 hours. And then the final straw... The word rang out: Caesarean section. It was impossible to negotiate anything. "You've been in labor for 12 hours, heartbeat a little irregular, hospital protocol...". I burst into tears. For 12 hours, nothing had been done to help my baby descend, and this is what I was offered on arrival. A student midwife shaved my nose 2 cm from my genitals, without a word, without compassion or modesty. I return to the operating room, devastated. Fortunately, Dad is there. The anesthetist pumps me full of tranquilizers. I hear comments that may be harmless, but that hurt me, like "oh, that belly you've got!", "Oh la la, those shoulders, it could never have passed!". My little boy is born at 10:01. He is shown to me and taken away. I won't be able to hold him in my arms until 2pm. They just brought him to me to nurse in the recovery room. He doesn't suck, he screams. They take him away from me after a few seconds. So out of it, all I saw was a clean, dressed baby (is that my son?) that the nurses passed from arm to arm (what about me?). Even my husband is persona non grata. He wanders the corridors. Forbidden to come and see me, forbidden to see his son. The rest is self-explanatory: pain, obvious guilt for not taking care of S., pain, feeling of stolen childbirth, pain, tears. I come across a cold, almost nasty midwife. I ask for a pillow: she doesn't have one for me. She forces my breast into S's mouth. My scar isn't cleaned daily (!!!)... I'm allergic to staples. The night shift doesn't take over: "What, you don't get up to change your son?!" ; "ah, well no, Cesa, you stay in bed...". The staff contradict each other from one visit to the next... And the list goes on... Everything hurts, the scar and everything else. They're talking about an operation, not childbirth... It's hard to feel like a young mother... I can't stand the endless visits. I don't dare say no... I left the maternity ward after 5 days. All hell broke loose. S. cries all the time. I get a scar infection. Breastfeeding becomes a battle that I lose. I give up. My husband loses his temper, my marriage is in trouble. My parents lock themselves away in incomprehension: the famous "what the hell are you crying about! I see a shrink: a catastrophe. After 3 sessions, he tells me it's my fault: I thought too much about the C-section, that's why my delivery didn't work. I couldn't believe it... I slammed the door. For months, I closed in on myself, couldn't stand my girlfriends and their perfect births. I envy their episio. I hate my belly. I feel terribly alone. I don't talk to anyone about it anymore. S. is a beautiful little man. Life goes on.
Despite everything, I want a second child and am holding on to the possibility of a vaginal delivery. February 2011, it took me a long time to make up my mind. The father too... Second baby on the way. My gynecologist is optimistic: barring a large baby, vaginal delivery is a possibility. Second ultrasound, measuring. The verdict was in: a boy, as big as his brother. Scarred uterus, inevitable Caesarean section. And then it all began again. A dizzy spell, a fall in the past months. I relive it all, still strong and painful. And I'm apprehensive. My gynecologist is perplexed, he doesn't understand my distress. I've changed maternity hospitals in the meantime. I left an ultra-modern baby factory for a small, old-fashioned but welcoming maternity hospital. He assures me that things will be different in this maternity hospital. But how can I trust him? "I don't want to go through that again" is all I can manage to articulate.
He sends me to see the department's midwives. I talk to one of them, V., for 2 hours. I tell her, in tears, about the non-birth of my son and the separation. My husband and I evacuate a lot of things in this exchange. Here, at least, there's a listening ear, advice and support. The liberal midwife I see for my preparation classes knows me well, and recognizes that I really haven't had a chance for S. She listens to me, advises me, tries to make me feel better. She tells me "you'll see, in this maternity hospital, they love babies and moms". I have to trust her.
The C-section is scheduled. I have to get used to it. Nobody knows except a few friends and my sister. I protect myself from remarks and reflections. I cry a lot. I see the midwives again. I bring out everything I've remembered for almost 4 years. I imagine that everything will happen the same way. Everyone tries to reassure me. Nothing works. I see a psychiatrist on V's advice. The sessions are conducted with respect and full listening. She acts as a link with the maternity hospital. It's good to have someone to talk to who doesn't judge you!
As the end approaches, I throw myself wholeheartedly into the preparations, my way of keeping my mind occupied... On the big day, V. the midwife will be there. A good sign, I'm told. I meet the anaesthetist. He shares my opinion: the epidural for my first was badly dosed, much too strong, and labor could not proceed properly. Add to that the famous gynecological position... As for the rest...
I return to the maternity ward on Thursday evening. The C-section is scheduled for 8:30 the next day. Everyone knows what's going on and is attentive and reassuring. Betadine shower, gown change. Anxiety mounts. They hold my hand. Off to the operating room. Arrival in a freezing room. I'm pampered, warmed and reassured. The anaesthetist performs the spinal anaesthesia, whistling. V. is there, wiping away my tears, holding my hand while I wait for my husband. I'm scared, and despite the rachi, I feel everything. It's normal, I'm told, only the pain is suppressed, the sensations remain. We're late, but that's okay. They begin quietly and calmly. V. talks to me, describing what they're doing. She tells me to talk to T., who's on his way. She's still holding my hand. And then, at 9:25, they lower the operating field, just as I wanted (I'd been able to say what I expected from this birth), and I see the cord and my baby. V. lays him against me. He's sticky, he's warm, he's screaming. I'll never forget this moment. I can talk to him, kiss him, caress him. He leaves for a few moments to be cared for. He's brought back to me almost immediately, while I'm stitched up (no staples this time, I warned). V. puts him on my chest, just as I wanted. T. starts suckling, just as I'd dreamed. Off to the recovery room. I'm alone, the first of the day. T. and his dad can stay with me (as I'd hoped), under the discreet gaze of V. For almost an hour we're together. T. nurses as long as he can. Someone else arrives in the recovery room. T. and his dad leave for 1 hour of skin-to-skin (my son won't be left alone this time...). When I'm taken back to the room, they're both asleep, warm under a blanket. We worry about my pain, and manage it. They make me comfortable, and I feel like I'm dreaming. V. visits me regularly. My gynecologist also stops by (not like the other one...), and even the psychiatrist comes to check on my morale. I've forbidden visits (too bad for the moaners!). I can enjoy T. as I like, manage his feedings and keep him skin-to-skin. Everything I'd been forbidden to do and everything I'd forbidden myself to do is now allowed. Skin-to-skin, rapid latching on, almost constant contact. I asked for the maximum, they did it, and even a little more. The rest is obvious. The pain is there, but so is my morale, and I'm hanging in there. On Sundays, I can look after T. practically on my own. The staff are very attentive, available, friendly and present. Back home after 5 days. I'm having a ball. Breastfeeding OK, T. is a zen baby, calm and at ease.
They were all right, it could only be different, only better. I'm well aware that the scheduled nature of this second caesarean section may have enabled me to prepare for it and talk about it. But the "urgent" nature of the first one shouldn't have taken all the humanity out of this medical act. Because my 2 babies were doing well, and one spent his first 4 hours of life alone, while his little brother was immediately in contact with his mom and dad. Two very different beginnings in life...
T. is 7 months old today. I'll never forget what I went through in November 2007, but I'll never forget what I was given in October 2011. I was given what was most important to me. I'm finally realizing it. It's not so much giving birth that I missed, even if the frustration persists and remains for these 2 births, it's the fact of not having been able to welcome S. and not having felt like a mother. With the birth of T., I felt like (re)becoming Mom, immediately. And even though I still hate this (double) scar so much, today I'm serene.
I could have written many more lines, all those details to be forgotten or savored that come back and persist... If you think my story can appear alongside the other testimonials on your site, if you think it can help future or young mothers, then please publish it. If not, I thank you a second time, because writing these words adds a little more to my relief and "healing". You passionate midwives are wonderful people.
(C.S., May 2012)

 Thank you for such a well-done site that puts words to my troubles. I don't really know where to start, I have so much to say, I feel so many things, the evocation of this birth makes various sensations bubble up in me and I still feel lost today !
My second daughter was born 6 months ago today (October 2011) but I still can't say "I brought my daughter into the world" because I was so passive, not even a spectator.
Before telling the story of her birth, I need to talk about the arrival of her big sister, 4 years earlier, one evening in late November. We went to the maternity hospital serene and happy, and Lola was born very quickly in a relaxed, calm atmosphere, after we had watched a photo montage of our life as 2 and soon 3. We played music and waited patiently for her arrival. In less than 4 hours, the epidural was inserted and the moment of her birth arrived... after a dreamy pregnancy. This was a 4-hand delivery for a young student giving birth for the first time, and everything went so smoothly. We had opted for haptonomy in preparation for the birth, and my husband was ready to help and support me, but our little one did everything on her own. I didn't need to push, and progress was very rapid with each contraction, which was enough to help her to be born.
It wasn't long before I wanted a new child, because I had loved being pregnant and giving birth. Lola was a calm, peaceful baby who cried very little. But one day we decided to have another baby, 4 years after our big one.
Pregnancy was different, I was less navel-gazing, I changed departments (I'm a nurse) in the middle of my pregnancy. Stress and fatigue and IUGR in the 2nd trimester forced me to stop early. I took much more advantage of that time. But this pregnancy was less fulfilling, less idyllic, with more little aches and pains.
Our therapist brought up the possibility of a C-section to tell us what to do in such cases, and I teasingly replied "but we won't need that, there won't be any C-section". All the professionals I met (gynecologists, midwives) kept telling me that I had a body fit to have children, a pelvis large enough to let big babies pass through, and one phrase still resonates in my head from my gynecologist: "You have to give birth like a queen, it's sickening for all those who are struggling!I was told not to wait until I went into labor for this 2nd pregnancy, as I risked giving birth even faster than with my 1st daughter.
At 4 a.m., my water broke, I woke my husband, took a shower, packed the last few things in the suitcase and left. 4.30 a.m., we were at the maternity hospital, serene, happy, impatient. I'm made to wait in the corridor, a woman 5 months pregnant is crying, screaming, contracting a lot and you can feel the tension of the professionals, you can hear them talking about premature birth, I'm practically transparent in this corridor. 4:40 am, I'm settled in, I'm checked, I'm dilated to 3, I'm happy, I feel the midwife going far in her examination, the water sac is finishing to break and a significant discharge, she withdraws her hand and immediately puts it back. Her face changes, she is tense, she calls her colleague who is slow in coming, urges her to come with the phone, yells at her to hurry up and tell the OR.
I realize what's happening, nothing's going right, everything's speeding up, I try to keep smiling and positive, everything's going to be fine, nobody's talking to me anymore. My bed is rushed from the emergency room to the labor rooms and the OR, my husband runs in front of the bed, opens the doors and there I hear the midwife addressing her colleagues: "I've got the cord in my hand, call the surgeon quick!!!" They don't take the time to get me settled in the delivery room; they place my bed at the entrance to the room. I knew then what this meant: my daughter was at risk of death, and her survival depended on the team's speed; I was afraid for her.
3 midwives and the surgeon take it in turns to push the cord back in when I'm only 3 dilations away, while orderlies hastily undress me and a midwife puts in a drip. I can't see my husband, I'm moaning in pain, everyone around me is apologizing, I can't see faces, all I can hear are voices: "no time to remove the piercings, no time to remove the jewelry, no time to shave the pubic area", this phrase "no time" still resonates within me and I can still hear myself telling them "get her out, quick!
The surgeon took 2 minutes to tell me that the cord could not be pulled back because the baby's head was already pressing on the pelvis and that he would have liked to try a vaginal birth, but that a caesarean section was inevitable. He asked me if I had understood him correctly, and I remember just nodding my head!
At 4.55 a.m., my bed goes to the operating room, I hear "Sir, would you like some juice?" and I turn my head to see my husband, livid, sitting on the floor, I only have time to ask him if he's all right and he tells me not to worry. I arrive at the operating room, one hand never leaving my vagina to keep the cord maximally inside and moistened, they're all compassionate and warm, a mask is put on my face, everything around me fades away. I fall asleep "full", full of life, full of hope. 5:05 a.m. They bring our little Ema into the world.
Then I hear distant voices, "madame", I'm far away, it's hard, I only catch snatches of words "she's crying", "hungry", "breastfeeding", "we're giving her a bottle" and the word "bottle" slams into my ears.
Having breastfed my older daughter for 14 months, and having had a wonderful breastfeeding experience, bottle-feeding my little one was out of the question. Suddenly, everything became clear, I told them I wanted to breastfeed her exclusively, but I was in pain, I put my hands on my stomach and felt like I'd been hit by a train, I fell asleep "full", I woke up "empty" and I didn't know what had happened, I didn't see anything, and the nurses (including a former colleague) come to tell me that everything's fine, that my daughter is beautiful, that she's hungry and I see my husband arrive with her in his arms, she's beautiful and her resemblance to her sister and father reassures me that she's really my daughter.
It's 6 a.m., he's just spent an hour with her skin-to-skin, I'm relieved in a way. We've only been separated for 1 hour and it feels like an eternity, but since then, she hasn't left me, I haven't let her go.
The days that followed were very difficult, I tried to take care of my daughter quickly but I was weak, very anemic. I wanted to know what had happened but was told nothing, "everything went well, no worries, don't worry", I learned that my daughter had a bad apgar score and was only resuscitated with a mask when she left the maternity ward by looking at her health record.
Everything was hidden from me, and although the staff were always attentive, warm and caring, I'm having trouble getting over it. I can't stop thinking that my birth was stolen from me, that my meeting with my daughter was ruined.
I had the impression that my body was crying out while I couldn't cope: severe pain around the scar for many months, back pain, abdominal pain, discharge with no identifiable cause, multiple tests to find out where my pain was coming from, while my gynecologist told me that it would pass, that it was normal and that the most important thing was that my daughter and I were doing well.
After 2 months, my C-section scar was no longer visible, much to the astonishment of the nursing staff, as if to reinforce the fact that everything was fine and that I was imagining things, that I was somatizing! I had to change professionals to feel considered and after 4 months of interminable pain, an ultrasound showed a large endometriotic cyst, which was the cause of my pain, at last...
I felt I was on the right track with breastfeeding, and yet I had huge cracks, I bled at every feed, I bit my tongue at the start of every feed, but I never gave up, I contacted breastfeeding specialists, I needed to be listened to.
Then I finally felt ready to go back to work, and I had to tell myself that I had to do something to make things better...
6 months now, the pill still hasn't worn off, my daughter cries a lot (well, compared to her sister), gets annoyed more quickly, seems more nervous, asks for her arms more, wakes up more often at night, has skin problems (like me), has had reflux...
I wonder how she experienced this birth, I feel like I don't understand her, the bond is there but I feel like it's not solid, like it's been sewn with the same thread that was used to sew me up, hard and taut. She needs my presence, and I'm having trouble responding to this excessive demand, I love her madly but I feel like I'm being vampirized!
I'd like to see someone to talk about it, I don't yet know who to turn to, I need to see things more clearly to be more serene with my daughter. 6 months I want to start her birth album but I can't, proof that a wound hasn't closed!
The tears have been rolling down my cheeks since I started writing, I don't feel much like a woman anymore, no sexuality for 6 months, rejection of the IUD fitted at 4 months (pain, fever and bleeding), I'm surviving, one day after another, being tired all the time, taking refuge in sleep as soon as possible. I feel depressed, I think.
Of course you can publish this story, sharing is important even if I've written a novel. I think it's the first time I've talked about it so openly, it's actually good. Thank you for this space for exchange (C., April 2012)

 Hello, your site is an excellent initiative, because as I've read in the other testimonials, we don't have many people to confide our wounds to, and especially no one who understands them! So I'm sharing my experience with you.
I had an emergency caesarean section under general anaesthetic a month ago. I thought I'd taken it well, because it was for the sake of my baby!
but now I realize that I can't talk or even hear about childbirth anymore without bursting into tears, so I tell myself I've been kidding myself and haven't taken it all that well!
I had an idyllic, perfect pregnancy, with no real discomforts. I dreamed of giving birth in a natural environment, without an epidural, just as naturally as possible. I had prepared myself for the pain... I was ready to bring my baby into the world.
D-3 before the due date, that day I went to say hello to my colleagues at work, I spent the afternoon there, I had little pains in my belly, but nothing serious, I waddled past them, nothing to suggest that labor had begun, under the advice of my boss (a great friend) and my partner I made a detour to the maternity ward.
When I got there I was dilated to 3.
Everything kicked into gear very quickly when they hooked me up to the monitor and baby's heart was slowing down dangerously.
the staff were running around, a lot of people were panicking, the gynecologist shouted "code red!!!" and from there everything went very fast! they took me to the OR, 2 puffs into the so-called oxygen mask and 20 minutes later my baby was out.
To this day, I don't know why her heart slowed down (cord? wrong position?), if she had to be resuscitated, I know absolutely nothing about this birth.
I woke up 1h45 later. I was a mom!
glad they let me spend the night skin to skin with my baby and my man!
during my stay in the maternity ward, they suggested that I see a psychologist to talk about all this! I replied (and at the time I meant it) that it was just a detail, the main thing being that my princess was doing well!
yes, but here I am at home today, and I can't stop crying when I think of it all!
it's impossible to talk about it, or hear about it, a TV programme, a film, anything that mentions childbirth is torture for me!
I tried to talk about it, but the only answers I got were "what are you complaining about? at least you didn't suffer!" or "rooooo, c rien! tu va bien, bébé aussi, tu va pas en faire un flan!"

Except that 6 months later I still haven't come to terms with this wonderful, intrusive and traumatic event (M., March 2012).

 It's really not easy! I discovered your site a few days ago and I'm beginning to understand why I'm in such a state! I am not an actress in my life but only a spectator! I'm French but I live in Mauritius.
Just a week ago, I went to the hospital for some minor aches and pains, just to make sure everything was okay! It's 7 o'clock in the morning! I'm examined for the 1st time and no dilation, I'm just told to wait for the doctor for a check-up and if everything's normal I go home! The doctor arrives 30 min later: same thing, still no dilation, we'll just listen to bb's heart and if all is well, I go home! Then disaster struck, bb's heart was not regular, I was told to have a caesarean! Something I hadn't planned on because I'd had 2 vaginal deliveries before! And then I was told there was no time to call my husband, I had to go right away! And the rest is anyone's guess, off to the operating room (knowing that here and in France it's really not the same thing), general anaesthetic! I wake up later at visiting time, everyone's there, they've all seen baby and I still haven't! I feel alone, no one is there to reassure me! After visiting time, my little princess is finally brought home! And in my head, everything is in turmoil (will she know that I'm her mother? will she want to drink with me?) It's hard but I'm strong, there's no reason to complain since bb is fine and so am I!
I am beginning to digest slowly and accept, even if my husband does not understand my problem and limit asks me not to complain! Thank you for listening to me, I think I really needed it! (L., March 2012)
 I've just found your site after several unsuccessful search attempts. I had a baby girl a year ago to the day by emergency caesarean section. I went through a painful labor because of the induction, only to be told after 48 hours that a C-section was necessary. It's important to remember that we had difficulties having our baby, and I was honestly prepared for a different kind of birth. This feeling of emptiness at the moment of extraction stayed with me for several months, and talking about it to friends who have experienced a vaginal delivery is impossible, they don't understand.
I looked for different books and websites to try and "live with it", and then I managed to talk about it with my GP, who listened to me, reassured me and explained why I had to have a C-section. Today my baby is a year old, I've accepted her birth by C-section and I've discovered your site... it's a sign...
So thank you for allowing us to bear witness, to comfort us and, above all, to understand us (S.M., February 2012).
 Hello everyone, I'm here to tell you about my C-section experience, which is very similar to yours. I gave birth to my son on December 21, 2009, a week before term. After eleven hours in the delivery room, I was told I had to have an emergency C-section.
My cervix had been open at 6 for 4 hours and there was no need to take any risk for the baby. I was taken to the operating room and my dream was gone, this long-awaited and idealized birth was gone in a few seconds.... I found myself lying cross-legged with a sheet in front of me, so as not to see or experience the operation. Everything happened very quickly, and what shocked me was hearing the comments of the medical team, using terms that were totally unfamiliar to me. Suddenly, I hear a cry, I'm happy, he's fine, the midwife tells me she's doing first aid and brings him back to me, but I only see him for a few seconds, the time for a kiss, and then he's gone for the second time... After being stitched up, I'm in the recovery room without my son or my husband, but I'm allowed a photo taken on my mobile. They take him back to my room 2 hours 30 minutes later, I'm tired and exhausted, and I don't dare take him in my arms, I'm afraid, I'm in pain, I'm suffering....
It took me a while to admit it, but I was shocked by that emergency caesarean section, that stolen birth. Today, my husband and I are planning to have another baby, but I'm afraid, the trauma is still there, present in me, I find it hard to talk about it around me, it hurts too much. Yes, my son is in perfect health, but I still have the after-effects of this C-section and the fear of having a second one... I'm probably also feeling guilty about having put my son and my husband through this, why didn't I give birth normally?
(L.L, September 2011)
 I'm here to tell you about my own experience. At the end of the seventh month of pregnancy, I suffered from pre-eclampsia (my mother had suffered from eclampsia when I was born, so I knew exactly what it was). It was a very difficult time for me, as an active woman who was always on the move and had no health problems whatsoever, I never thought I'd experience this. I was hospitalized for a week and had to take blood pressure readings and listen to my baby 2 or 3 times a day, anxious to know whether my baby was doing well. When I left hospital, I had an ultrasound and the doctor told me that my baby was ICR (inter-uterine growth retardation). The anxiety only increased. I stayed at home for another week, having to have a doppler every day, and my gynecologist told me that I was going to have to have a C-section because of the risks that a natural birth would entail for me and my baby.
I had already come to terms with the idea of a Caesarean section because natural birth scared me and I was afraid of suffering a lot.
Sunday July 12 arrives, and the C-section is scheduled for the 20th. As usual, I went to the clinic for my check-up. Then the midwives told me that I'd be operated on either the same day or the following day. 2 hours later, I'm told that I'm going to have a caesarean section in an hour's time because my baby's heart is failing and my kidneys are shutting down! I can't wait for this to be over, for the baby to arrive or for it to be over for good!
When it's time for the caesarean, the anaesthetist explains the procedure. She gives me a shot in the back. She tells me I won't feel any pain, but I'll feel everything! And indeed, during the whole operation, which itself only lasts 10 minutes, I felt everything, and the most magical moment was when I felt my obstetrician's hands take my daughter from my uterus, pull her out and finally show her to me. It was an emotional moment. This little 1kg9 being was finally here, everything was fine and I'd been able to live my experience as a new mom for real, but without any pain. I thought that was great. After 3 hours in the recovery room to recover the motor skills in my legs, I went back up to my room where I found my family and my daughter. The hardest part was getting up, but with willpower and the help of a midwife who kicked my butt, I managed.
Today, my daughter is a year and a half old, has completely caught up with her growth and is a wonderful little girl. I don't think I'll have any more children, not because of the C-section, but because of the risk of eclampsia. I don't want to leave my daughter an orphan (E.H., January 2011).
 I would like to thank you so much for your website. I never imagined that giving birth by caesarean could be so difficult to accept!
Until last month, when I underwent emergency surgery. I had a boderline tumour removed from my right ovary, with the ovary and fallopian tube removed. And that's when it all came back to bite me in the ass.
I had my first caesarean in 2006 and my second in 2008. Both were emergencies, following hours of unsuccessful provocations. As I've already read in some testimonials, I didn't ask any questions at the maternity hospital. I was far too busy getting to know my children each time. The questions came later. I needed to understand...but no one could give me the answers. So I tried to move forward as best I could. I was delighted that my two boys were so beautiful and, above all, in great shape.
But then, on October 10, another operation. Apparently a cyst on the right ovary. 10 days later, my doctor sent me the results: "it's not good".
The next day, I call a friend. She starts talking to me about body language. What does this tumor mean? What message is my body trying to send me? The fact that this tumor is on the ovary brings me back to the ability to give life.
And it was then, as I was telling her about my operation, that I heard myself say to her: "They've reopened the scar from my C-sections".
This sentence resonated in me like a thunderclap. 
Indeed, by opening me up this time, I was physically and psychically reactivated this wound which had never closed and which I had never accepted.
Fortunately for me, the latest results show that the tumour is not cancerous. But this whole ordeal has made me realize one thing: today, I have to mourn these deliveries in order to move on and stop making myself ill. How can I do that? I don't really know, but reading your testimonials has already made me feel less alone, and writing to you is undoubtedly a first step towards acceptance! Thank you from the bottom of my heart (CC, November 2010)
 In 2007, after a trouble-free pregnancy, I had an "emergency" caesarean section at 8 cm dilatation because my baby was presenting through the front. The after-effects were simple, but I had a very hard time with this caesarean section, feeling like I'd missed something, even though I was very scared of giving birth at first. Then, after waiting 3 years for a new pregnancy, I got pregnant and was determined to give birth normally. This pregnancy went rather well, except that at the 5th month I had to be careful and rest because I had a short and soft cervix. The rest of the pregnancy went well. At the 3rd ultrasound, I was told that my baby was breech, which was disappointing because I had been told that I could have another vaginal delivery if the baby wasn't breech. My little girl didn't turn over and when I expressed my disappointment to the doctor who was to deliver me, the only thing he said to me was "it's not a disaster to have a caesarean", which really wasn't what I needed to hear. Then I was told to try the "four legs" ... but nothing, so I had my C-section on August 28, 2010, I cried a lot before, during and still now. I'm very happy to have my two daughters, but I suffer from this situation.
I would like to know if, despite these two caesarean sections, I can still hope to have a normal 3rd child, even though I know it's unlikely. I would like your opinion and advice - thank you very much ( A., September 2010)
What amazed me most was the number of testimonials on the site. It just goes to show that no matter what anyone says, and no matter how much each of us tries to convince herself that her C-section was a good thing in the end, we all keep a trace of it deep in our souls, even unconsciously. As proof, my son is now 8.5 and my daughter 7, and both were born by caesarean section, I feel the need, like so many others, to bear witness too.
For my first pregnancy, the contractions started in the middle of the night, at 4 a.m., and after taking a hot bath on the advice of the midwife, we left early in the morning for the clinic. We had plenty of time, dilation was going slowly, and I was able to try out the bubble bath and other fantasies available to the parturient that I was. But by 5.00 pm, I was still at practically the same point, barely 5 centimetres dilated. After getting my gynecologist down from the mountain (it was during the Christmas-New Year vacations, of course...), he immediately ordered an oxytocin infusion around 5:00 pm, which brought the contractions closer together and intensified them. In the meantime, we realized that the epidural had no effect on the pain in the perineum, and the epidural had to be put back in. With a big 9-month belly and contractions every 30 seconds, I can't tell you... At around 10:00 pm, we had to face the facts: nothing was progressing, the baby's heart was getting tired and I was exhausted. When my gynecologist told me that something was wrong, that it wasn't normal not to dilate with such contractions, and that an emergency C-section was therefore necessary, I burst into tears in my husband's arms when we found ourselves alone in the labor room. All that... for this! Why had I endured these contractions for 18 hours, only to be denied the "reward" of a natural birth, which I so richly deserved? Then everything happened very quickly: a massive injection of anaesthetic into the epidural in preparation for the operation, a trip down to the operating theatre, time for my man to change into suitable clothes to accompany me, and I found myself lying down, arms folded in a cross, letting it happen to me. I heard my son's first cries (we didn't know the sex of the baby, by choice) and we were told we had a beautiful baby boy. My husband, who could see over the operating field, told me that the first thing the little one did when he came out of my womb was... pee on me! They wrapped my baby in a survival blanket so he wouldn't be too cold, showed him to me, I kissed him, and they took him for the first tests, accompanied by his dad. I ended up in the recovery room, wearing big inflatable boots to avoid thrombosis in my legs, and they finally brought me my little Sasha to put him to my breast; at last I could see him, hold him, caress his warm little head and discover his features. For me, the negative aspect of this first C-section was being separated from my little one at birth. On the other hand, I was able to get up the very next morning and shower. Of course, the scar hurt, but it was bearable, and that's the positive point. And when the doctor told me that the baby, when he took him out of my belly, had once the cord around his neck and once around his foot, I understood why I hadn't dilated (the baby was yo-yoing on my cervix, I thanked the heavens for having such a clear-sighted doctor - even if it was a huge disappointment at the time not to be able to give birth vaginally - because if we had insisted again and again, the outcome could have been dramatic.
For the birth of my daughter Maja, just 18 months later, I knew quite quickly that I would also have a Caesarean section. Having failed to dilate my cervix the first time around, the gynecologist told me that if I opted for a vaginal delivery for the second child, I'd be like a primipara (what a barbaric word!) and the labor would therefore probably be long, which didn't bode well for my first scar, which, given the close proximity of the two births, was likely to suffer. So I accepted the idea of a second caesarean, telling myself that at least my reproductive system would be intact after these two births. One morning at 8:00 a.m., I went for my check-up at the gynecologist's and it was decided to operate that afternoon, as I had water retention, gestational diabetes and obviously couldn't take it any more, in the middle of July! Maja was born at 6pm. The good thing, compared to Sasha's birth, was that after the first tests on the baby, my little one was brought to me next to my head in an incubator, while my belly was being stitched up, and I was able to see her, touch her little hand through the incubator, and it was wonderful. It also distracted me from the pain I was feeling at the time, because once again, the epidural hadn't worked properly where it should have and I have to say I was in a lot of pain during the surgery, especially when the abdominal muscles were pulled apart to release the uterus. Tears spurted from my eyes, my teeth chattered and I couldn't control my jaw, and the night after the birth was terrible and a huge moment of loneliness; I was in so much pain that I just wondered how I'd be able to sit up in bed the next morning to nurse my daughter! Around 7.00 a.m., I was finally given a proper sedative and was able to take care of my baby as best I could; but when I saw my mother arrive around 10.00 a.m. to visit us, I burst into tears in her arms like a 5-year-old! I'd been through so much and I just had to let go. In the recovery room, after the operation this time, my baby was quickly brought to me: I placed her in my hospital gown, directly against my bare chest; she immediately sought out my breast and began to suckle, as if by magic, and it was an unforgettable moment of intimacy, because what's more, there were only the two of us in the recovery room and the surveillance nurse was far away at the other end of the room; at that moment, it was just us in the world, we exchanged our energies and I felt like a mother at 200%! The post-operative pain and the terrible night I experienced afterwards remain in my memory, of course, but they pale in comparison with the intense moment of sharing between my daughter and me. So there you have it, two very different caesarean section experiences, in terms of the circumstances, the way they unfolded and the post-operative aftermath. There were positives and negatives, but in the end, the only thing that really stands out is the joy of having received the gift of two beautiful, healthy children. Of course, when I watch television reports on childbirth, I always look with envy at these young parents who are experiencing a natural birth, at the tears of joy as the mother places her baby on her chest, and I'm sad that I didn't experience it too, in peace and serenity, without the whole medical team around us to spoil this moment of intimacy.
But you can't choose, you have to accept it. Every day, I look at my children, who are growing up so fast, and I tell myself that I'm lucky to have them, no matter the conditions under which I gave birth to them. They weren't born vaginally, I didn't have to push to give them life, but I still suffered in my flesh for it, but it wasn't in vain. We are fortunate to live in the 21st century. Thanks to C-sections, we save lives, and that's the most important thing of all. Thank you for your site. (A.S., September 2008)

As I'm so sensitive, the slightest annoyance affects me enormously....I need to talk, but unfortunately I don't have many ears that listen to me, let's say attentive to my problem. I'm not even talking about understanding me, but about listening to me... (F.M., March 2007)

"Since my C-section, I don't feel in touch with my body - it let go of me and now there's this scar. I can't look at it or touch it."

Hello everyone, like many of us I'm looking for a way to get over my pain, to make myself see reason and tell myself that it's not serious. I'm trying to tell myself that it's nothing and to play it down, but I can't and I've been suffering for two months now.
My son was born on July 28, 2011 instead of September 13, 2011, so he was born prematurely, but it's all my body's fault. All he wanted was to stay warm in my belly, but fate decided otherwise; around July 10, I was sitting quietly at home when a sharp pain came over my right ovary, it hurt so much I could hardly breathe, I couldn't speak, and although I'm not expressive at all, I could not stop the cries of pain. my partner called the ambulance, I was transferred to the hospital maternity ward, perfusion, tests but nothing helped, I was still in pain, a doctor arrived with a probe to do an endo-vaginal ultrasound, He asks my partner to leave the room and I tell him "no, I'm sorry, but I don't want to do this examination with a man, I'd rather it be a woman", he says "no problem", I go to my room in the maternity ward, still on a drip and still in a lot of pain, the day after I'm told I'm going home as I'm no longer in pain and it's probably kidney stones, okay, I'm reassured, I go home; two days later, it's the same thing again, severe pain, I get into bed, I try to find a position to calm the pain but nothing works, I resist the pain so as not to go back to hospital but it's becoming impossible, back to the maternity emergency ward, I have no contractions, blood test is fine, The midwife tries to reassure me, telling me she'll be there, but I tell her I'm sorry, it's written in my file, I want it to be done by a woman because as a child I was abused and for me it would be like rape..in short, an infusion that doesn't relieve my pain, the doctors can't figure out what's wrong and I'm crying out in pain, 4 days later I'm still in hospital, I call my partner in the middle of the night, crying because I'm cracking up having pain 9/10 times a day, 24 hours a day, and even at the hospital nobody understands, and the orderlies are laughing at me, saying that having so much pain without finding anything means that maybe... I'm adding to it! (they didn't say it, but implied it) I call the midwife and apologize for bothering her, as her infusion medication doesn't relieve me, apart from a small sachet of morphine that I'm entitled to every 4 hours, but no more because I'm pregnant; in the morning, the doctor comes to see me with 3/4 other people, because my "case" intrigued the doctor and, a bit like Dr House, that's all he could think about (what he told me). So he tells me that a renal ultrasound and an ultrasound of the fetus will be done during the day, and he tells me, I'm sorry, but we'll have to do an endo vaginal ultrasound, so I tell him no problem, if it's a woman ... he says, oh well, I saw in your file that you didn't want this ultrasound at all (?????) ah no I just asked for a woman! (I've already realized that thanks to this doctor, who's offended at not having been able to see my sex (with his perverse look), I've suffered for free! in short, the baby's ultrasound gives nothing, the kidneys' ultrasound gives nothing and yet I'm still suffering, and finally a vaginal endo ultrasound by a woman (miracle!) the examination begins and she has trouble seeing what's going on, until she says "it's not possible, the machine's bugging!" so I get wide-eyed and ask her if she's seen anything? she said she wasn't sure and that she'd rather not tell me until the doctor has come to confirm what she thinks she's seen, and I, who's been suffering for a long time, asked her to tell me anyway, and that I wouldn't tell if she'd made a mistake (because as a student she's risking her job) she told me I had a cyst on my right ovary the size of a baby's head, in my head I don't even understand what's going on, she calls the doctor, he lets me put the probe in again, then he looks and confirms what the extern says, I have a benign tumor on my ovary that I developed when I got pregnant, a tumor I've had since birth, in short he tells me I've got no choice but to have a caesarean in 3 days and I'll have one injection a day in the buttocks to mature the baby's lungs, He then explained why I was in pain, the ovary had distorted, turning on itself, the ovary was no longer erect with blood (so it was dying) and so I was in great unbearable pain, back in the room I was given an injection and I called my partner, I hesitated to tell him "come to the hospital, I need to talk to you", finally I told him by phone, I felt alone, helpless, powerless, in short, my descent into hell began. I was serene at the thought of the caesarean section, I'd heard about it, I knew that every woman was at risk of having one, but I hadn't measured the discomfort that would be included.
The 3 days pass, and here we are on the morning of July 28, I'm taken to the operating room and the father-to-be is told that he'll be picked up and brought to the operating room, the epidural is given, I'm put in the "Jesus" position and the surgeon starts to open my belly, and Dad's still not here, I start to faint on the operating table, they put I don't know what in my veins so that I come to, When I regain consciousness I ask where my partner is, a woman tells me she's going to look and leaves the room, I start to feel the operation so they give me some anaesthetic, I hear them tell me that the baby's head has come out, and a few seconds later I hear a tiny little cry, I start to get teary-eyed even though I haven't yet seen the beauty of her eyes, they take my little one into another room to check that everything's okay, a few minutes later a woman returns with my son, she holds him in her arms, gets down to my level with my little one's face almost opposite mine, I look at him and cry, not knowing what to say or do, I look at him and try to realize that the little one in my belly is him, the nurse says "come on, you've got to say goodbye to mommy" and I symbolically kiss my son on the mouth, It's the first sign of love, the first contact that for me is strong and important, because to this day, even if I don't feel like I've given birth, I'm still attached to that image of myself kissing my son on the mouth, or the instinct of a mother who knows she'll have to fight against herself to achieve it, and that this memory will help her remember the moment when I became a mother.
After the removal of my ovary, I went to the recovery room, not having enough on my shoulders, a man working there asked me to move my legs (I had just arrived), so I tried, but I was shaking and couldn't move them yet, seeing this, he says to me "I'm not asking you to shake, I'm asking you to move". I'm nice, but I don't dare put him in his place and answer him with a simple "sorry, I can't", with a look of regret on his face saying I'm sorry.... (when I think about it today... he was lucky that I was in a difficult period and didn't even realize the attacks that were being made on me!) 
At the same time, my partner was following the baby in the incubator in the neonatal unit. After taking a few photos, he went to my room and wiped away his first tears of joy with his sister and mother (a moment that made me suffer enormously, as he should have been crying with happiness in my arms), They just tell him I'm in recovery, without any further information. A good 2 hours later, I arrive in my room, very tired, but already suffering from the situation. what can they possibly understand? I can't even see my son, I couldn't get up, and baby couldn't come down from the neonatology unit 5 floors up, everyone goes to see my baby, family, friends, my man, and I listen to them tell me about their joy, their happiness at seeing MY son... But they don't allow you to complain. The next morning, almost 24 hours after his birth, I was finally able to have him with me, but already in my arms, I had the impression I was holding someone else's child. of course, it takes time to get used to each other, but this child, who was torn from me, made it hard for me to feel like a mother and to see him as MY child, as I couldn't take care of him and my partner didn't yet know what to do, a nursery nurse gave him his first bath and his first care, I hid my sadness with "come on, there's no problem, it's normal" but in my heart it sang otherwise, I was frustrated that an unknown woman was touching my flesh without me being there to try to impose myself, and trying to tame my son (having had a mother who didn't love her children, I didn't want to be like her, so I was already fighting against myself, saying to myself, "Come on, realize that he's your son!but what can you do when you're bedridden? To cut a long story short, I was bedridden for 4 days without being able to get up because I'd had a haemorrhage during the operation, I'd lost a lot of blood and my iron levels had plummeted, as soon as I tried to sit up my head would spin, and when I tried to stand up I'd literally faint, and I won't tell you about the nurses who pushed me to get up so many times that I fainted several times in 3 days! Anyway, on the 4th day, I somehow managed to get to the next room to try and change the diaper, sitting on a chair, and I discovered that my husband was already very comfortable with changing babies or bathing them, and had established a close relationship with the nursery nurses, One morning, the nursery nurse comes into the room as she does every morning to bring in baby (because he doesn't sleep with me at night), and my partner tells me an anecdote about baby that he and the nursery nurse laughed at, so I don't say anything, I keep it to myself, and as soon as the nursery nurse comes out, I cry, he asks me what's going on, and I tell him, don't you realize that you should be going through all this with me and not with her??? my partner didn't really understand, he had a different way of dealing with all this, and our couple almost broke up, with everything that had been going on for several days, I was angry at everything that had happened, angry at the orderlies who said I wasn't pushing myself to get up when I really wanted to, angry at the doctor who said I didn't want an ultrasound, angry at the woman who came out of the operating room and didn't go after my partner, angry at fate, and today I'm still angry that the mother wasn't given more importance than that, thinking that after all, a caesarean is a birth like any other...Well, it's not, it's painful, it's a psychological war against yourself, especially when you were younger and had parents who weren't exemplary, so today my son Tom is 2 months old, and his first smiles give me a warm feeling in my heart, and I can't stop telling him that I'm his mommy, to hear myself say it and for him to know it, I still suffer from all that and even if I tell myself it's destiny, I know that all my life, this period that was supposed to be a fairy tale has turned into a beautiful illusion (not including my son) I'm trying to mourn, not easy... impossible? Only time will tell if I can turn the page and no longer have tears in my eyes when I think of that difficult time. I wanted 2 children, but I don't really know where I stand any more. Maybe Tom will end up being an only child. To all those who have gone through or are currently going through this pain, I'm thinking of you, and give you a big hug (A. (26), October 2011)

"... I was expecting some kind of immediate love for the baby, and in fact I realized that this love which was born during (and even before) the pregnancy, is only the basis of a very very strong bond which is gradually built up after the birth...
(S.SCH:, Nov. 2006)

After a wonderful pregnancy, blood tests began to reveal in the sixth month (my first pregnancy) that I was making antibodies against my baby's blood. However, in the last month of my pregnancy, the rate increased, and I had blood tests every week as well as follow-up ultrasounds, but once again, baby was fine and so was I, so my gynaecologist preferred to wait until labour began naturally. However, as the term was approaching, we had a weekly visit to the clinic, where we were told that they were waiting for the latest results, but that they would probably induce labor within the next two days. When they got the results, they called to tell me that I had to be hospitalized right away, not at the clinic but directly at the hospital, because my baby, although full-term, would be put in the neonatal unit.

At the hospital, we were told that I would be induced with the propess, after 24 hours of painful contractions to reach 3(cm), and then the epidural, which took 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach 7(cm), although my baby was beginning to lack oxygen. The midwife called the obstetrician, who took his time to check the monitoring and then decided to do a caesarean. We knew it could come to this, having been warned over a month ago about the blood problems. They take me to the operating room while my husband waits alone in a room (that's what I found hardest, leaving him out). Because of the epidural, I was only put to sleep downstairs, so 10 minutes later I heard my baby's first cries, a great joy, tears flowing, indescribable joy. The midwife did the bare minimum and came straight away to show me, I saw him so small, I discovered he was a boy, I could touch him and kiss him even though I couldn't hold him. Finally, she gives him his first treatments while they stitch me up. By the time I'm in recovery, my husband is enjoying our little one, and at last we're all together again. Jean-Lou has been taken up to the neonatal ward and is now being taken down for a few hours. We have time to get to know each other, to have our first feed,...

For the next 24 hours, he was under the "tunnel", a method used to treat severe jaundice (in our case due to blood) in infants, but every time he needed it, he was brought to me for a feed. Meanwhile, I was discovering the pain of the scar, but never mind the pain, my baby was fine, in good health (even if jaundiced). Today, 3 weeks after the birth, we're doing wonderfully, the scar still pulling a little, which is normal. But the main thing is that Jean-Lou is enjoying himself and that we parents are enjoying him. Breastfeeding helps us to assimilate the birth better. I have no regrets whatsoever about the C-section, it was the best thing to do, and I'd like to thank everyone at the clinic and hospital who always explained what was happening and what could happen!

I don't understand women who ask for a caesarean section out of convenience, but when, as in my case, it's essential for the life of her child, a caesarean section is recommended, then acceptance seems (to me) natural, all the more so when you're properly informed. (M. F. on 26/06/08)

My daughter is 2 and a half years old. She was born without a caesarean section, which her father and I very much regret. The birth was long (17h), ...... and then there were signs of weakness in the baby's heart. The midwife told me to push, the gynecologist arrived and found that the baby was stuck. I had a giant episiotomy. The doctor used a suction cup (a kind of forceps), and the head came out, but not the shoulders. He then asked the midwife and the nurse's aide to press down on my belly with all their might, which they did while he pulled as hard as he could on the baby's arm. When the baby finally came out, the gynecologist said it was a girl - we'd preferred to be surprised - but that she had a problem with her arm. She was put on my stomach for a few seconds, and I have to admit it was the best part of the birth. Then she was taken away, and my husband couldn't go with her. They brought her back a few minutes later, telling us that, for the moment, the arm was inert, but that it wouldn't last. She weighed 4 kilos. We were finally able to enjoy her a little, and I put her to the breast.
Three hours later, she was taken away because I was hemorrhaging badly. To get the blood out of my belly, a midwife (another one) pressed on my stomach. It hurt so much I was screaming to death. The midwife threatened me that I might die if she didn't get the blood out, and my husband had to hold me while she pressed and blood poured out onto the floor. It was excruciating, and my husband and I were very shocked by it all. When I was finally taken out of the delivery room, it was 11 p.m., we were exhausted (the contractions had started at 1 a.m.), so was our daughter, her arm was still inert, and the midwife (a third one) told me that I might not make it through the night, as I had lost a lot of blood, but that she was advising my husband to go home and rest. I can't tell you what a night we had! He did indeed go home to reassure our families, but in such a state of stress that he couldn't sleep and soon came back. As for me, I hardly slept at all, as I was afraid I'd fall asleep forever, leaving this little being who'd just shown up. When I saw a midwife (a fourth one) at around 5 a.m., I asked her if I had a high risk of dying, and she told me no, that in fact the other midwife had added to it! What a horror! But what a relief!
For our daughter, it turned out that she had a paralyzed arm following childbirth. She had physiotherapy sessions that didn't help much, and finally we decided to have a nerve graft performed when she was 3 months old. We didn't get any help or advice, we had to find out for ourselves, nobody seemed to know much about it, yet it's called obstetric brachial plexus paralysis (OBPP) and affects 1 in 2,000 babies a year in France. She suffered a lot from the operation and its aftermath, and has physiotherapy sessions several times a week, but today she's doing better, even if it took almost 2 years for her to bend her elbow. We're lucky, because many children in her situation don't recover as well, or even at all, and keep their arm totally paralyzed.
I can tell you that we spent many sleepless nights wondering why the doctor hadn't decided to do a C-section, feeling guilty for wanting to go for a "natural" birth (but was there really anything "natural" about my birth?). We could have given birth in Switzerland, because we lived nearby, and they do a lot more C-sections. In short, guilt gnawed at us, and often still gnaws at me. It's as if I'd only thought of myself, as if I'd given priority to my desire to give birth normally, when I should have been clamoring for a C-section, which I didn't do. Because right up to the end I hoped I wouldn't need one. I blame myself terribly. I felt this sense of guilt every time I looked at my daughter for the first two years of her life, until she was able to bend her elbow, and it was very painful for me. And she certainly felt it too.
Pain-wise, I suffered terribly. The day after giving birth, and for about 2 weeks, I could barely move because of pain in the episiotomy and anus area. Because what they don't explain to us is that when you push really hard and the baby comes out, all the hemorrhoids come out too!!!! Two weeks after giving birth, I still couldn't sit up, so I went back to see the gynecologist who didn't believe me and thought I was overdoing it. In the end, I went to see a former gynecologist, who found a tear on the inside (the stitches had popped right out). But there wasn't much he could do. I think it took a good 10 months before I could say that the pain was bearable, and almost 2 and a half years for me to realize that "well, it doesn't hurt anymore when I have sex with my husband". All this to tell you that a "normal" birth isn't necessarily idyllic, even if you idealize it before you've experienced it. And I can also tell you that most of the women I talk to about all these problems start telling me about their setbacks during childbirth. But it's as if they don't dare talk about it with women who haven't experienced it. You always get the impression that everything went well for them, whereas if you dig a little deeper, you discover the thousand ills they suffered. I too would have regretted having had to have a caesarean section, because I wouldn't have been aware of all the unpleasantness they only told me about afterwards. It's like a law of silence, it's as if women want to pretend that everything went well for them, as if it's a stain to have had problems during childbirth.
In short, I'm pregnant again. First I had to convince my husband, who was terribly afraid that the birth would go wrong again. Then, once I was pregnant, I started losing sleep and panicking for hours at night. We decided that I would have a Caesarean section. However, it's the gynecologist who decides. And mine was clear on this point. He won't decide until the last follow-up appointment. We've put him under so much pressure that he seems to want to give in. I'm not even considering not having a C-section. I'm too afraid that my baby will have problems, which I wouldn't forgive myself for. Of course I'm scared, especially after reading all the testimonials on this site. But I'd rather know what we're risking, so I can be better prepared and anticipate what's going to happen. And the most important thing is my baby's health. I understand that mothers who have given birth by caesarean don't really understand when we tell them that the most important thing is that she and her baby are well. It must be hard to be disappointed that you didn't give birth naturally. However, believe me, there's nothing worse than knowing that your baby is not doing well, that he's paralyzed because you didn't have a C-section, even though it could have been done. Come on, I hope my delivery goes well, that I have a C-section and not too many complications so that I can enjoy the baby to the full. Good luck to you all! (C.L., October 2008)