My blog for parenting.com, also called The Cosmo Mom, launched on Monday. The response has been amazing so far—the fact that I work for Playboy tends to evoke strong reactions in people, good or bad. I’m getting an interesting mix of both, actually, and the editors at parenting.com have been very supportive, posting my blog to their Facebook fan page that has somewhere in the ballpark of 13,000 fans, 30 of whom have left comments. Apparently the moms who comment via Facebook are a conservative bunch. Playboy + Parenting = a lot of pissed-off moms. Sign up to be a fan if you want to join the conversation.

I’m also getting a lot of comments on parenting.com—as of today, the count is up to 24. The one I’d like to take some time to respond to here is from a woman who calls herself “Anonymous.”

Her comment:

Hi Sarah, Welcome to Parenting.com! As a fellow media industry working mom, I’m looking forward to your reading your posts. I happened to click on your personal blog link and noticed a few references to having a “scheduled c-section.” I know that scheduled c-section can mean two things: Either a c-section that’s scheduled for health reasons or an elective c-section. I’m just curious if your c-section was elective? I’m certainly not going to pass judgment on another mother’s decision, but as someone who has had both a vaginal birth & medically necessary c-section, I’m always very curious as to why pregnant women elect to have surgery that is not medically necessary vs. attempting vaginal birth? I’ve never had the opportunity to pose this question before, as I don’t personally know of anyone who has had an elective (non-medically necessary) c-section, so I’m hoping you can shed some light on it. I know it can be a controversial topic, but you seem to be a straight shooter in your blog, so I’m looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks for your time!”

My response:

I wish I could shed some light—I love shedding light!—but unfortunately I’m not able to. My scheduled c-section was medically necessary as well. Early on in my pregnancy I was diagnosed with a condition called marginal placenta previa. It’s when your placenta attaches itself low in your uterus, sometimes completely covering your cervix or, in my case, resting right up against its edges. And apparently, if and when your cervix dilates, it can cause your placenta to bleed—which is what you want to avoid happening. This makes delivering vaginally a risk. My condition was so marginal, I was lucky enough not to have any serious symptoms—no bleeding at any point, therefore no bed rest—but I had to deliver two weeks early anyway, which is the norm with this condition.

Honestly, there was a time—a year or two before I got pregnant—that I actually thought I wanted a c-section. It’s crazy to me now, of course, because my scheduled c-section was anything but easy. I’m in agreement with the Anonymous poster above; why would anyone elect to have major surgery? I was so terrified of having the c-section, I had an ultrasound the day before my scheduled surgery just to see if there was an off-chance the placenta had corrected itself (it needs to be at least 2 centimeters away from the cervix to deliver vaginally). Wishful thinking…

Not that I think vaginal birth is easy, mind you, and I’m pretty sure I would NOT have been a great candidate for it. (My OB agreed.) But to elect to have major abdominal surgery that will leave you bed-ridden and sore for weeks (or months for some people) after giving birth to your baby? It was killer not being able to hold Preston, or change his diaper and swaddle him, in the hospital. Why would anyone put themselves through it if they didn’t have to? And let’s not even talk about the recovery, which for me was pretty brutal. Five months later and I still have a lot of scar tissue and random sharp pains at the incision.

I wish I got to experience childbirth vaginally, but it’s a pretty safe bet that all of my deliveries will be via scheduled c-section now, and while I’m not looking forward to it, I’ve come to terms with it.

Before I got married, I was a guest on Dr. Laura Berman’s NBC-5 “Girl Talk”podcast, and for some reason this exact conversation came up. Strange, too, because I think I’m the one who introduced the topic, and this was about a week after I had gotten engaged. (Shows you where my mind was!) Click to listen if you’d like another perspective—Dr. Berman gives an interesting point of view about elective c-sections (“Why ruin a perfectly good vagina?”). She has three kids; the first one she delivered vaginally, the last two were by elective c-sections. Too posh to push? This one’s for you.

3 thoughts on “To Whom It May Concern: Part 1

  1. Sasha says:

    Having done both, the vag birth is definitely an easier recovery! I really felt disappointed after having an unplanned C with my first, but then all the scares with my second just made me thankful that he was born healthy, no matter HOW he was born. The fact that it was vaginal was just the icing on the cake.

  2. spg74 says:

    Thanks for sharing, you’re officially my first commenter here. 🙂

    Were you at all nervous about the risks of VBAC? How was your vag delivery? I don’t think I’m a great candidate for it, for a few reasons, but I also would love not to have to go through another c-section surgery. Hard to image going thru that again…

  3. Steffj89 says:

    Sarah….I had my first vaginally and there were serious issues, and my second was an emergency c section. With my third I chose a repeat c section. Here is the good news, with the repeat section, I was out of bed and totally comfortable with the baby HOURS after having him. The muscles that were cut the first time don’t every really come back right, so the second time it did not hurt nearly as badly. My recovery with the natural birth was nearly twice as long as the first c section. My recovery with the second c sec was minimal…as a matter of fact he was born 12/22 and I HOSTED a family Christmas on Christmas day for 20 people. feel free to email if you have any q’s about it…
    BTW I have been reading you on parenting blog and sorry you have gotten so much mean anonymous feedback. I think your doing an awesome job!
    Steff

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