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You Were Sawed in Half :: The Awkwardness of a C-Section

C-Section - Boston Moms Blog

Kate Hudson’s remark in the October issue of “Cosmopolitan” that the “laziest thing” she’s ever done is have a C-section rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Sure, the actress was most likely joking, but there are many in the world who would, and do, make such remarks seriously, like the birth photographer who reportedly refused to provide services to a mother having a scheduled C-section, remarking, “You aren’t giving birth.”

If you have a C-section, today’s parenting society sometimes makes you feel pretty gosh darn awful about it. Well, a year after I had one of my own, I’m done feeling weird about it. You know what? I’m not inadequate; I’m a magic trick. 

Here’s why having a C-section is no lazy walk in the park.

It’s awkward.

Many of my friends and acquaintances had these well-thought-out birth plans, complete with music playlists. Their child would be welcomed to the world with soothing and soaring vocals.

Well, when you have an urgent C-section, your child’s first outside-the-womb sounds are the surgeon discussing who knows what. My son, being a spring baby, was born as the surgeon and doctor discussed their early season golf handicap. “That bend on the 12th hole is a real… Oh, look, it’s a boy!” Even as someone who talks about sports 85% of the time, it felt odd. (I can’t even imagine how it would have felt for a mom who isn’t used to constant sports talk.) 

Many times, it’s a last resort.

Sure, tell me I’m lazy. That I took the easy way out. Never mind that I went into labor on a Thursday and ended up on an operating table at 12:05 a.m. on a Sunday. 

I wasn’t angry or sad when they wheeled me into the operating room. I was relieved. My son and I had an issue, and for probably the last time in my parenthood journey, there was a clear solution right in front of us. No one failed. We had been at this thing for days, and we needed help. Luckily, modern medicine was there to step in. 

You are a magic trick.

An amusement park in my hometown once added a ragtag magic show to its offerings. They closed the 12-minute set with the ol’ “saw a woman in half” trick. And in typical low-budget-but-big-dreams fashion, it was a total failure and completely obvious that no one was actually cut in half. 

Guess what? A C-section is that magic trick in real life. You are cut open across your abdomen and then put back together. And then, within mere minutes, you are supposed to be completely whole and fully capable of all things, including taking care of a newborn.

I was initially weary of admitting to anyone I had had a C-section (I mean, if the five-day hospital stay didn’t give it away). But then on day two, I looked at my scar and thought, “You were sawed in half.” (OK, maybe that was the painkillers talking.) Suddenly, I felt so much better… but sore. I was still sore. 

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3 Responses to You Were Sawed in Half :: The Awkwardness of a C-Section

  1. jpmom November 22, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    The language in this article infuriates me. My cesarian wasn’t awkward. It was violent. It was shocking, painful and horrid. I wasn’t sawed in half, either. I wish the author, and subsequently the blog, would be much, much more careful when speaking of cesarians.

    • Kat Cornetta November 28, 2017 at 8:00 am #

      Hi Jpmom –

      I am very sorry you feel that way. I process stressful circumstances, like my emergency c-section, with humor. That is my coping mechanism. I’m sorry that it offended you in any way.

      Also, if you are describing any part of your birth process as “violent,” I urge you to find someone (a doctor, a mental health provider, a close friend) to process that experience with. That sounds traumatizing and it may help to discuss it further, if you haven’t already.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.


  2. Kelly November 30, 2017 at 10:54 pm #

    I had two unplanned C-section is. My son turned breach in the last couple of days and after several attempts had to be delivered C-section. My daughter was scheduled a Vback but she decided to come out 6 1/2 weeks early. I had pregnancy induced hypertension and had to have her as an emergency C-section. My son is 27 and my daughter is 24. My only concern delivering healthy children. Who the hell cares how they were brought into this world. All children are blessings no matter what!

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