As a mom, we must empower ourselves about our c-section birth, just as we do when it is to be a vaginal birth. Research it, to know what to expect and what questions to ask. Go to alternative sites on the web to receive the wisdom of other mothers who have already walked this path. What did they learn? Knowing what they know now in hindsight, what do they wish they had, or hadn’t done? The more you research, the more you will discover how many possibilities there are, and which of these you need to learn more about. Follow your gut.
Talk to your baby’s Esa, (See, Sacred Birthing, Birthing a New Humanity, for more about the Esa.) Ask her for help to bring you the understanding you are needing. Ask for her help to find the best caregiver for a softbirth. Ask for her help to orchestrate each prenatal. If dad is much bigger than you, ask that the baby grows in proportion to you. (Rarely is a baby not able to be born vaginally because of its size. Often they say baby is too big, but the next baby is larger and is able to be born vaginally!)
Long before your due date, tell your doctor you wish to go into labor naturally (instead of scheduling a date for the c-section,) so that your baby can have the stimulation that labor gives to help baby prepare for life. This is very important for your baby. Be strong, without taking “NO” as an answer. After all, are you choosing this date for a pleasant schedule? Or for your baby’s highest birth and most vibrant health? Let this be your gift to your c-section born baby.
Clearly the health and well-being of both mama and baby are most important. So, ask yourself,
“What do I need to feel empowered and satisfied with my C-section birth?”
“What do I feel is the best way to celebrate our baby’s birth?
“How can we make it special for our baby and our family?” Think ahead.
Prepare yourself. Birth, (these days) is about standing in our power and protecting what we know to be right for our baby. Don’t give up your birth to your doctor, either prenatally or in labor, by saying, “Oh ok,” if your gut wrenches and feels terrible. This is your baby’s vote! Do all you can to rearrange things until your guts feel good. That’s your sign that all is well with that decision.
Claim your power in your surgical birth, if things are not going the way you need. One couple told the whole O.R. staff, “Just STOP. You are rushing this too much. This is our birth and we are going to do it the way we want.” They turned on the music they chose for their baby, and as it played, they had a good cry that they were not getting the birth they had planned. When they each felt complete and composed, they said, “Ok. We are ready now.” The staff stood by and waited. They later shared with the couple how impressed they were by their actions, and how sacred their birth was.
If this is a true emergency birth, then of course we surrender to the medical team’s expertise. However, very few c-sections are for true emergencies. So if minutes or a half hour are not vital to the health of the baby, there is time to do what you feel is important, especially if you are adding love. What would make you feel more connected to your baby? Do that. What would make you feel more relaxed? These are one and the same.
Talk to your doctor about your questions. If s/he is not open to listening, or really hearing you, change doctors. This won’t get better as time goes on.
If you know ahead of time that you are heading for a C-section, OR, if this is an unexpected decision in labor, it is VERY important to talk to your baby about it. Tell baby all that you know and all that you feel, without sugar coating it. Let the baby know how it may feel. Tell the truth. If you are scared, tell baby: “I’m scared too. I’ve never done this before either.” This warns baby about what this medical ride may be like, and baby appreciates this preparation, instead of being overwhelmed, just as you would. Tell baby:
“You will feel yourself getting squeezed tight. These rushes are me hugging you, massaging your muscles and wakening up your nerves. When its soon time to be born, there will be drugs given to me that will make you feel dizzy and limp. These drugs are for me, not for you. Let those drugs pass right out of your body. The drugs make it feel like I am far away, but I’m right here. I love you no matter what.”
“Just before you are born, you will feel the doctor’s hand feeling for your chin. He will lift you out. As you are born, you’ll feel heavy and cold. You’ll see bright lights, and something will go into your nose, mouth and throat so you can breathe better. You’ll be dried off and wrapped up. Give me a good cry so that the entire staff relaxes and knows you are breathing well. You are safe, my sweet one. Listen for your Dad’s voice and feel his arms, and know that as soon as I’m able, I will be holding you in my arms too, but first, you’ll feel your dad. I can’t wait to breastfeed you, and I know we will both be good at it!”
By talking to your baby, it helps baby recognize the birthing process. NICU nurses say that when babies are prepared in this way, they are more relaxed, breathe more deeply and have fewer problems nursing. It helps you be more peaceful too, and that is immediately transferred to baby.
Remember: you take your own sacred preparation with you no matter where, or how, you labor and give birth: home, hospital, vaginal or c-section. Your trusting ‘Field of Birth,’ all that you created during your whole pregnancy, surrounds you and keeps both of you safe. Keep your attention on trust. Your trust creates the highest vibration and means that the best people will be on duty, and that all will go well. When you are in a state of trust, there is no room for fear. When you feel trusting, baby knows that everything in his world is OK too.