Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Charade

Sarah's birth video and poem

*interesting note: I let one of my brothers read this poem several months ago and he asked me, "does an oyster die when it's shucked?" Yes, it does.


To think of myself as an animal

led to the slaughter

not really choosing

They stripped me

they shaved me

they shot me

full of fear

so I'd be losing

All the feeling

but the feeling never goes

I heard 'oh you won't feel anything'

when I couldn't move my toes

First the


then the


and they say that it's all right

they say I'll feel some tugging

but I don't, I just feel nothing

I was screened from my body

it's bloody

the baby, where's my baby

there's the baby

could be anybody's baby

They take it away

and I'm left on the table

I want to be happy

but right now I'm not able

To see past the blood and the light

and the screen

strapped to a table

the end of the dream

Gutted and cold

in pain and alone

unable to speak, or to cry or

to moan

But the


and the


and the


will subside

after I've grieved

after I've cried

I won't have the nightmares

or wake with such fright

I'll think back and smile

on that terrifying night

This new wrinkly baby

so tiny and pink

at that moment all I could


Of was my pain and

my fear

but what about you?

so cold and so scared

so little, so new

I hold you and my scar

and I know what to do

I'll weep and I'll mourn

then I'll tuck it away

doesn't mean it's not there

but I'll keep it at bay

So now when I think about how

my baby came into this world

I choose to think of myself as an oyster

and my beautiful baby

the pearl.

* * * * * *

I was going to share my son's birth poem and video but I'll save that for another day because right now I want to talk about the last two stanzas of this poem. Why did I feel the need to "make nice" at the end? Is it that little voice inside of me, the one that after hearing so many people chide me for hating my section-surgery, finally starts to agree and say tie the laces neatly at the end. be a good girl and play nice, now. This poem should end with the line, "Unable to speak or to cry or to moan". What upsets me most is that this poem was written six months after the surgery and it wasn't written to share with anyone. If I had written it with the intent of sharing it then I could understand why I felt the need to basically negate all my strong, painful feelings by including that crap about the pain subsiding and tucking my scar away.

Here's my point: This poem was a personal poem, written for myself. After just six months of hearing "you should be grateful" I had already begun to internalize that and guilt my true feelings away. How many women are out there, two, three, ten years out from their section-surgeries, who initially were very much not okay with it, but then after hearing that they should be grateful for a healthy baby and that just being alive was all that mattered and that it doesn't really matter how a baby comes out. . . and now they live among us disguised as "I loved my section" women? How many of these women are out there? It's a sad, bizarre charade.

Mothers, don't hide behind your "My section wasn't that bad" mask. Because those who believe you are following you down the hall to the operating room, and those of us who don't believe you hurt for you.

If you would like more information about cesarean awareness and prevention please visit


Jill said...

Oh, how I abhor the "you should be grateful" comments. A few hours after my C-section, my midwife came to sit next to me in my room and asked me how I felt about the birth. I was still reeling from the shock of it all, drowsy from drugs, starving, and lonely for my baby who was still off somewhere away from me, so I mumbled something complacent and she replied with, "Well, be glad that you are giving birth in this day and age...100 years ago both of you would have died!"

When I or my child has a serious life-threatening complication that absolutely necessitates my womb being slashed open, THEN I'll be grateful. But oops, that wasn't the case. So no, I am not gonna "be a good girl."

And the "I loved my section" women bother me too. It angers me that they belittle our pain, and it perplexes me also, because I honestly can't see someone having a rockin' good time on the operating table. But that's just me.

Cassidy said...

I am one who has pushed aside my section.. Mostly I feel ashamed and guilty, I'm still (almost two years later) not quite sure why it didn't work... was she really positioned all wrong, or did I just go past thier time limit? I don't know.

And I do feel bad making a big deal out of it because there are women out there who have had much worse experiences than mine. I got to hold my baby and nurse right away despite not being able to sit up unassisted and enduring an allergic reaction to morphine...

I am struggling with my own fears of birth not working as we prepare to ttc later this year(for a hopeful hbac). I've lost the original, "heck yea, I can do this!" attitude that I had during my first pregnancy.