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C-Sections Are NOT Sexy

Posted by on December 6, 2011

Read. Laugh. THINK.

The other day I read this article.  It talked about how some women opt for having a c-section rather than attempting to give birth vaginally because they fear the pain.  I read this and thought, “Seriously?”  If you think about all of the silly crap that women, myself included, do for stupid reasons that causes pain it really doesn’t make sense. Bikini wax?

But I have heard all kinds of reasons for women willingly opting out of having a vaginal birth in favor for a cut in the gut.  I think c-sections became less scary and actually appealing when celebrity replaced chihuahuas in purses with sections as the new rage.

Gwen Stefani

Britney Spears

Victoria Beckham

Christina Aguilera

Kate Hudson

and of course Angelina Jolie

These are only a few of a long list of celebrities that have opted for c-sections for various reasons; however, the lasting image that was left by these women publicly discussing their c-sections was that it made a cut to the gut sound sexy.  I know that sounds silly, but it is true.  Victoria Beckham even had that cheeky little phrase “too Posh to push” named after her.  Like it or not, celebrities and their lives are a big part of modern society for a vast majority of women.  And when women hear that Britney doesn’t want her “Britney” stretched by natural birth, it makes a lot of every day, young women think that they too should opt for a section.

Now I have had a c-section.  On January 9, 2007 I had a c-section, and it changed me in about a million ways.  I am sure I will write about it someday, but today is not that day.  Today, I am here to make it perfectly clear that having a c-section is just not sexy and it doesn’t free you from pain.

Here’s my seven reasons to not opt for the cut in the gut.

1.  It’s MAJOR FREAKING SURGERY!  And it is not like a Grey’s Anatomy style surgery where everybody looks hot.  It is a surgery where you where paper clothes, a stupid hat and shit all over your arm that makes you look like you fell off of the Enterprise.

2.  SMELL MUCH?! I vividly remember trying to lay calmly on the operating table.  I was taking deep breaths and focusing on the positive.  And then my mom started to make this really weird face.  And then I smelled “it.”  I didn’t know what the hell “it” was, but I later was told it was the smell of my burning flesh.  BURNING FLESH!  Because nothing exudes sex quite like the smell of your belly being cauterized.

3.  PUBLIC SHAVING!  My c-section was an emergency c-section.  Perhaps if somebody had told me that I was going to be having a c-section, I could have written to Dear Abby to ask about the proper lady landscaping required for such an operation.  Yep, a nurse came in with a set of shavers that I am pretty sure they use on thick coated dogs, and she “shaved me downtown.”  Did I mention that this was in a room full of people?  Sexy, right?

4.  Feeling Bloated?!  When you get the cut to the gut, your gut then fills up with air.  Lots of air.  This can actually leave you looking more pregnant than you did prior to giving birth to your baby.  Just what every pregnant woman wants, right?  What could be sexier than not fitting in to your fattest maternity fat pants?

5.  FART! FART! FART!  So we already went over the whole being crazy bloated and ginormous after having a section.  Well, guess what?  All that air that your body has just consumed has to get out of your body somehow.  You guessed it!  I had a nurse regularly coming in to my room just to ask me how my “gas passing” was going.  So picture this.  You are holding your sweet baby, taking photos with family, and farting all over the place.  I want to see Angelina make that one look sexy.

6.  Z-Z-Z-IPPER!  After you get that cut to the gut, they are going to have to close you up somehow.  Now don’t worry, the stitches that you get will dissolve.  You won’t have to worry about going through the discomfort of having your stitches ripped through a healed wound.  Nope, but you will have to go through the pain of having staples ripped out one by one by a nurse with what looks like a staple remover on steroids.  Sexy, huh?

7.  Bloody Hell!  I was one of the unfortunate women who experienced a hemorrhage minutes after my section.  I was nursing my son when I felt a gush, yes an actual gush, of blood escape my body.  I told the nurse, and she said that was normal, but within minutes I was feeling like I was going to pass out, close my eyes and never see the world again.  I lost a ton of blood, and my husband recalls watching my doctor reach into me and yank out blood clots that were the size of tennis balls.  He said the whole thing was very Saving Private Ryan.  I spent that night getting two blood transfusions and not seeing my child until the next morning.  At one point during it all, I asked my doctor if I was going to die, and he said that if I could just stop bleeding I would be fine.  And I felt relieved because secretly I had been bleeding all over the damn place just to get some extra attention.  No, in reality, the thought that this would be my first and last day with my son scared the shit out of me and was in no way worth this very “sexy” procedure.

I need to say this.  If you  have a condition where a section is truly the only option, then you of course must do what you need to in order to protect your baby and you.  But if you are thinking about a c-section because you are worried about your lady parts being disfigured then, WHAT THE BLEEP IS WRONG WITH YOU?  YOUR BABY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR HOO-HA.  GROW UP!  And if you are contemplating having a c-section because you don’t want to feel pain then…you are strongly mistaken.  C-sections hurt.  And they can mentally hurt you and scar you in ways that cannot be healed as easily as your forever scar.

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Julie C 6 pts

I think you're doing a huge disservice to mothers everywhere. The celebrities whom you're criticizing and judging are not reading this, neither are the moms who only get c-sections because of their "hoo-ha", regular moms and moms to be are.

As someone who had a cesarean, and since you also had one, you should know that the last thing a mom needs is to be scared to death of needing one. Not everyone gets to have the birth of their dreams. After reading your post and your readers comments a mother can expect to be scared beyond belief and ashamed.

I think your post is insulting and tasteless.

i think i love you. this is single handedly the best blog i have ever read and this entry is perfect. I had a c-sec due to a medial condition but man you really pinpointed everything so bluntly and perfectly i could kiss you!

This is such an under discussed subject. Women have no idea what itisto go through child birth and are under a crazy assumption that c sections somehow make it easier. When I told friends I was going with a midwife instead of an ob they were shocked, someone even asked me If it was legal! I recommended ricki lakes doc "the business of being born" I think all first time pregnant women should watch. Never mind what shows like TLCs a baby story do to amp up fear. A women from here in Canada used a web cam to broadcast natural at home child birth, she was attempting to normalize a very everyday event that has become so mystified that women are left to believe major surgery is the preferable alternative

I love The Business of Being Born :) It changed the way I look at birth. Every pregnant woman should see it!

I have only had a vaginal birth, but I was thinking after my son was born that I was glad that I didn't have a csection to recover from. Healing from my episiotomy plus additional tearing wasn't fun but at least I didn't have a weight-lifting restriction and I wasn't trying to breastfeed my baby while avoiding putting him on my belly area.

Plus, I got to go home four hours after he was born! If I'd had a csection I would have been stuck in the hospital for 48 hours.

I had 1 c/s and have since had 2 VBACs. I can honestly say, that I HATE that I had a c/s. I had ptsd and ppd afterwards. That whole first year of my son's life is a blur. My poor husband was traumaitzed because he saw my innards, and saw how rough the doctors are when stuffing them all back in. The spinal hit a nerve and sent fire through my legs, I was not told I'd be strapped down and subconciously struggled against the restraints on the arm my husband wasn't sitting next to. Don't forget the part of being so hungry, but you can't eat until you fart because they want to make sure your innards aren't twisted and will kill you. The VBACs on the other hand...pure bliss! Walking around, no pain, being able to take care of the older children and the baby...working in the garden, enjoying hte weather....

I don't have children (yet) but I have run into quite a bit online about rampant C-sections. Just the general attitude about giving birth in popular culture seems so wrong to me. In addition to planning C-sections a lot of women (and doctors) are for inducing labor early. Women like to be able to pick a particular date or be done sooner and doctors like to be able to schedule births in to get as many as possible done at normal business hours. The C-section is much simpler for doctors I hear so they often push it when it's not necessary.

Thank you for posting about your experience. It's important for younger women, such as myself, to have realistic expectations for something as important as birthing our children. But unless there are child-bearing women in one's family I don't feel like we get to see that reality and the media fills the void. And as I mentioned, doctors often push what is convenient, not what is best for the patient so we need other women to support and inform us.

I just found your blog the other day and I really love reading your perspective on these sorts of topics. Thank you for doing what you do.

Having had 2 babies vaginally and 1 c-section the fear of pain always cracks me up. You basically trade a few hours of pain in labor for WEEKS of recovery pain with a c-section! Seriously with my first 2 I had no pain after birth by the next day I was feeling great. With my c-section it was 1 week of HELL followed by a few more weeks of SUCK and a few more of WILL THIS EVER END?!
My c-section was also am emergency one (prolapsed cord) it was awful :(

I absolutely love this! I had two C Sections (I will admit that I wanted the second one- but for PTSD cause by birth trauma reasons, not superficial issues) and they were anything but sexy. You forgot to mention the flabby flap of skin that hangs down and never goes away no matter how much weight you lose. I know that's my favorite part. Oh and the fact that it still hurts to poop after my second section, even though it's been three months. My aunt was actually paralyzed on one side for a year after her C Section (it was one of the few that are actually truly medically necessary) and she still has constant pain in one leg after 10 years.

You are so right about the flap! I wonder why we never see that flap on a celebrity?

Because they can afford to have their tummy tucked. What I wouldn't give for one of those. I love my scar as it's a reminder of what I went through for my children, but I could really do without the flap.