A Poem and Image to Recognize Cesarean Awareness Month 2018

April is Cesarean Awareness Month.jpgApril is recognized every year as Cesarean Awareness Month.  To that end, Science & Sensibility will be highlighting information, resources, and tools that birth professionals can use on the topic of cesareans and vaginal births after cesareans throughout the month of April.  But for this first post on the topic of Cesarean Awareness Month 2018, I wanted to share an image taken by professional photographer Jordan Burch of Jordan Burch Photography.  Jordan also wrote a poem as she documented her sister, Natalie Caho, giving birth by cesarean.  I include the exact writing Jordan included with this moving image for you to read now.

The purpose of these words and accompanying image is not to shame, disregard or disrespect anyone.  It speaks to the intense emotions and impact that birth has on a person and their loved ones.  It is spoken from the heart.  I hope that you find it as moving as I did.


"probably one of my favorite photos ever.

of course, it's my sister.

but it's so much more than that.

at that very moment, they'd unstrapped everything.

there were no alarms going off for finished fluids.
no heartbeat monitors, 
oxygen monitors.

the computer screen, went black.

they started washing her down in a sponge bath.
prepping her, for her baby.

I think one of the scariest things about C-sections, is the loss of control.

in your mind, you'll control all of it.
push when you're ready.
stop when you need to.
breathe in.
breathe out.
push again.

but in a C-section, you hand all of that over > > >
to your doctor, of course.
but also, to a staff, people you don't even know.
and won't ever meet.

you'll leave your dim, and cozy room. . . 
for one lit up, brighter than the makeup aisles in target.

it's freezing here.
and noisy.

your body, is center stage. 
but you can't, see a thing.

and while you're laying there, terrified. . .

they'll talk about their days, 
they'll play their own music.
as if, you're not even there.

this is just another day, 
another surgery. . .
quickly added, on a schedule somewhere. . .

while you lay there, 
with your arms stretched out beside you.
they'll tell your spouse where they can sit, 
and how far they're allowed to move.

the nurse anesthetist will check her own Facebook on her phone. . .
while simultaneously watching your vitals. . . .

all the while, rubbing her own, very pregnant belly.


they'll allow someone else to hold your baby,
before you do. . .

a surgery, means checked vitals,
length, weight. . .

the first swaddle, and a quick diaper. . 
before you'll get him.


finally. . .

the pass off.

to you.

though, you can't hold him.
as your arms are secured.

it's this wonderful, amazing,
yet tragic,
moment. .

all at once.

It's less about you.

And more about, a process.

it's less a birth.

a more,

a "procedure"

and I hate that.

I really, really hate that.

but I hated that even more for her.

this isn't to bash c-sections.
or hospitals.
or physicians.
or staff.

they can be life-saving procedures.

life changing, people.

just doing, their jobs.

c-sections. . .
are welcome medical advances, 
to so many. . .

the advantages, "they" say, are outstanding. . .
those are the moms, the medical professionals, who quiet us. . .

who tell us, we're lucky.
we're alive.
and so, are our babies.

but this isn't to those people.

this is, to us.

who instead. . 
feel so defeated.

in what should be, a moment of triumph.

it's all over her face.

a small loss, but a very personal one.

a war, to us.
all of its own.

you're defeated. 
by your own body.

by your doctor.
by the staff.

everyone and everything.

you want a baby.
so badly.

that's why you're here, after all.

and they'll get you one, they say.


but not without taking, from you first.

an experience. 
the only one, that you'd had in mind.

you didn't see it going this way.

and most don't.

you're told in those last few minutes,

it's the end of the road, for what "you" can do here.

they know better.
they're well trained.
and they've all, seen it all.

just be happy, with a healthy baby, 
they shout, 
in their quiet, over-assuring voices. . .

you don't want to believe them.


what can you do?


and that, is the worst part of it all.

so you lay back.
as you hand, all of that control.
over, to everyone else.

and it's hard.
it, is so. very hard.

and painful.

it takes a tough, kind of momma.
to lay there, and hand that kind of responsibility, over.

but as promised.
once he's here.

it's less about the process.
the procedures.
and the music choices.

and it's back to how it should be.
how it should have been, all along.

it's all about the baby.
and you.


the story, ends so much happier.
thankfully. . .

but there is still a story, in the struggle.

and I won't be silenced, by those, who can't understand it. . .

every part of me wants to reach back into this photo. . . 
in that dark moment. . .

and wipe her eyes. . .

[[ I've been there ]]

I whisper, to myself. . . 
hoping her heart hears it.

but as I watch the tears fall down her cheeks onto her soiled bed, 
where she'd labored the entire day through. . .

I know, nothing in this world. .

could change the way she's feeling. . .

though every part of me, deep down. .
knows that finally.

All, is ok.

It's all, going to be ok. . .

and now > > >
that he's safely here.

she knows that too.

(( all, c-section mommas do ))

cheers, to those warriors.
to those mommas.

who did, the same.

this photo, moments before, 
she turned into, a (first time) 
scared to death . .


what a great one, she will be.

so proud of you baby sis."

by Jordan Burch

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