Recovering from not one, but two c-sections was the hardest thing I have ever done. I rarely speak about it, because I don’t want to scare women who are pregnant, but it was tough. Just thinking about the pain I was in the days following each surgery is enough to send a wave of anxiety through my body. That’s why whenever I hear some comment about c-sections being “the easy way out” — I just laugh. Childbirth is hard, period. None of us have it easy, whether a human has exited our body via our vagina or its been cut out of our wombs. A human has been removed from our bodies. Enough said.
Raye Lee knows firsthand how hard it is to recover from a c-section, because she recently had one. Her words about how tough those of us who’ve gone through them have to be are going viral because, damn. We are badasses.
“Being told at the beginning that I was displaying great progress and wouldn’t need a cesarean section… and then being told that I was being prepped for major abdominal surgery was not a shock at all,” she writes, sarcastically. “Oh, and that surgery is super easy peasy to recover from.”
Lee was in labor for 38 hours before her baby went into distress and every contraction was “literally stopping his heart.” She writes, “This was the most painful thing I have experienced in my life. I now belong to a badass tribe of mamas with the scar to prove that I had a baby cut out of me and lived to tell the tale.”
Anyone who has been through an emergency c-section can tell you — it’s terrifying. It’s absolutely not the same thing as having a c-section that is planned and calmly prepped for. I know, because I’ve been through both. An emergency c-section is a completely different animal than a planned one. When you are being rushed into surgery because your baby’s life may be at risk, everything is terrifying. The sense of emergency makes a surgeon’s movements quicker, more jarring. Recovering from that type of experience is no joke.
Lee describes it as “a completely different experience than I had imagined my son’s birth to be.” She’s understandably annoyed by anyone who would call the experiencethe easy way out. “When that first nurse asked you to try getting out of bed and the ripping pain of a body cut apart and stitched back together seared through you, you realized the irony of anybody who talks about it being the ‘easy way out.’ So fuck you and fuck how you see what I did.”
Childbirth is not easy, period. It’s not a competition. This post is a good reminder that there are so many things we endure as women, and we need to acknowledge those things and lift each other up — not compare experiences.
“I am the strongest woman, that I know,” she ends her post. “Not only for myself, but for my beautiful son… and I would honestly go through this every single day just to make sure I am able to see his smiling face.”