C-Section Stories: Amanda Belmonte
1. Briefly, please share the circumstances that led to your c-section birth(s):
I’ve had two c-sections, both of them being difficult in their own way. I had my first baby 2.5 years ago, was induced at 41 weeks (not by choice), and wound up having extreme back labor which led me to have an epidural. I then sat in bed as they kept upping the Pitocin for 36 hours total before telling me it was time for a c-section. I felt totally neglected and just did not have any control over my birth. Recovery was very difficult with my daughter’s birth. Most recently, I had a c-section a month ago with my son, and this experience, although disappointing was much better. I had switched hospitals, was going with a midwife instead, and had a doula, as I attempted a VBAC. Unfortunately, after 15 hours in labor, I never made it past 5 centimeters. My body stayed at 5 centimeters even with intense contractions. But we’re thankful my c-section happened when it did because my surgeon accidentally poked open my uterus after taking 30 minutes to get past all of the scar tissue encasing my uterus. If I had continued to labor, I was very high risk for uterine rupture. Although I’m so disappointed I was not able to have a VBAC, I’m very thankful my son is here with me today and healthy. It could have ended differently.
2. What surprised you the most about having a c-section?:
What surprised me most was the guilt that happened after with both, or feelings of shame. I felt like I couldn’t birth my child the “normal” way, and a lot of my friends have had amazing unmedicated, vaginal births. But I’m slowly learning to embrace my scar, I am reminding myself daily that my children are here and healthy, and that I still birthed them in an amazing way.
3. What kind of support do you feel you received (from friends, family, healthcare team) after your c-section(s)?:
I’ve received a lot of support from my husband, who has praised me for all the work I did to get our children here safely. My mom also had two c-sections, and she has been a constant voice of encouragement and a great listener when I’m having a tough day accepting my birth stories.
4. What’s your #1 piece of advice/encouragement for a new c-section mom?:
Give yourself so much grace and so much credit. You are a warrior mom who laid your body down on the operating table for your child. You nursed or bottle-fed your baby when you were in extreme pain. You had to go back to normal life and added a little helpless baby to the mix, all while being hunched over in pain feeling like your organs were going to fall out. You are a rockstar!
5. How do you believe having a c-section birth(s) made you stronger?:
I believe they have made me so aware that I have so little control. I did everything in my power (especially with my most recent one) to have a VBAC but my body told me otherwise and that’s okay. I saw so much strength in myself that I didn’t know existed, and for that I’m thankful.
Name: Amanda Belmonte
Your Profession: Stay-at-home mom
How to Connect With You on Social Media: @aaamandalynn on Instagram