C-Section Stories: Mary Ellen Phipps

1. Briefly, please share the circumstances that led to your c-section birth(s):

I am a type one diabetic and the standard protocol is to induce at 39 weeks. So that’s what we did, but after 28 hours of labor, my daughter still hadn’t dropped any and I was only 3 cm dilated. My water had broken on its own about 14 hours before. My daughter’s heart rate started to fluctuate weirdly which concerned the doctor and he recommended we get her out via c-section within the hour. We didn’t hesitate at all and said yes. My goal was a healthy baby. I don’t regret that decision one bit. My recovery was very smooth, with no complications.

Fast forward eight months, and I found out I was pregnant again… Surprise! During my second pregnancy, my scar continued to heal, but it appeared on the outside to not be healing properly. After asking if I would be eligible for a VBAC, my doctor explained the risks that come with a VBAC, including the added risks of having babies so close together. He was also concerned about how my uterus had healed on the inside based on the way the scar looked. Again, without any hesitation or doubt, we made the decision to do a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks. No regret. In fact, in a day and age where “natural” birth seems to be this glorified, perfect way to give birth, I’m proud of my c-sections. I’m here and healthy and I have two healthy babies who entered this world in a relatively uncomplicated way.

2. What surprised you the most about having a c-section?:

I’d heard horror stories about healing afterwards and how much pain you can have. I had none of that. Two very easy recoveries!

3. What kind of support do you feel you received (from friends, family, healthcare team) after your c-section(s)?:

My mom had c-sections and was such a huge help as I was healing at home. There were, however, acquaintances and co-workers who made comments like “oh I’m so sorry” or “that’s a shame” when they found out I’d had a c-section. It made me so angry.

4. What’s your #1 piece of advice/encouragement for a new c-section mom?:

Own it! You are healthy and your baby is (hopefully) healthy. What a blessing to live in a day and age where we have a way to ensure most babies are born healthy when vaginal delivery doesn’t go as planned or can’t be done.

5. How do you believe having a c-section birth(s) made you stronger?:

The risks are so much higher so that was scary, but it taught me just how much fear I can overcome!

Name: Mary Ellen Phipps

Your Profession: Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

How to Connect With You: www.milkandhoneynutrition.com