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No One Told Me About the Trauma of a C-Section

You probably know someone who has undergone a cesarean section, whether it was elective, emergency, or circumstantial. This major surgery is more common than many realize; in fact, according to the World Health Organization, the rate of C-sections keeps rising, with 1 in 5 childbirths resulting in one. This statistic actually both shocked and underwhelmed me, as I continue to recover from my own C-section. On the one hand, I was shocked at the high rate (that’s 20%!). On the other hand, I’ve since connected with so many women who also had a C-section (or multiple ones), and I quickly realized that they aren’t that rare at all.

However, if that’s the case, why did no one prepare me for the emotional trauma that comes with this major surgery? Or the physical trauma? Why did no doctor tell me that the raging post-birth hormones, mixed with a screaming midsection, would leave me curled into a ball on my kitchen floor? How come no one mentioned that feelings of failure, inadequacy, and shame would remain ever present in my life, especially during that wild first month of motherhood?

Don’t get me wrong: I love my son, and I am now forever grateful that we are and were both happy and healthy following his birthday. And these first two months with him have been trying, amazing, exciting, and eye-opening. But there’s one glaring piece of my experience – and the experience of 1 in 5 people – that needs to be addressed: the trauma that accompanies an unplanned (for me) C-section.

Doesn’t my experience ultimately speak to the stigma around C-sections? They’re the “easy way out.” The “you didn’t try hard enough.” The “you couldn’t get it done.”

Here’s the short version of the story

Nothing can truly prepare for that moment in the

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You probably know someone who has undergone a cesarean section, whether it was elective, emergency, or circumstantial. This major surgery is more common than many realize; in fact, according to the World Health Organization, the rate of C-sections keeps rising, with 1 in 5 childbirths resulting in one. This statistic actually both shocked and underwhelmed me, as I continue to recover from my own C-section. On the one hand, I was shocked at the high rate (that’s 20%!). On the other hand, I’ve since connected with so many women who also had a C-section (or multiple ones), and I quickly realized that they aren’t that rare at all.
I adore the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and teaching others about dissociative disorders is my passion. As a person/system of parts living and generally thriving with what the diagnostic manuals would call a dissociative disorder, I often use metaphors from fictional realms like Marvel to frame my own inner world and teach others about systems.

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