In the United States many women are opting to give birth by cesarean section for a myriad of reasons. In my case, it was a necessity.
Like many women of African-American descent, I have fibroid tumors on my uterus and a year and half prior to getting pregnant, I decided to have them removed. Well, several of them removed because I still have fibroids. There were just too many to get rid of all of them. Prior to surgery I was told that I would only be able to give birth by c-section. As disappointing as that revelation was, relieving the pain of my fibroids was more important to me than giving a vaginal birth.
Admittedly, I had some concerns about bonding with my child because I knew before being able to spend time with him, I had to recover from the actual surgery. My concerns were short-lived because I was sure that by nursing my child and having skin to skin contact, our relationship would be intact and we’d bond immediately.
In the delivery room I anticipated hearing my son’s cry and held my breath until his scream pierced the room. After he was cleaned up and swaddled, my husband carried him over to me and it was love at first sight. After a quick kiss my son and husband were whisked away for the completion of my surgery.
In the recovery room I drifted in and out of sleep but gleefully anticipated reuniting with my family. After an hour or so I was taken to my hospital room where I knew I’d spend time with my baby. Sadly, my hopes were dashed as I sat alone in the room waiting for my family. After what seemed like an eternity my son and I were together again and I immediately undressed him and placed him on my chest. I’d read that skin to skin contact would enhance the bonding process.
That moment was magical. It was as if we hadn’t been away from each other at all. Shortly after placing him on my chest I tried my hand at nursing for the first time. Glancing down at my child, I was filled with overwhelming love and I knew that despite our initial time apart, nothing could get in the way of our bond. For the mothers out there who are concerned about bonding with their child after a c-section, I say have no fear. You carry your child for nine months, he knows your voice, he knows who you are and the love you share will override any time apart you have after your surgery. I know, I’ve been there and it has been a love affair for the past four and half years that was not impacted by having a c-section.
Childbirth is such an incredible moment, and I’d love to know what went through your mind when you held your baby for the first time? By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs October 17 to November 13, 2011. A random winner will be announced by November 15, 2011.