Birth Matters

My Cesarean Poem

I had a cesarean
I didn't want one
I wanted a baby
All wet and messy
Plopped onto my bare chest
To comfort in his first moment
By the stroke of my hand
And a nuzzle at my breast

I had a cesarean
All betadine and beeping machines
And anonymous blue masks
Seeing my insides
And me- numb to my toes
With no feeling

Except heartbreak

My plans
And my dreams
Were betrayed
By the orange label
Attached to my chart
Code for "high risk"

I didn't feel high risk
I hated that label

Who are these people
Did you start?
I'm here! I'm here! Why is
No one talking to me?
I hear my baby cry, my baby cry
But can't see MY BABY
My baby, my baby, someone bring me
My baby
No answers
No explanation
I am alone
Except for the blue masks
Putting my insides back in.

He was brought to me
Already clean and wrapped
And frantic
I couldn't even hold him
I'm sure it is not what he expected
Either.

Then the blood
Then the pain
My belly no longer full of baby
Grew distended with air

"It doesn't matter now" Woman #1 said
"I had three cesareans, they are no big deal" bitch #2 said
"Your sister sprang right back" My mother said
(My sister was 19)

I have flashbacks
Like a war vet
And a sadness that
No one wants to hear about
And pain.

I does matter
It is a big deal
It is a mourning
I had a cesarean
I didn't want one.

-Barbara
Mom to Charlie born 12/6/99 by cesarean section