Cesarean Birth

Dear Cesarean Mama: A Letter from Your Nurse

written by: Lo Mansfield, MSN, RN

I wrote this letter years ago. I’ve seen so many women become mothers via cesarean. Some choose the path. Others did not, or it was chosen for them. But regardless of the many different reasons someone brings their baby earthside in an OR, I’ve always been amazed by the strength and power I’ve seen in every single of one of them.

If you’ve had a cesarean, or you do someday, this is for you.

mother in operating room holding baby after cesarean

Who is The Labor Mama and Why Am I Here? 

Hey friend! I’m Lo – also known around here and social media as The Labor Mama. I’ve spent my nursing career in labor, delivery, and postpartum, have birthed 3 of my own babies, have labored thousands of mamas at the bedside, have taught hundreds of students online, and have even delivered a few speedy little babies with my bare hands (oops).

Here at TLM, I offer online birth classes to empower you the way everyone should be. The education + support I offer gives you experience, evidence, and empathy; you’re getting all of my years of “clinical” RN knowledge, beautifully combined with my real experiences as a mama and a nurse. These are not your hospital birth classes (those won’t do it, I promise), and honestly, birth doesn’t follow a textbook or protocol anyway – you need to know so much more than that.

If you want to connect with me further, head to Instagram. There are hundreds of thousands of us over there learning together daily.

*All pictures shared with permission; from students and mamas in my Instagram community.

mother and father holding baby in operating room after cesarean birth

••••

Hey cesarean mama, can I tell you something?

You did it. That sweet baby in your arms, you did that. Your body stretched and changed and gave itself over in unexplainable ways to make that little life come true.

You laid yourself on a table in a sterile OR, let someone cut you open, vulnerable, strong, capable, sacrificial, to bring that little one earthside.

You looked to me when that baby came out, tears running down your cheeks, as I assured you that ‘yes mama, they’re okay.’

You let me dig my hands into your belly, massaging a tired uterus, pushing on the space where your body was just opened, even while you gasped in pain.

You shuffled your way across the room, with trembling legs and tears in your eyes, because each painful step brought you closer to taking that baby home.

You slowly rolled yourself over in the middle of the night, grimacing in pain but reaching for that baby, answering the call of their hunger, their need.

You ran your fingers over the staples and steri-strips, scar fresh and pink and puckered, wondering how it would heal, what mark it’d leave behind.

You tucked that baby snugly into their car seat, gently lowered your swollen body into the back seat next to them, and then you drove away, mouthing ‘thank you’ out the window while I waved you goodbye.

All of that, mama, you did that. You were brave and strong and capable. You showed me faith and trust and sacrifice. You were quietly gracious, both when it went the way you wanted – and when it didn’t.

You did what so many just keep on doing – you laid yourself down, in that beautiful unassuming way that mamas always do.

Do you see it, mama? I so hope you do. You are a mama. You were and are and always have been equipped for this – and I’m not sure I’ll ever witness anything more stunning.

Well done mama. I’m so proud of you. You and your story makes me marvel.

With love,
your labor nurse

••••

Have you had a cesarean? How did it go? Have you ever thought of yourself in this way? I’d love to hear about it. xx- Lo

If you’d like some additional resources on cesarean birth, I’ve got them! Check out these posts:

mama in OR holding baby skin to skin c-section

More resources (and freebies!) for you to take a peek at:

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About the Author

Lo Mansfield MSN, RNC-OB, is a specialty-certified registered nurse in obstetrics, postpartum, and fetal monitoring who is passionate about families understanding their integral role in their own stories. She is the owner of The Labor Mama and creator of the The Labor Mama online courses. She is also a mama of three, a University of Washington graduate (Go Dawgs), and is currently an expat in Haarlem, Netherlands. 

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