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our stories are
personal
powerful

Friendly woman

We collect and share stories

to spread awareness of the realities of what women experience, and to champion ways for individuals, the healthcare industry, and society to help women heal faster, stronger, and more confidently.

 

Stories ignite change.

Within us and beyond us.

ABOUT US

Cesarean Crew is a simple hub of curated resources

 

dedicated to helping women navigate their c-section journey

 

with more empathy and support.

OUR MISSION

To help more women emerge triumphantly from their personal cesarean experience,

 

by shedding the stigma,

admiring their strength,

and providing more awareness, resources, and conversation, 

so that they enter feeling informed

and exit feeling strong

Our founding story

"Shellshocked" is how I would describe my c-section experience. Or, more accurately:

 

  • Thought 1: WTF just happened? Like seriously, WTF.

  • Thought 2: I feel like I got hit by a truck. This can't be normal. Oh, here's some over-the-counter Tylenol for your pain? Sounds about right.

  • Thought 3: Here's a baby. Now just place it on your excruciating abdomen and teach it to eat by chomping on other sensitive areas of your battered body. Rest is the best thing for you right now. You don't get that. Good luck!

 

JK...sorta. My baby is wonderful and I love him dearly. But oof. That was a HARD time. 

 

I am grateful for the excellent care we received during the escalations that led to my unplanned c-section, but I was not mentally prepared (despite my "in case of c-section" instructions in my birth plan) for how overwhelming the experience was. 

 

I thought I was a high-flying corporate woman who could "project manage" anything in my life. Boy was I humbled. I have never experienced anything harder than having to navigate unpacking the complex emotions of delivery, while also physically recovering from major surgery, and also tackling the steep learning curve of being a first-time parent...all on two-hour increments of sleep. I was in survival mode just trying to keep my head above water.

But of course, when seeing family and friends I tried to embody feeling capable, confident, and generally having my s**t together -- not because I was trying to impress anyone, I think I was mostly trying to convince myself that everything was ok. Or to simply try to enjoy those social visits because they were a highlight in those very long days. But I was not ok. I was coping (barely). And it was exhausting.

 

I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole experience yet, so I didn't feel comfortable talking about it with my doctor without sounding ungrateful somehow. I felt like I didn't have the right words yet to articulate what I was feeling or even know what resources to search for. And when I brought it up to friends or family, I could see that the topic made them sad or distressed, so I didn't have an outlet to share the real, raw details and feelings.

 

I didn't know anyone who had been through something similar -- or maybe I did, but since no one talks about it I just didn't know. So I had to turn to the default option -- Google searches during 2 am feedings -- to try to mentally process my experience and learn about recovery...only to be disappointed by how fragmented, clinical, and unrelatable the information was.

C-section content is typically covered as a footnote at the end of an article, whereas for me it was the single most impactful aspect of my birth experience, the way I met my first child, and my postpartum recovery. Articles covered the steps and healing process for your body, but spoke nothing of the experience or why I still didn't feel "whole" months later.

 

I craved reading other women's stories -- searching for familiarity with my own experience and trying to learn what worked for them. I didn't understand why some people seemed to recover quickly while I still felt like I was stuck and should have "moved on" by now.

 

I started feeling better when I found others who had gone through something similar. People who could handle the detailed and unfiltered version of my story -- where I knew it would be heard and validated because they'd been there too. Being able to talk openly and honestly lifted the weight I didn't even realize I was still carrying. As I listened to their stories, I was surprised to find:

  • Underpinnings of shame, regret, and fear that lingered just below the surface of many of our birth stories

  • Many were holding happy, healthy babies but showed signs consistent with the grieving process for not having the "empowering" experience of becoming a mother that everyone talks about

  • Few of us had reached out to anyone for help in unpacking those emotions

  • Many of us were scared to try for more children, knowing that we may have to lay back on that table

  • We all wanted to help each other feel seen and supported (and to celebrate success stories!)

 

We started sharing resources and that's when I learned that my symptoms were consistent with PTSD, which can be more common if you experienced an unplanned c-section and it doesn't go away with time (it can even get worse).

 

I never knew you could get PTSD from childbirth and the treatment is totally different from postpartum depression. Once I got the right resources, I felt like myself again SO quickly. It was amazing and infuriating. Where was this information before?

When we decided to try for another child, I was determined to do everything I could to have a better experience. I began saving articles that I felt were most helpful (and realistic) and getting advice from others who had enjoyed their c-sections or who had a "healing" second c-section. When I began talking about it, I realized that SO MANY women who have been through this feel the same way and want to help others have better outcomes too. Those conversations and these efforts evolved into this website.

 

There are a lot of people and resources that are available to help, but when I needed them the most, I simply didn't have the time, energy, or clarity to find them.

So, we've done it for you. 

We've all been through a battle.

(a literal knife fight)

Let's heal stronger together.

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