This Mom's Instagram Post Reminds Us That Every Birth Is Beautiful

Raquel Renteria's second birth did not go the way she had always dreamed it would. As she explained to Scary Mommy, she had to scrap her original plans and have a C-section after learning her baby was breached. But after her daughter's successful delivery, Renteria realized that her experience actually taught her an important lesson: The realities of birth can be just as beautiful as what you dream up.

The new mom posted her thoughts on Instagram, along with a photo of her C-section scar:

"The last few weeks leading up to Alexa's birth, I was scared. I was terrified of this surgery," Renteria wrote. "I was afraid of this scar and the long-term effects it would have on body and my mind. I was worried I would feel inadequate, like I didn't give birth to her. So many different fears lingered, but SO many other mamas told me, it would all be okay. And it is. I don't feel as if I was robbed of a birth or like less of a bad ass. This scar proves that I am indeed a #badassmama!"

Renteria described a common fear among women who give birth via C-section — that, somehow, their births were lesser than vaginal, or so-called "natural," births. This stigma is unfortunately still alive and well, but more and more moms are using social media to shed light on the realities of C-sections. For Renteria, even though it wasn't part of her original plan, she now loves how she gave birth and, in saying so, she's added her voice to the larger discussion around C-sections.

"This surgery...pushed me to educate myself, to open my mind, to let go of my perfect expectations," she wrote. "I had everything I wanted during my birth. We had skin to skin in the OR, we saw our daughter being birthed (actually have the video of it), my husband cut the umbilical cord, they delayed cord clamping, and, most importantly, our baby was safe and beautiful and my doctor respected every decision we made."

Renteria's post reminds us that childbirth doesn't need to follow an idealized plan or look exactly the way it's imagined — the reality is that, in the end, not all mothers have a choice. But perhaps the most important thing to remember is that all choices around childbirth are valid — and all births are beautiful.
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