One new mother is shattering the idea that giving birth via cesarean section means taking the easy way out. Just days after giving birth, Raye Lee took to Facebook to post photos of her scars from the surgery, along with a powerful message for anyone who thinks c-sections don't "count" as giving birth. She started her post by quoting someone reacting to the news that she had a c-section: "'Oh. A c-section? So you didn’t actually give birth. It must have been nice to take the easy way out like that.'" What followed is what, we assume, Lee would say in response to such a remark. Let's just say she didn't hold back. "Ah, yes. My emergency c-section was absolutely a matter of convenience. It was really convenient to be in labor for 38 hours before my baby went into distress and then every contraction was literally STOPPING his HEART," Lee wrote, describing the relatively rare situation known as "non-reassuring fetal status," which is when a baby shows signs of being in trouble during birth. The most common treatment for this is to perform an emergency c-section; this is a controversial diagnosis in some circles, because it can be difficult to determine whether a baby is truly in distress or not. Still, many experts say that it's better to be safe than sorry. With this in mind, Lee wrote how, at that point, she consented to having surgery — which she sarcastically added was "super easy peasy to recover from." Later in her post, Lee wrote honestly — and without a hint of sarcasm — about the toll the c-section really took on her body. "I now belong to a badass tribe of mamas with the scar to prove that I had a baby cut out of me and lived to tell the tale... You use your core muscles for literally everything... even sitting down, imagine not being able to use them because they have literally been shredded and mangled by a doctor and not being able to repair them for 6+ weeks because your body has to do it naturally." Here, Lee argued that c-sections are in no way the "easier" option. She ended by turning her attention back to her critics: "Fuck you and fuck how you see what I did. I am the strongest woman that I know. Not only for myself, but for my beautiful son... and I would honestly go through this every single day just to make sure I am able to see his smiling face." Lee's post speaks to a much larger stigma surrounding the decision to have a c-section instead of giving birth vaginally. She had to undergo the procedure due to an emergency, but there are many other reasons why it might be the better option for certain women. While there are benefits to giving birth vaginally, c-sections are not as risky as they're made to seem, and they certainly don't deserve the stigma that is thrust upon them.
Read Lee's full post below. Be warned — the images may seem graphic to some.