After Jodie Shaw gave birth to her second child, several people implied that her C-section was the "easy option" and that she "didn't give birth," she wrote on the blog Birth Without Fear. Understandably, it pissed her off. Unfortunately, it seems that some people have really clung to the idea that there's some kind of hierarchy of birthing methods. Kate Winslet actually lied and said she had a vaginal birth, because she feared people would judge her for her C-section. On the Birth Without Fear Facebook page, Shaw clarified how wrong that attitude is — and shared a photo to prove it. "A new day and what seems to be another new post from someone insinuating that giving birth by cesarean means that you didn't give birth," she wrote. "I obviously can't change people's views, but I've decided to post this picture to see if it may make people understand that despite what our birth plans might say, sometimes, we don't get a choice. I didn't get a choice." She explained that she had a cervical fibroid and a low-sitting placenta. A vaginal birth would have put both she and her baby at risk. These complications made the C-section more difficult than usual and she'll need six weeks to recover. "This scar saved me from losing a life threatening amount of blood and meant my baby was brought into this world as she should be," she wrote. C-sections are often done for the baby's sake, as well as the mother's, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Beyond that, even if Shaw weren't in a dangerous position, had an easy birth, and had the C-section for her own sake, that's still not grounds to criticize her decision. Nobody has a duty to give birth in the most challenging or "natural" way possible. How to give birth is one of the most personal decisions you can make. As this woman's story proves, often, there really isn't a choice. Either way, all birth stories should be celebrated as the miracles that they are.