My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After

My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After

My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After

My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After


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Twenty-one vivid, moving essays on caesarean birth

“No one talks about C-sections as surgery,” writes SooJin Pate. “They talk about it as if it’s just another way—albeit more convenient way—of giving birth.” The twenty-one essays in My Caesarean add back to the conversation the missing voices of a vast, invisible sisterhood.

Robin Schoenthaler reflects: “A C-section for us meant life.” And yet, women who don’t give birth vaginally—by choice or necessity—often feel stigmatized. “My son’s birth was not a test I needed to pass,” writes Sara Bates. “As if growing a human inside another human for nine months then caring for it the rest of its life isn’t enough,” adds Mary Pan, herself a physician.

Alongside their personal stories, the writers—decorated novelists, poets, and essayists—address the history of the C-section as well as its risks, social inequities, impact on the body, and psychological aftermath. My Caesarean is a heartfelt meditation, offering much-needed comfort through shared experience.

Contributors include: Catherine Newman, Judy Batalion, Nicole Cooley, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Lisa Solod, Misty Urban, Jacinda Townsend, Mary Pan, Robin Schoenthaler, Elizabeth Noll, Jen Fitzgerald, Tyrese Coleman, SooJin Pate, Daniela Montoya-Barthelemy, Cameron Dezen Hammon, LaToya Jordan, Sara Bates, Susan Hoffmann, and Alicia Jo Rabins.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781615195527
Publisher: The Experiment, LLC
Publication date: 05/01/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,096,665
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Amanda Fields is an assistant professor of English and the Writing Center director at Central Connecticut State University. She has published creative work in Indiana Review, Brevity, So to Speak, Nashville Review, and others. She coedited Toward, Around, and Away from Tahrir: Tracking Emerging Expressions of Egyptian Identity, and has published scholarship in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy; Journal of Adolescent Research; Sexuality Research and Social Policy; and edited collections. Among her honors is the 2016 Kairos Best Webtext Award. She holds a PhD in rhetoric and composition from the University of Arizona and an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Minnesota. Learn more at or on Twitter at @aj_fields.

Rachel Moritz is the author of the poetry collections Sweet Velocity and Borrowed Wave, which was a finalist for the National Poetry Series and the 2015 Minnesota Book Award in poetry. Her work has appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Colorado Review, Iowa Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Water-Stone Review, and other journals. Among her awards are grants from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Rachel lives with her partner and son in Minneapolis where she works as a teaching artist and content developer for museum projects. More at

Table of Contents

Foreword Maggie Smith ix

Editors' Note xiv

Part 1 Birth Matters 1

My Unnatural Birth Stories, Alicia Jo Rabins 5

On Becoming a Mother, Years After Delivering a Baby, Jacinda Townsend 11

Pulled Into Brightness, Amanda Fields 21

Upside Down, Mary Pan 35

Wounds, Robin Schoenthaler 41

Birth Geographic, Aimee Nezhukumatalhil 47

Part 2 At the Threshold 55

The Emperor's Cut, Elizabeth Noll 59

A Thin Blue Wall, Jen Fitzgerald 72

I Didn't Dream of Pregnancy, Tyrese L. Coleman 83

Scars of Life: An Adoptee's Meditation on Her C-Section and Hysterectomy, SooJin Pate 92

Notes from the Lying-In Hospital, Nicole Cooley 103

Reclaiming Home Birth and Discovering HELLP Syndrome, Daniela Monlaya-Barthelemy 120

Seam, Cameron Dezen Mammon 130

The Parent Room, Rachel Moritz 135

Part 3 Beyond Postpartum 145

Birth and Death and What Gets Cut Away, Catherine Newman 149

The Zig Zag Mother, LaToya Jordan 154

CBAC, Judy Balalion 165

When Expectations Go Up in Flames: A Mother Rising from the Ashes, Sara Bates 177

The Evidence, Lisa Solod 189

C-Section Blues, or the Biopsychosocial Model for Perinatal Mood Disorder, Misty Urban 198

Along Those Lines, Susan Hoffmann 212

Acknowledgments 225

Permissions Acknowledgments 227

Notes 229

About the Contributors 233

About the Editors 240

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