No matter how one gives birth, it's weird AF. If you were to tell an alien visiting Earth that either a baby gets squeezed out of a tunnel of muscle or that, while the mother is usually awake, doctors cut into her body, take out her baby, stitch her back up and then she's walking within a day or so, the alien would not believe it. Since newborn babies are just about as close to aliens as we can get here on Earth, it'd be interesting to know what your baby is thinking during your c-section. So, I thought it would be fun to make a a few guesses.
Of course, there can't be one narrative here, largely because the reasons for having a c-section can and do vary. There are emergency c-section after spontaneous labor and there are planned c-sections for any number of reasons and there are emergency c-section due to medical emergency. I don't know what a baby is actually thinking in any of those scenarios, but certainly mom's state of mind can vary wildly on a case by case basis.
Like any birth experience, c-sections can range from transcendent to traumatizing. But I also think that babies are operating (no pun intended!) on a totally different level than the rest of us because they know nothing other than their own immediate surroundings and stimuli (and, for the purposes of this lighthearted article, pop culture references). So, what exactly is going on in your itty bitty newborn's mind? I have some theories...
"I Like It In Here! I'm Not Leaving, And You Can't Make Me!"
"I don't care how ready you are or how ready you say I am. Could I come out now? Sure. I could. But I've got an excellent set up in here. There's amniotic fluid! There's a placenta that's like the best all-you-can-eat buffet ever! And when you walk around, the swaying is just the bee's knees. So, sorry. Sorry if you planned on me coming out at some point, but it's just not happening. I'm sure I can do some sort of correspondence course in lieu of going to school or something."
"Ummm, A Little Help?"
"OK, so I thought we were going to do this one way but... ummm... Plan A isn't going exactly as planned. So, I guess Plan B sounds excellent right about now. I don't know what Plan B is, but I trust you know how to get us through this."
"Whoa! I've Never Seen That Door Before..."
"Holy crap! That's, like, whoa! How the hell did I miss that? Has that been here the whole time? Is this like the wardrobe that leads to Narnia? And it's so damn bright all of a sudden. In fact I've never seen anything like this. Do I move toward it? Do I wait for it to come to me? What's going on?"
"Ahhhh! Something Touched Me!"
"OMG, this is a legit horror movie right now! I thought I was the only one in here? When did someone else get here? Did they come through that mysterious portal? What do they want with me?! Oh! Wait! Is this Plan B? Plan B is downright surreal, mom."
"Was I Born On Halloween? Why Are Y'all Wearing Masks?"
"What's going on under there? Do you all have scary mouths? Are you self-conscious about your teeth or something? Or do you think I'm contagious or something? I assure you, my planet is non-toxic and can sustain life beautifully. No need for such over-the-top protective measures!"
"It's Friggin' Freezing Out Here"
"What do you have the air conditioning set to out here? It must be 85 degrees in here. 68? Are you kidding me with this nonsense?! Get me onto the woman and get us under a heating lamp immediately. One hat? Girl, put on two. Bundle me in as many textiles as you can find."
"Oh Hey! I Know That Voice! That's Mom!"
"Oooh! Listen! It's mom! Where'd she go? Bring me to her immediately. I feel like I know everything about her but we've never actually met. It's like meeting someone online, talking all day every day for almost a year, and then finally getting together."
"Why The Hell Are You Crying? Do You Have Any Idea What I've Been Through?"
"Seriously, it's been a big damn ordeal. We'll talk about it at some point, when I learn how to talk, but for now I just want to scream for a bit."
"Damn, Woman. You're A Badass."
"Oh snap. Is that what the mystical portal was? How are you not freaking out right now? Doesn't that hurt? That looks brutal! Damn! You astound me, lady."
"I honestly can't believe you already did all of that for me. You're the best. I shall reward you for your Herculean efforts by singing to you all day and all night.
OK, so I can't really sing just yet, so it'll sound like crying. However, I promise I'm singing you the song of my people.