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Jennifer Louis-Jeune

At the very first prenatal appointment of my second pregnancy, my doctor asked if I was planning to have a C-section.

I was so focused on wanting to see a strong and healthy heartbeat, I hadn't even considered how this baby would come into the world.

With my first child, I had an emergency C-section after 22 hours of hard back-labor—something I was wholly unprepared for. I did my breathing and visualization exercises, listened to music and had essential oils (and an epidural). I had my husband and doula for support. I was 9-centimeters dilated when they told me my baby couldn't wait any longer.

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The experience was very intense. I had never really thought about needing a C-section. I was scared and it all just happened so fast. It wasn't the birth I had envisioned.

Did I want to do that all over again?

My doctor told me to think about it and around 20 weeks, we started talking more about what my plans were.

They gave me information about vaginal births after Cesareans (VBACs), and they said they would support me with whatever decision I made.

Yet I was so conflicted.

On one hand, I wanted that movie moment where you get to fully dilated, push and clutch your sweet baby in your arms. I had been so close to that experience before.

But because of that experience, I also knew that having a C-section didn't make me any less of a woman or any less of a mother.

This time I had a choice.

I could labor again and risk the unplanned C-section scenario again. Or I could schedule a date to go in and meet my baby. I could choose. It was so empowering.

Deciding to schedule a C-section

After lots of thinking, I chose a scheduled C-section. There was so much about it that felt right for me. I could make sure my family was all in place to take care of my toddler. I could wash all the little clothes, and I could have a less hurried experience. So I signed on the dotted line. I knew it was right, but it was still one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. I was choosing to have surgery, something I knew was a big deal.

But I was also choosing to do it on a day that my favorite doctor was available, the one who had to change shifts right before my daughter was born. I was choosing.

But as the saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!

I had a nice dinner with my family the night before my scheduled C-section. I did a long bedtime with my daughter, our last before she met her sibling. I laid down at midnight, knowing I would be meeting my little one at 10 am.

My plans changed

I woke up an hour later in full-blown labor. The real deal, throw the phone down while the doctor is talking to you, yell at your husband, get this baby out NOW labor.

Contractions came on suddenly and powerfully, and we rushed to the hospital.

When I got to the hospital, my doctor met me and said, "You are 6-centimeters dilated. Do you want to wait and try to push?"

"Nope!" I replied.

So they prepped me and took me to the operating room.

I was in labor, but everything was healthy and fine. There was no emergency, so people took their time, and the room felt very calm. The room was full of peaceful conversation and laughter. We all joked and to help take my mind off of everything, my husband bored me to death by talking about how bond markets work—it was perfect.

And it wasn't scary this time. My doctor talked me through the entire procedure. This is what I had chosen, even if the baby's timing was a bit off.

It felt like everyone in the operating room was on the same team waiting to meet this new little being. We didn't know the baby's gender so I asked that my husband be allowed to tell me.

When our baby was born, we heard the most wonderful cry, followed by my husband saying, "It's a boy!" Everyone laughed at the look of shock on my face. A boy?! I was convinced it was going to be another girl!

After a quick clean up, my sweet baby was placed near my head until I was ready to go to recovery. I was free to touch him and kiss him and snuggle his little face. When I was all ready to go, he was placed in my arms. We had every moment together that a mother would have with a vaginal birth.

Although I didn't push, I gave birth just the same. It diminished nothing about the moment of becoming a mother again.

It is so easy to make assumptions about people when we don't know their story. Some people might assume that I chose a second C-section out of vanity or because I thought I was 'too posh to push.' And it couldn't be further from the truth.

I chose it because I know my body and my mind.

I know how scary it felt for me when things were moving so fast and I could see the concern on everyone's face. I knew how comforting it would be to have my doctor—this strong, amazing woman got to deliver my second child after spending my entire first labor with us. I chose it because I wanted what was best for my baby and me.

Five years later, I can't imagine it any other way.

Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Whether I live next to you or across the country, social media makes it easy for us to stay updated on each other's lives and that's a wonderful thing. I love seeing pictures of your kids and I think it's great that you choose to share videos of your child singing, giggling and taking his or her first steps.

I simply choose not to share pregnant pictures, or even a family photo from the hospital once our daughter arrived because my pregnancy, birth and growing family are parts of my life I wanted to protect from the outside world.

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