GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It's a miracle that comes with a rush of emotions -- including one that may surprise you.
“After the c-section I definitely felt guilt."
That feeling of guilt lasted nearly six months after Tricia Ophoff had her daughter via caesarean section.
"I thought that maybe I had let down the body like my anxiety had taken over," she said. "So I kind of blamed myself like I wasn't strong enough."
Ophoff isn't alone. Erica Bowers recently shared her feelings of guilt on Instagram.
So imagine someone judging you for having a c-section.
That's what happened when an Oregon photographer refused to take birth pictures for a mom having a c-section.
The mom posted the text exchange on "Sanctimommmy" where the photographer says, "That is not birth no matter how you swing it and I for one don't want to be there to take pictures of it."
Psychologist Elsa Lockman with Mindful Counseling GR says she wasn't surprised by the text.
"The trend I see in the work I do is a lot of criticism from larger society and moms feel isolated and insecure and it's all on them," she explained.
Lockman, a mom of two, counsels a lot of moms trying to get past the guilt. She says the biggest thing you can do is form a support system but be careful who you turn to.
"Sometimes people that you think will be supporting aren't but there are other people out there who are going through what you're going through," Lockman said.
Ophoff found that support and was able to make peace with her daughter’s birth.
"There is that point where we have to forgive ourselves and realize that what we did was fine and we did everything we could," she explained.
But unfortunately, she still struggles with other moms judging her.
"I think there's this competitiveness with how granola you are," Ophoff continued. "Are we doing it the healthiest? Are we giving our kids the best of everything organic?
"And the same with the birth. It starts with the birth -- did we do everything as natural as we could."
Lockman says there's one thing that helps any struggling mom.
"The best thing you can ever say to a mom is, 'you are doing such a good job. You are such a good mom.' You can say that to a complete stranger," Lockman said.
"Moms can never hear that enough."
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