So April is Cesarean awareness month and lots of posts and affirmations have been batted about on Instagram, Facebook and the likes.
So here’s my tuppence worth. As with many of my social media counterparts who have given birth via C-section whether through personal choice or in an emergency I very much agree that there is still a stigma surrounding it.
Through most of my pregnancy I was very aware of not wanting a c-section. So much so when a midwife suggest to me and my partner we discus what we would want to do in that situation, I was astounded. In my head I point blank refused to accept or admit that it may be a scenario. I strongly believe this is a lack of education.
I’ve spoken before about the fact that we did classes with NCT antenatally. I honestly don’t remember C-sections being discussed in any depth. I didn’t go to my local NHS antenatal classes so I can’t say that it came up there. One midwife broached the subject with me and she wasn’t even my usual person. Frankly in hindsight I’m glad she did.
When filling out a birth plan, nobody goes beyond their ideal. I certainly didn’t have more than get the baby out safely, try not to use all the drugs and the less intervention the better. I really think that it’s not just Cesarean that gets a bad rep either. I think intervention in general. Some women feel ashamed that they needed to get pain relief. Some feel that any assistance makes them a failure.
For me there wasn’t really a comprehensive plan when there probably should have been. Due to a strange medical sensitivity with an anaesthetic drug I was advised to have an epidural to reduce the chance of needing GA if there were post birth compilations. Wouldn’t have been my first choice but i accepted it and moved on.
My labour was by no means straight forward and frankly when your in the moment you just want the safe delivery of your baby by what ever means gets your both through it. I had an emergency cesarean. I can’t tell you what happened and due to many different things I had to have a general anaesthetic.
My acceptance of having a C-section wasn’t an easy mental road for me. I had never had any form of surgery up until this point and definitely was not prepared to take it slow and recover. I wanted to bounce back. There was no bounce I can assure you. I didn’t struggle to accept I had given birth that way. It wasn’t my first choice by a long shot but my baby girl being safe will always be a bigger priority.
The actual recovery itself I didn’t find all that bad. I was lucky that I responded well to the pain killers and with some well timed warnings from family and friends to slow down and take it easy, on the whole I was back to myself quicker than most.
I still don’t have feeling in a lower part of my stomach. Yes I have an overhang. My scare is what it is. But my baby is thriving. She’s the best thing I’ve ever done. She fills me with more joy than I ever thought imaginable.
I didn’t fail. I grew her for 9 months. She was born safely and soundly by professionals. If this was 100 or more years ago I maybe wouldnt be here to tell this story. But I am. And I am grateful for every person who made her arrival into this world safe for not only her but me.
It would be easy to beat myself up and trust me I have. There have been days when ive felt lost or overwhelmed. For a long time I was worried that not having had skin to skin ment I had no bond with my baby.
I know if we went on to have another child we would most likely be advised to have an elective section. What would have previously worried me no longer does. If that’s what needs to be done then so be it. Having a healthy baby is the main priority, not whether or not narrow-minded people think I failed.
From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags