April is C-Section Awareness month so I thought I would write a little something
There is a lot of stigma still surrounding C Section’s and if you’ve read my birth story you’ll know that I had Elliott via section (and if you haven’t, this is the perfect excuse to give it a read!) This wasn’t a decision that was reached lightly which I imagine is the same for pretty much every woman who has been through the procedure.
In my case my baby was breech, I was given the opportunity to try and have Elliott manually turned but I decided against it. There was a chance that my baby could get into distress and there was no guarantee that he wouldn’t flip back to the position he was in before! In my mind, he was in that position for a reason.
I had a lot to come to terms with by decided to go for an elective c section. Firstly there was the intense feeling that I was a failure, that the one thing a woman was made to do – deliver a child – and I couldn’t do it. I imagine that this is what most women feel and it is so wrong that we feel like this. We haven’t failed, we are doing whatever is necessary to ensure that our child is brought into the world as safely as possible and that’s pretty cool! I know that when I come to have my second child I will most likely have to have another caesarean, and I’m ok with that. Elliott is perfectly healthy, he doesn’t have any negative after effects of being born ‘through the sunroof’ and I believe that he would have probably turned out exactly the same if he’d have been a natural birth. For months after when talking about birth stories with my fella mama friends, they would say when they gave birth and I didn’t feel like I was worthy of using that sentence. Yes I had had a child, but had I given birth? Yes I had! Just because he was surgically removed rather than pushed out through the birth canal, doesn’t mean that I didn’t give birth – he was born wasn’t he? Sometimes the hardest people on us are ourselves. No one told me I didn’t give birth, I told myself this and I imagine plenty of women have done this too. I say this to all those women – you are amazing! How you brought your child into this world is irrelevant – you loved that child enough to put yourself through major abdominal surgery, the inability to move for at least 12 hours, at least 6 weeks of recovery – more if you were like me and contracted an infection and that is something to be immensely proud of.
Then there’s the ignorance that surrounds them. The ‘too posh to push’ or the idea that having a section is ‘taking the easy way out’ Now, I haven’t experienced natural birth, so I can’t comment on the ins and outs of that but I can tell you what it’s like to go through a caesarean. It. Is. Hard. You are going through major abdominal surgery, cutting through several layers of skin, fat, muscle to get to your baby and then being stitched back up again! You are completely numb from the waist down for at least 12 hours, have a catheter fitted and have to ask others to pass you your baby. You have to be washed – all dignity goes out of the window! There isn’t the normal recovery process when having a section, no ‘take it easy and rest’ it’s straight into the fray. You have a baby to look after now, you’ve got to get on with it! There are obviously things you cannot do for a certain amount of time due to the fact you’ve had surgery like drive and hoover (I definitely didn’t complain about the last one!) I had 7 days of home injections to prevent clots. Why anyone would go through all that willingly, with no medical reasoning is beyond me – those people are crazy!
I think all mamas are strong and brave, we carry a child for 9 months, go through great pain to bring them into the world and then are fully responsible for this little life but there is a different kind of bravery, a different kind of strength that C-Section mamas experience. We often don’t envision that we will have to have surgery, that our birth plans that we have carefully thought out will be thrown out the window. We didn’t imagine that we would have to walk into a sterile, unwelcoming theatre by ourselves (my husband wasn’t allowed into the theatre until I was fully prepped – I had to do that on my own) sit on a cold operating table and be poked, prodded and lose complete feeling in the lower half of our bodies. But we do it, we walk tall and we sit bravely, knowing what is about to happen is the absolute best for our babies. I am immensely proud of all mamas who go through a caesarean, we wear our scars with pride
I wouldn’t change my birth experience, I’ve actually had a few tears while writing this remembering what it was like, the fear of the unknown and the amazing moment when I heard my baby cry, so for me it turned into a very positive experience (minus the shock and not being able to hold my baby for over an hour – having him in my husbands arms and not mine was torture)
So this April I will be wearing my burgundy ribbon tshirt courtesy of www.instagram.com/TwobyTwo.store with pride and showing that there is no shame in having a C-Section – I got my baby here safely and that’s all that matters
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, please leave all comments in the box below and subscribe to hear more from me!