Scrolling through Facebook yesterday afternoon, something caught my eye.
The post in question, caught my attention because I noticed it was a photo of a woman who had an identical scar to myself, this scar was from a caesarean section.
Here’s the post itself.
It’s quite a complicated bit of text, I have to admit. But I totally appreciate the sentiment.
It often annoys me when I hear the word normal used for a vaginal birth but not for a C-section. As if I’m almost made to feel abnormal because I didn’t push my son out into the world.
Statistics tell us 1 in 4 women will have a C-Section. That’s a rather larger proportion of the female population.
These women are not opting for an easy delivery, because I have to be honest; there is nothing easy about a C Section.
2 years ago (this Thursday!) I welcomed my son into my life. I had elected a C Section right at the start of my pregnancy for medical reasons. I am a carrier of Haemophilia which meant there was a potential for my son to be a sufferer as a result of my carrier status. We would not be able find out if he had Haemophilia until my son was born.
With a vaginal delivery there is always a chance of intervention, perhaps in the form of forceps or ventouse, and of course C-Section as a last resort. My concern, was that if I were to opt for a vaginal delivery and things didn’t go according to plan, forceps or ventouse could cause internal bleeding to my son (should he have Haemophilia). I was already well versed with these risks, having undertaken extensive research early on in my pregnancy, so I pushed for a C-section with the relevant health care professionals.
There seems to be some sort of misconception in society, that electing for a Caesarean Section is a cop out, like a woman is missing out on seeing what her body can do and perhaps shying away from giving birth vaginally.
Let me tell you now, as someone who speaks from experience, a Caesarean section is NOT the easy way. There is nothing easy about having a C-Section.
Please don’t think that while I was on the surgeons table, I was led back thinking of England, because that could not be further from the truth.
I was terrified.
It certainly didn’t feel like someone was ‘doing the washing up in my stomach’ as I’d been told it might feel beforehand.
Allow me to open up a little here.
I had gone into an early and very fast labour a week ahead of my scheduled operation. My son had decided he wanted to take control of his own entrance into the world!
I’d dilated very quickly and by the time I reached theatre I was 10cm dilated and my waters had broken. Apologies if this is too much information for anyone (I do have the tendency to overshare), however, the surgeon had to push my babies head back up so she could perform the operation (which, in turn, caused an infection). It totally blows my mind every time I think back to that.
I had never had an operation prior to having my son, so walking (or hobbling) into the theatre and being greeted by 10 people in total was incredibly daunting. By this point, however, I didn’t care, I just wanted the overwhelming pain to be over and done with. I was in absolute agony. I hadn’t prepared myself for the pain as I was never supposed to experience labour or contractions.
In total, I was on the surgeons table for almost 2 hours (most C-sections usually take around 50 minutes). Because my son was so desperate to come out the way we hadn’t planned, it had caused a tear which needed to be fixed and delivering him took much longer than usual too. It certainly wasn’t the delivery that had been anticipated.
All in all it was an incredibly traumatic experience, which left me in shock for a long time afterwards.
The recovery from a Caesarean is pretty intense too; especially the first few days post-partum. I was absolutely terrified to go for a wee, so consumed with worry that my bladder might fall out or something equally horrifying! I can remember having to hold a cushion over my wound every time I coughed. The pain felt like I was being cut in half!
Again, I really feel the recovery isn’t something you can prepare yourself for and goes someway to disprove opinion that C-Section is an easy way out.
It disappoints me that in society these days, women are often pitted against one another in both their pregnancies and in motherhood. Who cares if you had an epidural while in the throes of an agonising labour? Didn’t breastfeed? So bloody what, you fed your baby. How you fed him/her is a decision that should be made by you, and respected by all.
So, can we please forget the thought that a C-Section is an easy option or that us women who have had one, didn’t really experience giving birth?
Instead let’s just take a moment to realise how amazing we are for bringing a life into this world, no matter how we did it.