Cesarean isn’t giving birth – it is cheating!

What is the reason for women to complain that having a cesarean isn’t giving birth? Is it jealousy perhaps? Do they think that having a c-section is a straightforward walk in the park?

Why do some women class it as cheating? It is a very narrow-minded opinion that is very harmful to women – not to mention, ignorant.

Often, cesareans are actually classed as ’emergency’ which means that we have spent hours in labour before being wheeled down to theatre. For whatever reason, the medical professionals have decided that our babies need to come out – fast! The cost of a cesarean compared to a natural labour is much higher, so rest assured, these procedures are not carried out without the greatest of thought – the NHS doesn’t have the funding to offer every woman a c-section and every woman doesn’t want one!  My ’emergency’ section was very calm and relaxed and I was given a spinal block. Some mums do not have that luxury and they are rapidly given a general anaesthetic which renders them unconscious for the whole procedure and many hours after.

MY EXPERIENCE..

In my own experience, my daughter was breech and so, therefore, I was booked in for a planned section. I didn’t want the section. I was petrified. I was very relieved when I got booked in that morning that my little lady was now presenting head first – so off we went! A few weeks later she had still not made an appearance and so, therefore, I was booked in to be induced.

After being induced at approximately 6pm, my contractions were suddenly very quick and very painful. I held onto the gas and air like it was my only life source and I was silent for many hours whilst focusing on the sheer pain that contractions are. After 8 hours of severe contractions, the midwife realised that my little cherub had managed to turn herself into the breech position again! I hadn’t noticed (I blame the gas and air) – so the question was, did I want to continue with a vaginal breech birth or do I want my little lady out without the risk to her hips! I chose the section! I did this for my daughter. I was a breech birth myself and have had hip problems since I was born so I didn’t want to take the risk. I signed the paperwork and off we went.

Thankfully the gas and air had relaxed me so much so, that I was not afraid of what was going to happen. I was also exhausted from my 8 hour labour which had taken me to 7cm dilated. Cheating? I think not!

MY RECOVERY..

I spent 6 hours in ‘recovery’ from blood loss as they were struggling to get my blood pressure up. I was having a solution given to me intravenously to help this but whilst in recovery, I felt very weak and drowsy.   I was slowly able to feel my legs begin to move again whilst I gave my precious newborn lots of cuddles as we initiated breastfeeding. This was not difficult, despite me expecting it to be. I also had fears of being unable to bond with my baby due to having a cesarean. This was unfounded. I had no problems bonding with my daughter whatsoever.  I do however know, that some mums aren’t so lucky with this and that is OK.

I was moved upstairs to a private room eventually whilst my poor exhausted husband went home to get some rest. He had been with me at the hospital from the beginning and spent many of those hours with me in the recovery room but he was desperate for some sleep – it was a daunting experience for him and he had no support. I was pretty much silent from start to end and my husband was afraid of what might happen.  He managed to get home at around 5am and managed to sleep until coming back to see us the next day.

I spent the next morning alone with just my newborn daughter. I was in agony. I refused Oramorph for the pain as I was scared of the side effects – between the incision, the pains from breastfeeding and the awful after-birth pains (which definitely get worse with each baby) I felt thoroughly miserable and alone. This was the hardest part of the experience. I sat looking out of my hospital window hoping my husband would wake up soon and come to be with us. My lovely little baby slept soundly but also fed voraciously! It was extremely hard for me to pick her up and feed her and I was starting to feel very sorry for myself!

Later that day my husband came back with my toddler and his parents, it was their first grandchild and it was a lovely experience for all of us.

We stayed another night in the hospital but the pain was unbearable and thankfully, my husband helped position the baby to feed and we muddled through it. It was exhausting! And very painful. I could not stand up straight and had to shuffle to the (private) toilet in a keeled over position. I was still walking this way for a few weeks after the operation.  This was due to a combination of the incision and severe SPD.

COMING HOME..

I checked myself out as Oramorph was the only pain relief offered, other than IV Paracetamol. The pain was unbearable and I wanted to sleep in my own home. I had a lovely experience in the hospital and I cannot thank the staff enough – even my incision is perfectly straight and very small. 9 months on, it is well hidden and fully healed.

It took me several weeks of Lavender baths, drying the incision with a towel and using talc to keep it dry. It was smelly, it was itchy, it was unsightly. It has left me with an overhang. I remember on day 5 post delivery crying when I caught sight of my stomach in leggings! I hated it!

It is still numb and it still feels irritated by underwear and I will never regain the muscle tone, however, I do not care! I have a beautiful little baby who is perfect in every way and I wouldn’t change a minute of my ‘cheating’!

C-SECTION RECOVERY MUST HAVES..

  1.  Lavender Essential Oil – 1-2 drops in your bath will aid the healing of the incision and is extremely relaxing. Essential oils can also be used to soothe baby from birth too!
  2.  Nursing Pillow – great for breastfeeding AND bottle feeding. The weight of your baby is fully rested on the pillow which will enable you to relax with ease when feeding.
  3. Cesarean Belt – protects your scar and can heal and soothe the itch.

IN MY OPINION..

Having a vaginal delivery is so much easier! Both mentally and physically. I have had three other deliveries and the recovery time has been non-existent.

Spare a thought for the women who desperately wanted a vaginal delivery but couldn’t – because that choice simply wasn’t theirs! It does not make them less of a mother, they haven’t cheated, they have still given birth!

And for those women who CHOOSE to have a c-section over a vaginal delivery – that is YOUR choice! Own it! Thankfully we have a choice here in the UK and that is what makes our NHS a wonderful system – there are many reasons women choose to have a section. A very valid reason for that is the fear of childbirth! I applaud any mum, however, they have given birth and I hope to see much less stigma attached to delivery and much more support!

Thank you for reading!

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