April is C-section Awareness Month and so far through this month I have seen more memes and more quotes about women defending themselves about having a c-section like it isn’t a valid entrance in to motherhood. If you google “c section memes” on the internet some of the quotes that comes up is absolutely disgusting. I won’t post it on here for fear of upsetting someone so if you want to have a look go ahead. People have actually wrote that having a c-section is a cop out or a lazy option for giving birth. Let me tell you as someone who has has two c sections that it certainly isn’t an “easy way out”. Both of my babies were delivered via emergency c section and both decisions were completely out of my hands. When I had K I didn’t get the opportunity to even go through the labour process. I was 3 days overdue and hadn’t felt my baby move for a couple of days. As a first time mum I didn’t know if this was normal or not so didn’t really think to notify anyone. When I was examined at the hospital my baby’s heartbeat was so erratic going from 220 bpm (beats per minute) to zero bpm! The professionals had no choice but to send me for a c section immediately as they feared I may have lost my baby if I was to wait to deliver naturally. When I came out of the operating theatre, although I had my beautiful baby girl I felt so disappointed that I couldn’t have the natural birth that I had planned so long to have. I didn’t even get to experience what a contraction was. People thought I was crazy for being so upset about not knowing what a contraction felt like but to me I felt like I had been cheated out of something that, as a woman, I had a right to experience. The birth of my second baby ran a similar course except that this time, at 5 days overdue, I got to experience what it was like to go in to labour. I was all set for a VBAC (vaginal birth after ceserian) but at 7cm dilated my baby’s heart beat again became erratic and not only did they send me for an emergency c-section but they had to put me to sleep. This meant that my husband couldn’t be in the delivery room to watch our son being born and I wasn’t aware that I had had him until 1 hour later! I also ended up on the high dependency unit because I had lost a lot of blood. Is that an easy way out? I don’t think so. Having a c-section is major surgery and one that is painful for weeks after and requires a lot of recovery time. Is that a cop out? again I don’t think so. Over the last two years I have come to accept my c-sections and I now understand it shouldn’t be something I am upset over. I have my two beautiful children to thank for it (and one hell of a war wound on my stomach) and who knows, without those c-sections my babies might not be sat at the side of me whilst I write this!
Some women choose to have a c-section over a natural birth and although it wouldn’t be for me, that is their choice and something that should be respected regardless of what your opinion is. Having a c-section is STILL giving birth. It is STILL your passageway into motherhood and it doesn’t make you any less of a mother for having one. I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago here about breast feeding vs bottle feeding and why it’s not a reflection on how good a mother they are by their circumstances. The same applies here. Let’s celebrate that we carried a child for 9 months and brought them in to the world as safely as possible. We all rock!