I didn’t know that April was caesarean awareness month until it popped up on my Twitter feed the other day. Being a proud c-section mama I was quite pleased about this. Though there is the other side of the story.
I am sure by now many of you have seen the degrading image doing the rounds which states that by having a c-section you caught a “lucky break” and implying somehow that you are less of a mother for doing so.
I had the pleasure of seeing this 12 hours post emergency section with my second son.
I mean really?
Who writes this stuff??
And now I want to call bulls**t.
C-sections, like most of motherhood, are a choice to be made.
Like the other choices that you make it appears that it’s one that the whole world is allowed to have an opinion on and judge you on.
But I had an emergency section, where was my choice?”
Your choice was to allow the life saving surgery to happen. As my doctor told me after my second section, had I not signed the consent form when I had we could be looking at a different scenario right now, my choice was to give my consent. And I am glad I did.
With both of my sons.
In the case of the toddler terror, had I not agreed to the choice of surgery I would not have him here today. The section was a category 1 section and from heart rate decleration to him being born took a total of 7
minutes. I had to give verbal consent which I was happy to do. In that surgery knowing that my son was in trouble I lay on that bed screaming “Cut me, get them out” then begging my Dad (who is no longer with us) to please please look after him.
A lucky break?
In a way I was lucky, that medical advances meant that my son was born alive, if barely. His AGPAR score was two. Out of ten. Where zero means not alive, on three out of five categories he scored a zero, on the other two a 1. He was blue and not breathing, any longer before he was born then I would be telling a different story.
My c-section means that right now I have healthy, cheeky two and half year old who is determined to be the best big brother in the world.
Less of a mother?
No, my first c-section is what ensured I got to be a mother with a baby to take home. That first decision to allow my c-ection will remain my most important parenting decision. That c section saved my son.
In the case of baby boy my emergency c-section, though it felt more relaxed it was by no means any less life saving.
Except this time not only did the c section mean that baby boy is alive and well, it also saved my life.
I had a silent uterine rupture, which along with being extremely rare is also life threatening to both Mother and Child.
With no symptoms they are often not discovered until too late.
Without my being in theatre and the doctors catching it when they did, my second birth story could have been very different.
C-sections making me less of a mother?
No, this c-section made sure that my boys grow up with their mummy.
C-sections are never entered into lightly, it is major surgery after all.
Every c-section mother that I know made the choice to have the c-section for the sake of their baby. Maybe the baby was breech. Maybe there was a medical condition where baby couldn’t cope with labour. Maybe there were complications which meant there was no safe way for the baby to be born naturally. Maybe the Mother was at risk.
To say that you’ve not given birth and you’re less of a mother because of it is ignorance.
To me anyone who puts their babies safe arrival first is being the best mother they can be.
I know I for one would have loved for my boys to be born naturally.
But by being the best mother I can be I had to put my wishes aside and allow myself to be cut open so they stood the best chance of coming into the world screaming. It takes time to come to terms with a c-section, especially a rushed emergency one where you have little idea what’s going on around you, and the guilt I had originally was
I did feel like less of a woman being unable to do something that should come so naturally.
But you know what?
When I look at my boys I realise that is not the case. I am more of a woman now that I have had them both, I made the best and right choice for us all.