Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: C-Sections...Not Really Giving Birth?

Friday, 17 April 2015

C-Sections...Not Really Giving Birth?


Imagine the scene.

Its 1.30 am....I'm laying in  bed with my 36 hour old son next to me....I've just managed to get myself back into my bed after he woke up screaming for a feed.

It took me almost 7 full minutes to be able to pull myself up out of bed to reach into the cot and retrieve him to give him his feed because the pain was so unbearable and I had no use of my stomach muscles to pull myself into a sitting position.

In the past 36 hours I had overcome many obstacles...some physical, some emotional.

I had faced my biggest, most anxiety and panic inducing fear by going into an operating theatre, placing my trust in surgeons and allowing them to paralyse me from the chest down and cut me open to deliver my child.

I had suffered a panic attack during the surgery, and for months beforehand throughout the pregnancy, at the thought of giving birth and being so vulnerable.

I had allowed various nurses and doctors to man handle me off the operating table when I was unable to move...I was completely covered from head to foot in bruises from numerous failed attempts at cannula fittings.

I had gingerly taken my first steps after the spinal block wore off...struggling to be able to stand up straight and hobble to the bathroom as I tried to ignore the searing pain where the Drs had cut me open.

For 36 hours I had lived in fear of coughing, sneezing or even laughing as the pain that ripped through my incision felt like being stabbed with a thousand fiery blades.

I had sobbed in pain having my first bowel movement post surgery, terrified that my wound was going to burst open.

I had cried in the shower as I removed the dressing from the wound and watched all the collected blood pour to the floor and pool around my feet...

I have spent days since crying in agony with trapped wind, piles, constipation, stitches that came undone and have since become infected and many other such post-birth delights....

The recovery from this birth has been horrendous and HARD...

Even now, 2 weeks on, I'm taking pain killers to help with the pain of my infected wound...I'm bleeding heavily every day...I'm having to redress the wound daily and keep up with antibiotics and still may have to go back for further surgery if the scar infection doesn't clear up...I'm exhausted and taking iron tablets every day to combat the anemia I'm battling as a result of blood loss in surgery....

And so imagine my horror when, after a day of physical agony and emotional exhaustion, I stumbled across the above image on social media.

Informing me that I didn't "really" give birth at all....

Well silly me, my mistake...because my son was born through an incision in my uterus rather than through my vagina that means I didn't actually give birth to him at all?

That all of this pain and all of these after-effects aren't real? 

And for this I should show respect to the women who "had what it took to get the job done"....well excuse me for not pushing my baby out of my vagina but actually...I think you'll find that I DID have what it takes to get the job done.

I had what it takes to face my crippling fear and deliver my son in the way that I felt  safest and best for us both...

I had what it takes to stand up to Drs who tried to push me to deliver in a way that I knew would result in a traumatic birth experience for us both and would potentially damage those crucial first few moments of bonding time whilst I was an emotional wreck ... 

I had what it takes to battle through a difficult recovery and get back on my feet for both of my children despite the pain being enough to reduce me to a sobbing wreck on many occasions.

So how dare anyone say I didn't give birth or that my experience was any "luckier" than anyone elses.

I'd like to be able to say I had what it took to rise above such ridiculous judgements and not pay them any mind, but actually I cried my eyes when I saw that image on my Facebook timeline....

Maybe if I'd seen it at a different time I could have laughed it off as the ridiculous and backwards bullshit that it is...but in such a low place, suffering so much pain and the only positive thought in my mind being that it all was worth it to bring my son safely into the world....it was just a little too much.

So I hope that makes whomever made that image feel good....and oh so very Christian....as a Christian myself I would be horrified to spread such cruelness in the world.

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16 comments:

  1. I had to have an emergency c-section due to complications during labour. That image infuriates me too! I would have loved to experience a natural birth and though I missed out, I still gave birth to my child, I felt the pain that came with it and the recovery was tough. I hurt every move I made for weeks, I cried. Such a honest post! I wish you a speed recovery. Take each day as it comes and focus on the positives xxx

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  2. What a load of non-sense! I seriously think some people would use anything to try and make themselves more superior. I've never had a C-section but I've witnessed my sister have one which saved her life. I think she suffered more with the c-section then I certainly did with labour. If anyone should feel more superior it those who's had to go through a major operation to be able to GIVE BIRTH to their child.

    I hope you mend quickly and sending all my love xxxx

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  3. Hello - i've been following your blog for a while but this is the first time i've commented.

    I am glad you have laid bare the truth of C-sections. I had an emergency C-section in the wee hours of a Monday morning after being in labour for an entire weekend. My baby was coming down at an odd angle so I wasn't dilating enough, there was nothing I could have done to change that, and nor could anyone who it happened to. The 'lucky' ones, if you want to assign that label to anyone, are those that have uncomplicated natural births in my opinion, because that is what I would have wanted. And it really is luck in that case - your baby doesn't care how 'strong' you are if it's breech, at an odd angle, or struggling in some other way. Of course the definition of a 'lucky' or 'good' birth experience is different for everyone based on what they wanted and what actually happened.

    My recovery was awful - my wound got infected and took months to heal. My daughter is 7 months old now and it's still not 100%. A C-section is certainly not an 'easy way out' of birth for those 'too posh to push'!

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  4. I can't believe that people think that let alone post it on Facebook! I was able to give birth naturally, but I find this image incredibly offensive. I think that every woman has a different birthing experience, be that naturally or via c-section, but they are all births no matter what. I hope that you recover quickly, and don't take too much notice of that image! You're so brave, and you should be so proud of yourself xxx

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  5. Oh Hayley, I'm so sorry that you should have seen such a stupid image after going through the birth of your little one. I cannot understand how anybody begins to think this way, let alone inflict their ridiculous beliefs on others!
    You gave birth to two beautiful baby boys and nobody can ever take that away from you. Be proud. Ignore this utter rubbish and look after yourself - I hope you're healed up and out of pain very soon sweetie xx

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  6. firstly hayley massive congrats on THE BIRTH of your stunning baby boy !!!!! you should never feel the need to justify your reasons for the section you carried noah for 9 mths (not easily ) facing problems and set backs and fought for your right to choose how to deliver your baby you deserve a huge pat on the back for all this and as for the person that posted that rubbish one can safely assume that if her vaginal delivery area was anywhere close to the size of her mouth then she will have suffered no pain at all !!!! i had two elective sections and always told myself there are no medals for how your baby got here just the biggest prize of all at the end :-) enjoy your two gorgeous boys xxxxxxx

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  7. Absolutely ridiculous. I have experienced both and I DID give birth to BOTH of my children! x

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  8. Hi Hayley, awesome article! And thank you for posting it. I was horrified when I first saw it at the cruelty of people. And don't get me started on how so very unkind people can be, it's sort of a sickness in our world today; but that's topic for another day.

    I've had C-Sections myself but I'm also a C-Section writer and researcher and I know what moms go through. Every word of your article I could feel in the very core of my being.

    I've met so many awesome C-Section moms throughout my career. Moms who are dedicated to their children and their families. How they gave birth is insignificant. It's the kind of people they are and the love, caring and kindness they portray that makes them a great mom. I'm a little terrified at the thought of what kind of mom this person might be that put up this image.

    Blessings,
    Elizabeth

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  9. That's ridiculous! Does it matter if the baby comes out your belly or your foof? It's still giving birth. We've still carried them in our belly for 9 months. If anything I have the utmost respect for women who go through C sections because as you know they scare me so so much. xx

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  10. I have so much to say to this, especially having gone through my second emergency c section in the past 24 hours, once again without surgery my baby wouldn't be here. This time, without surgery, I wouldnt be here. Instead I write this cuddling my day old second son whilst waiting for pain relief... x

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  11. What a load of crap you must have been horrified to see that shit on Facebook. I have experienced both ways of birth so no matter what way it happens you still give birth! My Sister had a csection with her first Daughter and it saved her life after her daughter got stuck in the birth canal, she lost so much blood and wouldn't have survived without the csection or a massive blood transfusion.

    Sorry that you are going through such an awful recovery, I remember the awful pain of trying to walk the morning after my csection it was the most painful thing ever, I couldn't even cough as it hurt so much without bursting into tears.

    Sending you lots of hugs xxx

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  12. What a joke that image is....Obviously made by someone who has not had to go through the pain and stress of a c-section! I've had 2 and they are not easy and I just dare someone to say that to me....Grr! It's made me so angry!!
    Sending big hugs! I hope you are feeling better soon x

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  13. That picture is an absolute load of shit. It doesn't matter how the baby physically came out. You could deliver it out your ear for all the difference it makes! You still gave birth to your baby and it's not any easier doing it by C-Section than it is vaginally. I had Logan by c-section because he was so big and if he's stayed in any longer he might have been the size of a house. But i still gave birth to him. Some people have such dim, backwards views on reality! Xx

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  14. I really don't think anyone needs to spend any time or energy worrying about this. From the looks of it, it was created by a tiny, very odd cult. It does not in any way represent the views of any mainstream people. I especially think you should be careful of feeling like women who have given birth vaginally see themselves as superior, and resenting them for that, as I really don't think that they do. I certainly don't. Healthy mum, healthy baby is the ONLY outcome I'm interested in.

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  15. I saw that same picture on Facebook and was completely shocked! I had a natural delivery which left me in a lot of pain but even though I've never had a c - section I reckon it is a lot more tougher having a section. Usually mums feel a lot of pain holding baby after a section because of the stomach muscles like you said Hayley. Whoever posted that picture should be ashamed, it's caused a lot of upset to mums. Their shouldn't be any shame when it comes to bringing a life into the world.

    Hope you feel better soon Hayley. Noah is gorgeous x

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  16. I saw this post too. I was so angry towards the person who wrote it that I felt like doing physical pain! I had an emergency section with both my babies. The second, 10 months ago, I suffered a uterine rupture, if I wasn't already on my way to theatre (baby was face up) and able to have a c-section we'd have both died.
    The recovery is painful & I can totally relate to every movement hurting, at one point it hurt every time I took a breath! I really hope you feel better soon, congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby xx

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