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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