So here’s a ranty post. Things were getting strangely nice around here but luckily FB came to my rescue with an annoying item in my feed which got me riled up enough to get the creative juices flowing.
See, I just read another (there are millions of these right?) post from a blogger discussing her multiple cesarean sections. She was discussing the social repercussions of non-vaginal birth, the ‘stigma’ and patronising glances she was subjected to. The disappointment of long labour that didn’t bear fruit through the birth canal as one would hope.
Can I ask you something? Is this really a thing? Have you ever stooped so low as to judge a woman by how she gave birth?
I guess I’m just a bit over the ‘poor me, I had a cesarean and find myself a victim of an un-empowered birth’ line.
Some births, I imagine, are empowering, wondrous moments, filled with a feeling of innate physical prowess and accomplishment – a real “we knocked the bastard off” moment of satisfaction. But let me set the record straight, having a birth without intervention is no guarantee you are going to conquer your own vaginal Mt Everest.
I have never written my birth stories because I personally don’t need to. Dwelling or reminiscing on details immediately prior to the MOST important events in my life serve no purpose for me and don’t really need to be rehashed, especially in the case of Nixon’s birth.
You see, Ethan arrived in a very textbook way I suppose. 18 hours of labour, epidural, epidural wore off, I screamed and pushed and he was born. 7 lb 12 Oz of sweet baby Ethan. Did I feel super proud of delivering him vaginally? Hell no. I was just glad I survived it and have never given it too much thought since.
Two of my oldest and dearest friends gave birth within the next year or two, both enduring such traumatic vaginal births that they were visibly uncomfortable talking about them, I’m pretty sure one of them was brought to tears when we were discussing future siblings. They did not feel like the empowered, magical super heroes oft imagined by other women who have had cesarean sections.
8.5 years later I experienced my own horrendous, nightmare of a vaginal birth. I WISH I had been offered a c-section. You don’t hear that often do you? 10.4lb of Nixon showed up on D-day posterior and uncooperative.
We had plenty of warning that he was large. I had insisted throughout the pregnancy that this baby was big. The scans showed he was big and continually tracked above the 97th percentile. My midwife paid no heed to my warnings, confident in her profound knowledge that every third trimester mother insists her baby is huge.
With every fibre of my being I wish I had a team of professionals that noticed he was posterior well before the 11th hour and said, “lets cut our losses here and deliver your 10.4lb baby via c-section? Hmmm? How about that? We can save you the excruciating pain of having that jumbo head stuck upside down in your pelvis FOR HOURS, save your baby the trauma of being ripped out via forceps and save you the intense recovery and utterly demoralising consequences of literally being ripped in two – from your VAGINA onwards and inwards”.
Fuck, that sounds like a plan. I would have said. Spare me a week in hospital and countless breakdowns at home wondering if feeling in my lower spine and continence would ever return? Hit me with that c-section I would have said.
I guess what I’m saying is, when you’re flat on your back and the doctors are looking at each other with their Holy Shit faces on; when the surgeon on duty the day your son was born comes to your room to repeatedly apologise for what happened in theatre, you really, really do not care one iota that you can claim victory over an ‘empowering, vaginal birth‘. Pffft.
All that you should be doing is counting your blessings that your baby was born healthy, full term and full of fatty delicious chub to help him recover from the horror of his hugely violent and undignified entry into the world.
Because, it’s not about me anymore anyway.