So, back in early December my bestie had her bubba via emergency c-section at 26 weeks, bubbas doing brilliantly by the way. Anyway, one of the first things she said to me was how amazing I was for undergoing a Caesarian section. I’ll be honest this was the weirdest comment I’ve ever received.
I’m a belly birth mum, I have two kids, Both caesarian births the first was an emergency after two failed attempts at induction and no labour. The second was a decision made due Gestational Diabetes and having my baby away from the local hospital. (We’ve had plenty of mistakes and mishaps happen locally and I didn’t trust them) I still waited until 39+2 to have the second.
I have never known a “normal” birth (for lack of a better word). My mother, my aunt and my sister are all belly mums. Though my mum still managed a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean). So to hear that what I did was amazing was kinda foreign. I mean c-sections were kinda the norm for me and I’ve always believed that giving birth was amazing no matter how it came about.
But, I began to think about it and I talked to other belly mums. We shared stories of our births and stories of our treatments. I was amazed to find out how many belly mums were actually treated poorly by other mums because the believed that by having a Caesarean we were “choosing” the easy way out!
I was appalled, I had always been jealous of other mums because they got to experience a labor. But when I, myself, was faced with a prejudiced comment about my birth my heart broke.
A lady, I didn’t even know, over heard me tell my son (now 11) about how I had him via C-section and she had the nerve to tell me. Not only that I must have been a slut to have a child so young but that I didn’t deserve my child as I chose the easy way out of delivery. She raved on further by telling me that she wouldn’t be surprised if I was receiving welfare payments just so I could dump my child on someone else to drink the weekends away.
I walked away, I had my son with me and I didn’t need to add any more negativity to the situation. I was absolutely gob smacked. How could someone judge so harshly?
After I got home, I set my son up with food and a drink and put a movie on. As I watched him eat and laugh I became angry.
Like every other mother, I literally put my life on the line to become a mother. My every breath and every choice, I make knowing it will affect my child and yet I had been so badly disrespected!
I thought back to my experience with his birth. Did you know that I reacted badly to some of the drugs that they used on me in order to have my son?
My first Caesarean section saw me temporarily paralysed from the neck down, having trouble breathing, throwing up and not being able to move my head. I was choking on vomit! My husband had to physically move my head in order for me to throw up in a kidney dish under my cheek. What makes it worse that once he moved my head, I couldn’t do anything but drool out the corner of my mouth.
I was finally administered yet another drug to counter act the reaction from the first. Unfortunately, for me, I seriously can’t remember what drug set me off and it’s not written anywhere in the birth notes.
So, I became a belly mum feeling like a failure as I never had a labor. I reacted badly to the anaesthesia and didn’t get to hold my son for his first hour of life.
After that experience, I found it hard to connect to my child.
It wasn’t until my second preganacy that my eyes were truly opened to the risk I was putting myself through when my Doctor had me read and sign a form listing all the risks of a Caesarean birth. I almost cancelled the whole damn thing!!!!
While all births have risks, Caesarian births have a higher risk then vaginal births with a longer recovery time (usually). A mummy can be sent home as early as 5 hours after birth. A belly mummy won’t be able to leave for at least 24 hrs and generally not before day 3! A mummy will heal is around 1-2 weeks a belly mummy can spend 4-8 weeks healing and a further 6 months before feeling confident enough to start working out again.
Further more a belly mum CANNOT drive before 6 weeks after and if you do you will void your insurance.
Here is a list of the most common complications for Belly mums
– Heavy blood loss.
– A blood clot in the legs or lungs.
– Nausea, vomiting, and severe headache after the delivery (related to anesthesia and the abdominal procedure).
– Bowel problems, such as constipation or when the intestines stop moving waste material normally (ileus).
– Injury to another organ (such as the bladder). This can occur during surgery.
– Maternal death (very rare). About 2 in 100,000 cesareans result in maternal death.
Cesarean risks for the bubba include:
– Injury during the delivery.
– Need for special care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
– Immature lungs and breathing problems, if the due date has been miscalculated or the infant is delivered before 39 weeks of gestation.
Long-term risks of cesarean section
Mummas who have a caesarian scar have slightly higher long-term risks. These risks increase with each additional cesarean delivery and can include:
– Breaking open of the incision scar during a later pregnancy or labor (uterine rapture)
– Placenta previa, the growth of the placenta low in the uterus, blocking the cervix.
– Placenta accreta, placenta increta, placenta percreta (least to most severe). These Are when the placenta grows deeper into the uterine wall than normal. This can lead to severe bleeding after childbirth and may lead to mummy having to have a hysterectomy.
I was so freaked out, I had never been faced with the seriousness of a Caesarian before and here I was signing a piece of paper, my sister sitting beside me in shock, that listed all these issues we had never been told about. We had the same Doctor at our local hospital and all he ever said was that it was a simple procedure.
It was empowering to know that I had done that for my children and would -*continue to do. Because, as the second Caesarian was planned, I was informed that a third pregnancy would see me having a Caesarian section no matter what I wanted. I will NEVER know what labour and birth would be like. So having this stranger treat me with such contempt made me angry.
I am proud to be a belly mum!! And I’ll always be proud to be a belly mum. I risked my life for my babies and no shallow women’s comments will ever take that from me.