My daughter is very special to me. I am happy that she is healthy, happy and we obviously adore each other.
I have to admit occasionally my birth story still pulls at my emotions now. It feels selfish to have such sadness over it, especially as Isobel grows and time fades the tale.
I had images of a home birth, a vaginal birth, not much medication and an awesome soundtrack. Instead I gave screams of terror, had a ‘condensed’ labour (0 to fully dilated in 45 minutes), I struggled with positioning, panicked so gas and air didn’t work and practically begged for an epidural (which I had been scared of before the pain of my labour). I ended up having an emergency c-section, didn’t get the skin to skin contact I craved and was about the 6th person to hold my baby.
Why do I feel let down? I have a gorgeous daughter who arrived safely, we were both safe, healthy. I have a wonderful husband who was with me through the whole terrifying experience and who remains greatly supportive even though I tend to whitter on, rambling words over his most days.
I think sometimes the memory fades but the upset is still there. But it becomes more apparent to me as time goes by how much is focused on a vaginal birth being ‘natural’ and ‘the right choice’. Women need to feel empowered whichever way they give birth. The birth is not what is important its the aftermath, nurturing your child, loving your child. We should not be judged by the way baby arrived but of our own courage, strength.
I got told by a close friend after the birth of my baby that ‘at least you didn’t have to go through labour’. I did – I was in labour 7 hours in total. But then why am I justifying her comment with that. A c-section is by no means easy, it can take up to 12 weeks to recover fully, far more than a vaginal birth. I was housebound for most of the first six weeks of Isobel’s life as I needed someone with me if I wanted to venture outside.
I have tweeted with other mummies and it seems that even with assisted vaginal birth mummies feel guilt over delivery of their babies. NCT classes only discuss vaginal birth. Surely women need a more well rounded view of what is available to us during pregnancy and labour? Why do NCT classes not show expectant mums the choices or possibilities. We need to have choices not be frowned upon by others just because it may not be right for them.
Mummies – stand together, be a support, be open with each other about birth but not oppressive with your opinion. Surely we should join together in nurturing our babies after delivery not forcing opinion and upsetting each other on what is a means to an end. Your babies are all equally important, the actual birth style should be irrelevant!