My Baby Might Not Have Come Out Of My Vagina But I Have Still Given Birth!!!!
Last night I was happily splish splashing around in my bath whist trawling Instagram and twitter passing the time - this is my relaxation time. I love reading peoples comments on posts and photos and seeing that actually hang on... wait for it.... wow some women are really bitchy!!!
There was a photo of a woman bearing her c-section scare. It was a pretty fabulous photo and one that I could fully relate to having had to births by c-section. I was scrolling through all the lovely comments when I saw this...
I'm sorry WHAT?!? "You wouldn't really know what it's like to give birth, you only had a c-section...". Well there was only two explanations for such a ridiculous comment 1) she was clearly still high from the gas and air or b) she was just flipping ignorant. I'd like to put money on it being the latter.
I get that in society we still like to do things the way things should be done, and yes our bodies are supposed to give birth naturally (it's part of how we are made) but more often than not (over half my NCT group had c-sections) sometimes nature lets us down and medical interventions have to step in for the safety of both mother and baby, but really even in 2017 when a c-section is medically necessary women still experience judgement and quite simply pig ignorance.
To have a c-section is one that is not taken lightly and one that requires A LOT of thought and more often than not you simply do not have the time to think about it and you think about your baby and you and you do what is best. Yes I suppose it's easier to just have the pain relief and have all the hard work taken away from you (pushing, pooing, back to back etc) I will give you that but no one not anyone can prepare you for the after math of a c-section and one that I went into with very rose tinted glasses.
When I was told at 36 weeks that my first baby Charlie was breech and that a c-section was scheduled for 39 weeks I was gutted. I cried a lot. I had prepped so much for this birth that would now simply not happen. Birthing yoga. Bouncing for hours on a birthing ball to get baby to change position knowing in the back in my mind maybe that would help. I was gutted. After the initial disappointment died down I changed my mind set into planned c-section mode, well, after all if it was going to be this cool, calm and planned affair I would be going into it with nicely washed hair, a cracking bikini wax and the latest OPI polish on my tooties. Sadly this was not to be the case and when I went into labour at 36 weeks completely unprepared and without a baby bag I was petrified. First my birthing plan had gone down the swanny and now my relaxed c-section with baby being born to Take That's Greatest Day was going tits up too. Bloody marvellous.
Looking calm but ten minutes before this I threw a totally paddy and tried to make Tom take me home.
I was frightened. Really frightened. All of my control had been handed over to a specialist surgeon and an anaesthetist called Bob who was going to effectively temporarily paralyse me from my boobs down and yet still wanted to carry out a conversation about what I had for dinner. If there was ever a time to freak out this was it. To a mother giving birth naturally the control to a certain extent is in your hands. You call the shots. When you got to push you push and you push with every single inch of your body to deliver your baby and when you do you feel like the most amazing woman in the world, and rightly so, because you are amazing, but please don't take that amazing feeling away from mothers like me who have not experienced the feeling of pushing their baby out but who still feel pretty darn amazing because like you they too grew a baby and like you too they gave birth.
Well, I tell you what, I'll see your baby being pushed out of your vagina top trumps card and I raise you the pain of the 24 hours after birth. I wonder if you ever gave any consideration to the woman lying in the bed across the ward from you who too has a new born baby in her clear plastic crib, you know that woman who has to call for the midwife each time her baby cries when you said she didn't really know what it was like to give birth. That woman who has to have a midwife hand her her baby to help her breast or bottle feed and that woman who will probably have to hand her baby back after ten minutes because no matter how many pills she pops the pain is really quite sickening just from resting her tiny 7lb baby on her belly. That woman who has to be aided by a midwife or her partner just to sit up in bed. That woman who has a bag full of urine proudly on display by her bed and that woman who has probably cried because it hurts so much to even cough. You know that woman who has just given birth too.
So, yes I may not have know the pain that it feels to push a baby's head out of the equivalent of a Dairylea cheese lid (one of the main memories of NCT was that little fact that will forever haunt me). I don't know what it feels like to have an entire human being come out of my vagina but as far as I was aware medically there are only two ways of giving birth, naturally via your vagina or via caesarean section and I HAVE GIVEN BIRTH. So what exactly is the point that women like the mother on Instagram and women all over the world who feel the need to comment and shame women who give birth via c-section trying to make?
I watched a lot of new mothers leave Guildford and Epsom hospital in the days after I gave birth. Some left after half a day and some like me stayed for 5 days but one thing I know for sure is that the NHS were definitely not giving those women who had given birth naturally a badge saying "I did it naturally".
The NHS do not hand out "I did it naturally" badges. FACT.
So to all you mothers out there who have given birth via c-section let me from one c-section mother to another a mighty high five. You are amazing. You grew a human being in your body. You kept that human being warm, safe and loved for nine months. You made sacrifices and to this day still make sacrifices for your child. You are phenomenal.
All mothers are regardless of how they birthed their baby are amazing. Women more than ever now need to stick together to stop this utter ridiculousness. Stop the body shaming, stop the name calling, stop the judgemental looks, we are all mothers just trying to raise the future generations, doing what we think is best and we are all amazing. Some of us might just have less issues weeing than you that's all - he he!
Have you received comments on the way you gave birth? Did you give them a piece of your mind or are you one of those mothers who feels they need to give birth naturally in order to feel that they have given birth? I would love to hear from you.