If you don’t usually read our blog or follow us over on Instagram, you might not know that this month is c-section awareness month! We have got in touch with lots of lovely Mama’s from our Instagram community and asked them to share their stories on our website, today we have the lovely Jackie sharing her c-section experience.
C-SECTION AWARENESS MONTH 2021
You know all those inappropriate questions other mothers ask, usually to compare your labour experience with their own? Those little bonding questions you ask new mothers…
“Is your fanny still intact?” “Did you shit when I pushed?” “Oh, you had a c-section? Thats ok then, at least you didn’t have to push it out.”
Yes, that was actually once said to me. Along with, “Oh, too posh to push eh?!” and “aw, at least you had the easy way out!”
And it hurt. It cuts something crazy deep to hear stuff like that.
I didn’t choose to have a c-section., and please don’t mistake this as a caesarean section bashing post, because it really isn’t. It’s just my frustrations about my own experience.
My labour experience was not physically horrific, but I am forever, emotionally scarred. The hardest part of my labour experience was not that I was 2 weeks overdue.
It wasn’t that everything I had planned went to pot, thats to be expected. I wasn’t allowed in the beautiful purple sparkly room with the amazing birthing pool, instead I had to be strapped to a bed with wires and shit hanging off me, that disgusting needle in my hand (which fucking KILLS by the way), in the most clinical, unfriendly looking room in the whole unit. You know when you’re shown round the delivery suite and you’re like, “oooh this rooms lovely” or “bloody hell this room is horrific” and naturally, you end up in the latter.
It wasn’t that the midwife on shift 1 told me I wasn’t allowed anything to eat, and that if I felt hungry, I wasn’t in proper labour yet. I’m pretty sure I’d have been able to gobble down some chocolate, regardless of what stage of labour I was in.
It wasn’t that the midwife on shift 2 completely misjudged how many cm’s dilated I was. She must have had the worlds skinniest fingers, to think 5-6 cm’s is anything like 1-2cm (which is what I actually was when senior midwife checked 12 hours later, oh, and the head wasn’t even fixated…).
It wasn’t that it took the staff 24 hours to realise that my waters had not properly broken, and in order to do so they had to stick a big stick up my fadge to pop them, thus making the contractions kick in, fast and furiously.
It wasn’t that after 50 something hours, after several 4 hour vaginal checks with multiple people giving it a good feel (having an epidural makes you a great candidate for student midwives to get a go at the icky stuff), we collectively came to the decision to slice this baby out of my belly. I vaguely remember telling my Gareth that I wanted a c section 12 hours previously, not really understanding the full ins and outs of what I was asking for. I just knew she wasn’t coming out of my foof, and I couldn’t do another 24 hours of come and go contractions.
The hardest part of my labour was not watching my purple coloured little monkey taken to the far side of the room and not laid on my chest straight away.
It wasn’t watching her be given to my partner and not me, that bit was actually pretty special, the look of raw emotion on his face will never leave me for as long as I live.
The hardest part of my experience wasn’t spending 24 hours in the most horrific ward, listening to the staff tell us that Gareth couldn’t stay past 10pm and I had to stay alone. With a brand new human.
It wasn’t the hardest part when I got told off by a student midwife for changing my baby’s nappy on my lap in the hospital bed. I cried, because I literally could not move, and there was nobody to help. Have you ever stayed in a post natal ward for longer than 12 hours? I felt like I was in a prison.
It wasn’t when the numbness in my legs and stomach wearing off and I had to walk to the shower and actually try and wash myself, and then having to ring the emergency cord because I’m pretty sure I was having a mild panic attack following the sight of copious amounts of bloody coming out of me, plus washing yourself after a c-section? Unaided? Not possible. It wasn’t that there was only 1 poor midwife, clearly rushed off her feet on discharge day, with a bunch of other families waiting to be discharged. A process that took 12 hours instead of 2.
It wasn’t when we finally got discharged and she decided that the first time she checked over our baby, something seemed wrong… So off she sauntered off down the corridor, into a room, where I could hear my baby girl screaming. I’ll never forget how sick and angry I felt at that moment.
The hardest part of my labour and the recovery weeks that followed wasn’t any of the above. I had given birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. It’s the attitude of others, concerning c-sections. How insensitive peoples comments were whilst I was still recovering. Too posh to push?! Are you fucking serious? I didn’t fucking choose to not push her out like a champ. I didn’t sit there and think, ‘nah, I’ve had enough now, I’m tired, lets slice this one out’.
I had a failed labour induction, and I felt like I’d failed in every way imaginable. I felt like my boyfriend didn’t look at me like I was a superwoman. I’d read all these brilliant stories about the beautiful way in which fathers saw the mother of their children, after seeing them give birth, and I didn’t have that. Well, I thought I didn’t.
There is such a social stigma that surrounds c sections. You can’t escape judgement and ignorance. The fact that some people, still don’t see it as actually ‘giving birth’, which is absofuckinglutely ridiculous.
It fucks me off that everyone has to have an opinion, and that, between mums, its become a competition to see who had the hardest labour. Confuckingrats to you, you’re labour was physically and undeniably worse than mine. Did you get a trophy? A ‘best pusher’ prize? Oh, you got a baby? Me fucking too!!!
I apologise if I’ve come across as a bitter, sarcastic arsehole, but what I am slowly coming to terms with… Is that it really doesn’t matter how you got your baby. You gave birth, whether it came out of your foof, or your belly.
I shouldn’t be so angry at other mums who talk about their experience, as they probably feel some of the same feelings I do, and instead we should be bonding over this. I am able to do that now, listen to other stories, and not sit there thinking they’re judging me. People want to be heard. And I am a superwoman. I faced my biggest challenge, and I get cute little reminders of how amazing my body is, in the face of my stunning baby girl, and my war wound.”
Did you know April was c-section awareness month?