Friday, 16 April 2010

C-section vs natural birth

So, the date has been set for Bump's birthday, barring any unforeseen circumstances - nine days to go!

My final scan this week showed that Bump is still breech (no real surprise there) so the hospital has booked me in for a c-section. I'm quite relieved really to have a plan in place, and also relieved because my husband has managed to get 10 days off starting on the day of the op, so he'll be able to spend quality time with me and the baby, and get some impressive Daddy baby-care skills in while I'm recovering from the surgery.

What's surprised me though about this whole experience is how judgemental some people can be about what seems to me is an intensely personal experience, i.e the birth of our baby. Now, I'm sure my pregnancy hormones are making me ultra-sensitive, but a few reactions to the c-section decision have been fascinating, and slightly insulting if truth be told.

It seems to me that some people think I'm "copping out" from attempting a normal delivery. This couldn't be further from the truth! Cripes, if we could be sure that Bump could be delivered safely that way, we'd attempt it, but given the particular position (full, footling breech) and new, well respected research showing that a caesarean birth in this situation is the safest method for mother and baby, make attempting a vaginal delivery a very foolhardy thing indeed.

Part of me wonders whether some women who've struggled through difficult natural births feel resentful that they weren't able to choose this route. I think also that some women seem to wear an imaginary "badge of honour" after a natural birth, and feel perhaps that I'm letting the side down.

What a load of rubbish. Part of me would still love that delicious uncertainty and excitement of guessing when Bump might choose to arrive: would love to be able to put into practice all the reading I've done about natural birth, would love for my husband to be at my side coaching me as I gave birth to our child the way nature intended.

But given that if we did it this way there's a high chance our baby might be oxygen deprived at birth and that I might need significant medical intervention, well, that way is closed to us completely.

So, dear people, both in real life and online - please think before you pass judgement. This is our baby, our birth, and our choice. All that matters to us is that we get to take our healthy baby home with us afterwards. Which is what everyone wants, after all.


  1. OMG Bump will be here soon, how exciting! I hear you on the judgement passing. Too early for me to have experienced any of it, but it seems here in Cairo people tend to think there's a problem if you have a c section, wtf? I think its ignornace maybe, but it seems they attach a scary stigma to it. Oh well I hope all will go smooth, I am sure it will and can't wait for Bumps arrival. Have a great weekend!

  2. Ignore them if you can, having a C-section certainly does make you a 2nd class mother! My wife, who has always been a small woman, was told on her first Dr visit that she more than likely would have to have a C-section. As she was approaching her due date, the Dr was certain. I was glad they made the decision early, instead of waiting until she or the baby were in distress. Might not happen in Cairo, but I was in the surgery room when they delivered my son. I could not have given a hoot about the method, I was just happy my wife and son were healthy. That was the # 1 thing.

    Good luck to you and your husband, you will make good parents.

  3. Funny... I had the opposite reaction from people. My baby wasn't turned when she was supposed to be, so they scheduled a C-section for me, and I was a bit bummed about the chance for a nature birth to be taken away from me (God knows why... I mean, its really not all that great to go through all that pain) and people were like, "You should be happy!... C-Section is great" and they would tell me why I should be thrilled not to have to give birth naturally. Of course most of those people were either men or women that hadn't given birth them self. But either way my reaction is the same... "BUT OUT!" It's my body and my decision, and if the baby isn't turned then I am not in control of this anyways! So annoying. And with a pilot hubby there are advantages to have the birth date planned. And in the end my baby turned and I had a successful natural birth anyways, but still... that wasn't in my control.

    Screw the naysayers... you do what is best for you and the baby. And like you said, you don't have a choice! People are dumb.

  4. I know people who have done both and all say that the C-Section was harder by far, since you have to deal with a newborn baby whilst recovering from MAJOR abdominal surgery.

    I had cervical cancer and could not physically have a baby via a vaginal delivery (I tried 2ce and failed badly both times)... I felt like such a failure, as I was desperate for a natural birth, but at the end of the day, a healthy child is what you want, and anything that risks the child's life is simply not an option!

    Ignore the ignorant ones

  5. On my post of 16 April at 11:04, I MEANT to say 'does NOT make you a second class mother'. Stupid keyboard, it always make mistakes and my face is red.




Relationship Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory