Now after reading this don't get all umpty with me because this is my opinion. I'm not saying it should be the law. It's just what I think...
I'm finding it hard to understand why a woman would choose to have a caesarean section if she had the choice between that and a safe natural birth.
Speaking from (a horrendous) experience it isn't something that I can get my head around.
Shall I tell you about my experience of having a c-section? It isn't pleasant so if you don't want to know then stop reading.
After resting in bed for a few hours after having Lilian I was told that after having the catheter taken out I'd need to take a trip to the loo. I knew the wound would be covered over with a very thick pad but I wasn't expecting to find my pelvis quite so swollen. The term 'kicked in the cunt' sprung to mind. My stomach had shrunk (although it was delightfully saggy) and my pelvis was sticking out beyond belief. Quite a shock.
When I left the hospital a few days later with a slightly thinner dressing on the wound, my pelvis was still swollen. It made me feel sick when I caught a glimpse. It was a struggle to walk and almost impossible to get in to the car, let alone hold my own child. My legs and ankles resembled those of a Buddha. The pain, indescribable. No, not even the strongest painkillers helped.
The days that followed were difficult. I had to put a cushion over the area when I held Lilian and fed her. Rocking her to sleep was out of the question. Climbing the stairs took forever and I couldn't laugh even if I wanted to. Not only was I in a tremendous amount of pain, laughing surely would have caused my stitches to burst. As would coughing.
It got easier though. After about three weeks. And then I got an infection. It wasn't pleasant and I was still in a lot of pain.
Weeks went by and I expected to get some feeling back in my stomach but it was still completely numb.
It's seven months since I had Lil. I still have hardly any feeling in my stomach (my aunt had a caesarean 22 years ago and she still has no feeling in hers - such an odd sensation) my scar is still red and there are days when it hurts. Mainly when I'm sick, tired or stressed. Sometimes when I find myself longing to be pregnant again.
I never breastfed my daughter. I couldn't take any more pain after the c section (hearing that breastfeeding was sometimes painful). I told the health visitor that if I'd have had a natural birth I was positive that I would have breastfed. This upsets me. When I was pregnant I was adamant I wouldn't breastfeed. I wanted my husband to share the feeds with me. After having Lilian I really wanted to, it was just impossible for me to go through any more pain
I have nightmares about the whole labour experience (but mainly about the operation). What some people don't realise is that a caesarean section is major abominable surgery. It's not just a quick operation, in and out in a day. I laid on the operating table wondering if I was going to die (a little dramatic, just don't google it like I did...) or need a blood transfusion or if something would go wrong and I'd have to have a hysterectomy.
I understand that if you choose to have this operation, it's probably under calmer circumstances. But when the doctor is sitting next to you reading out the risks of the operation, telling you that worse case scenario you or the baby could die (and in turn watching your husband breakdown in the corner) makes me shudder. Why would you choose to hear those words?
And why choose to be in that pain afterwards? Yes alright, you might 'rip like a zipper' after doing it the natural way or 'one hole becomes two' (as my best friend put it) but you will heal. I'll always be reminded of my nightmare when I look down. It doesn't look like it's healing to me even though I was assured it is. I'm not saying that having a natural birth is any less painful than a c-section, I'm saying I don't understand why a woman would choose to go down a path that ensures she will be in agony for weeks afterwards.
I'd rather sit on a rubber ring for eight weeks than choose to have that operation and deal with the aftermath.
Every case is different, I know. Natural births carry their risks. They can go wrong, can bring immense pain, your two holes could well become one. I have spoken to many women that have had awful experiences doing it naturally. I just don't know why any woman would choose to go down the caesarean route if they didn't have to. Many women who have had a c-section have had good experiences. But not one woman I have spoken to that has had the operation said they'd choose to have it.
Yes every woman has a right to choose if that's what she wants to. But if I could have had a natural birth I would have embraced it. It's what our body was created for. I can't bring myself to say 'I gave birth' because I didn't. She was cut out of me. I feel cheated, I wanted that experience. To say that the last nine months of hell were worth every second because my body is amazing and I just pushed out a 7.5lb baby (of course they were worth it but, you know...)
It would be great to know how a lot of other women feel about this. No opinion is right or wrong, in my opinion. Everyone has their reasons behind it.
And that was mine.