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- 7 Apr 17

So today I am looking back on the day we made the massive decision for this baby to follow in the footsteps of her sister and to be delivered by elective c-section. The pressure I felt after my first birth and before this one was immense, and I was so fed up of being told I was ‘too posh to push’ or ‘taking the easy option’. Yes, people seem to have had no shame in saying this to me, something I still can’t quite comprehend but there we go (I’d just like to add that this is balanced out by amazing support from people that aren’t complete idiots).

Lyla’s (daughter number 1) birth was always planned to be a natural delivery but with a very strict consultant-led birth plan, but at the very end of my pregnancy it was deemed safest to have a caesarean section. And that’s all we want surely? For our babies to enter the world SAFELY? The risks were just too high and she wasn’t exactly the smallest baby! Hats off to all you mummies that push massive babies out of your hoo-ha’s! Anyway I have since been told by a chiropractor that the angle of my pelvis would make it near impossible to deliver naturally so that was kind of my decision made, safety first.

Anyway, the events of this decision took me back to something I wrote post-delivery of Lyla so that I could vent my frustration somehow (bear in mind this was in a mid-night feed blur when your brain has far too much time to think). Now I have a platform to share that, I thought I’d do so here…

I’m so tired of how this conversation goes so I’ve decided to change it’s course. My response when I’m asked “Why did you choose to have a C-Section?” has changed, I no longer worry about getting the right words out to justify my reason. Frankly, I no longer feel the need to even give a reason. It’s no-one’s business. And worrying so much about justifying why I did have one only results in one thing – I am maintaining the crazy belief of people that it is an inferior way of bringing a child into this world. No, little old lady in Waitrose, or Auntie Gladys, or old school friend, or whoever the hell is asking why. You asking me for a reason implies that I’d better have a good one in order to be judged by you to be a good mother to my child. Me giving you a reason implies that I invite you to judge me. Well bullshit. Ask me about my delivery and I’ll tell you my daughter’s beautiful birth story.

I’ll tell you how her dad and I were like two kids the morning of her delivery, cuddling in the hospital bed, laughing and daydreaming about meeting our little girl later that day. And how the banter of the morning helped distract me from how nervous I was about the risks to the surgery. How I had to remind myself over and over again that I was doing this to ensure that my gorgeous baby girl had a safer entry into the world, despite the risks and post-surgery complications to me. 

I’ll tell you how scared and lonely I felt when I as taken into theatre on my own. How terrified I was to say goodbye to her dad outside. I’ll tell you how I sat shivering on the edge of the cold bed, hoping and praying that they’d get the prodding and poking of needles right the first time (nurses definitely make the worse patients). They didn’t, it took an hour. An hour of being away from my husband. And I still had the major surgery to go through.

I’ll tell you how before I knew it, I heard a cry so loud that I did not think it could be a new baby. But it was, and it was mine, and she was beautiful. And I cried and laughed at the same time, and I was so proud that she sounded as spirited and fierce as I had gotten to know her to be for all those months growing inside of me. I’ll tell you how someone brought my angry, screaming, red-faced daughter to us and placed her on my husband. How her softest skin touched mine as I leant in to kiss her perfect lips and I felt more than I ever have before. How I looked into her ridiculously alert eyes and knew that I would never be the same again. I’ll tell you how the memory of that moment carries me through the sleepless nights even now, nine weeks later.

And mostly, I’ll tell you that how she came into the world is the biggest miracle I know, and is no less miraculous, for not having happened how you deemed it should have. Because, believe me, in asking your question you very clearly convey your judgement that you do, that her birth story is ‘less than’ and therefore needs me to justify it. And on that point, just no, no reasons, no justification from me. 

Anybody that delivers a child, no matter the method, is a hero in my eyes. It’s scary as hell, and no option is an easy option, trust me.

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