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Why I Fought For An Elective C-Section

1
I had a shocking birth with my first son, who is now five. After the trauma it caused, both physically and mentally, I said I would never have another baby. Then I was pregnant, unplanned when my son was only five months old, so in a way, the decision about whether to have another child was taken out of my hands. I’m hugely grateful for that.

My anxiety increased

As my little bub grew, so did my anxiety about the birth. I spoke to my doctor about opting for a planned caesarean. I didn’t realise then that there is a specific term for fear of

SelfishMother.com
2
childbirth called Tocophobia. I’m sure I was suffering from this as the ante-natal depression hit me hard soon after I discovered I was pregnant. My anxiety was not about whether I could manage two babies, it was about how the baby would physically come out. Although the hospital gave me a counselling session sometime after the first birth, if I’m honest all it gave me were the facts and details of the timings and stages of the birth. Mainly it brought back the pain and stress I endured. Perhaps it was just too soon.

A maternal request

Although

SelfishMother.com
3
caesarean births have increased in the UK, the number of elective C-sections are still lower than emergency C-sections. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggests that the reasons for this increase in caesareans may be due to the increasing number of ‘complex’ births related to older or obese mothers. The NHS NICE guidelines state that women can discuss their maternal request for a C-section. This is exactly what I opted for, but it wasn’t straightforward.

Meeting the consultants

I had at least two meetings at the hospital

SelfishMother.com
4
with consultants about my birth plans and my desire for an elective caesarean. They were terrible meetings. I had my young baby with me, I was in a lot of pain from the first birth, and I had no choice but to fight for the birth I wanted. I constantly cried on both occasions because just talking about childbirth summoned all the trauma and fear I had been burying. My mental health was suffering, and I was trying to care for a baby. It was exhausting, and there was a lot of resistance against my birth choice.

Fighting for choice

Finally, because I

SelfishMother.com
5
refused to give up, it was agreed that I could have a planned C-section, which did reduce my anxiety about birth. I didn’t want a caesarean because I’m a wimp. I was still in excruciating pain from that first birth, and in my head, the thought of pushing out a baby would surely invoke more stress and damage.

Excellent recovery

The caesarean was a stress-free and obvious birthing option for me. I was nervous beforehand, but it was quick, pain-free and the recovery was straightforward. No infection, no tearing and no trauma like the first birth.

SelfishMother.com
6
My scars were quick to heal, and all my energy was consumed with two under two. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t drive for six weeks because I had one of those massive double buggies which I took for walks and which bashed most door-frames in coffee shops in town and more legs than I care to admit to.

In my experience

I often hear first-time pregnant ladies say that they want a natural birth so they can feel and experience it. I bite my tongue because we all have our views and approaches to childbirth and parenting. For me, natural birth was

SelfishMother.com
7
nothing short of horrific and five years on I still suffer from childbirth-related health issues. I do not suffer any health implications from my C-section. I’m not saying that every woman should now apply pressure for an elective caesarean because I know many women who have experienced ‘good’ births, or births that were a little hairy, but didn’t cause them chronic pain afterwards which affected their mental health.

It’s all personal at the end of the day. While birth plans can be a great way to document your birth wants and absolute

SelfishMother.com
8
no-nos, when nature takes its course we have to go with the safest option to bring our child into the world.
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- 7 Feb 19

I had a shocking birth with my first son, who is now five. After the trauma it caused, both physically and mentally, I said I would never have another baby. Then I was pregnant, unplanned when my son was only five months old, so in a way, the decision about whether to have another child was taken out of my hands. I’m hugely grateful for that.

My anxiety increased

As my little bub grew, so did my anxiety about the birth. I spoke to my doctor about opting for a planned caesarean. I didn’t realise then that there is a specific term for fear of childbirth called Tocophobia. I’m sure I was suffering from this as the ante-natal depression hit me hard soon after I discovered I was pregnant. My anxiety was not about whether I could manage two babies, it was about how the baby would physically come out. Although the hospital gave me a counselling session sometime after the first birth, if I’m honest all it gave me were the facts and details of the timings and stages of the birth. Mainly it brought back the pain and stress I endured. Perhaps it was just too soon.

A maternal request

Although caesarean births have increased in the UK, the number of elective C-sections are still lower than emergency C-sections. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggests that the reasons for this increase in caesareans may be due to the increasing number of ‘complex’ births related to older or obese mothers. The NHS NICE guidelines state that women can discuss their maternal request for a C-section. This is exactly what I opted for, but it wasn’t straightforward.

Meeting the consultants

I had at least two meetings at the hospital with consultants about my birth plans and my desire for an elective caesarean. They were terrible meetings. I had my young baby with me, I was in a lot of pain from the first birth, and I had no choice but to fight for the birth I wanted. I constantly cried on both occasions because just talking about childbirth summoned all the trauma and fear I had been burying. My mental health was suffering, and I was trying to care for a baby. It was exhausting, and there was a lot of resistance against my birth choice.

Fighting for choice

Finally, because I refused to give up, it was agreed that I could have a planned C-section, which did reduce my anxiety about birth. I didn’t want a caesarean because I’m a wimp. I was still in excruciating pain from that first birth, and in my head, the thought of pushing out a baby would surely invoke more stress and damage.

Excellent recovery

The caesarean was a stress-free and obvious birthing option for me. I was nervous beforehand, but it was quick, pain-free and the recovery was straightforward. No infection, no tearing and no trauma like the first birth. My scars were quick to heal, and all my energy was consumed with two under two. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t drive for six weeks because I had one of those massive double buggies which I took for walks and which bashed most door-frames in coffee shops in town and more legs than I care to admit to.

In my experience

I often hear first-time pregnant ladies say that they want a natural birth so they can feel and experience it. I bite my tongue because we all have our views and approaches to childbirth and parenting. For me, natural birth was nothing short of horrific and five years on I still suffer from childbirth-related health issues. I do not suffer any health implications from my C-section. I’m not saying that every woman should now apply pressure for an elective caesarean because I know many women who have experienced ‘good’ births, or births that were a little hairy, but didn’t cause them chronic pain afterwards which affected their mental health.

It’s all personal at the end of the day. While birth plans can be a great way to document your birth wants and absolute no-nos, when nature takes its course we have to go with the safest option to bring our child into the world.

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Corporate to Kids

Who: Sarah - Queen of self-deprecation Job: from corporate HR career to Mum, Writer and Blogger Children: two boys with a 13 month age gap!! Obsessions: writing, Haribos, rainbows, coffee, fizz

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