The good thing about blogging is that I’m able to reach people and talk about my own personal thoughts and opinions on, well…everything. If someone doesn’t like it then they stop reading it. If someone does like it they may continue to read -I pity you!- some even send me an email here and there and share small glimpses of their own lives.
I have seen a pattern emerging.
The ’emergency caesarean’ pattern.
Each story seems to be the same or similar.
A natural or as close to it as possible birth is planned. Labour begins, labour drags out, it gets tiring and hard, baby is in ‘distress’ mother then freaks, emergency caesar is then done. Mother THEN is determined to breastfeed to make up for the birth not going to plan, which then results in a being unable to ‘let go’ relax, and a feeling of it not ‘happening’, and in all the stories I’ve heard….post natal depression at varying degrees has also occurred.
There seems to be a tonne of epidurals too which then leads to vacuum or forceps…but we’re talking about caesarean.
Let me first say that it doesn’t matter how your baby gets here, as long as it is loved and your healthy and your baby is healthy then all is good.
But, it is becoming more and more common.
From personal experience I know that if I’d had a caesarean with Bella my first, then there would be no way I would have had a natural birth second time round. I went through the pain and effort the first time so second time I knew what I was in for.
I knew that once I got to the point where I was utterly exhausted, and totally thought I was going to die….. that you just don’t. You do live through it, the moment that baby is out, it’s over.
The pain disappears and you’re overcome with joy. You can get up and walk out of that room.
I’m not sure if it is true about asian women giving birth in the rice patty fields and then keep going or not, but it would certainly be possible. Actually, it is highly possible….(thinking about my birth/wedding day. How could I forget? Very easily actually…)
The pain and scarring and emotional issues that I’ve heard come from a ‘quick and easy’ ceaser frighten the hell out of me. With Violet and Buddy due to low-lying placenta I’d been told to prepare in case I’d need to have a ceaser.
The only reason I WOULD have allowed it was if they could tell me 100% that the placenta was blocking anyway out of my womb. I cried being told that I possibly wouldn’t be able to give birth naturally. The thing about giving birth -well for me- is that is kind of addictive. You know it hurts, you know it takes effort and resources and stores of strength you never thought you had, but the highs you get the moment you’ve had that baby and LIVED, makes it so worth it.
There needs to be further educating on the subject of what constitutes an ’emergency’ and there needs to be far better support from the beginning of labour to the very first breast feed AND it needs to be full on, hands on right there in your face support until the mother feels comfortable.
Not until they SAY they feel comfortable but until they really are. First time mums have it all planned, they know what they want and what they’re going to do to get it, except, they’re walking into a totally new situation, no matter how you describe labour and birth you can never get it right. No one will ever understand unless they go through it. The moment those pains get bad, your just praying you had someone right there knowing exactly how you feel, telling you it’s going to be over soon, reminding you of what you’re working towards. Someone telling you you’re doing it just right even thought you’ve got no clue. Regardless of how confident and ‘prepared’ you think you are. Theres a little niche` that needs to be filled in order to support these new mums, to help them set them up for success in the future with subsequent births, to give them a boost and a pride about what they’ve achieved.
I’ve heard of midwives offering ceasers and then totally being rude and making the mum feel useless once it’s all over with.
The breastfeeding needs far more effort yet a little bit less at the same time. Each midwife has their own ‘techniques’ which come from a breast-feeding handbook. Well as natural as breastfeeding is it is damn hard, it hurts and isn’t the funnest thing I’ve ever done! I spent 2 months with bleeding, scabby nipples, wincing in agony the moment I had to try to ‘attach’ Bella, I ended up using nipple sheilds -so unlike Xena’s- and my milk began to dry up with out the skin on skin contact. How I envied my non bleeding nippled teenage girl friends out partying back then.
But I am glad I persevered, I tried hard and knew what I’d be facing next time around. 2 months wasn’t bad!
The biggest thing is there ISN’T a right way, I know, I know…that’s not what they tell you in hospital. But I decided to try it my way with Sophie, it was different and I didn’t do the whole C shape thing with my fingers and shove my nipple up my baby’s nose in order to get her to open her mouth and then jam her face into my boobie! I did it my way, how I felt comfortable. It works.
I did get questioned when I took Buddy into the hospital for his 3 day check thingy, I went to feed him and the midwife said ‘that’s not how you do it.’
‘This is how I do it.’
‘Is this your first baby? He won’t get enough if you’re doing it wrong.’
‘No this is my 5th, how many do you have?’ (I do love the look on people’s faces sometimes when I say that….well she wanted to question my methods?!)
So 5 months later we’re still feeding in the way I choose to do it, despite his new teeth…ouch…he didn’t get to 8 kgs from me feeding him ‘wrong.’
Feeding my newborn baby on my wedding day/his birthday, between the ceremony and photo shoot was a tad weird.
But this would be one of my favorite birth/wedding day shots.
So emergency caesreans are needed, there are many reason why women would need to have one, but it seems like there are varying reasons, and extremes of necessity…… the most common reason I’ve heard recently?
elevated heart rate.
Um, all but 2 of my kids have been born not breathing, Bella needed suctioning. It is what happens naturally. Did those midwives mention that to help in the decision-making?
The moment your uterus begins its pushing motions babies heart rate elevates, it is kinda like they’re getting a buzz knowing their going to see their mumma soon. Being squeezed and crushed, how can that little humans heart rate NOT rise?? Cords around necks? I’ve had 4 of those and not required ceasers. Babies stuck in the pelvis? Well, that’s what the BIG pushes are for. Pelvis’s are made to expand, that’s where all that horrible pelvic and groin pain comes from. Midwives should suggest different birth positions to alleviate pressure and open things up FIRST. I know there are good reasons to need one, but it should be the last stop.
I’ve found that some midwives are rude too. Not all, a lot are lovely. But they don’t seem to be open to the differences in women. Some women handle pain far better than others, some are noisy, some are quiet. But all are capable of giving birth naturally given time and the right support. A lot of midwives seem happy to hand out drugs, epidurals or hand them over for ceasers all just to make them be quiet! Just to get it over with. Quickly.
News flash….labour is a 3 stage process. It takes a while. Depending on where you count from. I count my labour from the middle of the 2nd stage, at that point I go to hospital. I count my labours from the moment I get to hospital to the moment I give birth, if not then I could say that with Bella I had a 75 hour labour. Now that’s exhausting!
No one seems to be thinking about the psychological effects on the mother when dealing out cesarean.
Did you know that if you have one, your chances of having another is more than likely going to happen. If you turn up to hospital in labour and have a cesarean in your records, they’ll be prepared for another. The moment it gets ‘tough’ it is ‘easy’ to just take that option. Also there is a limit to how many you can have.
Which is sad if a large family was in the plans.
The mother’s long-term welfare needs more consideration, and not snap decisions, on the spot when she is obviously in agony and would probably even say yes to a bullet. It frustrates me that there are so many women out there feeling ripped off, like they’ve missed out.
It seems like a good idea to agree to in the moment, but looking back not so much.
When I’m in labour I get to a point every time where I just think ‘nope, not doing this.’ With Bella I started crying, said I just wanted to go to bed. I wasn’t going to do it. Well another contraction came and decided to show me who was boss. Sophie was a different story, I’d researched water births determined to not have the hellish traumatic birth I’d had with Bella again.
I remember laying in that bath and I got to ‘that’ point. I began to lose it, shaking my head, tensing up thinking ‘I’m not doing it, I’m NOT doing it!’ I was groaning and moaning and I was about to let the water works go, but my beautiful midwife reminded me why I was there.
‘Think about what you’re doing, Honey, calm down, you’re having a beautiful baby. Concentrate.’
It was amazing timing and the perfect words. I took a breath, calmed down, thought ‘yep I can do this, I’m having my baby.’ An hour later, out she came.
Buddy, I knew was massive. I could feel the way he lay in my belly, the places he pushed against, the areas where he filled me out. So different from my girls.
I was not dragging this one out. He was the first one of my babies that I got to a point where I considered just screaming ‘cut me open get this thing out!!’ I’m glad it was only a thought and I didn’t voice it.
Who knows what could have happened. Balloons, streamers, ‘Your our 50th cesaer! Come on down!’
I made sure I got him out in one go, not recommended, but I did it anyway. He was bruised and battered. But out.
The massive waves of relief and overwhelming joy takes hold and nothing else matters. Snuggling up with my slimy baby in the tub, offering him the boobie and watching him nuzzle in.
I want all mums to have that.
To be able to walk to their own room and get up to their babies at night, to be relatively comfortable when changing their new babies nappy, not worrying about stitches or pain.
But forget ALL that, the biggest thing I’ve noticed about mums who’ve had caesarean?
Their need to explain themselves, which immediately makes me realise…’this is not what you wanted for yourself.’
Mums who have natural births, don’t bring it up first thing, and sometimes it can be hard to bring up. Some mums can be sensitive to it. I was told of a hospital where if you chose to have a natural birth they had an entirely separate and much smaller department.
Natural births are going out of fashion.
They aren’t the norm anymore.
I haven’t met or spoken to any mums of recent who have actually had a natural birth.
Yet ALL wanted it.
What’s going on?!
One day when I’m older and have time to drop everything and rush to a new mums side I’d like to have like a little fleet of veteran mums, who’ve done natural births, who have breastfed. I want them to be a not for profit group who work with the hospitals and turn up the moment the new mum hits the hospital floors. Offering a no fuss, in your face cheer leader. A support person who is NOT a midwife, just someone who has been there and done that. A woman who is kind and holds their hand yet tough and honest , prepared to say ‘suck it up princess, you’ll survive.’ when needed. A woman who can handle being called names, possibly even hit, screamed at and sworn at. A priceless woman who can help for those few short hours while a new life is being delivered, being there to help that new mother get that baby on the boob and stay there for as long as the mother feels comfortable feeding. A women who helps for just a short period in time yet, sets up the mother and child for the most natural, comfortable experience and a success filled future.
A women who’ll end up a life long friend.
Doulas are good but not specialised enough for that very important little transition period between overly confident new mums to new mums who say ‘ok, I need some help.’ . Midwives are good but not as emotionally involved, they’re doing ‘their job’ but need to go a little above and beyond.
Someone there needs to be thinking of the mother’s long-term psychological and emotional needs in a time when even the new mum doesn’t give a …..poop.
Anyway, that’s my thoughts, which I’m sure are wearing thin by now!
I’m just hoping that emergency caesers aren’t the ‘new’ natural.
Giving birth naturally is rewarding and fulfilling.
I just wish every woman had a chance to experience that too.