April is International Caesarean awareness Month, so with that in mind I would like to be somewhat serious and let you all in on the events of Maddie’s Mummy having a C-Section.
There are several reasons for having a C-Section, but in our case it was due to Maddie being in a breech position, meaning her feet were pointing towards the, erm…exit!
We were offered a procedure called an External Cephalic Version (ECV) which involves a Doctor applying pressure to the tummy area in an attempt to turn the baby. Surprisingly the decision whether or not to go ahead with this was a difficult one.
Maddie’s Mummy, for reasons neither I nor any man can ever understand wanted a natural birth. So the old pushing a bowling ball out of the, erm…exit scenario. This made the ECV a natural choice. But we were terrified of the procedure for some reason. The Doctor assured us she would try gently and if it was not working she would not force it. However the thought that this could pose any sort of risk to Maddie left us in a dilemma.
Ultimately Maddie’s Mummy wanted a natural birth, and the Doctor was of the view that if she could she should. So we went for the ECV. And it didn’t work. Maddie’s Mummy was upset as she had always envisaged a natural birth. Me being a typical Man did not see the sorrow she had and happily proclaimed that this was great news!
No painful birth, no painfully long labour and the fact that we could effectively chose the time and date of the birth seemed a no brainer. Not to mention no awkward jokey request by me for an extra stitch.
What I failed to realise was how scary it was for Maddie’s Mummy. She would be taken in for major surgery that carried risks to both her and the baby. Also, the recovery. My God the recovery! It felt like for ever before Maddie’s Mummy was back fighting fit. From being in agony every time she moved in the first couple of days, to struggling off the sofa, to walking and eventually doing exercise and living as before probably took about four months.
And after it all…well we were left with an awesome little girl and a scar on Maddie’s Mummy’s tummy that is already fading.
So any Dads reading this: don’t be shocked if your better half actually wants to go through labour. And if a C-Section is on the cards, be supportive and plan ahead for the fact that she won’t be able to do as much as she did for a while.
And for the love of God don’t ask for an extra stitch. Maddies Mummy has just read this and called me a childish moron, but I was too busy playing with Lego to care.
And for the Mummys….I can’t say I understand why a natural birth is preferable to you, but I know my wife and as devastated as she was we know we did everything we could and at each stage to put the baby first.
AND NOW IN A MADDIE AND DADDY FIRST WE WILL BE HEARING FROM MADDIES MUMMY:
A first?!? I’m sure this is only Maddie’s Daddy’s second blog post! Anyway, I’m not a big writer so I will try to keep this short and sweet. One thing that drives me mad is hearing people saying that having a caesarean section is taking the easy way out or that people have a caesarean because they’re too posh to push. Well I for one am definitely not too posh to push.
Hearing the news at 36 weeks that it was unlikely I would have a natural labour was devastating to me. I cried for days after because I felt that the experience of giving birth had been taken away from me, and I was a failure. I cannot explain why, given the whole bowling ball analogy but it is just something most of us mummies to be are desperate for. After a couple of sad days I began to accept that having a caesarean section was the safest thing for Maddie and that, although it was a very scary thought for me, Maddie’s safety would always come first.
I spent a lot of time researching it and spoke to many other Mummies who had had to have a C-Section. I was surprised at how common it was and loved how supportive other C-Section Mummies were, sharing their stories and reassuring me.
Surgery was as to be expected. Scary going in but all went well. The NHS was great and I was very happy with my experience.
Recovery was tough but made all the better having Maddie to show for it, plus she kept us very busy in the early days which meant I didn’t really have time to think about it. For anyone saying a C-Section is the easy way out, I challenge them to feel the pain of having to get up and try to go for a pee just hours after surgery!
Maddie’s Daddy is making a meal out of how long I took to recover because he had to do all the chores, cooking and cleaning and there was no way I was going to miss out on that so I may have played on it just a little! I was up and about after a week, and although I was in pain it was manageable and I was able to go for a short walk. Five weeks later I was driving and attending baby classes and things rapidly improved from there.
To all the Mummies going in for a C-Section don’t be scared, and please don’t feel like a failure like I did initially, I realise now how wrong I was. No matter how it arrives, the baby is always the number one priority and we should all support each other no matter how the baby comes.
If anyone has any comments or questions for either of us please leave a comment below
Further info at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/caesarean-section/