Why you should never feel that a caesarean section is not “proper” birth

I am the mother of 2 beautiful children, I grew them and nurtured them and to date they are my biggest and proudest achievement in life. For quite a few years though, after having them I had this feeling that I had “missed out” due to the fact I didn’t achieve a vaginal delivery with either, and both were born by caesarean section. On reflection I think that this largely due to the thoughts and feelings of others. 

Having been a midwife when I fell pregnant with my first baby, of course I had had the honour of witnessing many beautiful births and sharing the emotions with many couples that I looked after, and of course I naturally wanted and expected this to be something that I would experience too, when I had my own children.

However my experience did not end up in this way at all. I experienced complications from the minute I fell pregnant and this continued right through my first labour and resulted in both myself and my daughter becoming quite poorly. For this reason I had a section with my first baby. 

Two years later I fell pregnant with my second child and after discussion with the consultant we decided that the safest option would be to have a planned caesarean section. Section number 2 coming right up, this time without even a labour.

Now this was not something that really bothered me until you start talking to other people. People would make the sympathy face when I said I had had sections, saying things like, “Oh, don’t you feel like you have missed out?” “Do you feel less of a woman because you haven’t actually birthed a baby?” “How can you be a midwife if you had sections, you don’t know what it feels like?” “Oh, so you are a bit restricted now to how many children you have?” and … my favourite, “Oooo so you have got that big ol’ scar then?”

All of these comments really made me think and I soon found myself saying things like, “I will always feel a bit cheated because I didn’t have normal deliveries,” and “If I have another baby I would like to do it the ‘proper’ way.” It had a negative impact on my emotions and I really found myself thinking, what’s wrong with me?

I mean! How stupid could I have been?

Women have sections for many different reasons, and the majority of these are medical reasons, not just as many people believe, because they are too posh to push. Birthing a baby comes in all shapes and forms and in more recent years I have grown to love the fact I had sections with both of my children. If I hadn’t have had a caesarean with my first baby the outcome could quite easily have been very different. Birthing does not mean a completely ‘normal’ vaginal delivery. By definition it is the action and process of giving birth. It means the you reproduce, grow and nurture a baby inside you and then deliver them into the world. The way in which you do this does not and should not come into it

Now I have the ability to reflect on my experience, particularly the second baby and it could not have been more positive. Yes I had 2 sections, yes I have a scar but I look at my children now and thank my lucky stars that I had the ability to fall pregnant, carry them successfully to term and bring them into the world in the safest way possible. I do not feel like I missed out or that I was cheated, because I still gave birth.

I think society puts too much pressure on everything nowadays and unfortunately I feel that includes the way we give birth. It should not be deemed a failure because you have a caesarean section, it should be viewed in the same way as a vaginal delivery and celebrated that this method occurred to help ensure the safety of you and your baby.

Having a caesarean section was my normal and I thank my lucky stars that I had them.

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