Caesarean Awareness Month
It’s Caesarean Awareness Month this April and reading quite a few stories and articles reminded me of the fact that all three of my boys were born by caesarean. I have in fact never even felt a contraction. Do I feel like I am less of a mother? No! Do I feel judged when I share this info? Sometimes! Was there a reason for my caesareans? Yes! Should that matter? No!
When I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first baby, I suddenly started to feel a little strange. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something wasn’t right. The next morning I realised I had put on 7lbs in 2 days and my head was pounding. I went to see my GP, and the next thing I know I was being blue lighted to the hospital. I was suffering from Pre-eclampsia.
What is Pre-eclampsia?
According to preeclampsia.org, Pre-eclampsia is persistent high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy or just after birth. It is often associated with high levels of protein in the urine but can also cause:
- severe headache
- vision problems, such as blurring or flashing
- pain just below the ribs
- sudden swelling of the face, hands or feet
The hospital were able to ‘manage’ my blood pressure for several days to give ‘H’ as much time as possible to develop his little lungs. He was born at 35 weeks by emergency section, weighing just 3lb 8oz. It took us both sometime to recover and over 4 weeks till H was allowed home to be with us.
Having taken over 9 months to conceive H, we were both a little shocked to find out that I was expecting again just 3 months later! Only 14 months from what is major surgery, I was told that it was too risky to attempt a VBAC (Vaginal birth after C-section). Doctors were concerned the scar tissue may not have had enough time to heal fully and risk haemorrhage. Cue my second C-section in under 2 years.
There was a gap of 7 years between No.2 and No.3, so plenty of time to heal I assumed. I tried to push for a VBAC, but after 2 sections, none of the Doctors or Midwives seemed particularly keen. In fact one ‘lovely’ Doctor told me that I would be risking death if I tried for a vaginal birth and that I should not have any more children… #Harsh
Anyway, with no real support and a lifelong lesson to listen to Doctors, I accepted that a section was perhaps the safest. Sometimes I wish I pushed a little harder (no pun intended!), educated myself a little more about the pros and cons of both. But it is what it is, and I wouldn’t change any of it for a second. I’m the proud mum of 3 boys (10, 15 & 16), who are all happy, healthy and fit young men.
Here are some interesting facts and myths you may or may not know about C-sections:
FACT – Caesarean section dates back to ancient Roman Empire times. It is named after Julius Caesar, who was famed for having been born via C-section.
MYTH – Caesarean section isn’t natural. Actually, C-sections aren’t any less natural than a vaginal birth.
MYTH – After one C-section, subsequent births will be by C-section. Not always, it depends on very many factors which you can discuss with your midwife and/or Doctor.
FACT – Around 1 in 4 pregnant women in the UK has a caesarean birth.
MYTH – Too posh to push? Not likely, in the UK under the NHS then C-sections generally are only carried out where there is a concern about the safety of mother or baby.
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