So let’s all be honest, before giving birth we all thought it would be some kind of mountain climb that was a bit shit and a bit sore but the view was worth it. Unfortunately though, for a lot of women’s this is not the case.
Not only do we still feel that a C-section is failure but we also find it taboo to talk about what really happens when things don’t go to plan.
So we’ve all met that person who gloats lovingly about their drug free water birth, they barely pushed, it wasn’t all that bad, their labour was only a few hours blah blah blah. Enough.
So let’s delve back into reality. What can actually happen? What did actually happen? And why don’t we actually prepare ourselves for what can be a very dangerous and often surgically assisted delivery?
- 1) If I had actually been talked to about alternative births I may have had a rough idea of what I wanted in each situation.
- 2)Its bloody scary when you think that what you are going through is not the norm.
- 3) It’s more common than you think. Out of the 7 couples in my NCT group – every single birth had some sort of intervention be it during or after.
- 4) The first poop is the worst. Not your babies meconium. Your own. Whether you had a C-section or a natural birth (assisted or not) your first poop will be worse (be prepared).
- 5)Its ok not to be ok. You genuinely go about on a daze after you’ve given birth anyway but of you’ve had a particularly difficult experience, when do you know that it’s no longer baby blues and that actually it may not be post partum depression – it could be PTSD
I myself had what I would call the worst birth ever with a really good outcome. I have however, heard of far worse and I don’t for one minute think that I am the only person ever to have gone through what I did.
So here’s the jist – waters went first (not common although I do know other people who started this way), long very very slowly progressing labour (36 hours give or take), sepsis, suggested emergency section (already had epidural on board), failed epidural top up, failed spinal, GA (special drugs required due to an allergy), blood loss, came round off my tatas on drugs – probably didn’t even know I had a child!
Safe to say it took me a while to not only come back to earth from which ever medicated planet I had floated off to but to also realise I had a baby. My daughter is very lucky that her dad is a superhero. He just manned up and got on with the job in hand in order for me to get my head round it.
I was offered a fair amount for support afterwards including offers of counselling but at the beginning you don’t have time to consider how you feel, you’re just bobbing along trying to juggle recovery, a baby and any semblance of a life you have on zero sleep.
As time goes on your start to believe that it’s not bothering you anymore – it’s been months how can it? Then I truly believe it does become a bit of a taboo… ‘oh god is she still not over that? can be seen on the eyes of any friend you try to broach with the subject.
So let’s all just talk about it. Let’s just tell the stigma where to go. Let’s open that drawer in your mind you hid it in, lift up the rug you swept it under and bloody well just stop being so damn British about it!
Millions of babies are born every day. I’m pretty sure a large proportion do not go to plan and therefore by method of elimination (say with me) some definitely do not go to plan. If this is you and actually you’re still struggling – then speak up. It’s never too late. Everyone heals differently and just because the physical scares may be faded, those in your heart or your head may still need a bit of time.
Jacqui (aka Exhausted Mummy) is a 26 year old first time mum to her little girl, living in Edinburgh. She started a blog basically as a diary for herself as she’s has found she’s never been very good at the whole ‘writing things down’ and found her mind was full of thoughts when she should be asleep in the middle of the night.
Jacqui has found that her blog has helped her overcome the traumatic way her daughter entered the world, even though she maybe didn’t actually realise she was struggling.
She has a love of American medical and political dramas (basically anything on sky witness). Exercise and fitness play a big part in her life and is currently training for a 10k in aid of Alzheimer’s Scotland to raise not only money for the cause but also awareness. Rugby is her sport of choice, having played for may years she plans to return when she is able to but in the mean time is an avide Scotland fan (through thick and thin).