April is C-section awareness month and I have a small question: why?
I’ve had a c-section. A traumatic, nearly-popped-my-clogs-on-the-table, followed by an infection that developed into Sepsis and very nearly killed me, c-section. If ANYONE has the right to be all up in the “OMG c-sections aren’t easy” crowd, it’s yours truly and yet, here I sit with the burning question, who gives a damn? Who cares whether someone thinks that I didn’t birth Reuben correctly?
Here’s the thing: I don’t give a ﬂying fuck what anyone thinks about c-sections. It doesn’t need an appreciation or awareness month. It just doesn’t. Neither does vaginal birth. Who comes up with this stuﬀ *cough* commercial companies *cough*?? You know what this does? It divides us further.
I am a woman who can honestly say that I would (and have) moved mountains to avoid having the major abdominal surgery that is a c-section, but I know a lot of women who had CHOSEN c-sections and they found it a blissful experience. They didn’t have any complications, didn’t have a single contraction, didn’t have a post op infection and for them, it was wonderful.
How about “congrats you had a baby” appreciation month, something that doesn’t divide any of us. A c-section for some isn’t a hard thing, it is the easier and safer option. A c-section for some is a way of giving birth without worry. For others a c-section is terrifying and horrendous. It’s something that is a huge risk with major implications for mum and baby.
My point: we’re all so diﬀerent, but so long as mum and baby are here and are alive, oﬀered trauma care both emotionally and physically if they need it, regardless of how the baby arrived, then why do we need to celebrate one type of birth.
I’ve had people say to me “ohhh get a sun roof exit, it’s so much easier” so I’m well aware that there are people out there who are misguided at best and bloody stupid at worst. Sure, they think it’s the easy peasy option, they haven’t had children OR they don’t have the common sense to work out that major surgery isn’t a walk in the park… do we really need to create a month to indulge that kind of person? Really!? I honestly don’t think that we do, and further more, if someone is daft enough to be prejudice over how you remove a human that you have grown from a clump of cells, I doubt that an “awareness” month is going to make any difference. You can’t cure stupid as the old saying goes.
The way I look at it, creating a month like this where you are celebrating one type of birth for a select few people who just don’t have the brain power to work out that surgery isn’t an “easy way” is ridiculous. We don’t need a c-section awareness month, the blunt truth is that thousands of women, myself included, would be dead without a C-section, sadly, in some countries, thousands are. Anything that will result in death if not undertaken is surely not easy? We know this. Let’s not indulge people like this, birth isn’t a pissing contest: it doesn’t matter how you give birth – c-section, planned c-section, forceps, vontouse, vaginally with essential oils burning and a sense of blissful calm – it’s irrelevant, every single method of birth contains a risk. It contains a very serious risk for mother and baby, fear for the family surrounding them and at any point something can go wrong. All that EVER matters is that mum and bubs comes through the birth alive and well.
We don’t need c-section awareness month, we need let’s be kinder to each other month. We need “holy shit you have a baby, congrats” month. We need to be aware that how someone gave birth is up to them to discuss – or perhaps not. I wanted to talk about my awful experience. I should have had counselling, but I wasn’t oﬀered it and I didn’t talk enough. THESE are the areas that we need to put our eﬀorts and money into, not “c-sections are real births too” campaigns – anyone with half a brain knows that if you are el-preggo, you’re going to have to give birth at some point, in whatever manner you may need to. If you were in doubt of that fact then, erm, perhaps a science book would do you some good? Biology is your friend.
As women, as mothers, it’s important that we support each other and constantly, not just if you have had one type of birth on one month of the year.
However you gave birth, congratulations, you grew another human being in your body and you are both still here to love each other and grow together.