Why we shouldn’t buy in to C-section awareness month.

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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.

H 🙂

8 Comments

  1. Ellen
    June 30, 2018 / 7:54 am

    I have never ever left a horrible comment on someone’s blog or video. This will be my first because this post is completely ridiculous.
    The month helps educate, yea its shit it’s not spoke about more, yea some please still won’t get it, yea the stigma will still be there, but only in a few. It helps normalise that birth option and take away the stigma. Any awareness month or week could be criticised for all the same reason. This is just a jumped up moan you feel is justified to write about because you’ve had a bad experience.

    • Harriet July 1, 2018 / 12:45 pm

      Oohh Ellen, your desire to declare you’ve never done it makes me think you’re telling porkies. I’m not sure what you mean by I feel justified because I’ve had a bad experience, surely if anything that would make me a bigger fan of the whole let’s have a month of awareness? Anyway, I just don’t see the need for it. I haven’t seen any real attempt to educate, more just how fab sections are or how hard they are – which is true… but surely if someone is so daft as to think that a major abdominal surgery isn’t a big thing then they aren’t really worth the effort, I mean, you have to be pretty dense not to grasp that.
      Also, if you disagree, your comments are welcome, always – I am not gospel, this is my blog but I have an opinion on stuff and share it – doesn’t mean my mind couldn’t be changed or I could maybe feel better educated and change my pov… but then like you said, you left a “horrible comment” so it won’t make me see your pov it just makes me think you’re a troll. Always happy to try and see the other side of the coin, but when it’s presented in a manner that is deliberately designed to be “horrible” by the author’s admission, is it even worth the 2 minutes it took to reply? Probably not…

  2. April 16, 2018 / 9:26 pm

    AMEN!!! Why do women torture each other! I had three elective C-sects and have had nothing but nonsense from women! So silly! A birth is a birth!

  3. Karen Dunkley
    April 16, 2018 / 3:48 pm

    I totally agree with you! Nothing else to add! Thank you for being brave and speaking out, too many people will ‘plug’ it without really thinking about what it means and the divide it is actually creating! Here’s to ‘I have had a baby month’!!!!

  4. Corinne
    April 16, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    I absolutely love this post. So, so true. Well said. Well shared. Well done. Xx

  5. April 16, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Really enjoyed reading this. It’s all so true. I feel blessed to have had a vagina birth (still with complications and a pretty hefty recovery), but still. It baffles me that there are actually people out there that think birth is a contest. I agree it’s something to brag over – but I mean we should all brag! We birthed a frigging baby, regardless of how it come out or what drugs were needed – we are superhero’s!

  6. April 16, 2018 / 8:53 am

    I can absolutely get your stance, but I disagree. I think it helps educate people. I’ve had the sunroof comments, the “at least everything is ok down there” etc. But a lot of the time, for me, it’s been from people who haven’t had children and make light of it because they don’t understand the seriousness of it. I think the awareness month has helped educate some of those people who made those comments to me and the more understanding & kindness surrounding any type of new mum has got to be good, surely?

    Totally agree that those who don’t believe it’s a real birth etc it is totally wasted on, but those who haven’t been through it and say things through ignorance/lack of understanding, this month might make them have a quick think over how they mention it in future xxx

  7. April 16, 2018 / 8:41 am

    I completely get the need to have these conversations all the time and to not separate eachother dependent on type of birth, but I do think your post will make many people aware of some of the other aspects of c-sections and births in general (and surgery and life) – and that in itself is still important and a valuable addition to the conversation in an awareness month. You’ve raised issues of sepsis and trauma, and many people who are aware of the complexities of a csection, might not be quite aware of the impact of these factors.

    What I will say, as someone who hasn’t had a csection, but someone who has had two births (one where things had already ‘gone wrong’) – is even when the baby dies or has already died, that birth (regardless of type) is still something that can be acknowledged, and even celebrated in its own way. Both my births, had two very different outcomes, but both are as positive as eachother in my journey of motherhood.

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