Sunroof Mummy

My daughter is very special to me. I am happy that she is healthy, happy and we obviously adore each other.

I have to admit occasionally my birth story still pulls at my emotions now. It feels selfish to have such sadness over it, especially as Isobel grows and time fades the tale.

I had images of a home birth, a vaginal birth, not much medication and an awesome soundtrack. Instead I gave screams of terror, had a ‘condensed’ labour (0 to fully dilated in 45 minutes), I struggled with positioning, panicked so gas and air didn’t work and practically begged for an epidural (which I had been scared of before the pain of my labour). I ended up having an emergency c-section, didn’t get the skin to skin contact I craved and was about the 6th person to hold my baby.

Why do I feel let down? I have a gorgeous daughter who arrived safely, we were both safe, healthy. I have a wonderful husband who was with me through the whole terrifying experience and who remains greatly supportive even though I tend to whitter on, rambling words over his most days.

I think sometimes the memory fades but the upset is still there. But it becomes more apparent to me as time goes by how much is focused on a vaginal birth being ‘natural’ and ‘the right choice’. Women need to feel empowered whichever way they give birth. The birth is not what is important its the aftermath, nurturing your child, loving your child. We should not be judged by the way baby arrived but of our own courage, strength.

I got told by a close friend after the birth of my baby that ‘at least you didn’t have to go through labour’. I did – I was in labour 7 hours in total. But then why am I justifying her comment with that. A c-section is by no means easy, it can take up to 12 weeks to recover fully, far more than a vaginal birth. I was housebound for most of the first six weeks of Isobel’s life as I needed someone with me if I wanted to venture outside.

I have tweeted with other mummies and it seems that even with assisted vaginal birth mummies feel guilt over delivery of their babies. NCT classes only discuss vaginal birth. Surely women need a more well rounded view of what is available to us during pregnancy and labour? Why do NCT classes not show expectant mums the choices or possibilities. We need to have choices not be frowned upon by others just because it may not be right for them.

Mummies – stand together, be a support, be open with each other about birth but not oppressive with your opinion. Surely we should join together in nurturing our babies after delivery not forcing opinion and upsetting each other on what is a means to an end. Your babies are all equally important, the actual birth style should be irrelevant!

5 Comments

  1. May 30, 2010 / 9:21 pm

    My NCT classes warned me about all the evil things that would happen with an intervened birth. They almost all happened but I don't feel any guilt about the way things turned out. I don't really feel that much disappointment either. In our post-birth NCT classes we told our instructor that we'd have valued some information of what it is like to have an epidural (the shivers, that was the main thing we felt cheated not to have been told), or what to expect (genuinely, not the scary warn-you-off-stuff) from a c-section. They don't tell you these things because they don't want you to go that way.

    In the end though, my daughter is here, she is healthy, I'm pretty much back in one piece and life is fab… you're right, it doesn't really matter how it happens.

  2. May 30, 2010 / 9:36 pm

    However babies arrive they are a miraculous occurence! My babies were born vaginally without assistance, but I would have accepted any help going (begged for an epidural twice, but had no time in either birth). People often ask whether I had a 'natural' birth, particularly when I mention my son's birth weight and I have never understood why- I would never ask anyone because it isn't important. You are right, cuddles and kisses are more important than stiches and forceps x

  3. Luschka (Diary of a First Child)
    May 30, 2010 / 9:49 pm

    It's a funny thing tho – I think we feel guilt every which way. I had a perfect birth, 48 hours of labour, at home, in a birth pool in my kitchen, and I caught my daughter in my own hands. And I've been MADE TO FEEL GUILTY FOR THAT at times. I've been told not to tell people about my birth because it makes them feel bad??? So either way, we can't really win. Now if I'm in a group I just say I had a fab home water birth, and if someone wants to know more, I'll go in to details. It seems, for some horrible reason, that we are just incapable of being happy for each other!

    Lol@ sunroof mummy though!

  4. July 17, 2015 / 5:57 am

    It’s ok to feel sad about our births and I think that’s the message we need to get across to mums more than anything else. It does matter how are babies are born – not whether they are born vaginally or by caesarean, but whether the mother was listened to and making informed choices

  5. July 19, 2015 / 8:22 am

    I totally agree we should stick together. I have also been told that at least I didn’t labour…. umm, I did- for hours and hours each time! And not only that but I also had my belly sliced open! No matter how our babies get here we should not feel we have to justify it at all! x x x x

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