April is the Cesarean Awareness Month that intends to educate and increase awareness about cesareans. This awareness campaign stands for a decrease in the figure of cesareans in mothers (which is high all over the world and especially in India) who do not require or who will not do good from this method in contrast to a vaginal birth. It moreover encourages Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)(yes it is possible!!) and sustains recovery from a cesarean.
April happens to be the birth month of my baby too. With my experience, I learned that education about a healthy lifestyle and pregnancy is the best way to avert the chances of C-sec. But despite that there can various complications that may crop up during pregnancy for that you might have to go for C-sec delivery. It could be :
- Medical conditions before or during pregnancy (obesity, diabetes, BP, low level of amniotic water and heart-related problems)
- Issues throughout the delivery time (twin birth, a complication with the amniotic membrane, premature labor and other serious issues with unborn baby)
- There could be intricate issues like abruption of umbilical cord around the neck, placenta, failure to progress, pre-eclampsia, etc..
Now I know, especially in India most delivery cases are going C-sec for the incorrect concludes. But at times they are medically obligatory. Like others, from all I had heard, I too used to fear C-sec. The risks to my baby, the risks to me, the risks of having a hard time recovering. The information was thrown at me negatively (hope I will be writing a post about it soon) But what if it is needed medically. My birth story goes like this: I intended to have a natural birth. Everything was great! Reports were good! Growth and everything was well. Yet apparently natural birth is not what was intended for me.
Just before 15 or 20 days overdue with my daughter, I went in for a check-up. They found out that my amniotic fluid levels were not at good levels. Also, the baby was at the breech. The doc asked me since it is my first pregnancy would I Like to go for natural birth! To which my husband and I said Yes!! But I was also told that I was not going to get any labor pain and to try vaginal birth we will have to try by inducing. The doc asked me to do some exercises rigorously so that my daughter will move from breech position to normal.
When I was a week overdue the situation was still the same, so to get into labor it was medically necessary to induce. I was admitted on Thursday night, I had to undergo 3 courses but there was no progress and my daughter refused to budge. She was happy where she was and she would not come out.
Later on Friday evening it finally started, the pains we unbearable, but surprisingly I didn’t shed a tear. Later at night, my water broke(I was so terrified, I felt I did something wrong, I mean I was just turning to my right side). The nurse told me to wait till 7 am.
It seemed as I will be pregnant eternally, I will be stuck in labor forever and our baby was never going to be born(exaggeration!!! but it seemed like that at the time!).
But, since the situation was still the same, we had to go for a cesarean. At that time I just want for her to arrive safely and if that meant cutting my body in order for that to happen, then let it be. Finally, what seemed like eternal, I saw my baby for the first time, smiling!!! The doc said when they first sight her she was looking right at them smiling!!
My baby and I survived just fine. The recovery was manageable. If you need to have the procedure, it will not be the end of the world. A lot of things are difficult post-C-section such as mobility. Luckily we had a veteran lactation consultant who helped beat the initial worries and she taught me some awesome tricks to assist in those first few days.
One thing every mum-to-be should keep in mind that your birth story does not determine who you are when you are a parent. Having a c-section does not mean you are not a successful or devoted parent, neither does a vaginal birth. There is no easy road for both the procedures, irrespective of what a well-intentioned (or not-so-well-intentioned) family member or relationship might say.
A mother retrieves her birth for her lifetime.
Like a culture, we should honor, value and care for the manner a mother births along with her birth experience. Pregnancy and delivery are tough. We lose power over our bodies. But we can be empowered and educated to craft a birth vision and deal with eventualities. We should embrace our birth experience irrespective of what path it took. As, in the end, don’t we all need a healthy mother, a healthy baby and a decision we won’t regret.