It’s a truth (almost) universally acknowledge that as parents we can find something to feel guilty over in any nook or cranny. At the risk of sounding controversial or blasé there’s one area where I don’t feel any guilt whatsoever.
I don’t feel guilty that I’m a c-section Mum.
As I rake myself over the coals in other areas, I think it’s worth me giving myself a pat on the back for this especially as my relationship with my body has been troubled to the least over the years.
I’m short curvy girl. I’m never going to have long legs or an athletic build, but I do like to keep an eye on things through Slimming World. This is more of a way to feel healthy and be a more active Mum and to reduce any effects of the c-section overhang. I’m very definitely in the body neutrality camp; I’m probably never going to feel like I’m in the most amazing body but it’s better to not hate it and be nicer to it.
Despite this; I still don’t feel guilty that I’ve had 3 c-sections.
After completing NCT classes when pregnant with Alexandra had left me utterly terrified of c-sections. Despite my love of Dr Pimple Popper, I can be incredibly squeamish when it comes to surgery. It’s very unlikely I’ll be getting things nipped, tucked or fat vac-ed as I age.
Alexandra’s c-section was an emergency – literal running down the corridor a la ER. I was now in a position where I didn’t have a choice. This was to try and save her life and potentially mine as in those split seconds we weren’t sure what the issue was apart from baby was very poorly and they needed delivering then and there.
As I was pregnant within the year after having Alexandra with Ophelia, the advice was to have another c-section at roughly 38 weeks as they couldn’t guarantee that things wouldn’t tear if I wanted to go for a VBAC. (eerrrlack) So I was fine with that and even though I was incredibly nervous, I’m proud that I got through it and healed really well.
Daphne’s c-section relatively straight forward affair surgery wise despite the shenanigans of my back misbehaving and again I physically healed well and got away with no infections.
So why don’t I feel guilty for being c-section Mum? Because for me, that’s just the way the dice rolled. I can’t do anything about it. They were necessary to be able to try save life and to get my girls home. Hopefully, in the years to come I’ll feel proud of those scars because there are the physical embodiment of what I had to go through to become a Mum of 3 girls. Something I never imagined being. I always said that “I think I’d like more than one but let’s see how the first one goes.” Hedging my bets as I knew my Mum was seriously ill towards the end of her pregnancy with me and not knowing if I would be the same.
I guess I feel a sense of melancholy that the choice was taken away from me; I didn’t get to use a birthing pool, have candles and give birth in midwife led birth centre and feel like Superwoman after birthing my baby. Instead I felt battered, bruised and broken and had to rebuild myself. This feeling was magnified after coming home without my baby.
So now I balance out the sadness and melancholia with the fact that I have an absence of guilt. Despite not having the birth experience I originally wanted I would choose those 3 c-sections every time because given my circumstances, they gave me the best chance of bringing home my babies.
So, my name’s Claire and I’m a c-section Mum. No less of a Mum (not that anyone has ever suggested this) but a Mum, a bereaved Mum and Mum raising two amazing girls.