I had quite a lot of response yesterday to my post, which was humbling and in parts emotional, and it made me want to add an addendum today to say that I do realise of course that ALL birth comes with its drama and ride on an emotional roller coaster. I wasn’t intending to suggest that c-section births are per se more traumatic and that all natural birth is “perfect and ideal”, I know that it’s not! A friend commented that “neither method has much to recommend it”, which will evoke a knowing smile among all mothers, however they brought their babies into this world. I also am aware that a c-section birth under the right circumstances can be a positive experience so I wasn’t suggesting that everyone would encounter the emotional negative journey that I and others may have found themselves on. However there is an external judgment placed on caesareans, the “too posh to push” school of thought, which boggles the mind and ignores the very real, personal and serious reasons that inform someone’s decision to elect to have a caesarean birth. My sister astutely pointed out to me that in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macduff is referred to as “not of woman born” because he came into this world by caesarean, and this highlights the multitude of different judgments that are implicitly heaped upon a non-natural birth and make it apparently a non-authentic birth experience for a woman. Frankly, Maurice wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for the emergency caesarean, and I realise this and am thankful everyday.
This was my personal birth story and the physical and emotional fall out from it, and specifically related to the caesarean I feel that we’re rather left at sea as to how to rebuild ourselves physically after the operation, there is simply no advice offered about recovery and what you can expect or should attempt, you are just sent home with a packet of pain relief (oh, and a new baby to look after…) and that’s about it. Not to mention the emotional aspect that we may (or may not) be left with.
I am very interested in exploring this further, having spoken to and taught many c-section mummies now with all of our different birth stories and reasons behind the operation, we all seem to share one thing (along with the overhang), that is a sense of vague confusion about how we should have gone about mending ourselves physically, and whether all the various aches and pains that we’re occasionally still left with in our bellies are normal.
I’m moved to try and gather together more information, experience, advice, and compile it into a coherent and useable form (a book, perhaps…) for new mums to use, to help build themselves a step by step day by day programme for rebirth and rejuvenation post-caesarean.