Why Women Need To Open Up About Their C-Section Stories
Backaches have been my constant companion for the last four years now, and as a result the hot water bottle has now found a permanent place in my travel bag. With a lot of my close mommy friends, my initial ice breakers were about these shared experiences of how our bodies are not our own post childbirth. Welcome to the Cesarean section mothers’ club. Do you feel the need to flinch at the C word? Go on, I know a lot of people do.
I was just back from the hospital after delivering a premature baby, leaving him in the hospital’s NICU ward, and someone who came over to congratulate me on my new found status said, I should consider myself lucky that I didn’t have to go through the pain of childbirth. A comment I overlooked then; however, it has stayed with me till date as I have failed to find any “luck” or an edge that you have as a C-Section mom over people who endure labour pain. I say this in all earnestness, I revere the mothers who go through this experience.
A comment I overlooked then; however, it has stayed with me till date as I have failed to find any “luck” or an edge that you have as a C-Section mom over people who endure labour pain.
For us, and many others I now know, going for a Cesarean section was not a conscious choice to avoid going into labour. A possibility of a C-section was not even suggested by my OB-GYN till into 34 weeks of my pregnancy when suddenly after some routine scans we were told that the baby is not growing inside my womb and should be immediately taken out. We stood shocked at this sudden turn of events, but in India, you can hardly ask a doctor about your options, even if they are generous about giving you a few, you need to agree to what they think is the best for you. Thus, we agreed to proceed without knowing what is actually in store for us.
For us, and many others I now know, going for a Caesarean section was not a conscious choice to avoid going into labour.
A C-Section delivery is the proverbial elephant in the room. As much as going through labour pain gets glorified, no one discusses what you have to endure during and after a C-section not to a first-time mom. The experience is nothing short of traumatic. For starters, it is equally invasive if not more. Imagine sitting on an operation table half-naked heavily pregnant and being asked to arch your back so that the anaesthetist can find the correct spot to give you the epidural. The chill that takes over your body once you have been pricked doesn’t even come halfway close to the splitting headache you may get as a side effect of the epidural anaesthesia. Which you will be promptly told may last for few days and can only be cured by drinking lots of fluid and staying in bed. Never mind that you can’t stay at bed at length should you be drinking that much fluid.
The chill that takes over your body once you have been pricked doesn’t even come halfway close to the splitting headache you may get as a side effect of the epidural anaesthesia.
Then when you try to get back to your daily affairs with that soft and tender abdomen you feel so alien inside your own body. Routine activities such as getting out of bed, standing up and using the washroom are an ordeal. Coughing and sneezing will hurt. Yes, the scar looks gross initially and you are going to bleed for days after your delivery.
You learn to live with pains and scars, like you learn to take a lot of things in your stride in the journey of being a parent. That is what this journey is about. However, the circumstances under which we have to take certain life-altering decisions remain unique to each of us, these cannot be explained. Let us leave it at that and not pass judgments. There is a lot of space to co-exist.
Image Credit: MediaNews4U
The views expressed are the author’s own.