The Shame of a C-Section

The Shame of a C-SectionMoozles, my first-born, turns seven tomorrow. But rather than writing a post gushing about how much I love her (I obviously do), I thought I would share her birth story since April is C-Section Awareness Month. When I was pregnant with Moozles, rather than doing NCT classes, we paid handsomely for hypnobirthing classes. I had my mind, and heart, set on a natural birth. That’s right, no epidural, just breathing and panting like the cavewomen did.

But my body, and my baby, had other ideas. I remember, a few days after going on maternity leave, feeling my baby moving around like she was trying to turn around. But she just could not manage it. When I next saw the midwife, she told me that the baby was in position. But I told her that the baby was breech. I could feel her head pressed against my ribs. The midwife disagreed but I was insistent, so she referred me to the consultant midwife for a scan. When the consultant midwife performed the scan, she saw that my baby was indeed breech. I burst into tears. I knew my baby was breech. But I did not want it to be true. I did not want a caesarean section. I felt like my body had let myself down. That I had let my baby down. I felt such shame and sadness.

Sometimes, when a baby is breech, the consultant will try to move the baby around. But in my case, they did not think there would be enough room. I have a bicornuate uterus, which means that I have a little wall near the middle of my womb. This means that my babies have a little less room when they are close to term. This makes it harder for them to turn around, leading to being breech.

Two weeks later, Moozles was born by elective c-section on the 22nd April at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London (the first pic below is a bit bloody, be warned). No, I did not go into labour. But I still gave birth. And I became a mother that day. After I recovered from my c-section, I started going to baby groups and meeting other new mums. And the shame returned when I told other mums that I had had a c-section. I did not read blogs back then. I didn’t have any irreverent mummy blogs who I could turn to, who could tell me that c-sections did not make me less of a mother. It took some time before I grew to accept my situation.

There is no longer any sadness or shame. Time has that effect. I can look back and just be grateful that my daughter had a stress-free arrival into the world.

The Shame of a C-Section The Shame of a C-Section The Shame of a C-Section The Shame of a C-Section

Happy birthday to my sweet little girl. xx


11 thoughts on “The Shame of a C-Section

  1. I know it’s bloody but the shot of Moozles coming out is incredible. Beautiful. I needed c-sections with both my children, and I do still occasionally feel pangs of regret. Still, a happy healthy child is all that matters – happy birthday, Moozles!

    1. The doctor or nurse who took the photos did an amazing job. We didn’t get any of those kinds of photos with the second birth. Thanks Nell. I think natural childbirth is such a big thing in our culture, like breastfeeding, that we can feel like failures if we are unable to do it.

  2. Beautiful post! I really do not believe that it matters how a baby is born as long as it is healthy (and mommy is too!). I think you were very brave and the best Mom you could by by having your c-section and giving birth to your sweet baby girl! xx

  3. Beautifully written! I think we all have our own little axes to grind, especially when it comes to birth and parenting. C-sections are nothing to be ashamed of and I’m glad I read this, as our second baby will be elective section due to previous birth. The relevance for me sits in how you are as are a family and we can all see you are a fantasic little unit x

    1. My second child was also born by a c-section, but I think we’re all more accepting of things by the second pregnancy/child. Natural births and breastfeeding are these two major issues, and if any of us don’t do them we inevitably feel guilty. But then we have lovely babies, who don’t care about these kinds of things. They just want lots of cuddles and kisses from Mummy and Daddy. xx

  4. Elfa, I remember coming to see you at the hospital with heidi and baloons!!! Gosh!!! Happy happy birthday. She is lucky to have you and you , her. Big love xxxx

  5. Better a healthy baby and mum – you have all the time in the world to get to know each other – as you have found out!

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