Yup, I am opting for an elective caesarean and nope I am not ashamed about it, here’s why!
I’m not really a horror birth story kind of girl, but you’ll need a little background info to get my reasoning here so here’s the abridged version of my first pregnancy, which was no walk in the park!
Well technically, the pregnancy was fine, my little guy just decided he was going to camp out in there forever! After being a week and a half overdue, they spent a further week giving me all of the usual drama of sweeps, medicine, breaking my waters and having a whale of a time attempting to kickstart the birth naturally, we got nothing. So, they put me on the induction drip (no I don’t know what it’s called, I was a bit preoccupied to care either) and ouch! At this point I was two and a half weeks overdue and I sat in labour for 18 hours having forced, medically induced contractions and the little guy carried on humming away and falling asleep in between them. At hour 18 they finally agreed with what I had been telling them for days, he’s not interested! So, in I went for an emergency caesarean.
After a week in hospital, sleeping badly and 18 hours of forced labour you can imagine I was tired and my body was too. I had a complicated caesarean that involved a lot of blood loss and a few complications but after a few days, we all made it out relatively healthy (my little guy was fine and was more annoyed he was disturbed than anything else!) and ba da bing ba da boom, the rest is history.
Why I’m Having An Elective Caesarean
This time around, I made the executive decision to opt for an elective caesarean which at first doesn’t make much sense since the first one was quite horrific, however here are the reasons why!
Time Away From The Toddler – Once they start the induction process, whether it is successful or not, you are then the hospital’s responsibility and therefore you can’t leave (something they didn’t tell me the first time round until they had already started). They spent a week attempting induction when I went overdue the first time which is annoying but fine when you have no kids but any parent will tell you that they can’t leave their toddlers for a week for nothing. So if I am going into the hospital there better be a good reason!
No More Drip– Due to scarring, if you end up having a caesarean the first time round you aren’t allowed to have the chemical drip because it can cause tearing in the scar tissue as the contractions are forced and too strong.
Not Going Overdue – I have been pregnant for a grand total of 42 weeks and 3 days last time, I paid my time and my dues so I don’t need to go overdue this time too! Imagine being 40 weeks and how unhappy and uncomfortable you are…. and then do this for almost another 2 (and a bit) weeks…nope. Never again.
It’s Not My Natural Process– I never dilated, can you believe it, throughout the entire induction process I never got past 1cm (which is where I was at before they started) meaning my body just didn’t (or couldn’t) kickstart labour, and i’m pretty sure the nurses were getting personally offended that nothing was working either.
Post-partum complications – Due to the length of induction, how worn out my body was and how far overdue I was, I lost a lot of blood during surgery and became heavily anaemic which stayed with me for 3-6 months post-partum even though I was on medication to help. It meant my recovery was longer and took a while to get properly self-sufficient and back on my feet which is not something I can encounter again.
It’s Not The “Easy” Way Out – I challenge anyone who has given birth naturally and had a caesarean to say it’s the easy way out! (They won’t because it’s not true). Honestly, if you include the recovery for this major surgery it can make things a lot more difficult and not just on your body but emotionally as well because you are a lot more dependant and there are somethings that you can’t initially do.
Benefits Of An Elective Caesarean
While you may not want to consider this, there are some upsides to having a planned caesarean, including:
Plenty Of Planning– You are given a date to come in and you know the circumstances afterward which means you can make childcare arrangements, organise your routine right up until C-Day and tie up any loose ends. You can also pre-book time off work for maternity and paternity leave and for us it means scheduling plenty of activities for our little guy!
No Wasted Time– I don’t have to go in and out of hospital, or worse, stay in hospital for extended periods of time. I can go in for the procedure, have my recovery days and then come out as a family, when the real fun begins. No wasting time with if’s and but’s.
Being Well Rested – I don’t have to go into labour or surgery after 18 hours and be exhausted, I can be mentally strong and healthy as well as physically to give it the best chance at my recovery this time round.
Earlier Meeting – Usually an elective caesarean is booked for around 38 weeks when the baby is fully developed and that means I get to meet this little one sooner!
Ultimately, I only care that my baby and I are healthy and that is what I am trying to accomplish with an elective caesarean and before anyone comments on the ‘natural’ side of things, it has also been recommended by my consultant, midwife and birthing team as the most viable option for me. That being said, if my waters break and go into labour naturally prior to C-Day, then off I go (I am sure you will enjoy the ironic birth blog post after. But, I have had a caesarean before the first time, I know how painful it is afterward (once the drugs wear off) and I realize the restrictions and issues it can cause because I lived it, and I am still opting for it anyway, and that is the joy of pregnancy and childbirth, we have a choice, and that is why I am choosing to have an elective caesarean, and that’s ok.