Saturday, April 25, 2015

An Appreciation of My Cesarean Scar..

So April is Cesarean Appreciation Month.. and before the month comes to an end, I thought that since I have had 3 c-sections, I thought I should blog about it. (But I really don't know why it requires one month to appreciate cesarean…)

No one really shares about it. No one really talks about it too. But with my FIRST c-section, I felt like a total failure (and that possibly added to my postnatal blues… on top of the uneven boobs and the still pregnant figure). I mean I was young when I had Audrey and throughout the whole 9 months of pregnancy, all the books I read focused on the delivery… Vaginal delivery. (Okay I don't blame them, I mean what can you write on c-section that would be interesting to an expectant mother)

So when Audrey required c-section after 12 hours of labour (thank God for epidural), I was disappointed because it felt like after preparing for everything, I didn't manage to finish it. It didn't help that (almost) everyone around me had vaginal delivery, everyone had felt contractions, everyone had something memorable about it. Mine was just… mechanical. I was simply envious of my friends who could have it…
When you have a vaginal birth, everyone asks about the delivery process… When you have a c-section, everyone just asks how's the baby…

After conceiving Isaac, I read about how mothers tried for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after cesarean). I had hope! I could actually have a different birth experience this time. Except my doctor, who's very experienced and conservative, told me that just because I wanted, it didn't mean I could have it. He told me the stats - basically 80% of the women who have had c-section manage to have a vaginal birth. However, the 20% who don't, not just don't get a vaginal birth, the complications could be worse. (Now that he said that… HOW TO EVEN TRY FOR VAGINAL BIRTH???)

Somehow, with vaginal births, there seems to be a greater deal of empowerment, recognition and support than mothers who had c-sections. It's like when I had to give birth to Isaac and asked D for a "push gift", he would ask me how I even qualify for it when I didn't even push. (Okay I didn't even do anything… I just lied there under GA)
It's like having vaginal birth without any medications ranks right up there, followed by vaginal births and only then comes c-sections.

After 3 c-sections (Btw, I only have ONE scar because it is always from the same place), I learnt quite a bit…

1) Having c-sections doesn't mean I failed as a mum
Just because I didn't deliver vaginally it didn't mean that I love my kids lesser than those who did. We still go through the same routine of waking through the night, fretting over the kids' growth, laughing at the child's success and crying over the times when we can't seem to get it right.

2) Focus on the baby not the birth
After 9 months of wait, I should be happy that I have one more child to love and love me. I should be happy that he/she is alive, healthy and "oh-so-adorable".  Regardless of how the baby came out of me, he/she is the star, not my birth.

3) Congratulate myself on a job well done
I once heard a guy who told me c-section was as painful as stitching his finger without any LA. (I just gave him the death scare and told him he's funny.. which of course, I did't mean it) And while I didn't feel any pain during delivery, the post delivery was terrible. I remembered on the second day after Isaac's birth I was just crying in the toilet when D was helping me with my bath because it was so f****** painful.
Here's a video of how C-section is carried out…
It reminded the steak I have every now and then, and that's why even I can't finish watching it.
Point is, the body goes through a whole load of damage for c-section and to think that the birth is less than that of vaginal is really silly of me.

Humans have a very short memory for pain. Pain aside, I am just happy that we have the technology to make births possible. I could die from it… but thank God I survived it.

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