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Caesarean Section…..Let’s Dispel Some Myths.

Scrolling through Facebook yesterday afternoon, something caught my eye.

The post in question, caught my attention because I noticed it was a photo of a woman who had an identical scar to myself, this scar was from a caesarean section.

Here’s the post itself.


It’s quite a complicated bit of text, I have to admit.  But I totally appreciate the sentiment.

It often annoys me when I hear the word normal used for a vaginal birth but not for a C-section.  As if I’m almost made to feel abnormal because I didn’t push my son out into the world.

Statistics tell us 1 in 4 women will have a C-Section.  That’s a rather larger proportion of the female population.

These women are not opting for an easy delivery, because I have to be honest; there is nothing easy about a C Section.

2 years ago (this Thursday!) I welcomed my son into my life.  I had elected a C Section right at the start of my pregnancy for medical reasons.  I am a carrier of Haemophilia which meant there was a potential for my son to be a sufferer as a result of my carrier status.  We would not be able find out if he had Haemophilia until my son was born.

With a vaginal delivery there is always a chance of intervention, perhaps in the form of forceps or ventouse, and of course C-Section as a last resort.  My concern, was that if I were to opt for a vaginal delivery and things didn’t go according to plan, forceps or ventouse could cause internal bleeding to my son (should he have Haemophilia).  I was already well versed with these risks, having undertaken extensive research early on in my pregnancy, so I pushed for a C-section with the relevant health care professionals.

There seems to be some sort of misconception in society, that electing for a Caesarean Section is a cop out, like a woman is missing out on seeing what her body can do and perhaps shying away from giving birth vaginally.

Let me tell you now, as someone who speaks from experience, a Caesarean section is NOT the easy way.  There is nothing easy about having a C-Section.

Please don’t think that while I was on the surgeons table, I was led back thinking of England, because that could not be further from the truth.

I was terrified.

It certainly didn’t feel like someone was ‘doing the washing up in my stomach’ as I’d been told it might feel beforehand.

Allow me to open up a little here.

I had gone into an early and very fast labour a week ahead of my scheduled operation.  My son had decided he wanted to take control of his own entrance into the world!

I’d dilated very quickly and by the time I reached theatre I was 10cm dilated and my waters had broken.  Apologies if this is too much information for anyone (I do have the tendency to overshare), however, the surgeon had to push my babies head back up so she could perform the operation (which, in turn, caused an infection).  It totally blows my mind every time I think back to that.

I had never had an operation prior to having my son, so walking (or hobbling) into the theatre and being greeted by 10 people in total was incredibly daunting.  By this point, however, I didn’t care, I just wanted the overwhelming pain to be over and done with.  I was in absolute agony.  I hadn’t prepared myself for the pain as I was never supposed to experience labour or contractions.

In total, I was on the surgeons table for almost 2 hours (most C-sections usually take around 50 minutes).  Because my son was so desperate to come out the way we hadn’t planned, it had caused a tear which needed to be fixed and delivering him took much longer than usual too.  It certainly wasn’t the delivery that had been anticipated.

All in all it was an incredibly traumatic experience, which left me in shock for a long time afterwards.

The recovery from a Caesarean is pretty intense too; especially the first few days post-partum. I was absolutely terrified to go for a wee, so consumed with worry that my bladder might fall out or something equally horrifying!  I can remember having to hold a cushion over my wound every time I coughed.  The pain felt like I was being cut in half!

Again, I really feel the recovery isn’t something you can prepare yourself for and goes someway to disprove opinion that C-Section is an easy way out.

It disappoints me that in society these days, women are often pitted against one another in both their pregnancies and in motherhood.  Who cares if you had an epidural while in the throes of an agonising labour?  Didn’t breastfeed?  So bloody what, you fed your baby.  How you fed him/her is a decision that should be made by you, and respected by all.

So, can we please forget the thought that a C-Section is an easy option or that us women who have had one, didn’t really experience giving birth?

Instead let’s just take a moment to realise how amazing we are for bringing a life into this world, no matter how we did it.

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Abso-freakin-lutely. Why does it matter? A live, healthy baby is the priority; the rest is just details. Plus ‘natural’ birth is so far from my idea of ‘natural’ that the term is simply ridiculous! #bestandworst

  2. Wow! I’m amazed they still went ahead with your c-section considering how far along you were with delivering vaginally!
    I had a vaginal delivery with my first and a c-section with my second, and I can say for absolute certain that NEITHER route is in any way easy. Getting a baby into this world is hard work, whichever way you look at it!

  3. Ohh the age old debate between c-section and vaginal delivery, isn’t it crazy!! It’s not a competition, the main concern is having a beautiful and healthy baby at the end, surely! I still can’t believe that some people still think it’s an easy option, madness. I did have a vaginal delivery both times but on both occasions have been minutes from a section. Birth carries such risks these days, I’m just proud of any women that does the amazing job of bringing a baby into the world. Fab post Rach and thanks for linking up #bestandworst x

  4. Laura

    Another great post! I had an EMCS with my son and it was so frightening. I was lucky with my recovery I think as it was less painful than I imagined but still not exactly a walk in the park. The worst parts for me was 1) not being able to move from the bed for the first couple of days and therefore not being able to take care of my baby myself very much and 2) not being able to have skin to skin with him or seeing him straight away. Having said that, if I have another child I will definitely opt for an elective rather than risk another emergency section. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Gosh, I had three vaginal births and I’m not a mother yet. I’m not even a grown up yet and I’m 43!

    I really do get sick of these comments that are made by spiteful people towards women who’ve had a c-section. It’s not the easy option. There is no easy option when it comes to giving birth. Which reminds me of this little anecdote… my hubby when I was in labour with my second daughter, told the doctors I didn’t need any drugs. And they listened to him. He went to the dentist last week and I told them he didn’t require any drugs for his root canel. I think we’re even now.

    Bringing a life into the world is amazing, and many of us live to tell the tail. I make no distinction between “normal” births and “planned” births. They’re births, and they should be celebrated.

  6. Jesus Rachel, this is not turning out to be a good week for the number of ignorant toss pieces turning up, is it? Why would someone put that on Facebook? I was always of the opinion ‘do what ever it takes to get my baby out safely,’ I wasn’t adverse to a C-section if I’d needed one, and it didn’t cross my mind that if I had one I’d somehow be less of a woman?? I had the same thought with pain relief, I didn’t know what labour was like, and didn’t know if I’d take the pain or not, so I said I’d start with paracetamol (crap) and work up to an epidural if I needed one (a dream in an IV bag!) The sheer ignorance of some people!! Another great post.

  7. Seye

    This is so true especially in Africa. You are deemed weak and lazy for not pushing out your baby. Many die trying to avoid the label.

    I have a half written post similar to this. Thanks for inspiring me to go back to it.

  8. I hate that a vaginal birth is called a ‘normal’ birth.I had two c sections and I still gave birth twice! I really hope in future generations there won’t be this split and women will be able to talkabout their births without having to feel like they’re least of a mum because of how they delivered!
    Great post

    1. ourrachblogs

      Thank you Lauren, means a lot. Absolutely agree with you.

  9. Taren

    After 2 C Sections and a total hysterectomy I can vouch for the shock and the pain and it was NEVER on my birth plan it’s just I can’t dilate combined with placenta Previa meant it was required. The weird half resentment half pity I received from VB mums was pretty hurtful too not to mention the constant guilt trip for not breast feeding ( milk didn’t come in ) … Honestly it felt lonely and isolating and I skipped mothers groups altogether. It was easier than justifying myself to everyone 24/7/365

  10. I have had 3 c sections, 2 emergency, 1 planned and I can honestly say that each experience was completely different, each level pain, immobity etc.
    My first was an emergency done under general. The general anaesthetic was because they couldn’t admister the epidural in the correct place after FIVE attempts whilst I was contracting every five minutes, I was sobbing my husband was crying even my midwife was upset intervening when they attempted a SIXTH time.
    My second was also an emergency after my vbac (vaginal birth after c-section) was halted due to bleeding, my placenta was coming away and the cord was around the babies neck. I had an epidural that went in smoothly I was alert, pain free, chatting away loved every minute of it, I even watched them pull her out, amazing, she had to be slightly resuscitated but even that didn’t quell my joy, she then went straight on my breast and I fed her as they stitched me up. I was up and about early the next morning, very little pain very mobile.
    Number 3 planned c-section.
    I was left waiting not being able to eat or drink until 7pm at night, took down 3 times only to be bumped for an emergency, it was awful, the whole thing very upsetting. Very clinical feeling, very scared the whole time.
    The c-section procedure before after and conditions during need to be looked at, it must be possible to make it not so clinical and cold.

  11. With you here and I felt like that! I felt like I’d failed as a parent because I’d had to rush in for an emergency section. I didn’t want it but it had to happen. I didn’t want to have, and people forget this, MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY, at all, this wasn’t planned for me…I was terrified, out of it with drugs, over tired from weeks and weeks of lack of sleep. I couldn’t step into the bath to have a shower by myself, I couldn’t sleep on my bed because it was to high up, I struggled to sleep at all after with baby and the fact I still couldn’t sleep on my front. I couldn’t walk anywhere without getting tired and then ten weeks later I had a wound infection where I was so scared of walking to the doctor I thought my guts would fall out. What a fun experience it is to cop out of giving birth through your stomach than through your vagina! #bigpinklink

  12. Hear hear! I had a so called ‘normal’ delivery and let me tell you there was nothing normal about it whatsoever!! My first was forceps in theater and I was left with birth trauma, (similar to ptsd) a episiotomy, and an infection due to retained placenta that took forever and shed loads of antibiotics, (that made my daughter poorly), to shift. Then my son was a ‘text book’ birth which was horrendously painful and resulted in a 2nd degree tear, (I’m an over sharer too obviously!!), and none of it was fun or easy and I definitely don’t imagine being sliced across your core, the muscles essential for doing just about anything, is in any was ‘the easy option’. There are too many Judgey McJudgersons out there and I think they should all work on keeping their ridiculous ideas to themselves! 🙂 Thanks for linking up, (and sorry for the rant!), to the #bigpinklink

  13. Well said, Rach, well said! It is not a competition and we should not be labelling each other! My mum had C sections and I have never thought any less of her as my mum? In fact that have never even crossed my mind. Would people call children of C sections as unnatural then? What really makes a mother is her unconditional love and her willingness to sacrifice anything and everything for her kids. #bigpinklink

  14. People, especially women are so judgemental and especially when it comes to giving birth, parenting, and breastfeeding. How a baby is delivered or fed, should be based on the baby’s well-being and never what society dictates as normal. It does not make one a lesser mother if your baby is delivered via Caesarian Section, just like a vaginal delivery does not make anyone a good mother.
    Thank you for sharing another excellent post in our #ShowcaseTuesday linky

  15. Wow, you had a tough time didn’t you? I had a planned section on the cards due to low placenta but ended up with an emergency in the end. I absolutely agree with you and it irritates me to boiling point that people refer to sections as the easy way out. Thankfully, my delivery was (though traumatic) smooth and my recovery speedy but I gave birth all the same. Oh it’s so annoying…! #ShowcaseTuesday

  16. Laura

    Too right. After nine months doing a great job growing a baby, does it really matter to anyone else how they are born? Healthy, live baby + healthy, live mother = good work all around!

  17. Every time I hear someone say having a c-section is taking the easy way out, my blood beings to BOIL. I was induced, had to lay a certain way to maintain my sons heart beat throughout all of those awful contractions. Then, when I finally gave in for an epidural, I almost died and for about 15 minutes the doctors and nurses were continuously flipping me around until they were finally able to stabilize both of our heartbeats. All to end up having a c-section because like my mother, I did not dial ate past 4 cm after 24 hours. To top it off, my epidural became dislodged, we’d reached emergency c-section territory time-wise, so I was put under anesthesia and my husband wasn’t allowed in the operation room, so neither of us were technically ‘there’ for the birth of our son. It took at least 4 weeks before I could walk up and down the stairs comfortably and I couldn’t wear pants for nearly 4 months because it was just too sensitive. How is that the easy way out, am I right? haha

  18. Emma

    Well said! Who cares how the baby came out as long as the baby came out, if you get what I am saying. I had to have two emergency c-sections and there have been times where I was made to feel a failure. I have even had well meaning people tell me that I went for the easy option. Urm if you call being in labour for over 48 hours and then being rushed into the operating theatre because your baby’s heart rate is slowing, then yep that’s me, taking the easy option. Grrr it makes me so frustrated! #stayclassy

  19. Completely agree. While I was pregnant it really frustrated me when people would so nonchalantly say, “oh why don’t you just opt for a C-section?” Like that isn’t going to be as painful or traumatic!! My Mom had my brother and I this way and she still has a scar, so I knew that it was not the easy option. It sounds like you had a pretty intense birth and I commend you for that. : ) I had a vaginal birth with epidural and it was not the hippie, luxurious, birth pool experience I have planned. You never know what’s going to happen but you just have to go with it! Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy.

  20. Hear hear! I absolutely resent the phrase “too posh to push.” Because of course we all prefer to have our bellies sliced open, often after hours of labour, sometimes in life-threatening circumstances, and then face not being able to walk properly, bend over, cough or sneeze for weeks. I lived in fear of getting a cold for ages! And then we have to face some kind of judgement for needing a potentially life saving operation? Ridiculous! #StayClassy

  21. ‘the surgeon had to push my babies head back up so she could perform the operation’

    Just. Woah. Wow. No words..

    I am in total agreement. Both my births were emergency c sections and both times were TERRIFYING. The 2nd more so perhaps because I knew what was coming. C sections are most definitely NOT the easy option, I suffered infections and acute anxiety following both times. Not the beautiful experience I had imagined childbirth would be.. And I did give myself a hard time for a while about not ‘pushing them out’ but my husband would always remind me, if it wasn’t for the c section neither my daughter nor I would have survived!

    Thanks for dispelling the myths! Louise x

  22. A mum is a mu regardless of how she gave birth. I was actually petrified of having s c-section for the pain reasons you mentioned above, you are in no way less of a mother for having delivered by c-section aren’t people ridiculous for even thinking that! #passthesauce

  23. I agree entirely. I actually really hoped not to have to have a section because I think it is the harder, more dangerous option, not because I think it’s the easy one. As far as I’m concerned, if you were pregnant and the baby left your body, you gave birth to a baby.

    Incidentally, my vaginal births were not referred to or recorded as ‘normal’, they were referred to as ‘unassisted vaginal delivery’, which seems a reasonable term to me, as it is a purely accurate. Thanks for linking with #PasstheSauce

  24. After the near death of me during my first pregnancy, I had an emergency c-section. With my second I chose to have one. There is no easy way to have children. I hope that one day that this viewpoint disappears. I myself have been lucky as many of my friends and family have also have had them so I don’t see the judgement, but I know it widely exists. #BrilliantBlogPosts

  25. Great post! I had planned a natural water birth with my first but he was breech and further scans revealed low fluid levels which meant I had little choice and was booked in for a c-section. The pain afterwards lasted weeks and the scar didn’t fully heal for months. I was determined that if I got the chance again I would push for vbac and the water birth I felt I missed out on. From the moment I fell pregnant though I felt something wasn’t right and the idea of giving birth terrified me. Not the pain of labour, just an irrational fear that one or both of us wouldn’t make it. I even successfully pushed for an early c-section. Whilst on the operating table the epidural only worked on the outer layers of skin, once they got in deep I could feel everything! It also turned out my scar was in the process of rupturing, (if I hadn’t been on the operating table when that happened we might both be dead) so there was no time to wait around for another epidural dose to take effect. They could have knocked me out but I was determined I had to know my baby was ok so held on until she was out and handed to me for the briefest of seconds before I was given a general and put to sleep. I was on so many drugs when I finally came round that I can barely remember the first 24 hours of my daughters life, and given what happened with my scar I have been advised not to have any more children. Anyone who thinks c-sections are an easy way out needs to come speak to me!
    Sorry for the looong ranted reply, as you can see its an issue I feel very strongly about!

  26. I completely agree with you! I had an emergency c-section – I got to 8cm in labour before the consultant decided I needed one because my little girl’s heart rate had suddenly dropped so low. There wasn’t time for a spinal so I ended up with a general anaesthetic. There was the pain of recovery afterwards, but I also had to come to terms with the fact that I’d ended up with a totally different type of birth to what I’d been expecting, and that I could so easily have lost my little girl. I’ll always be sad that I didn’t get to see my little girl when she came into the world, or really remember the first time I saw her. There’s no way on earth that c-sections are the easy option. #dreamteam

  27. Claire

    Oh my goodness, that sounds horrifying! There is nothing easy or less awe-inspiring about a woman giving birth via C-section. I think you were very brave and selfless to make that decision, I was absolutely terrified of the idea of having to have one! I had two vaginal births by induction due to complications, the pain was excruciating and I’ve actually considered seeing someone about PTSD because the thought of getting pregnant and having to go through all that again gives me panic attacks and makes me feel physically sick! Birth is not easy no matter how it happens and can have severe traumatic after effects! The recovery for a C-section also sounds horrific, I can’t imagine it! Good for you putting this out there! xx #stayclassymama

  28. Wow! Goodness me what a post. Being told
    I may have to have a c section mid way through both labours terrified me it’s not the easy way, I didn’t in the end but I was concerned about the time it takes for recovery. Women who have c sections and have major surgery to contend with along with a newborn, raging hormones and the biggest life change ever are totally amazing. #dreamteam

  29. Thank you for writing this – everything I wanted to scream out when I was in those early post-partum months, and more. I had an elective c-section as my daughter was breech and from the moment I found out that we would not be having a natural birth, I felt like such a failure, until my mum reminded me that it’s not the easy way out. I sort of needed that reminder, but now having gone through the pain of the operation and the recovery afterwards, not even being able to pick up my daughter easily when she was days old – that is not easy. We need to get this message heard to dispel this myth..Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam xx

  30. I had an emergency c-section and it’s definitely not the easy option! I’ve never felt less of a mum because of it, so what if you don’t deliver your baby “normally” – who even knows unless you tell them?! Some people need to concentrate on the more important things in life rather than writing crap about other mums! #StayClassyMama

  31. Totally agree. It’s strange because in America C sections are more common and less “looked down upon.” Could this be because we have gone the other way? We’re so adamant about having a “natural” birth that we forget about everything else. This was me. And I was shocked to discover that birth did not feel natural to me….sorry to admit. I love this post for your honesty, I can relate even though I didn’t have a c section. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  32. Tae

    Absolutely agree, cesareans are not the easy way out. Like you said, they can be extremely traumatic and the recovery is awful. I’ve never had a c-section, but I knew enough about them to be terrified that it was a possibility.

    I think your attitude is refreshing, I hate how sometimes women are always trying to one-up each other about how they gave birth and how they parent. Doesn’t matter if you had pain relief or not, doesn’t matter if you had a vaginal delivery or c-section, the only thing that matters is we all gave birth, we all went through it in our own way and we’re all real mothers doing the best for our babies.

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