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Joyful Caesarean

2011 January 31

Bringing babies into this world isn’t always easy and it doesn’t always go the way we would prefer. For one reason and another I have given birth to my first two children by caesarean section. Although nothing has been decided as yet I would guess the odds are that baby number three will arrive in the same way. And that is something I am at peace with.

It may not have been what I hoped for, far from it, but it is the way my children arrived in the world. I often find people commiserate with me when I say I gave birth by caesarean as if somehow it were a misfortune. I have been sat with women discussing the births of their children, been asked how Monty arrived got as far as saying he came by c-section and had them turn to the next person. As if my experience of birth weren’t worth hearing. It is a shame because bringing a child into the world is a joyful experience however they arrive.

I don’t have the words to describe the electric and elated atmosphere of the people in the room with us when Monty was born. Nor the gentle kindness of the theatre assistant who sat with me after Milla came out. I breast fed my children while being stitched up. Their births were spledndid, emotional and as special as they come. So if this baby decides to come in the same way then this time I will walk to theatre without fear, knowing I’m not missing anything. The birth of our children is the truly memorable part, not how they arrived.

I have had this post sat in my drafts for ages, as if in some way I am not sure about what I feel. Today I am embracing this.

32 Responses
  1. January 31, 2011

    beautiful post mama! Babies entering this world is a pure miracle…however they decide to come.

  2. January 31, 2011

    I also had an incredibly positive experience of my c-section. Could not have asked for a more magical moment to meet my two little ones. A part of me feels like I’ve missed something (not the delivery part, but it would be nice to have at least an inkling what a contraction feels like), but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Great post.

    • February 5, 2011

      Thanks Heather. I did labour with my first so I have that memory although my perception of them changed within minutes of feeling the last one.

  3. January 31, 2011

    Great post, Kat! I’ve had friends who’ve been treated in the same way. It’s appalling to suggest that any birth experience is more valid than another – whatever happened to sisterhood? x

  4. January 31, 2011

    Amen to this, women judge one another so much, mostly in Motherhood. A fact that makes me incredibly sad.

  5. January 31, 2011

    having children is a miracle and a gift, and I dont think it matters how they arrive as long as mum and baby are healthy and safe. I was induced with my first and had a long and extremely hard and traumatic birth. I was left traumatised for weeks. She came ‘naturally’ but it didn’t feel very natural to me! Whatever or however baby number 3 comes, it will be an incredible, emotional, joyful moment for all of you. Good Luck! xx

    • February 5, 2011

      I think people underestimate how traumatic a birth can be, so glad Master Scruff was a different experience altogether x

  6. HannahSam permalink
    January 31, 2011

    Great post. After labouring for more than 3 days with my boy with the giant head, I ended up with an emergency section. Second time around, I didn’t even get to the labour part. Little F decided she was going nowhere.

    It’s a shame that some people see child birth as yet another competition.

    Yay to babies coming into this world, no matter which route they decide to take!

    • HannahSam permalink
      January 31, 2011

      I also have to add that both experiences were entirely positive, my babies happy and healthy and delivered to incredibly proud parents. That’s all that counts in the end isn’t it?

  7. January 31, 2011

    Like MrsScruff, my first labour was a very traumatic ‘natural’ birth, from which I didn’t recover physically for many months, and emotionally for several years. It was the birth of my second child via my own joyful Caesarian, which eventually helped put some of those difficulties to rest, and was a truly happy birthing experience, much as you describe yours.

    You’re wise and completely correct to embrace your c-sections. We’re so lucky to live in a place and time when such things are possible. It would be great if we could all be equally appreciative of each others’ experience, and of the role luck rather than anything else plays in having the idealised natural labour.

    Good luck for when the time comes. xx

    • February 5, 2011

      It is amazing how our children have the ability to teach and heal us by their mere existence. We are indeed lucky, in another place or time many of us or our children would not have survived. x

  8. January 31, 2011

    Echo all that is above! Safe arrivals are all that matter however baby arrives as long as mum and baby are healthy and safe thats all that counts. All the very best to you and your new baby however you welcome them into this world. Good luck xx

  9. January 31, 2011

    ” The birth of our children is the truly memorable part, not how they arrived” – simply gorgeous and so so right
    This is why I think blogs are such fabulous places to hang around if you are a mum to be: to get the REAL insider story of birth, and real experiences

  10. January 31, 2011

    What a lovely post.

    I hate that women compete over birth stories and the way that many like to force horror stories on pregnant women.

    It was the reason why I decided to tweet my birth for all the pregnant mum followers who were scared of labour.

    My twitterbirth caused quite a stir, many people were so horrible, saying I was showing off about my perfect birth. But you see, it doesn’t matter what your birth is like because it’s you who remembers it, you who experience it and you who forget it pretty quickly when you’re holding that little miracle!

    I agree with the previous comment that it should be all about sisterhood! I had such negativity to my positive story (actually some very cruel and hurtful comments because the media frenzy went off on their own little story of misquotes!)

    thanks for sharing your story!

  11. Mommy permalink
    February 1, 2011

    Happy and healthy is always the best whatever the route out! My first was an emergency c-section and a certain lovely member of my family had the gall to say “never mind – you’ll do it properly next time”!

  12. Susan permalink
    February 1, 2011

    So true. Even a midwife during my 2nd pregnancy asked me “wouldn’t you feel a much better Mummy if this time you did it the normal way?” Erm. No. Healthy safe baby. Anyway s/he comes. Glad you feel able to say that here. Good Luck.

  13. February 1, 2011

    Like others, I had an incredibly traumatic ‘natural’ birth (and a heap of physical and emotional aftermath), so I think people’s resistance to caesarians is misguided. Any birth however the means is joyful, but one that reduces the suffering of the mother or the trauma to the child should never induce snobbery or be seen as less genuine. Great post, thanks for writing it :)

  14. February 1, 2011

    Beautiful post, my csection was very joyful and saved both mine and my daughter’s life after a horrific 27 hour natural labour. It’s lovely to read about such a positive experience from you as well x

  15. February 1, 2011

    Great piece and so worth bringing this up. I absolutely cherish my c-section experience. I had to have one as my daughter was breech the whole way through and was not going to move (I have a bicornuate uterus) and so I had come to terms with the whole thing as was totally at peace with is. What I didn’t expect was the negative reaction from other women, even close friends who were anti anything not 100 per cent natural. For me it was joyous and none of the scare stories rang true: Evie latched one within seconds of being born (and didn’t stop breast feeding for 17 months!). When I first looked at her huge, blinking eyes, it was love at first sight (we bonded immediately) and I recovered within two weeks. I am hoping to have a planned section with my next child (due July 27). Good luck with your third birth, however it happens I hope it as happy as your last!

    • February 5, 2011

      Congratulations on your pregnancy xx

  16. February 1, 2011

    I have just had my second elective section, both were my choice and not for any medical reason. Both were truly fantastic, memorable, perfect birth experiences and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

    I also think that having a positive attitude to a section helps your recovery…in both cases I have felt fit as a flea, and able to function pretty much normally well within a week :-)

    However it happens for you this time I hope it achieves the only outcomes that matter…a happy and healthy mother and baby x

  17. February 1, 2011

    Just lovely. It is amazing however and whenever our children are born, and the most important thing is that they’re here with us now. So great to hear you are at peace with everything and open to it all – that’s the ticket I think – once you get one thing (natural childbirth, no drugs, etc) in your mind then it’s hard to switch once the labor arrives (with no guarantee of when/how/where!). Safe travels Baby No.3 – we’re eager to hear when you arrive!!! xxx

  18. February 1, 2011

    Thank you for this post, I think it’s really important that c-section births are celebrated too. I was very keen to have an all natural birth and it didn’t work out either time, and though I have no plans of ever having no.3 I would probably not go through labour again. I’ve tried, it ain’t working, and I’ve also been through feeling like something is missing because I didn’t “give birth” (that was not after the c-section but after forceps delivery). As if birth is a right of passage.
    I’m totally at peace with the c-section birth of no. 2, and I’m sure that peace helped with getting to a better breast feeding start and instant bonding. When all the pressure on us to give birth naturally is off, we can finally take any type of birth for what it is, utterly amazingly beautiful.

  19. February 1, 2011

    That’s lovely! In my rant about the way the media portray the whole thing, maybe I should have said more that both my births, one vaginal (I don’t like the “natural” word, as though anything else is “unnatural”) and one c-s, were amazing. I am so proud of my babies and couldn’t be happier that I brought them all into the world, whichever way it was…

  20. February 2, 2011

    I had a crash section with my first and then a planned section with my twins and that secnd one was joyous. I was looking at photos the other day of me in recovery feeding the girls and it was fab.

    Mich x

  21. February 3, 2011

    A great post, Kat. Glad that this made it onto your blog, as it’s very true and it seems to have resonated with many of us. One of the advantages of having a third child was that I was so much more confident about knowing what was important to me and rejecting the concensus of others. All labours are different but I remember feeling embarassed that I had an epidural with my first rather than the natural birth I hoped for. Now I know that it doesn’t matter in the slightest and how odd to think I felt inadequate for not ‘coping’ without it!

  22. February 5, 2011

    Thank you all for your wonderful and uplifting comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to show your support and share your stories.

    Kat x

  23. February 7, 2011

    As long as they get here safely it doesn’t matter how the arrive. I enjoyed reading your post on this. S x

  24. December 14, 2011

    @sistersguild There is this one on BG: and this one on Housewife: what an exciting day!

  25. January 11, 2013

    @mumsnetbloggers @kirstiemallsopp My post on Joyful Caesarean births three happy, healthy babies and my life: #grateful

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