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When Did It Become A Competition?

by Ruby Smith

We read all the time, and quite rightly so, that c section births are not an easy way out. I’ve never actually seen anyone say it is if I’m honest, but anyway that’s besides the point. I have heard It’s a regular occurrence on some of the mummy forums.

I can only speak for myself here but I hoped for a plain sailing natural birth, however as we all know, you can plan and plan until your hearts content but you go with the flow of your body, labour and how you and the baby respond to it. My birth plan didn’t even make it out of my bag when my labour started ?

During my pregnancy I hit an absolute fear of pushing a baby out of my vagina and was adamant I’d need a section because I didn’t have the strength to deal with a labour AND a birth but thankfully I had a great midwife team that helped me through it and helped me become positive about my birth. Whatever it may be. I also did lots of positive birth classes,yoga and mindfulness. All of which helped me loads.

One thing I never ever really looked into was a forceps delivery but that’s exactly what I had. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though and I wish i had been more educated on the whole procedure and recovery because it was honestly a horrific experience. I really had no idea just how major it would be. My son was stuck back to back and wasn’t moving at all after an hour pushing so it was my only option before moving to a section which I really didn’t want but knew if it’s what had to be done to get him out then so be it. In no way did I think it was the easy option in the situation but it was my last resort.

I had a very long labour and I was induced to speed things up as my son passed meconium but it still went on for nearly 24 hours. Being in that theatre numb from the neck down, cut open like a fucking animal being gutted and STILL having to push was an experience I won’t ever forget. I remember saying to my midwife Cara “I don’t know if I’m pushing or not” while crying and snotting all over the place. I didn’t see the forceps until after my son was born but seriously WHAT THE FUCK ????? they reminded me of something from terminator 2. I lost a large amount of blood too. Anyway, my son was born healthy and beautiful and then the doctor proceeded to stitch me up she told me I had at least 140 from inside to outside ?? what even is that.

I’ve read horror stories of folk having their pelvic floor muscles ripped apart by forceps, stitches being done wrong and women needing surgery to repair things down below and never recovering from it so it really isn’t a pleasant experience. My son has a scar on his head from them and his face was marked quite badly when he was born but thank god that disappeared. I had a look at some stories mums had shared and pictures of their babies after forceps and we escaped lightly. Some babies are left with permanent damage and scarring on their faces. No baby should be entering the world with wounds.

I found recovery very very difficult in the first 4-6 weeks. My stitches burst and got infected. I couldn’t walk very well or stand up straight, I was in tears lifting my son out of his crib with the pain and my bum cheeks were so bruised I looked like I’d been in a serious accident. I couldn’t sit down for weeks without a rubber ring and just taking a shit I was bracing myself every time and praying to god my arsehole didn’t fall out ?? peeing with infected stitches felt like being fingered by Edward scissor hands. It was absolutely brutal.

Im not sure when it became a competition between natural and section births but it doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not sure if it’s just a social media thing or if it’s always existed, it’s fucking madness either way. Even if I shat or sneezed my son out I’d just be happy he was here and healthy. I see mummy’s of preemie babies born very very early and section is their ONLY option. Is it easy to spend weeks in NICU? I think not. Natural non assisted births can lead to horrific tears for some women requiring lots of stitches and major recovery.

I hope we reach a point where we just celebrate birth and support one another rather than knock others down.

Your type of birth shouldn’t matter. Whether you had pain relief, hypno birth, water birth, epidural, you danced your baby out, you stayed still, you bounced on a birth ball, you squatted, planned section, emergency section, forceps, ventouse or if you were lucky enough to sail through it NONE OF IT EASY ???These are for my fellow forceps crew ✂️✂️✂️

Written by Rue Smith.


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