Apparently April is Caesarean awareness month. I’ve been wanting to write something about it but days passed on and the last thing I know it’s literally 15 minutes before May 😂 But here it is.
Clearrrly, there’s a stigma behind caesarean for there to be an awareness month. I’ve had 2 caesareans, both my births ended in one. I shouldn’t feel anything about it. But everytime I do say I’ve had a caesarean, its usually followed by the reason behind it.
I would constantly feel the need to explain why I had a caesarean.
“Oh she was breeched so I had no choice”.
“Oh he pooped, so it was an emergency”.
Does it really matter though how you gave birth? No of course not. But it mattered to me. I think it still does if I still find the need to explain it. I think deep down I’m afraid of people thinking I’m weak? Like it’s something I choose to get the easy way out. Okay don’t get me wrong. Women that chooses to have caesarean’s are not weak either. It’s your own body, you go through it, your choice. You do you. How you choose to give birth its entirely up to you and no one for that matter should judge.
Oh the most famous question a mother is being asked after having a baby is “Normal kah czer”. I’m not quite sure if this question is an actual concern or it’s the same type of ‘concern’ question as “Bila mau kahwin” to single people.
But the question of being asked normal kah czer isn’t being followed up by “So how are your wounds” it’s mostly followed up by a remark “Eee. Sakit tu kan.” Or “Senang lagi beranak normal sebenarnya, cepat sembuh” oorrrr their own experience of having czer and how hard it was for them compared to their normal deliveries.
So it’s not an actual concern. It’s just a way of them trying to label you. I guess? One of my best friends gave birth recently, and when I found out she ended in a caesarean too, I told her I’m sorry she didn’t get the birth she wanted. And of all the things, she said “Thanks for not judging”.
The stigma of having a caesarean as an easy way out reallly has to stop. It is definitely not easy. Before I gave birth to Naia, I was sooo affected by this label and also those scary stories of not being able to get up, stitches terbuka and what not. But mostly the label. Argh I hated it.
It feels like you’re not strong enough to endure it, like you took a shorcut into becoming a mother.
You would always hear people talk about their experience giving birth, but as soon as you say you had a caesarean, they don’t ask any further. As if you didn’t go through something. Or you just didn’t go through something worth hearing, because it wasn’t “painful” as it was an ‘easy way out’.
So when I was told that my first born was breech at 34 weeks I was kinda nervous, the thought of being labelled as ‘cesarean mother’ bothered me much more than I was also scared about going through an operation.
Moxibustion, turn down tilt, swimming, anything to get her head down I did it. But at 38 weeks she didn’t turn. So at 39 weeks I checked myself into the hospital and soon after my sassy little diva was born.
When I had a second chance to finally go through natural birth, I was amped up. I anticipated for the pain, waited for the day but ended up in an emergency csec. I’ll save my birth story for Noah on another post. But what I’m trying to say is, it’s simply not easy.
Post surgery is not easy either. The first 24 hours after surgery, all you can think of is “God please let me fart”. HAHA. Ask any mother that went through a caesarean, that’s all in their minds. Farting is an indication that your bowel movement is a-okay, and that means the surgery went well and you had no complication whatsoever. That’s the first thing the Dr asks you the day after surgery, “Passed gas already?” and you’d proudly say you did.
I would have loved to be able to experience what natural birth was like. I guess in some ways I’m mad that the most “natural” thing did not happen for me. I feel robbed? Robbed out of this being able to share my experience of carpet burn, crapping on the table, feel like dying pain experience.
No pat on the back. No one says you did a good job. No husband says he feels like it was a crazy experience seeing you lay there on the table. Honestly sometimes I think I’m a bit bitter about it. And I wanna say its okay if you feel this way. It’s okay to feel that way.
It’s something to grieve upon. I know. So drama right? Not having the birth you wanted also need to grieve. But it’s not wrong. After all, you prepared 9 months mentally and physically to endure this agony pain that would give you the new title of motherhood, only to be rushed to the OT.
I remember feeling that I was somehow unworthy of carrying the new title of motherhood. I was also longing to share my birth story that no one was really interested in hearing because it was a caesarean.
I felt like a failure, ashamed and defeated. I often read people’s birth stories and compare mine to theirs and even after my 2nd caesarean I would sometimes think “Would it be different if this and this happened”.
Of course when times like this happen I remind myself of the gift I got, that so many people are still struggling with.
“Don’t be ungrateful. So many people are still trying. Do you think they care what type of birth they get to have”. I would snap myself back to reality and just thank God that despite not having the birth I wanted, he gave me 2 beautiful healthy babies.
You did more than a good job mama. You did amazing. You took that I don’t know how many inch of a needle to get that spinal block, lay on the table and heard your baby cry behind the drapes.
Catheter, half body paralysed and unable to move for the first day because you gave birth to a beautiful baby. And getting whatever strength you have to walk again the next day, you’re badass mama.
This might not have been the birth story you were yearning for. But the scar that you have now is a reminder of how strong you are.
You. Did. It.