Yesterday there were guidelines released by NICE which effectively give the go-ahead for all women in the UK, potentially, to request an elective c-section regardless of medical necessity. This is not a “green light” to enable the “too posh to push” brigade but what it should do is open the door for discussion about the POSSIBILITY for an elective c-section.
There has been a ton of press and criticism about this change. There are many who are weighing in on the subject. Currently 25% of births in the UK end in c-section however only 10% of those are elective c-sections. What is supposed to occur in conjunction with these guidelines is increased services for women to counsel them through their fears about natural childbirth and as a last resort, a c-section could be offered.
I agree, women should not JUST be given the go-ahead to undergo major abdominal surgery on a whim. However, if they are provided w/ the services that are required for counselling and after careful consideration on the part of mother, consultant, midwives and counsellors, a c-section is deemed to be the best option for mother and baby, then it should be permitted and scheduled. If there is no medical necessity for a c-section and there are no other emotional grounds for it to be granted, perhaps mothers could be given the option of a c-section but have to pay for it?
The whole natural birth vs c-section debate is a controversial one. The whole of the UK is debating this one at the moment. One of the big complaints that opponents to c-sections have is that women have not considered the serious risks of having what is effectively major abdominal surgery. There is also another debate (with some “statistics”) about the effects of mother-child bonding as a result of a c-section delivery and concerns about the development of allergies in the future if babies are not born “naturally”. This is the area that I want to focus on because I have “been there, done that” one time and am preparing to do it again. I’d like people to be aware that a c-section does not have to be the horror that some people are making it out to be.
Ella’s delivery was by emergency c-section. After failure to progress, an emergency c-section was ordered. The emergency c-section was not pleasant and I’m still not entirely sure what went wrong but suffice it to say, we got Ella out and Mummy suffered a fair bit.
What didn’t happen, however, was a problem with bonding. The minute I saw Ella, I fell in love. Despite not being able to hold her in theatre, I looked into her big, dark eyes and fell head over heels in love. When I was taken into recovery, Mark was with Ella and we marvelled over what we had created. I was given skin to skin time with Ella and knew that she was the best thing I had ever done. Yes, the first 24 hours were difficult as I couldn’t get out of bed due to the catheter but I was able to lift Ella from her basinette, cuddle her and attempt breastfeeding.
By the next morning, I was able to get vertical and it was a very strange feeling. I felt like my stomach was going to fall off, basically. I had some pain but nothing that paracetemol couldn’t handle. I was shuffling around quite a bit but could still tend to Ella for everything she needed. When we finally went home 2 days later it was with no meds or major physical issues except for moving decidedly slower. I was able to do what needed doing without discomfort.
There were moments where I realised that I had stretched too far or fast but I was able to be back to mostly normal within two weeks. Pushing a pushchair was tricky at times and lifting it into the boot was out of the question. I couldn’t drive, based on insurance and medical recommendations but got by just fine. Ultimately, despite Ella’s c-section being of the emergency variety, I recovered very well and relatively quickly and didn’t suffer any bonding or depression issues. Ella arrived without incident, hasn’t suffered from allergies and has been a very healthy child for 3 1/2 years.
We survived an emergency c-section and recovered well. I don’t regret a thing. Due to medical necessity plus additional risk factors, I was immediately referred for consultant care for this pregnancy. The consultant was keen to steer me toward the VBAC mode of delivery but I was keen to steer toward an elective c-section. I had researched everything and am fully aware of all of the risk factors for an elective c-section. I presented my case and based on my risk factors and previous emergency c-section, the consultant agreed that an elective c-section seemed to be the best option. It wasn’t until week 36 and the news of a placenta praevia that we actually got a delivery date (2 December) which is, unfortunately, a date which seems to be set in stone at the moment.
What I resent in this debate is the idea that I am too posh to push or that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into and am just choosing the easy option. None of that is me. I know very well what I’m in for. I’m making an informed decision, taking ownership of our delivery and doing what I think is best for Bebe and me. I’m grateful to have this option with the NHS as we most definitely could not afford to go private. In fairness, I have a medically necessitated c-section but again, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I know recovery will be more challenging this time thanks to this being a 2nd c-section and having Ella to tend to as well but I will be sensible in what I do to be the best Mummy/Me I can be. A c-section is a serious procedure but it doesn’t have to be the nightmare that many are claiming it is. We had a very positive outcome with Ella and will hopefully have the same with Bebe.
Have you had a POSITIVE c-section experience that you’d like to share? Please share the link to your post in the comments below.