I was shopping a few days ago and ran into a woman I am 'Facebook' friends with (meaning, we never really talk unless it's on chat or she comments on one of my photos - or vice versa). She isn't a close friend but still someone I would not ignore if I saw her in the street. Lets call her 'Karen'. Karen had obviously been following my arrival of the little bebe on Facey and had recently started following me on Instagram. After a very quick 'oh hey, how are you?', she directed her attention to my bebe. She commented on how cute she was and then started telling me how she is hoping to be pregnant by the new year.
Of course I was super happy for her, it's such an amazing thing to be a mum and such an extraordinary and rewarding experience.
'Karen' asked me how my pregnancy was and following on from that, how was my birth. I don't sugarcoat anything, I tell it how it is and I told her I ended up having Willow via C-Section. Her reply? 'Ohhh, you're so lucky, the easy way out. That's what I want!'
I literally just stared at her with the fakest smile I could muster up and ended the convo as quickly as I could (always blame the baby for a quick exit - poo-splosions will do it every time).
The easy way out? Was she kidding? Is she actually for real?? I wanted to face palm her to the forehead. Listen lady, there was nothing 'easy' about my SURGERY. Yes, I had to have a surgical procedure to get my baby out safely.
I'm not going to lie, in the beginning, I felt the exact same way. I wanted a Caesarean because I was so bloody scared of the pain that having a baby would give me (thanks One Born Every Minute), that I was secretly relieved when they said my bebe was breach. I was like, YESSSS, that means a C Section, I'm in the clear. It wasn't until my last scan at 36 weeks that showed she had done a full flip and was ready to make her entrance head first.
I had to come to terms very quickly that I was going to have to push her out. I took Hypnobirthing classes just so I could learn to control my anxiety. By the time I was 39 weeks, I was mentally and physically prepared to birth her out of my vagina and if I needed an Epidural, then I'd have that too. Well let me tell you something. A Birth Plan should be called You May Not Get What You Want So Don't Bother Making A Plan, plan.
After 15 hours in labour (thank goodness for the epidural 7 hours in), a few tries at a vacuum and pushing so hard I thought I was going to poop my insides out, I was called for an emergency caesarean.
The whole birthing experience is still imprinted in my mind. The worry, the rush, the pain, the exhaustion, the whole lot. Ummm it didn't feel so easy.
After what felt like 3 days in labour, I was cut open to be able to birth my baby and give her her first breath. It was not a pleasant feeling (imagine someone just rummaging through your abdomen, it doesn't feel great). Not only was I not present mentally during this, I was also unwell and required medication due to a fever (as did bub ).
Once I was able to get my bearings back and go over what I had just endured, I now had to heal physically from major surgery while caring for a new born baby. I had a very sore, 20cm long cut that had now added it's mark on my body. I couldn't get up to shower without assistance and the pain, holy shit, it was enough to make you want you want be sick. I needed help with everything... sit up to feed Willow, lay down to sleep, roll over to get comfortable, get up to pee (and don't even get me started on the first post birth poop).
I was ok in the hospital with the help from the midwives and the Yonce but then I had to go home.
For 8 weeks I was not allowed to drive, I could not pick up anything heavier than 5kgs, I needed help to do my housework and getting up and down the stairs was so painful I ended up staying in my room all day with my laptop so I didn't have to walk downstairs.
I thought it would be over once I had my dressing removed (now THAT is painful, no matter if you shave, that hair WILL grown back and it makes a brazillian wax fell like a tickle). But no. That was not the end of it.
2 months on and my internal stitch came undone and protruded through my skin meaning wearing underwear and pants were a 'no go' zone. It couldn't be removed because it was the anchor stitch keeping my muscles together. I had this until Willow was 4 months where I had to massage the painful area to help break it down.
My bebe is now 5 months old and to this day, I have an occasional itchy and pink keloid scar. So tell me that I took the 'easy way out'. From what I remember, there was most definitely no easy way out by having a Caeserean. I wish I could have pushed her out, I really do, but it was not to happen that way and I'm ok with that.
Would I change any of it? Hell no. I still carried my daughter with me for 41 weeks, I grew her in my body and gave her life. I did everything I could to make sure she came into my world the safest way possible and here she is today. No different to a baby born via a vaginal birth, she is a happy and loud baby girl with so much character and a smile that melts my heart.
So if someone tells you that a Caesarean is the easy way out, hold back your tears and anger, give them a smile and tell them to have an awesome day. Look at that baby you made and gave birth too because at the end of the day, they are all that matters.