Not too posh to push

TOO FUCKING TERRIFIED TO PUSH (and risk damaging another baby).

So this whole C-section debate currently trundling along in the media (Hospitals ban C-sections) reached a new level last night when I was watching some of the doctors I follow on twitter discuss it.  They were angry about C-sections being a lifestyle choice and said only in cases of medical need, it is major abdominal surgery after all.   So I asked them “what about in cases of secondary tokophobia & PTSD but no physical medical reason for ELCS?” and I never received a response.  I was a little upset by this so decided to unpick it a bit more in this blog post.

I am still no closer to my decision on whether to try and give birth vaginally again or have the ELCS agreed by my hospital.  But I think I am letting myself be swayed by judgements of others too much (and is something I am working on in CBT!) – it was interesting to me that the medical professionals didn’t respond to my query (although such is the nature of twitter and although I respect the one of the doctors posting- I happen to think the other is a complete dick so what do I care what he thinks anyway?) as I was pondering the nature of mental versus physical illness.   If there was a physical reason for me to have an ELCS eg. previous emergency C-section (munchkin wasn’t) or to prevent any further physical damage to me- then I would have it in a shot- there would be no stopping me.  But the fact that the only reason for this ELCS is psychological then that is something that is stopping me- I think it is alot tied up in judgements about mental illness and stigma and the fact that maybe I don’t feel it is a “good enough reason” or that I am worried people will judge me for having a C-section this time.  I also think a good vaginal birth experience next time would be more healing for me than a C-section but tied up in that is the risk of it all fucking up again and then I genuinely think there would be no coming back from two traumatic births- talking nervous breakdown time etc.

This notion I have of judgement for women who have C-sections post-traumatic births is utterly stupid as of all my lovely friends who have had C-sections post traumatic first births I can say hand on heart there is not a milisecond of judgement from me in their choice and when my CBT therapist asked me what would I say to my friend if my friend was me- I would say immediately and unequivocally to her/me “have a c-section”.  So why am I not actually saying that to myself?

I do need to do alot more thinking about this stuff and make sure my decision is just that- MINE and no tied up with worries of others perceptions, but that I make the best decision for me and my baby.  However I do think medical professionals are probably not helping me in this (except my lovely CBT therapist) as they keep saying to me “no physical reason” etc etc and there just feels to me so much judgement and stigma about being the crazy girl who is too scared to push, and I feel that I am getting lumped in with the “too posh to pushers” which if truth be told I slightly judge too (which I am not proud of btw as don’t think you should judge anyone for their choices and I am really trying not too!) but to be fair I have never met in real life a “too posh to pusher” and I think they are so so much rarer than the media would have us believe.

I think what is really bugging me about this whole debate is in all the articles they often state that C-sections only if there is medical need – but they never once elaborate that that medical need maybe psychological- if they do elaborate it is always the physical reasons and that means our just as valid reason for ELCS isn’t heard or shared and women like me may end up feeling that their need for an ELCS isn’t as valid or important because the media doesn’t mention it?

Maybe I just want a doctor to tell me – “You have a bloody good reason for a C-section- we won’t judge you” but then that is seeking external validation for a decision I need to come from and be owned by me so maybe not! What I actually need to work on is not giving a fuck about what people think and making the best decision for me and my baby.  It’s a work in progress but that’s okay I have 17 weeks left- EEEP!

Rant over.

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About LadyCurd

Likes ladybirds & lemon curd. On reflection combining the two names was a mistake.
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7 Responses to Not too posh to push

  1. TackiestOnes says:

    I totally think that PTSD is a “medical need”. If you are bricking it due to trauma, then that leads to no happy-hormones which leads to stalled labour which leads to a cascade of interventions and then either an emergency caesarian or another traumatic birth experience.

    If the CBD can reduce/remove the phobia, then you’ll KNOW you are ready to try birthing traditional-style but if you feel ambivalent then caesarian is probably where it is at, right?

    From your birth story, the bit where you are waiting in an empty hospital reception and freaking out, that was key for me. That is absolutely terrifying nightmare situation. No wonder your happy hormones deserted you, no wonder you felt even more pain, no wonder there were issues later. That was totally on the hospital, how can they have let that happen?

    This time, either because it’s a “been there/done that” situation then you won’t get spooked or because you have been traumatised, you’ll be scared from the get go.
    Only you can know which way it’ll be on the day.

    Plus, doctors SAY “only for *medical* need” but they do electives on women whose babies are breech or show up big on the scanner or just because they prefer being in charge.

    Don’t let them try to guilt trip you into thinking your grounds for a caesarian are not as good as e.g. “the baby is breech” just because breech is physical and PTSD is not.
    PTSD is a real medical reason to have a caesarian even if it isn’t something they can see on an ultrasound.

  2. Sheila Herd says:

    Totally with the above poster, no way would I judge someone who elected for a caesarian due to PTSD I think I mental health condition is abolutely as valid as a physical reason, but then I’m not a doctor.

  3. Pingback: Labia wards and birthing sheds- a patients perspective. | childbirthptsdandme

  4. Pingback: I met someone who had a C-section for “lifestyle reasons” and I didn’t judge! | childbirthptsdandme

  5. sadie says:

    Omg I’m so glad I came across your site as u describe exactly how I am feeling too!
    2010 I had a stillbirth due to cord prolapse in labour at 31 wks. I wanted a c section but because baby was not compattible with life and to give me chances of having more babies I was refused a c section.

    2011 I wanted a c section but consultant judged me and bombarded me with statistics on why I should not have one, using excuses such as that the baby I was carrying did not have the genetic disorder my previous baby had and that contributed to her being stillborn!
    I felt it pointless and felt I’d lost battle to get a c section that I gave in not wanting to jinx this baby in any way.
    My 1st was a emergency c section in 2004 due to failure to progress.
    April 2011 I delivered a healthy baby boy, brutal back labour, he was stuck at one point and was told push now as too late for ANY intervention, thought baby might die, scared I pushed from god knows where and he was born crying. The episotomy I received was worse to recover from than my previous c section.
    I’m due again in 2012 april! I wish guidelines had changed last year as it would have helped my argument!
    I am only now starting to grieve for my stillborn baby, I have ptsd,, I didn’t react to the trauma and got pregnant and busy with life straight after. I also have a living baby which brings back memories everyday.
    I am still deciding if c section is what I want and if I’ll be taken seriously THIS time round. I don’t want anyone to judge me and find I feel I have to change my opinion to suit the professionals! Even though deep down I know a c section is what I need, even after 2 vbacs. I have tried both and still prefer a c section JUST for my own sanity.
    I feel guilty for giving up, for being selfish with my vbacs and thinking of my revovery before my babies health, ultimately I feel guilty as I didn’t fight hard enough 1st time which resulted in a stillbirth and 2nd time which resulted in babys soft spot closing too soon for which he is now suffering from and which only now my gp is acknowledging. I see him everyday hit his head in pain. He has a flat head which is not growing evenly and could have serious problems.. I hope tests prove he is ok but still am riddled with guilt everyday. Because I gave in and was not strong enough to fight for my decision, scared of being judged that my babies suffered. Now this time round what do I do? Fight harder?? Will the new guidelines help me? I have under 5 months to decide and prepare to fight again.

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