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!