Hey, lovely 🙂 Read an excerpt of my book VBAC Queen – My Story to give You Hope.
Dear Mom, if you are here, reading my words, you will probably have had a c-section. Just like me. Maybe you are not as happy about it as people expect you to be. Ever heard or even said this sentence yourself: “main thing is, the baby is well”? Well, let me tell you: that is a big fat lie.
After my rst caesarean birth, I walked into the nurses’ room looking at a huge white board. They had written all the patients’ names and their modes of birth on it. Over sixty percent of them have had a c-section.
How was that possible? Was birth so complicated and risky, not even half the women with me in that hospital could give birth vaginally? That could not be right.
Is it because hospitals and doctors have been charged in the past when they had failed to intervene in serious cases or emergencies, so now they intervene too fast and end up performing too many c-sections where there is none needed? Or is the famous accusation that some hospitals prefer c-sections for nancial reasons true?
We will probably never know, but there is no denying the fact that the c-section rate is extremely high nowa–
days – or even has reached its peak. C-sections often performed last minute and with no mental preparation have a tremendous impact on women’s physical and mental health.
Women’s pain has traditionally been ignored or brushed o . We are expected to endure gracefully and silently. Abby Norman describes in her book “Ask me about my Uterus – A Quest to make doctors believe in women’s pain”the long way she had to go and ght until she nally got a diagnosis and medication for her condition of endometrio- sis. Sadly, ignoring and even denying women’s health problems is deeply rooted in our societies.
A woman’s physical and mental health after birth mat- ter. The smoothest vaginal birth can still cause injuries to a woman inside and out if her birth experience was other than the one she had wished or planned for. Let alone a vaginal birth that was long and painful and had interventions or ended up with a c-section.
A caesarean section is a major operation. It is often per- formed on women who are in pain, still under contractions or simply in fear. Some have never had an operation be- fore. The scalpel cuts through many layers of a woman’s body before it reaches the baby. Feelings of fear, panic or disappointment are valid.
Yet society expects mothers to roll out of that operation room with a big grin on their faces. Which is ridiculous.
I mean, have you ever visited a person after an emergency appendicectomy at a hospital? Yes?
Now, imagine the very same person getting up a few hours after the operation and functioning as if nothing has hap- pened: changing diapers, feeding, soothing a crying baby, wandering around despite the surgery the person has had.
Now imagine that person being a man. Right …
Having a c-section and agreeing to it on such a brief notice or even during an emergency is an act of great bravery. It is erce, sel ess and fearless of you to have your body cut open to make sure your baby arrives to this world safely. And then you are expected to just walk out of that operation room as if walking out of an ice cream parlor. That is impossible, and that should never be your goal.
A pregnant woman needs knowledge! To deal with your- self, you have to understand yourself. To understand yourself, you have to perceive your body’s signals rst. You can only be in control of your feelings and the circum- stances around you if you are indeed informed. Acknowl- edging your pain does not mean you cannot be happy and thankful for your hopefully healthy newborn at the same time. But it is not the only feeling you are allowed to have and voice.
A mother’s health – your health – matters too! Your mental health a ects your physical health as well. You cannot fully function and enjoy life in all its facets if your mind is not well. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding mental health has nally changed, thanks to a lot of brave people who have spoken out about their mental health and helped to normalize it.
Start working on your mental health today! Maybe you feel guilty for that c-section you had, maybe you feel less like a woman, or even like a “loser”. Let me tell you: I have been there. I have been pregnant thrice.
First time pregnant: Girl, was I naïve and a helpless ro- mantic. After hours of labor, I begged God to make the doctor say it was time for a c-section. I wanted to be done with all the interventions and nally see my baby.
Second time pregnant: I was frightened as hell and did not trust any medical professionals. I had planned a home birth. But eventually ended up in hospital, this time ght- ing to get a c-section. I was not happy when I nally held my baby.
Third time pregnant: I was stressed. The pregnancy had hit me unprepared. I knew I had unsolved birth trauma. I was fearful, but committed. I really wanted to heal before this birth. And I knew I wanted to attempt a vaginal birth after caesarean (vbac). I also knew most people would not agree with this as they consider it unsafe.
Dear Mom, my wish for you is that this book will give you hope and help you heal if you are su ering from what I call c-section guilt. I also wish to show you it is not impossible to have a vaginal birth after a caesarean. Never give up hope in anything you want until you have tried everything you can.
Do not forget: every path is di erent, every life, body and story are di erent – let alone the story of birth in which two human beings, baby and mother, interact with each other.
My story is not a measurement for your own. Motherhood does not de ne you as a woman. Mode of birth does not de ne you as a woman. Even if it a ects your womanhood deeply. You are still a person who may feel grief, re ect and process what is happening to and with her. Birth is a powerful and unique experience.
I welcome you to my journey.
My book on amazon.com.
My book on amazon.co.uk.
My book on amazon.ca.
Can’t find your marketplace in the above? Just type vbac queen book into google or the search bar of your favorite online book store. (Pssst, it doesn’t have to be amazon, if you purchase the paperback! 😉 It should be available anywhere!).