I've had two babies via caesarean section, and chose in advance to do so each time. I heard the phrase 'too posh to push' bandied about and take it on the chin, although it does irritate me a tiny bit more each time I hear it. Frankie Bridge of The Saturdays chose to have both her children by C section too, and has spoken out about how she finds the phrase annoying, and wishes people would just let mums get on with it in peace, and I completely agree with her!
The decision to have a C section (which is still a serious operation that comes with risks, albeit with a lovely outcome) isn't one I made swiftly. In fact I agonised over it for a good few months in my first pregnancy and it meant I didn't actually enjoy being pregnant that much! Even once I had decided that having a planned C-section was the right thing to do after discussions with my midwife, family and endless amounts of research I still came across a hurdle when an obstetrician wouldn't sign off on one. Maybe he thought I was being too posh to push? But it wasn't that at all, I genuinely couldn't see myself giving birth the 'normal' way and knew that if I didn't think that I could do it there was even less of a chance of it happening than if I actually believed in myself! I had enough presence of mind and determination to seek out another doctor who would listen to my worries and who eventually let me have the birth I wanted.
Maternal choice is so important, a woman should feel empowered during birth whether they choose to undergo it at home in a pool, on the surgeons table or anywhere in between! Sadly though people's birth choices are starting to be judged just as much as the old breast vs bottle debate these days!
Really, whose business is it but the parents to be how to baby arrives in the world? Why would you want to make a person who has spent months growing a baby inside their rapidly changing body, with hormones coursing through it upset by joking that they're 'too posh to push' when you hear how they plan to have their baby?
If having a planned C section was the walk in the park that many assume it will be then think again! You still get the post partum bleeding and have to waddle around with a maxi pad between your legs for a few weeks, only add to that annoyance the fact that you're wearing huge big granny pants that come up under your boobs to make sure nothing rubs on your incision scar. Oh, and you'll either have to wear sexy green knee high support stockings so tight your toes go numb or inject yourself in your (super flabby) belly every day for a week. I had to ensure one of these methods of avoiding a potential blood clot after either birth and I'm still not sure which was worse!
Add to the above the fact you've had major abdominal surgery and a spinal so when you do eventually ease those legs out of the side of your hospital bed (watch the catheter tube though!) it will take you about 5 minutes to slowly uncurl yourself and stand upright. No carrying anything heavier than your baby either, for at least 6 weeks! Well that's the advice anyway, however both Frankie and I had another child under 2 at home so that was always going to be a bit tricky!
Oh! But you can plan everything with a planned C section can't you? How easy for you! I lost count of the amount of times I heard that, and it wasn't true either as with both my babies I got bumped to a different day to make way for emergency arrivals! Frankie even went into labour three days before her planned date, so you never know what might happen!
Lots of people have been surprised when they hear about how I chose to have my children, especially as I am a bit of a 'crunchy mama', exclusively breastfeeding, babywearing and co sleeping! I have more than a handful of friends who welcomed their babies in the comfort of their own home, had their husband make them a cuppa afterwards and snuggled as a family in their own bed just mere hours after. But I'm just happy for them that they got the birth that they wanted, just like I did.
So next time you hear someone is planning a C section for their birth, just take a minute to think about what you say before you utter those words...'too posh to push?'
Find me on twitter: BelleduBrighton