Preparing for D-Day – Charlotte Harding
The birth plan or preference is always at the forefront of every pregnant woman’s mind the closer d-day comes.
I knew a few people where it didn’t quite go to plan so I had the ideal – natural, water birth – but was aware that it may not play out the way I would want so had an open mind about it all.
Even though I was quite relaxed about it, it wasn’t on the day that impacted me but in the weeks and even months after I had my son.
I had an emergency C-section. I had to have a growth scan which revealed my little one was small and I had lost fluid.
I was told I would have to be induced, which I was fine about. But after nine hours of no dilation, contractions and the fact my blood pressure rocketed and the baby’s heart rate kept dropping it was decided I would have a C-section.
There were a lot of tears, it was 3am and I realised I was actually having the baby but I felt fine about how things had panned out.
Afterwards I wish I had taken more time to relax, after all a Cesarean is a major abdominal operation, but after retelling the story to people who asked I started to get the feeling I was a fake.
I didn’t have contractions, I didn’t have my waters break or experience the sensation to push or ‘ring of fire’, and because of this I felt like less of a mother.
I felt like I hadn’t done it properly and even when my son turned one I realised how much of an impact it was having on me mentally.
I couldn’t watch One Born Every Minute or labour scenes in TV shows as it made me realise what I hadn’t done.
Unhelpful comments from people that I wasn’t as close to my son as ‘while I was being sown up he was being held by his dad forming their bond’. This comment just made me want to cry and made me realise just how much I was hung up on not having ‘giving birth’ to my baby.
I knew I was being silly and my family and husband repeatedly told me I was a great mum but the niggle was there.
In the end it was at my son’s review with the health visitor that it all came out and it felt good to talk, like a weight had been lifted. I knew I could talk to family but to talk to a stranger was the perfect release. She made me realise it didn’t matter how he got here just how I was there for him and cared and loved him.
It made me think of people who adopt or have surrogates they aren’t less a parent because they didn’t carry their baby in pregnancy so I wasn’t less for not having a ‘natural’ birth.
As I look at my son and see how much he loves me the C-section hang up is lessening but I wish I had spoken to someone sooner.