family, pregnancy

Giving Birth – Your body, your choice

The way you want to give birth is a very personal decision. It is your (the mom’s) choice, and in the end no one else’s business. Not even your husband’s/partner’s/baby daddy’s one. While it is great to be in agreement about how things should go down, it’s you and not them who has to press something the size of a watermelon out of a hole, which has the size of a lemon. You see the miss-match here, right?

So, how did I give birth? I opted for what a lot of people call “the easy way out” and had a scheduled c-section. Why, you are wondering? There is a very simple answer to this question: because I could. We live in the 21st century and have amazing modern technology, which enabled me to make this decision. While my husband would have been okay with either way, he tended towards a more natural approach (fun fact: his dad is a OBGYN) but in the end he knew that it was purely my own decision, which he of course accepted. Now, why did I make this choice? Well, I could of course give you a medical reason, e.g. my former AV-node re-entry tachycardia, which was treated with a radio-frequency ablation back in October 2013. Since then I felt fine, however during my pregnancy and due to all of the additional blood, I started to have extra palpitations again. I got it checked with a cardiologist and from his point of view there was no reason not to give birth naturally, however he also said, that he couldn’t guarantee how my heart would react under the stress of labor and birth. He just assured me that “I would be taken care off”. I live in Zurich, Switzerland. People from all over the world come here to see the best doctor’s. Being “taken care off during birth” was something I absolutely expected anyway. But did I want to take this chance? No, I didn’t. And therefore I picked “the easy way out” and scheduled my c-section.

But was it the right decision? Looking back I can clearly say: YES. I had the most amazing and probably most pain-free birth ever. While I don’t want to “recommend” a c-section (it is a big surgery after all and one should not make this choice lightly) what I do want to do is to take the fear away from women who do need a c-section because of medical reasons and also reassure women to go for it, if they are already thinking about it anyway. Nowadays giving birth seems to be a lot about women living their dream of the ideal birth. And while I think that it is important to have something positive to focus on, giving birth is not about realising the mother’s wishes and dreams of a fancy water-lotus-birth but the sole outcome of a successful birth should be a healthy child and healthy mother. If at the same time your dreams and wishes were also fulfilled: good for you. But that is (in my opinion) in the end NOT the purpose of giving birth.

So what tips can I give you: make yourself accustomed with the different birthing methods and the options you have, let it be in a hospital, a smaller birth house or even at home, if that is something you feel most comfortable with. Read about giving birth and what can happen (the good, the bad and the ugly) and talk with your midwife. Do make plans on how your ideal way would look like (it is important to focus on the positive), however… and here it becomes important: also get informed about a c-section and other complications. Not to the point that it freaks you out, but in my opinion it was great that during the hospital tour (which was part of our birthing class) the midwife also explained the procedure of the c-section and how everything would work so that one could be somewhat prepared mentally. So while focussing on the positive, be open to alternatives. While yes, some c-sections might have not been needed in the end – that is something you don’t know ahead of time while in labor. Don’t forget that the thing you are gambling with is your child’s life as well as potentially your own.

  • Having a c-section does NOT make you less of a mom
  • I does NOT make you bad mom
  • Your child will NOT love you less.
  • Your child will bond with you EQUALLY good
  • Breastfeeding does NOT depend on the way you gave birth (FYI: I breast-fed Freja for 13 months and only stopped because she wanted to)

To healthy babies and healthy mothers.

Love, S.

 

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