Sunday, September 18, 2011

Right for Me

I never knew you could learn so many lesson's in such a short time, I feel like I'm a completely different person to who I started as at the beginning of all this.

Obviously being your general, selfish 23 year old who vowed was never getting married or popping out baby's, what I knew about pregnancy and motherhood was and for the most part still is below zero. So I have spent most of the past 7 odd months living off people's opinions. Now I'm not talking about advice, I'm talking about opinions and there is a difference.

You can tell the difference, when it rest's easy and you take it in, it's usually advice and when it irritates you and pisses you off it's opinion and in the world of pregnancy and motherhood there is a mountain of opinion, judgement and competition it seems.

I've been battling with the decision of whether to go natural or C-section right from the beginning and have changed my mind a hundred times. Not because of what is right for me but because f what seems right to everyone else.

Everyone has a scary natural birth story and everyone has a scary C-section story. Everyone seems to know what's best. Everyone seems to know whats best but no one seems to have stopped to think, what would be best for Jess.

My medical history is a tricky one and my love for doctors, dentists and needles is shameful. I was the kid you could hear screaming from the reception area when getting my blood taken and this was before they had taken the needle out of the packet. I blatantly refused to open my mouth at the dentist and have been put under for every small tooth extraction.

This has never changed, no matter how old I get or how many times I have had it all done. When I was 12 I was put under for a "bladder operation" a simple catheter to fill my bladder with fluid, while awake never. To much pain.

When I got my braces at 16, the dentist gave me happy gas when he put them on because I was in such a state of anxiety.

When I was 21 and had to have blood taken I cried in the car and my mom got the nurse to come out and convince me to come in and promised to use the same needle she uses on babies.

My mom or sister hold my hand every time I get my blood taken, I cry every time I have to get this done.

My GP gives me local anesthetic before giving me and injection in my ass.

I'll happily sit through a horror movie, I cringe and hide under the blanket if anything has to do with a doctor or a needle appears on tv.

I fainted at the front of the church at my best friends wedding from heat and nerves.

I fainted when I got my belly ring and wouldn't let the piercing guy do my second ear lobe, this was after making my mom take me to get my ears pierced like 10 times and chickening out every time.

I'm scared of roller-coasters.

I'm scared of the dark.

I have been to so many specialists since I was 16 trying to find out what's wrong with me before being diagnosed with arthritis. So I have been on chronic medication for 8 years before falling pregnant. So I wasn't healthy to begin with.

I have had a long and hard pregnancy, I've been so ill and had so many bladder infections and even hyperglycemia and anemia.

On top of this last week I ended up in hospital with threats of pre-mature labour from bleeding. I have a softening cervix and had to go through a steroids course to strengthen my baby's lungs and fasten his growth.

With all this and my past fears and current fears, I have to deal with anxiety and guilt about which way to give birth. When really it should be what's right for me and what I feel is best for my child and I.

I have nightmares about giving natural childbirth, I am absolutely terrified of going through it, plus I don't have a husband by my side supporting me. It's another thing I have to get through by myself. I have a pain threshold that is quite frankly none existent and right now I don't even know if my baby is safer inside me or not.

The thought of being able to choose my date, wake up in the morning, go in, get a epidural which freaks the shit out of me but it will take all pain away and have my baby out in 20 minutes puts my mind at ease and my heart at peace.

Yes I will be in pain afterwards I know this, pain killers I can do, shit I have missed pain killers since I fell pregnant. Maybe it will take longer to get my stomach back but I know lots of woman who have had ceasers and they look amazing now. Maybe it is the easy way out and to woman who can go through natural labour I take my hat off to you but that doesn't mean it's right for everybody and it doesn't mean I'm less of a woman or mother because that's what I choose.

I honestly think it's the way I need to go, I think after all that's happened it's what's going to end up happening so why not just go with it from the beginning and why on earth would I choose pain over no pain.


  1. Some of the best advice I got in my first pregnancy was not to make any of my birthing choices based on fear. Rather to choose what I felt was best for my baby and me.
    The sad reality is that the vast majority of us will have some sort of pain in childbirth, whether it be during labour or in the recovery period after a surgery.
    And you're right, for a natural birth you need a really great support system (which doesn't automatically mean the dad), but the same goes for a c-section because you will need a lot of help during the recovery period. But it sounds like you're already lucky enough to have a great support system whatever you choose.
    The good news is that regardless of our birthing choices, we all bear it, we all survive it and a huge chunk of us go on to do it it's not all bad :)

  2. Monkey.. It's such a hard decision to make right now, but later it just won't matter, as long as the baby is out & healthy! It's not that sore after a c-section. My advice is: Get on your feet as soon as the spinal block wears off. As soon as you get those muscles working it will be over. It hurts the first time you stand up, but keep walking then it just goes away. Kind of like when you have pins and needles, and as soon as you start moving your foot / legs, then it goes away faster? You know? It's a different kind of pain, and after my labor with Noah, I promise you that c-section hurts like 95% worse. Also, I would say... just leave it, forget about it... wait to go in to labour, then you can just get an epidural or c-section. It's not that scary. You will be so excited to see Aiden's face that you won't care how it all happens. Then afterward, you will have a nice exciting story to tell other moms a million times over :) Booking the date puts SO much pressure on the whole thing. It does. I was terrified when I was going in for Ben's c-section, but I didn't care at all with Noah. Also, you worry less as it goes on. You're going to get huge and hot and uncomfortable... Kind of like, when you have really bad toothache, then going to the dentist doesn't sound all that bad x

  3. Wait no, a c-section hurst 95% LESS, not worse. C-section hurts less.

  4. Have you considered hypnobirthing? The way I understand it is that regardless of whether you do natural or c-section, it helps you understand the birthing process and teaches you to relax during it.

    Given your fear of pain, it sounds like you could do with some relaxation techniques to help you through.

    This woman is based in Cape Town but I'm sure she could refer you to people in Jhb.

  5. Always do what you feel in your heart is best. I was also petrified of natural. Sorry I gave you my horror story. Love you, you'll be fine and you'll always have your family with you. x