Hello, I have never posted on the feminism threads before, but I feel at the end of my tether.
I had my ds last year (vb) and suffered a minor prolapse. After investigations by gynae professionals it was confirmed, but I am now pregnant with child number 2 who is due in December this year so treatment has to go on hold for now. All fine.
Here is where I would like opinion. I am asking for ELCS this time round, 1) to minimise damage to my pelvic floor as it is so soon after the last birth and 2) I have a severe anxiety about going through birth again- not just the usual worries, but to the point where I am hysterical/crying/can't function.
I had an appointment with a consultant midwife yesterday, and I feel as if her view of my problems were just... Off. For one, she asked me 'why do you want ELCS?' I said 'because of prolapse in last birth'. She said 'why do you mean PROLAPSE?' She was being facetious for some reason, not sure why. Then she said 'well the routine is usually for you to have your children and then to 'reupholster' you afterwards'- this is an issue that I believe is a feminist issue. I am a human being. I do not want to live with a shit quality of life because medical professionals see me as nothing but a baby maker. I don't want to be dragging my entrails.
I assured her my gynaecologists would recommend ELCS and my prolapse is confirmed, and she said 'well gynaecologists write their own books so I wouldn't trust their opinion'. That's not right is it surely?
I felt humiliated, belittled, and stupid. As if I should sacrifice my pelvic health for the sake of this baby. I made it very clear- I have not chosen this likely. I know the risks, I am sad that I have to put my baby at unecessary risk in order to give birth but I cannot see any other way.
I'm very sorry this is long and drawn out, I'm just so hurt. Thank you if you read
I forgot to say, I can't help but feel if it was men that gave birth they would not have to fight for these things, I know it's a stupid thing to say, I'm sorry. Just so upset right now.
Yep I think the "oh well you can just put up with progressively more mangled nether regions for a few years, when your reproductive apparatus has finished serving society's purpose we'll stick back together what's left of your vagina+pelvic floor and give it back to you" is an odd attitude. I think it's odd that she is dismissing the gynae input as their "prevention is better than cure" strategy seems sensible. I suppose midwives don't get to see the pelvic floors 1, 5, 10 years later so it's not their problem, whereas gynaes do.
You need an holistic approach to this- ie considering what is best for the baby, your nether regions (now and for any future pregnancies if you would like to have another) and your brain and your relationship with your body and your baby. I think I'd be tilting towards ELCS too.
What does your GP and think (and HV, if you had much contact after baby #1)? They might be the most likely to consider you as a whole person needing the best choices to keep you happy and healthy for your whole life.
I had an EMCS after baby #1, would like to have another child and will be pleasantly surprised if VBAC isn't very heavily pushed by the midwives at prenatal appointments. I expect to have to consult various sources to get an overall unbiased view of the best approach. I might very well have a go at VBAC but I want a clear idea of ELCS too rather than a reflex cats bum "throw her on the non-trier failure heap" face if I suggest it. Perhaps I'm being mean with my preconceived notions! Sorry to any open minded thoughtful midwives out there ☺
Sorry meant EMCS to have baby #1, so will be in position of considering VBAC (with risk of EMCS) vs ELCS for #2 if we have another.
Congratulations on your DS and pregnancy #2 Moz btw
I had EMCS with number one and ELCS with no 2. I have problems in my nether regions too but actually the ELCS was because, on balance, CS has lower risk for baby particularly if you've had problems before (baby had trouble getting out with number 1 and heartrate dropping, hence emergency section first time around). From your post - and sorry if I've misinterpreted this - it was almost like the midwife was suggesting vaginal birth was better for baby. My understanding was that it was safer for my baby number 2 to be born by ELCS but the risks to me of a second CS (which is major abdominal surgery of course) were higher which is why they were pushing for VBAC (a bit, not too much). Anyway, whilst I think long term VB is considered better for baby (gets rid of mucous in lungs, they pick up some good bacteria on the way out etc) in terms of actual risk during birth, CS is considered lower risk (to the baby) although higher risk to the mum (as is major abdominal surgery - risk of cutting other organs whilst getting baby out, risk of major bleed etc). That was certainly the way it was presented to me anyway.
Oh and congratulations by the way! I think the main thing is you do what YOU are comfortable with. You'll be the one giving birth and putting up with any complications, so you need to be happy with what you decide. When I had number 2 it was definitely the midwives who were pushing VBAC, the obstetrician was totally behind ELCS at full term.
You're right that this would be very different if men gave birth.
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