So it’s been about a month since I last posted but it’s for good reason seeing as we welcomed our son, Sebastian Joseph Duncan (Seb for short) into the world on 25th August.
Since then we have been swept up in the joy of being new parents, welcoming visitors who want to come for Sebbie cuddles, trying to work out what we are doing right/wrong, dealing with the sleepless nights but most of all marvelling in how amazing our little man is!
Sebastian’s entrance into the world was far from easy. Luckily he was chilled throughout everything that happened, unlike his Mum. I won’t go into detail but let’s just say that a nice, perfect pregnancy does not necessarily equate to a nice, simple labour. My waters broke on a Saturday afternoon (on my due date) and I was induced on the Sunday evening, but Seb was only born via an emergency c-section on the Tuesday at 1.21am. I was in labour for a long and painful time and after finding out that Seb was 9lb 14oz when born, I count the emergency section as a blessing in disguise!
I had been hoping for as natural a labour as possible, but of course when I realised through the haze of many medicated drugs that it wasn’t going to happen, I got to the point of just wanting him to be born and get the drama over with. I’ve since been told that next time I can have a natural birth, but I’ve already decided that isn’t going to happen.
I know there is taboo about the whole natural birth vs elective c-section, with many midwives etc pushing for natural labours and births, however my experience has made me question if going through the pain of giving birth really worth it for the same end result?
I was in active labour for 18 hours, second stage of labour for 4 minutes and third stage for 1 minute. During the first 18 hours I was in AGONY. I was swearing, crying, vomiting, going in and out of consciousness and having strong contractions every 2 minutes for pretty much the entire time and for what? I went through it all for my son to be born within minutes once the decision to send me to theatre had been made. Seb weighed within the top 99% of babies born and was 57 cms long. Even if he had been born “naturally” I would have been in pieces, literally, and more than likely been traumatised for a lot longer during the healing process.
I guess what I’m saying is that natural isn’t always best for mother and baby. In fact, a recent programme I watched on Channel 4, Katie Piper’s Extraordinary Births, highlighted this point. Two of the couples on the show who decided on a ‘natural’ home birth actually had gas and air to help give birth and one of them ended up calling medical services as there were difficulties. Another man during the show, who was playing the didgeridoo to try and help bring on his wife’s labour – eye roll – and didn’t believe in scans etc, stated that people have been giving birth for years naturally and so medical intervention isn’t required. To that I say BULLSH1T! Yes people have been giving birth naturally for years, but people have also died giving birth naturally for years. I very much believe that my son and I would definitely be dead if it wasn’t for medical intervention.
I know that not everyone has a tough and horrible labour like this, but I think it’s time we stopped pushing natural birth so much (excuse the pun!). I definitely won’t feel guilty next time for ‘opting out’ of the labour stage and having an elective c-section.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter?!
On a brighter note, I’ve included some photos of my Seb below who is definitely the light of my life!