On Wednesday I am scheduled for a caesarean section to welcome Baby #2 into this mad, crazy world. And my anxiety levels are through the roof.

I’m going to start off by saying I know how lucky I am. This is my second child and I have had two relatively easy pregnancies. I know that and I realise how privileged I am to be able to say that.

At the same time, having a baby is not easy. I can’t speak for a natural birth because that’s not how things worked out with J, but I can imagine (wow can I imagine!) the traumas and issues you can have with a natural birth.

Having said that, having a caesar is not an easy option – as it is often believed to be. Just like I don’t appreciate formula being given a bad name, I also don’t agree with people looking down on moms who have caesars. Having a caesar is a big deal. It is a major surgery and because of that it can come with all the anxieties and worries related to that. Plus that means there is a lot to recover from. Not only the emotional experience of giving birth (which should not be underestimated) but the physical trauma that your body has gone through.

I’m no expert but because of what I experienced with J, I have a few reasons why I am not looking forward to doing it all again with #2:

  1. I don’t like hospitals. I’m pretty sure most people don’t like hospitals so I don’t think I need to explain this one.
  2. I don’t enjoy not being able to move. Having a caesar means you can’t choose to not have an epidural. I had always hoped for a drug-free natural birth with J (hahahahahaha) and I found out I am really not suited to heavy medication. Not being able to move the lower half of my body was torture for me and it really got into my head.
  3. The mental aspect of the procedure is something I didn’t prepare myself for. Mind blown.
  4. Feeling someone (or more than one person probably) pull and tug on your insides while you can’t really feel anything (but you can) is a very strange feeling indeed. I haven’t even watched Alien but scenes from a weird horror film definitely came to mind while I was on the table.
  5. Recovery is not for wimps. Coming out of that drug-induced haze when you’ve just had a live being pulled from your stomach and you are basically paralysed from the waist down is not fun. Add to that hospital staff who come in every 5 minutes to do who-knows-what and the dreaded “changing of the pad” and you should get the picture.
  6. I’m not a big fan of the judginess when people find out you had your baby “out the sunroof”. That phrase alone shows you what people think of the procedure but whenever people find out you had/are having a caesar they always ask you why. Has anybody ever asked a woman why she had a natural birth?
  7. Yes, caesars are a popular choice in South Africa, more so than in other countries, but a lot of the time these caesars are done for medical reasons. J was an emergency c. When I contemplated waiting for a day or two to see if I would go into labour after a couple of days of unexplained bleeding (because this is how strongly I felt about natural birth (thanks, society and antenatal classes)), my doctor kindly explained to me that not having a caesar was putting my baby and myself at risk ie not the smart option. When the health and safety of your child is at risk, then it’s not really a choice, is it?

Ok, rant over. My nerves are making me angsty. At least by this time tomorrow I should have shed my grumpy pregnant lady persona! Bring on the 100 dark days of newbornhood.


Wish me luck!

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