Birth | Why the C-section ? | Gauteng Birth Photography
Why the C-section?
One of the first questions a woman must answer when she gets the exciting news that she is pregnant, is whether she wants to go for natural birth or a c-section. We are fortunate in South Africa that we get to choose our method, with the exception of those who require life-saving emergency c-sections.
The history of the c-section is documented throughout the world and is not by any means a modern procedure. There are reports of it in ancient texts from China, Ireland and Iran. There is also mention of it from Pliny the Elder, theorizing that Julius Caesar’s name came from the practice. It was even mentioned in Greek mythology.
Throughout history the indications for a caesarean section have varied tremendously. They have been shaped by religious, cultural, economic, professional and technological developments. Modern day indications for a c-section are to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and baby.
C-sections may be planned or be the result of an emergency situation.
An emergency C-section is exactly what it says – an emergency measure. You will have to discuss any risk factors that you have for that happening with your gynaecologist. Common reasons are obstructed labour, failure of labour to progress, placenta praevia (development of the placenta in an abnormally low position near the cervix), foetal distress, gestational diabetes mellitus, and improper positioning of the foetus for delivery. Although an emergency C-section can be devastating for a mom-to-be whose heart is set on natural birth, it is necessary to remind yourself that your baby is the real goal.
We cannot blame ourselves for how they come into this world, we can only be grateful if they do so safely!
A planned C-section may be for a myriad reasons: Previous invasive uterine surgery, certain foetal conditions, diseases that may make vaginal birth difficult, like pulmonary or coronary disease of the mother. Maybe you just like the idea of being able to plan the day of your baby’s birth to a T, and skip past the anxiety of having to wait for baby to decide to say hi.
If you do go the c-section route for your first birth, there’s really not much stopping you from attempting a vaginal birth next time around. Many mothers have had successful VBAC deliveries, so if your first delivery didn’t go as planned, or you think you may want to push for your second child, the option is always there.
C-sections are every bit as much of an emotional experience as natural birth.
The anaesthetist will usually lower the drape temporarily as your child is delivered so you can see your new born. Dad’s face when he sees his baby, the love connection and gratitude of both parents, the ecstasy and over whelming sense of relieve stay pretty much the same, irrespective of the delivery choice.
Both c-sections and natural birth have their benefits, so make sure to discuss your options and all associated risks and benefits with your healthcare provider. Remember that you have a lifetime of wonderful experiences ahead with your precious child and in the long run, that is more important than how they come into the world! What matters is their health and safety, and it is important to be open with your medical professional and trust their expert opinion.
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The next hour was the hardest for me, it felt like torture. It had gotten dark and we lit candles around the bath. I was trying all different positions, but struggled to find something bearable. I had worked so hard on breathing and relaxing, but when the contractions came it was so crushing, all I could do was ride it out and wait for it to be over.
Elisa started crowning and the pain was unreal. I had oame face to face with the greatest fear I have ever experienced, the feeling that I couldn’t do it, that it wasn’t in me to push through one more contraction, to get this baby girl out. I remember crying and saying to Heinrich, “Ek kan nie, ek kan nie.”
Together with the midwives, Heinrich started speaking truth and courage over me. I remember calling out “Jesus!” at one of the very last contractions before Elisa made her appearance and then feeling an incredible sense of relief and victory the moment she popped out, hearing her behind me.
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