Helping to save lives with #MatExp

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In response to ghostwritermummy on her post about why having a c-section makes her amazing, I said:

 Yes you are, absolutely incredibly amazing. All women who give birth are incredibly amazing but all women who give birth by c-section are especially incredibly amazing because of the unnecessary stigma that is STILL attached to sections; for the battle they have to face each time ‘the birthing stories’ are discussed at playgroups/school gates/play dates… Yes, you’re amazing for writing so candidly, from the heart, a lovely post that makes me (who would have died along with our baby had it not been for the emergency section) – that makes me feel amazing. Thank you x
And I typed that from the bottom of my heart.
When our little bear was born it was by emergency section.  Due to a low-lying placenta, we were booked in for a planned section in any case.  So there was me thinking that our birth experience might be pretty straight forward in the grand scheme of things. (After all, a planned section took out the uncertainty of ‘am I-aren’t I in labour…?’)
Not so…  at 37+1 weeks I had acute pre-eclampsia and then HELLP syndrome, which left mine and our little bear’s lives in the ‘balance’.  I’m reluctant to use that phrase ‘in the balance’ because it was, in fact, anything but.
It was traumatic.  It was terrifying.  It was uncertain.
It’s a miracle that either, never mind both of us are here today, 5 years later.  I put that down to the wonderful NHS staff on the night and here’s a poem I penned in their honour.  Yes, I know that a lot of work needs to be done to get the NHS up to speed with childbirth, which is part of the reason that #MatExp was founded but I will defend the NHS to the hilt.  Despite that, sometimes, I just want to forget the whole traumatic experience – aside from the miracle of our beautiful little bear being born of course.
Then I hear about campaigns like #MatExp (which is somewhere to share birth trauma experiences, somewhere to spread the word, somewhere to raise awareness.) and I know that my work is not done…
When I published my ebook ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’, I wanted to raise awareness of pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome – they are pregnancy conditions that can be fatal to mum and baby, and all too often they do bring with them fatalities.  That’s the truth.
I wanted to raise vital awareness and through my blog and my ebook I have helped to do just that, and also raised some money for the charity Action on Pre-eclampsia through book sales.  So you see, in keeping with my blog, I’ve taken a positive from a negative and helped other women, their families and friends.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ve helped to save a life.
That’s why I’m posting this up on my blog to support #MatExp
What’s your birth experience?  What will you share for #MatExp? What are your views on c-sections? (whether you’ve had first-hand experience or not)



The Uncheshire Wife

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The Twinkle Diaries

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6 comments to “Helping to save lives with #MatExp”
  1. Great post, and an important message. As someone who has had 3 sections (one emergency and then two elective) I am very frustrated by the stigma attached. My son probably wouldn’t be here if not for the emergency section, and my choice to not go through that trauma again and having electives for my younger two, was just that, my choice. #thetruthabout

    • Thanks Sara and yes and I think that people do forget that they even have a choice among the hustle and bustle of the system… although I have no idea what the ‘system’ is like in the U.S. I’m guessing you’ve probably got a post tucked away somewhere on your blog, which I’ll have to explore some more!

  2. Really well written post Carol – I think you’re right that the expression ‘in the balance’ does suggest ‘could go either way’ when in fact it’s a lot more serious than that in reality.

    I’m lucky that I didn’t have to have a caesarian but I don’t understand people acting as though there is some kind of hierarchy for who did birth better. I had a tonne of drugs the first time round culminating in an epidural. I remember almost hoping I had a breech baby so that I would be offered a c-section – purely through fear really, but I don’t feel any sense of superiority for having done it ‘naturally’!! Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout

    • Thanks Sam and it’s interesting that you were hoping for a breech so that you could have a section! It really is intriguing how much uncertainty childbirth/pregnancy carries with it – on so many levels. I’m of the opinion that alot of the stigma and uncertainty has been passed down the through the years, partly because the book I’ve just read on post-war East End London says it was a bit of a taboo for children to say the word ‘pregnant’, it was in the family way or expecting. Almost like they’d been naughty getting pregnant – even as a married woman! And then of course there was the almost medieval medical ‘care’! Oh my days so much to explore with this one!

  3. I think Susanne at GhostWriterMummy is amazing and inspiring and love her honest posts. And love your response to her post too. Its so true that woman that have csections have to keep getting judged about having one when most the time its out of their hands and giving birth no matter which was is hard and strong. I think its ridiculous that people actually think its the easy way or whatever stigma they put to it is outrageous. Same goes for bottle fed or breastfed. Its feeding period. Nothing makes my blood boil then mothers not supporting other mothers no matter what. 😉 Great post. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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