pregnancy

"Whether you believe this or not, I gave birth to my baby."

There’s something about having a caesarean, some of us still feel obliged to explain why we had one.

Some of us feel that obligation within ourselves, at least I do. People find out my first baby was born by c-section and I quickly follow up with “he was breech, wouldn’t budge”.

Some of us feel that obligation from others. While I haven’t been subject to it, I have seen others who are forced to defend the births of their babies, as if, somehow, having a caesarean is a sub-standard shameful method of delivery.

Whatever it is, wherever that pressure is coming from, it’s undeniable that it’s still there.

But barriers are being broken, and perhaps it will be easier for the mothers that come after us.

Birth Without Fear is one of my most favourite Facebook pages. It’s a genuine, heartfelt celebration of birth; all birth.

Yesterday, the page shared the story of Jodie Shaw, and a photo of her surgical scar. Her birth scar.

Jodie writes, “A new day and a what seems to be another new post from someone insinuating that giving birth by cesarean means that you didn’t give birth.

“Can we please just stop!

“I obviously can’t change people’s views but I’ve decided to post this picture to see if it may make people understand that despite what our birth plans might say. Sometimes we don’t get a choice. I didn’t get a choice.

“I had a fibroid the size of a melon sat on my cervix and a low lying placenta which meant that I’ve been left with no ordinary csection scar. But whether you believe this or not. I gave birth to my baby.”

Jodie’s photo had me absolutely mesmerised.

All birth is beautiful. All birth, even the messiest, most rushed, hardest, most raw birth is still beautiful. It’s wild, like something from the jungle, getting a baby out of her mother’s womb.

Some people like to say that at the end of birth you get a baby, and that’s the miracle of it all. But that only tells half the story. At the end of birth, whatever kind of birth you had, you become a mother.

We share beautiful photos of vaginal births, and babies in their first moments of life. We should share photos like Jodie’s as well. They tell a story that is just as important.

LISTEN to This Glorious Mess, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents.

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