Natural Birth v C – Section

Before I open a can of worms on a debate that always seems to occur on this topic, I’m not an expert in any shape or form, I’ve only given birth to 2 children and watched endless labour programs during both my pregnancies! This is simply how I feel about the whole thing after my 2 labours.

With Kayleigh I went through the whole natural labour, granted I ended it with a lovely epidural! I had a recorded 22 hour labour from start to finish but only a 9 hour established labour.

I’m not going to lie it was probably one of the most painful things i will ever experience in my life but at the end of it, I got my reward after 2 hours of pushing, all 7lb 2oz of yummy baby. I had every kind of pain relief going, I was tired, I was snappy but the rush of love I got once i had her place skin to skin was so immense I still remember it. I remember the whole thing so clearly. It couldn’t have been that bad as I was ready to pop again 20 months later!

Yet Ethan’s birth was a bit of an “odd” experience. We found out at our 4d scan at 26 weeks that Ethan was in the breach position, at this point he was feet down. By the time i got refered to the hospital by my midwife they weren’t too sure how he was laying!

We were giving the options, we could attempt to turn him, an elective c-section or a natural birth (though this option wasn’t advised). We took the decision to attempt to turn him but it failed miserably, leaving me more grumpy than when I went in.

So it was decided a c-section it was and off we went with our due date to meet our little man.

That day came, it was hard to leave Kayleigh with my mum before knowing it was the last time I was just “her” mummy. The whole day was a bit surreal to be honest, waiting in a ward where people were being monitored for issues with pregnancies knowing that it was likely to be the last time that I would be pregnant.

Going into theatre is also strange as I had never been there before for any reason, lots of people, lights and machines. The procedure itself was painless if a bit odd and within 20 minutes of going into theatre he was here. All 8lb 14oz of him stuck bum 1st ready to come out, which is why he was never going to turn.

He was shown to me over the screen then cleaned up and brought back to me before being handed to his daddy, because of the position I was in and all the wires I didn’t feel confident in holding him.

I don’t know why but I felt I had cheated the whole thing that any women should be able to do – give birth. I felt guilty for not making all the effort that I did to bring Kayleigh into the world.

Don’t get me wrong I love my son to death but I feel like I failed him in a way. I know he wont understand this and it’s just me emotionally but I still think about it.

So it comes back to that old debate natural labour vs c-section and for me personally natural labour wins hands down. In no way am I against c-sections I just wouldn’t personally pick it as my 1st option unless it was for medical reasons.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a c-section if that’s what you really want, not at all. You’re the mum to be, you’ve carried your child this far, it’s up to you to make the decision on how to bring your child into the world, the same way it is your decision on how to bring your child up. Everyone is different and for me I wouldn’t want to have a c-section again if I didn’t have to.

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  • Sarah

    Both my sons were delivered via c-section. First was an emergency c-section after 41 hours of labouring and sever lack of progression, plus foetal and maternal distress (after 41 hours who wouldn’t be!). He had thick meconium waters and had to come out pretty quickly.

    My second was ‘elective’ 13 days over due and I was recommended not to have an induction because of the position of the baby. He was too high and no where near my cervix so it would 90% end in an emergency section. Just as well really as he was 10lbs 9.5oz.

    Neither of my children were in a good position to labour naturally so realistically I’ve only ever had one choice. It makes me feel slightly cheated and I will try for a VBA2C when we have a third.

    • Inespa

      Good luck with the VBAC 🙂

      I’m glad both of your sons arrived safely even if it wasn’t to plan 🙂

  • My first was discovered to be breech after my waters broke so I was booked in for c-section. I was so upset and had the whole “I’m a failure” thing going on. With my second I was SO determined to have a VBAC and with a few ‘threats’ that I would have to be carted off again for a section I persevered – with a truck load of drugs! – and eventually he was ventoused out! I was really cross though that on my notes it said I had chosen a c-section for my first.
    C-sections are so valuable though and clearly help save lives in emergencies. But statistically I am down as choosing mine!

    • Inespa

      Well done on both your births 🙂 C-sections are extrememly valuble and i have no doubt they save lifes, i just felt as mine was an elective that i failed in some way 🙁

  • lucylou79

    i have given birth 4 times once in hospital, twice at home and i had an emergency c section last year to deliver my twins, i have to say that in my opinion natural child birth is by far easier. i gave birth to my 3rd child at home and he weighed 9lb 5oz i thought i would never feel pain like that again, then i had a c section, i thought i was going to die from the pain! the recovery is also much slower than with natural birth. I feel my body is still recovering from the whole thing as i am still numb on my scar site, not to metion the whole thing left me emotionally scarred and cheated because i did’nt get to cuddle the babies until they were about half an hour old. all in all i think natural is the way!

    • Inespa

      Well done on all your deliveries especially having twins! I understand the emotional issues you explain, that is what i was trying to explain in my post – thank you for sharing 🙂

  • I too have had “one of each”.
    My labour with Kieran was just under 2.5hrs from start to finish, his head wasn’t engaged the day before, no twinges nothing… a VERY quick and insanely painful labour. I has gas & air for a very brief time but it was taken off me because I was “pushing with my throat” <beg to difer on that one dears. Despite hideous stitching and a violent kidney infection the week after birth, I consider this a very positive birth.

    With the first being so quick, spontaneous and a week early, it was suggested a home birth might be an idea to consider. After a lot of research we fell in love with the idea and a home birth was booked. Then I developed gestational diabetes, needed insulin, had other complications and what not. Lot's went on but in the end an elective csection was booked for 38wks (the hospital wouldn't let me go past this). NOT what I had planned for originally but what we felt was right for the baby and ourselves. It went well, despite a violet reaction to the epidural which meant I couldnt hardly hold Taylor for 24hrs.

    Which did I prefer? I'm not sure I could choose to be honest. Both types gave me a beautiful and healthy boy. If I had to decide on recovery alone, I would definitely say (for me) CSection.

    A very interesting piece and replies.

    • Inespa

      Thank you for sharing you birth stories, it just goes to show that no birth is ever the same and no matter what we all go through the best thing is the end result 🙂

  • WeLovePeas

    I’ve had one of each – a natural birth that ended with a huge PPH, surgery, several blood transfusions and an angioplastic embolisation – and an ELCS for my second child. You can probably guess from the above description which one I preferred! I recovered far, far more quickly from the ELCS (my baby is 12 weeks old now and I have a teeny scar but other than that am completely back to normal) than the first near-death experience. Each to their own but I don’t really get the need to physically push the child out to experience ‘true childbirth’ or feel like a ‘proper’ mother. I may be somewhat biased, but there’s nothing enjoyable about childbirth, it’s just something to be got through and so long as baby and mum are OK at the end of it, that’s all that matters. I think the emphasis that the NHS/NCT place on natural births, for their own agenda-driven reasons, gives pregnant women too high expectations of what’s going to happen, so the reality of childbirth sometimes comes as a huge shock. Natural birth is NOT something all women can do, despite the often-repeated line ‘it’s what Nature intended, it’s we’re made to do’ – yeah, well if Nature had had its way, it would have killed me and my son! No real reason either, I was super-healthy at the time and still am.

    • Inespa

      Thank you so much on sharing your story, i think you are right about the emphasis on birth by NHS etc – i suppose it puts mum’s under a lot of pressure to “perform” to expectations

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  • I’m really sorry that your c-section has left you feeling that way. I also think there must be a huge difference between having an elective or planned c-section vs an emergency c-section. I had an emergency section under general anaesthetic with my son, and even though we have no immediate plans for another baby I do think about what I would do in terms of VBAC vs elective section next time. The truth is I just can’t decide. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel if and when the time comes. Thanks for sharing your experiences x

  • Lisa

    Coming over from britmums, really interesting to hear your story. I am still undecided on a VBAC or elective section, following the 40 hr labor and emergency section with my first. Have posted it about it on my blog and having a really good response, with both sides being discussed.

  • I’ve had two emergency sections and an elective and I am heartbroken that I didn’t get to experience birth! I experienced labour around 40-48 hours each with my first two – they both ended in emergency section! My last was a planned section and I HATED every minute of it, it was the single most scariest experiece of my life and I would not recommend it to anyone! lol

    So why am I considering another … lol

    • MummyVsWork

      Child birth does that to you! Sorry the first 3 were so crappy for you 🙁

      So when is number 4 planned for? 😛