“With my third baby, I had a C-section.”
“The anaesthetist called me ‘one of nature’s anomalies’.”
After experiencing both a natural birth and an emergency C-section with my first two children, I chose to have another C-section with my third as I didn’t want to run the risk of tearing the scars from my previous Caesarean. Plus, I already knew about the healing process, and wasn’t prepared to go through the excruciating pain of a natural birth again.
When I went into labour on a Sunday afternoon, I didn’t realise that I was having contractions, as I’d had a busy weekend and just thought I’d been overly active. The following morning I had a routine check-up, and learnt that I’d gone into early labour. I was two weeks away from my due date.
My doctor was worried about the baby’s size, as my amniotic fluids were low, which meant that the environment was no longer conducive for the baby’s growth, nutrition or general health. So I was kept under observation at the hospital and confined to bed. The baby’s heartbeat was closely monitored for the remainder of the week, and my contractions slowly decreased .
At 9.30am on a Friday, the anaesthetist came in to discuss the epidural. I was terrified to have a scalpel cut through my abdomen, and I made him promise I wouldn’t feel a thing!
Unfortunately, I didn’t respond to the epidural: the anaesthetist called me ‘one of nature’s anomalies’. My legs eventually went numb, but that lasted for only five minutes. The doctor waited and then began cutting – and boy, did I feel it! The second attempt was even more painful, and I became so frightened I’d feel everything he was doing that I asked for a general anaesthetic.
When I came to, the nurse placed my 2.2kg daughter, Nosibusiso, on my chest. Back in the maternity ward, I was given painkillers, which made me quite drowsy, but I was able to get out of bed the next evening and was fully recovered two weeks later.
I was sad that I didn’t hear Nosibusiso cry for the first time, but outside of that, I would still do it the same way. I wouldn’t risk having my C-section scars tear open or want to endanger my child’s life or my own, and I’m just not willing to experience the pain of a natural birth again.
C-SECTION: THE PROS AND CONS
“A C-section, also known as a Caesarian, is a surgical procedure in which a baby is delivered through the mother’s abdomen. As with any surgery, the decision needs to be carefully considered, and the convenience of this method comes with considerable risk, such as excessive bleeding or infection. The recovery time is also a factor; it’s not easy to move around for six weeks afterwards, which is hard to manage, especially with a newborn,” says Dr van der Merwe.
Thato Setlhoke, 35, corporate account manager