Overcoming a traumatic C-section

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Everyone has a choice when it comes to the type of birth they want. I always wanted to give birth naturally but I couldn’t. My first baby was too big and I had to have a C-section. Everything went well and I delivered a healthy baby, even though I was disappointed that I couldn’t have a vaginal delivery. I have always wanted more than three children, and apparently with a C-section, I am now limited to having three.

My second C-section three years later was the worst and I’m still struggling today because of that traumatic incident. While the doctors were operating, they accidentally cut my uterus (beyond what is required for a surgical delivery), which led to excessive bleeding. It took them an hour to fix and, at some point, I almost gave up – I could feel I was slowly giving up and leaving this world, but I actually made it!

This horrible experience left me terrified and I don’t think I will ever be a mother for the third time. I’m scared to go through that again, worried that I might not make it out surgery if it happens again. That operation left scars not only on my abdomen but also in my heart. It has left me with so many questions: did I have another baby too soon? Was this my fault?

“This horrible experience left me terrified and I don’t think I will ever be a mother for the third time.”

I also felt guilty that I couldn’t take care of my baby for the first three months because I was in so much pain and on medication, some of which caused drowsiness so I spent a lot of time sleeping. My mother took care of my son and he knows him as his mother. He is now a year old and thinks I’m his sister.

I also wonder if all this could have been prevented if I had been able to afford a private hospital. I feel that we are sometimes mistreated in public hospitals because we don’t pay for the services, especially in the maternity wards.

It doesn’t matter how you give birth, what matters is bringing that little being into this world. I’m grateful for the fact that C-sections are even an option – as scary as it may be, it saves lives. It saved mine and my child’s.

I learnt a method to recovery along the way that involves writing daily about my experience. I write about what happened to me and how it made me feel. As I write every day, I feel the pain going away bit by bit. Slowly but surely, this pain will heal and I will get over the fear.

Being a mom does not require an expert or an older person. The journey of motherhood is the road to growth and discovery; you learn a lot of things and get to become the person you never thought you could be. Being responsible for another human being brings out the hero in you and this is where all your strength shows. There is no perfect or right way to do it, as long as it’s done with love – love is enough.

Written by Mogau Mercy Shogole

Also read:

So, your birth didn’t go according to plan? Don’t blame yourself
How I recovered from my C-section