Especially if you read ‘This Is Going To Hurt’…
I’ve just finished reading This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay that documents his NHS career that was mainly spent in the maternity ward. Firstly, it really makes you appreciate the amazing people that work for the national health service in the UK and how stretched they are when it comes to providing the best level of care.
Secondly, it made me extremely thankful that we had Lola in Dubai as there are some scary and heart breaking moments in the book that I think would’ve put me off having kids for a long time.
Saying that, it has made me think about the birth stories that people share, be it their own or someone else’s. For some reason, perhaps the tabloid era is to blame, we love to divulge the nightmare tales of forceps, vacuums, emergency C-section’s and cuts. Yes, these are all part of childbirth, yet I can count on one hand when someone shared a happier experience.
Good or bad, I think being open about your birth story (if you’re comfortable) can do so much for future mums. I think at times, we are made to feel like this is ‘natural’ and your body is ‘made for it’ and if for some reason you have fear of birth, it can be dismissed as something silly. I chose to have a C-section because my catastrophic thinking made me imagine the worst scenarios and I knew that having to go through the ‘unknown’ process of natural birth will make my pregnancy a stressful period and I didn’t want that. I wanted to enjoy my bump and my regimentally organised C-section. Of course, it didn’t go to plan and she had to come out a few days earlier, but having a positive birth experience has done wonders for my bond with Lola.
Happy Mum Happy Baby Podcast is a great listen for those wanting to hear from other mums and not feel alone in their thoughts. Many who have come on the show spoke of how difficult they found it to bond with their baby after a traumatic labour, while others praised hypnobirthing. These stories being shared not only helped me realise that I made the right choice for me and eased some of that guilt of not going the natural way, but they also opened my eyes to other options that I’ve never heard of before.
Childbirth is not easy, but sharing our stories and experiences is one of the best ways to elevate any anxiety surrounding starting a family and know the options available.