Pregnancy - Monster #7

Sorry, Did You Say Elective?

Friday, 9th March 2012

Sorry, Did You Say Elective?

Please note: I may become a little ranty in this post!

If there is one thing that irritates me more than anything in pregnancy, it has to be the use of the term ‘Elective Cesarean’.

I was flicking through the info I was handed at my last antenatal clinic appointment, and I came across the pamphlet on having an elective cesarean section to deliver your baby.

Ok, so what get’s me fired up is the word ‘elective’.

I am sorry dear doctors and midwives, but I have never ‘elected’ to be sliced open and have the opportunity for a natural birth taken away from me.

I went into hospital with a birth plan on how my ‘natural’ birth would go.

You see here’s what happened…

Pregnancy one – The Twins.

My twins weren’t budging and the doctors decided that it was for the best to induce me, and at 38 weeks and unable to walk the length of our hallway with the weight of them, I accepted with pleasure.

After hours and hours of nothing, and the doctors unable to find Jai’s heartbeat, they prepped theater for an emergency c-section.

This I was fine with, after-all, all I cared about was the well being of my bubs that were apparently, in distress….

So the delivery went fine and I had my 2 healthy twins beside me.

What really gave me the shits though, was when a midwife returned the following day to inform me that they had discovered the reason they couldn’t find Jai’s heartbeat was due to the fact that the machine had a fault in one of the wires and that he was more than likely fine the whole time.

BAH!!! My efforts of a natural birth were cut short by a faulty machine. Of course at this stage I was so wrapped up in motherhood that I didnt think much more on it and just spent my time falling in love with these new bubs of mine.

Pregnancy two – Zafirah.

With Zaf, I wanted to try having a natural birth. Being a little naive when it came to the whole birthing process, I listened intently to what my doctors had to say.

They refused to let me try for a natural birth due to the fact that it would only be just over 12 months after a cesarean section.

They filled my mind with stories of wounds tearing open and death being a reality for both me and the baby.

I trusted their opinion, and never argued the fact with them. After-all, I was the pregnant woman and they were the highly qualified doctors.

So I had c-section number 2 and once again did not think much more of it.

Pregnancy three – Veruca.

This time I had heard stories from many other mothers, and I had done some research into Vaginal Birth After Cesareans. I was devestated to read pages and pages on the healing of wounds and how 12 months between births would have been ok.

Armed with this info and determined to convince my new doctor to give me the chance to try, I headed to my appointments 100kms away.

He too was very shocked that our local doctors had denied my the right to have a natural birth with pregnancy number two. I pleaded with the man to give me a go.

Do you know what it came down to in the end???

He said,

1. I would have to be his private patient, he would not let me try under the public system.

2. I would have to be living in this town, 100kms away from home for at least the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy.

3. If he let it happen I would have to have a text book labour.

HA! As if that could have happened. There is no way I could afford to be his private patient, or rent a motel for 8 weeks with 3 young kids in a town 100kms from home.

I spent pretty much that whole pregnancy hoping that I would go into to labour naturally just to have a chance.

Of course that was never going to happen so I was booked in for my 3rd Caesarean.

Jibbed out of a natural birth because I couldn’t afford one.

Pregnancy Four – Levi.

There was no chance any doctor was going to let me try after 3 c-sections. I tried but I knew by this stage I was fighting a losing battle.

Pregnancy Five – The new Bub.

I haven’t even suggested it this time as I fear I would be laughed right out of the hospital waiting room. In fact, the first doctor I saw in there suggested they get my bub out more than 10 days early just incase, to avoid any chance of me going into labour.

What matters to me in the end is that I deliver a healthy baby. It doesn’t matter in the end how it comes out, so long as it comes out eventually.

But I do feel a bit ripped off in the bottom of my heart that I never got to experience a natural birth. Disappointed that there was a chance there and I trusted the doctors too much to stand up to them about what I wanted.

So every time they write the words Elective Caesarean on my paperwork, the inner rage starts to boil inside me.

I have never ‘elected’ to birth my babies like that. I have never been given much of a choice.

Some people do choose or elect to have a surgical birth and I am fine with that. I am all for what works best for the mummy to be.

Just come up with some other name for the procedure when I am not given a bloody choice!

Ahhh rant over, that feels better!






    Written by:

    1. Jo Joseph

      Just had surgery for kidney stones & no-one mentioned the word elective for that (even though there was a wait & see option, which we now know wouldn't have worked!) I would be ranty about the term too - there should be a 3rd option; Emergency, Elective & Necessary!

    2. I have many mummy friends, some who have had babies virginally (me included) , some who have had emergency caesarian's and others who have opted, to have an elective Caesar, first baby, didn't want to even try to push... that's what i deem "elective", being able to have a choice to elect... All in all, we all have healthy happy babies, and at the end of the day, that's all that matters :)

    3. I hear you. My oldest arrived early by c-section and then I had more surgery 3 months after she was born for unrelated issue. When I got pregnant with second I wasn't given a choice, everyone just assumed c-section given my previous 2 operations.

    4. Hear hear! If you CHOOSE to have a C/S, then it's an elective. If you have the choice made for you - emergency or not allowing a VBAC - then it is NOT an elective!

    5. Cindy

      You sound like you would like to fine some real inner peace and healing of your four other births. or get in touch with a well recommended doula or independent midwife. I believe that a vb after 4 sections is a possibility. ;)

    6. Such a good rant!!!! I feel for you, its definetly an expereince that we all take for granted, being able to have a natural birth. And yes all that really matters is a healthy mum and bub, but it would be hard on you! Keep smiling and just think of the positives of caesers!! Good luck with the pregnancy - i am really loving following your journey!!!!!

    7. Donna

      So glad to hear you have still had so many babies. In having a similar so called elective cesarean and being told after each one how many babies do you want? Like. I shouldn't have any. I just want the chance to have as many as feels right without the threat of hysterectomy if I try again. I'm nearly having my third csectionand only have one child. So it's not like i have a football team. Thankyou for women like you tell the hidden truth of the system.

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