Mummy stuff, Pregnancy

One year ago today

birthday girl1
It’s a year ago today. The day I chose to go into hospital to have my baby cut out of me. The day I had the most amazing birth imaginable. 

After the traumatizing experience I had with Little L, I decided to give natural birth a miss and opted for an elective Caesarean. Despite other people promising me the opposite, I not once doubted my decision throughout my pregnancy.

birthday girl2

Growing up, I always thought I’d have my babies by C-section. I can’t really tell you why. My own mother gave birth to four healthy children the old school way. It’s just nothing I ever wanted for myself. No push-aspiration whatsoever.

birthday girl3

Had the new NICE guidelines on elective Caesarean’s been out in 2009, I am pretty sure I had opted for a section. Instead, I had to endure an epic nightmare labour plus emergency C-section. I almost lost my baby.

The clam, collected and happy environment in which Petite Pea was born wasn’t only the stark antipode to the terrifying chaos that surrounded Lil’ L’s birth. In a way, it also made up for the previous experience. Finally, I was able to get over it and find peace.

I don’t share the feeling of inadequacy or failure only because I don’t wee myself when I sneeze. Elective C-sections. A truly wonderful thing.

birthday girl

Happy Birthday, Petite Pea. You rock our world.




  1. Happy birthday to your little pea 🙂 I don’t wee myself when sneezing (or when doing double unders 🙂 BUT I still kind of wish I had given c-sections a bit more thought…)

  2. Kate Allott says

    Beautiful photos. I can’t believe it’s been a year since she was born!
    And why should you feel a failure or guilty? C sections have there place and, as you say, can actually help lots of women get over a traumatic first birth experience. You are not alone.

    Enjoy your beautiful family. 🙂

  3. Happy birthday Petite Pea!!!
    So glad that for her birth you can look back and know you made the right choice for you!

    I would have loved to have had that hippy dippy natural birth experience, and tried everything to have one. I felt so bad after first birth which was assisted on operating table, narrowly escaping a c-section, and when it came to emergency c-section with my 2nd (not a real emergency, so it wasn’t traumatic at all thankfully), in spite of never wanting a c-section, it was a much better experience than first time. And while I won’t have a 3rd, I would definitely choose a planned c-section. (*sings Joni MItchel’s both sides now*)

  4. Love this post darling. With you on it all as you know and feel the same! After traumatic first emergency, I adored my elective. Was bliss. Happy birthday to beautiful Petite Pea, how can a year have come round so quickly!

  5. SonjaL says

    Happy Birthday and Thank you !! You made me think of my last two c-sections and for the first time I did not feel guilty.

  6. Happy Birthday Petite Pea from your birthday buddy A. 🙂 My labour with A. also completely redeemed and made up for my horrifying experience with my first. It was a natural birth, but she unexpectedly came out feet first. The fact that I managed that with minimal trauma made me feel on top of the world!

    Ah well, however they arrived, it is rather amazing to have a little one year old now, toddling about the house.

  7. Happy birthday to your little one! You made a decision that was right for you, and that’s what matters, right? Enough of judgmental people who tell you what to do and how you will feel!

  8. Happy birthday, PP! My two births were the same as yours, emergency followed by elective. While the first was difficult it was in no way as traumatic as yours. The second was absolutely wonderful though so I hold that in my mind as though both happened that way.

  9. Chiswick mum says

    Great blog entry – as usual! I had a long drawn out birth followed by emergency c- section with my DS…had the birth pool blown up, the hypno birth cd ready on repeat, the champagne chilling… Oh innocent times 😉

  10. Thank you for empowering me to ask for one across the pond. Happy Birthday Pea and congratulations on surviving and thriving Year 1, MM!

  11. Wow, a year already. Happy BIrthday!
    Women should definitely do what is best for them and the baby during childbirth. No guilt needed.

  12. Happy birthday PP!
    I am so glad your second birth was better. My first one was similar, emergency c-section, baby nearly died – second one not much better (long story) but I do remember being heavily advised to go for natural birth again, something I really did not want to do. I do think women’s mental health should be taken into account when considering VBAC.

  13. Such a beautiful child. Big fat birthday hugs to her. Hope you and Mr have toasted her birthday -and your great achievement ( a year! You made it!!) with a glass of something chilled, French and bubbly. Xxx
    Ps- I too opted to bypass the weeping-when-you-sneeze -3 times! In the past three years it was honestly the only break I got. For that alone I would recommend it…

  14. cheryl says


    I felt compelled to leave a comment, I experience the exact same thing with my first child, who was born Oct 09, had a wonderful pregnancy and it all ended in a 3 day nightmare of my baby being stuck, me in a complete Haze of exhaustion and drugged up and my poor husband feeling terribly scared and unable to do a thing, in the end he pushed for a c section for me, as I was in no way able to fight for one, it was that bad, the end result a lovely gorgeous baby boy but a set of shell shocked parents who suffered terribly to start with and it certainly wasn’t the happy birth I had wished for, for myself or my son.

    So when I fell pregnant a 2nd time and was due May 12, I heard that elective c sections were an option, I did hesitate, I wasn’t prepared to go through it again or put my baby through it.

    On the day of my 2nd baby boys birth, I made myself look preety (huge I was, but I wanted to ‘feel’ myself not a mess like last time) I walked in calmly, joked with my husband before the op and felt happy, calm, excited.

    Then I had my epidural and in I went to meet my baby, smiling, albeit a bit scared but thanks to the most amazing drs, I delivered a healthy boy and it helped me and my husband ‘get over’ what happened

    It restored our faith!
    I loved being a mummy 2nd time around from the word go! I was determined to get up and move around and feed my baby with no assistance, I had to make it work and I did and I am so proud of myself and my gorgeous boy

    Happy birthday to your gorgeous girl!


  15. I’m so glad!

    I have a nasty feeling that, having discovered your blog just before you gave birth first time round, I might have left some unhelpful comments. I was quite into the importance of “natural” birth, and wanting women to avoid being over-medicalised, at the time. I seem to remember encouraging you not to worry about the baby being late, but letting Mother Nature take her course bla bla bla. If I added in any way to the pressure that so many women feel over the C-section/non-C-section issue, then apologies now (though as you say, it wasn’t a choice for you at the time).

    Sneeze wee-free!

  16. Rachel says

    You do not mention the fact that recovering from a c-section is a lengthy, painful process. You need support 24/7 for nearly 3 weeks. I had a emergency c section nearly a year ago after 20 hrs of labouring on gas and air and it was terrible. I couldn’t walk for 1 week properly. Couldn’t get onto the sofa to rest with my baby, the first night at home I slept sat up as your tummy muscles have been cut through. Yes, it’s calmer if you choose it before it becomes an emergency (and I probably would again after my trauma, like met mum) BUT for those who may think it’s an easier option than natural birth) it’s not. The recovery is awful, full of pain for a good few months.

  17. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you for your comment. I get where you are coming from, but I somewhat disagree. Recovery from a planned section is a walk in the park compared to an emergency section. I have been up on my feet on the day after the section, perfectly able to hold, handle and feed my new baby. I have spent most of the first two weeks on the sofa (a little sore, but not in pain, I hasten to add) – but isn’t that what you are supposed to be doing after a new baby anyway?
    Compared with friends of mine who gave birth naturally and couldn’t sit, walk or pee for weeks, or even worse, had to undergo reconstructive surgery, I still think my recovery was fairly easy. And the complete lack of emotional trauma was the icing on the cake.
    Finally, there isn’t a universal truth to how giving birth is better or easier. It’s a bit of a lottery with a thousand things that come in and influence the outcome of how you give birth. In that sense: good luck for the (potential) next time! 🙂 Dxx

  18. Happy Birthday P! My friend just had an elective C section and like you raves about the whole experience, she had no previous trauma- though she had read an above average ammount of scary stories on the internet I think! she just felt that she wanted an elective C section- this was her first baby but I think if she has more she’d always go this way. I have no idea what I would do, I wish the medical profession would be more honest about the after effects of both and then people could make a more informed decision.

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