Vaginal or Cesarean Delivery: I once saw a twitter post that said “You are pregnant and not mad”.
One truth that every man out there on the street carrying some sperm within their scrotum needs to understand is that pregnancy may also mean madness.
Basically if we were to define madness, we would say madness is when a person is out of their senses – A state of been folly. Pregnancy does actually make people mad.
As a young educated Nigeria woman, I dribbled through a lot while pregnant, there are days I really did not want to look good, there were days I was happy and there was days I was sad for no damn reason!
Pregnancy is often a choice between a man and a woman, but definitely bringing that little special human out, the method to be used should solemnly depend on the woman’s ability or disabilities. After carrying a little being who was growing inside of me for nine month, ate most of my food a lot of time, made me go the toilet a lot of time then I realised I can wake up and say, Oh! I want him out tomorrow, not because I’m tired but because I know and understand that he’s due and should be out.
As a first time mum, my baby actually did come out two weeks later than the EED(Estimated due date). That made me sick and worried, tired sometimes, and pained a lot of time. If I was white and I used a western hospital, maybe I must have told the doctor to get the baby out of me. There were days the pain was unbearable for me and I did wondered if my baby was going through those pain also.
I never thought of cesarean delivery, maybe because the of the frown the society had towards it or because of the assumption that a woman who gives birth through cesarean section is weak, and of course I won’t want anyone to assume me weak.
The truth about not wanting to be weak is a lot of women have died trying to prove to be the Hebrew women, give birth to that baby through vaginal woman!
When my baby finally decided to come, I was in labour for twenty four hours, the doctor already gave me an option of cesarean delivery and of course I was scared as a first time mum, the environment around me was too tensed to let me decide if that is what I really wanted also.
When I was in labour, a fellow pregnant woman fell in labour with me, after some hours like mine, she wasn’t progressing and was moved to cesarean delivery section, we gave birth almost the same time. She is moderately educated, I saw the rudeness in the eye of everyone who came to greet her in the hospital, in fact, a woman was bold enough to let her know she could have tried and ensure she had the vaginal delivery.
One of the first question that arose from the reaction from her cesarean delivery is ‘Can’t a woman decide she want to have a cesarean section naturally?’ But if I was to ask the questions correctly, ‘Can’t an African woman decide to have cesarean delivery without been frowned upon?’
For instance, some women right from the start of their pregnancy also scheduled cesarean as their best option, and various women across the world want to do cesarean delivery for various reasons, which includes the need to keep up a tight vaginal, the ability to maintain good shape faster depending on your body regeneration ability and lastly the fear of the pain or what might happen with labour and a lot of time, people opt for cesarean delivery because of inability of the pelvic to expand fully People die from pain that accompanies labour remember.
Whenever I think about how those twenty four hours of labour was like hell, it made me feel I could have done better for myself.
I remembered a friend of mine who gave birth to twins, I couldn’t even imagine if a woman had to go in labour for long interval and then the babies are two.
What if a woman carrying twin had about eight hour interval between birth, but this could have been avoided if cesarean delivery was done.
After I gave birth, I realized a lot of people in my generation would actually opt for cesarean delivery, also let me include that cesarean delivery didn’t make it to my option so because I really do not trust Nigerian doctors on stitching method, I’m not the type of person who would love to have some mark on my belly because someone didn’t stitch them well.
But what we are really looking at is, if you consider all this point and everything women go through during pregnancy, shouldn’t African women have the right to choose if they want vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery?
Like, you cannot say because you are my husband, you assume I would love to go through the pain of labour, I’m also not saying going through the pain of labour shouldn’t be appreciated, one thing I learnt from labour from labour pain is that life isn’t that complicated, life is tender and you can lose it within a blink of an eye. The value I placed on my life became higher after I gave birth, the value I play on life actually changed. Because I do understand from then, that a fellow human would almost die the bring in another life! Some of us die! We pray God grant them eternal Mercy.
Cesarean delivery is not a disease or an indication that a woman is weak, just like vaginal delivery is not an indication that a woman is strong, there are women who stay days in Lagos and give birth, there are women who spend hours in the labour room and felt the pain, they gave birth also. There are women who undergo cesarean delivery and gave birth also, the most important thing to consider is the birth of a new life.
This is the more reason Africa as a whole should start thinking about visualizing the right of women to decide if they want vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery.
The giving birth method should actually be a choice African women should be able to make choice without thinking about the stigmatization that come with it from the society at large.
Temi Badmus, Content Creator, Food Scientist and Nutritionist