too posh to push…

When I first heard the phrase ‘Too posh to push’, it was aimed at Victoria Beckham. She had given birth to her baby, I think it was Brooklyn, by caesarean section and as I was a big Posh Spice fan at the time, I thought it was an unfair criticism. As I was a teenager, I didn’t really think too much more about it but I’ve heard the phrase again after becoming a mum and it has started to annoy me for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, ‘Too posh to push’ implies that this is the ‘easier’ way to give birth. I don’t know about you but the idea of implying that giving birth one way is easier than another is absurd. It’s not as if you walk into a hospital, get cut open and take your baby home. It is a major operation. I lost 1.2 litres of blood during my second emergency caesarean and needed a blood transfusion. Does that epitomise being too posh to push?

Even if the operation itself goes smoothly, from what I’ve experienced and witnessed, the pain afterwards, risk of infection and scar healing are all things women have just dealt with. I’ve only ever had c-sections so I can’t compare but from what my friends have told me, neither way is more or less painful and both carry their share of risks and complications.

Secondly, the media was debating whether or not the Duchess of Cambridge would be ‘Too posh to push’ which leads me to the word ‘posh’ in this saying. Giving birth ‘as nature intended’ isn’t vulgar or for ‘common’ people. The reason a c-section could be called posh is because it requires a team of people which is therefore more expensive. In countries where women have to pay for health care having an elective caesarean is a sign that money probably isn’t an issue. But it doesn’t question why women might elect to have a child by caesarean during their pregnancy. Her health and her child’s is probably one of the main reasons a woman chooses to have a c-section. A celebrity however may have a baby by caesarean as they don’t want the father to miss the birth. It might sound superficial to some but is it so hard to understand why a woman would plan to give birth on a certain day so their partner can be present?

In a way I feel as though the whole, ‘Too posh to push’ saying is just another way for some people to criticise how you choose parent. It is similar to the breast or bottle feeding argument which heaps guilt on a mother for doing things a certain way. Women are criticised if they breastfeed and if the don’t then they are still made to feel guilty. Women are told they should give birth naturally, without painkillers but if they do then they are told that it is vulgar or they make others feel guilty. To

Will we ever find a balance? Can a mother ever give birth, feed, parent and work (or ‘stay at home’) without some form guilt? Bx

The Story of Heath’s Birth

Mr. Heath Denny arrived into our world on the 7th November 2014 and he certainly didn’t make a quick or easy entrance. I can’t be mad at him though as he’s a pretty cool lil dude. So what happened? Well, this is his birth story…

In the lead up to his due date, I’d had so many Braxton Hicks that the midwives had me convinced that he’d arrive close to D-Day (Due Date) and that all those practice contractions would aid an easy labour. Well, at 41 weeks, I was booked in for an induction, as he still hadn’t arrived, and I was dreading it. I’d been induced with Annabelle and it was awful. I really didn’t want to go through it again. So a few days later, at about 2am, I was extremely relieved to have, what I thought was my waters breaking. After a trip to the bathroom, I decided to wait for other symptoms before I’d wake Andy but something felt wrong. I’d give baby a poke and he wouldn’t move. I waited a few minutes and tried again. Nothing. After 20 minutes, he still wasn’t responding, which was so unusual that Andy told me to phone the maternity ward. They told us to come in to be observed, so we called my mum to come over and look after Annabelle and just as she pulled up outside our house, he wriggled. The relief was immense.

At the hospital, we were monitored and all was fine. The midwife checked if my waters had broken as she was also unsure but they hadn’t. During the inspection, she gave me a stretch and sweep (I really hate them!!) and then we were sent home.

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Hooked up to the monitors

At about 7pm the contractions started coming thick and fast. It took about an hour before they were four minutes apart, which was when I had been advised by my midwife to call delivery suite (as I had had a caesarean last time). As we were waiting for my mum to arrive, the Tesco delivery man turned up with our groceries. He was a bit flustered, bless him, but chuckled at the thought of telling his colleagues and family about his day!

We were back in the same bed that I had been in 20 hours earlier and at this point I still hadn’t slept. Every time I had a contraction the pain was so intense that I had to grit my teeth and grip the bed. Andy kindly offered his hand for me to squeeze but I bet he wished that he hadn’t! I couldn’t sleep or lie down to rest as it felt better to be moving around.

A couple of hours after our arrival, we were moved into the delivery suite and not long after, I had an epidural. I can’t quite remember if my waters broke naturally or if the midwife did it, most likely it was the latter because it was all a bit of a blur from then on. The lack of sleep, pain and stress I was feeling meant that I only have a few flashbacks from that night. I can remember Andy looking absolutely exhausted, what felt like the baby pressing on my bowels and the female doctors and midwifes complimenting my nail varnish (very random I know! It was Essie in Splash of Grenadine BTW).

Essie Grenadine

The well complimented nail varnish!

When I was 7cm dilated, it was between 1 and 2am, the doctor, Andy and I began discussing an action plan. The doctor had checked and baby wasn’t making good progress. His heart rate and mine were accelerated and he was showing signs of distress. As I was completely knackered at this point, we decided the only way forward was to have a c-section. Up until this point, I hadn’t wanted to go down this road as I know the postpartum recovery is much harder but realistically, there was no other option. Andy left to get into his scrubs, I removed my jewellery and was wheeled into theatre.

It was strange for me this time around to be conscious both before and after the caesarean as with Annabelle I was under general anaesthetic. Seeing the screen being placed over my body, the strange feeling as baby is removed and silence as we waited for baby to cry. It took a bit longer than hoped. All I could think was ‘please cry, please cry. Why isn’t he crying?’. Then he cried and I wanted to cry too. I think I had too many mixed emotions to though. I was still too worried and desperate to see what he looked like.

The best thing for me was seeing my little man for the first time. It was too amazing for words, especially seeing Andy’s face filled with tears and imagining that that was his reaction when Annabelle was born. All I could do was kiss him while I was getting my stitches but I desperately wanted a cuddle. It was so hard being patient! We talked about his name and decided on Heath.

Baby Boy Names

Our baby boy shortlist

Heath Denny. Our beautiful little bundle of joy. Born at 3.45am on 7th November 2014 weighing 7lbs 12oz. We love you lots. Bx