Mum's Life

One mum's C-section experience: 'I still felt battered and bruised for weeks after'

Mum-of-three, Kirsty McKenzie, has been through it all. 

She has experienced a vaginal birth and a C-section, and yet both brought a world of joy to the mum as she held her babies in her arms.

It's been 20-weeks since Kirsty brought her youngest daughter, Hannah, into the world, this time by caesarean. 

However, the mum was left surprised by a number of things during her C-section that has left her wondering about the stigmas which have been endured by many mums. 

"I have to admit, the c-section recovery has been a slow one. Much slower than my first two births, which is to be expected I suppose. It’s taken me by surprise though."

"It was hard to wrap my head around the changes I think. I’d been through the natural birth recovery twice before, and I had to make a huge shift in the way I thought about myself, and my body this time around."

"I still felt battered and bruised for weeks after, even now sometimes. I had pains in places that I wasn’t used to, my stomach was still tender, and I didn’t want to push it too far, just in case."

But what was even more surprising to the mum was the fact that she had very few people to discuss the recovery period with: "It's almost like it’s a dirty word."

"People ask how the recovery is going, and when I answer honestly, they look dumbfounded. I’m like, ‘Well, she wasn’t coming out the other way, so whatcha gonna do eh? Time to try out the sun roof’."

"I had started to think that maybe all the anxiety I felt over the C-section, was all in my head. That the judgement and pressure wasn’t really there, that I’d just made it up because I was scared – which lead me to make the choices that I did."

"Once it had been done though, I didn’t feel the way I thought I would. I don’t feel anything negative about it at all really."

Nonetheless there are still occasions where the mum will come across someone who shares a little judgement on her choice, explaining to her the ways in which the human body is 'supposed' to work. 

"I guess the difference now is, that I know without a doubt where we would be without that option – and it’s not somewhere I want to go. Ever."

"For the sake of my girls, I hope that one day we don’t have to sit on one side of the birthing fence, or the other. That one day we just talk about it as ‘birth’. All the birth."

We feel it's unfair to judge mums for the way they choose to bring their baby into the world. It's every mums choice, and each individual's story is unique to them. 

Thanks to Kirsty for sharing hers with us – and we hope one day we can all talk about all births too. 

Would you like to be part of our Mums Who Inspire series? Simply email mumswhoinspire[at] and we'll feature your story (and, no, you don't have to be the best storyteller to get involved!).

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