I started blogging when my son was almost six months old, so (fortunately for you) there has been a distinct lack of pregnancy and birth chat.
It never really occurred to me to overthink the actual giving birth bit of making a baby. I like to live in denial and I guess, as suggested by my friend in her brilliant guest blog, I just didn't think the whole contractions and pain malarkey actually applied to me.
Turns out, it didn't.
I gave birth to both of my children, or perhaps more accurately had them surgically extracted, by elective cesarean section.
When my daughter presented breech in a scan at 30-odd weeks I was suddenly glad I hadn't really paid attention in the NCT classes.
With a knowing smile, I accepted my fate. This was probably due in part to the fact that I had also been a breech baby some 30 years previous. Like mother, like daughter. She wasn't going to turn; she - like me - was an upside-downy and when she refused to budge, despite all the ridiculous looking exercises to turn her, I had no hesitation in taking their recommendations to go for a section.
It wasn't exactly a walk in the park, I have to say.
The section was due to take place on a Monday, and late the previous Friday I received a voicemail telling me it had been cancelled with no rescheduled date. In fact I was kept waiting until the following Thursday, and I spent close to a week wallowing in misery and bathwater like an angry hippopotamus.
The process itself was as civilised as baring yourself to a room full of strangers, being sliced open while entirely immobile and weeing into a bag can be. I giggled my way through the spinal, in the same way that I giggle my way through my wedding, because I am incapable of responding appropriately to any situation unless the appropriate response is to giggle.
The recovery process was long; it knocked me for six really.first time mum is hard enough, struggling with being unbalanced (hormonally speaking) and breastfeeding, and then adding into the biggest surgery I had ever had... Well, I don't think I realised how limiting it would be, or for how long. Not driving for six weeks was a huge pain in the arse.
The second time around, I decided to go for a VBAC.
It wasn't a decision borne out of anything other than practicality; although nothing I'd heard about labour or natural births really made me keen to try, I figured that it must be easier to run after a toddler without severe abdominal surgery.
However, at 40 weeks he showed no signs of appearing and unable to get up to use the loo let alone cope with a toddler who was busy discovering the flailing, wailing tantrum (an art she has since perfected) I signed the papers and set a date. I wasn't disappointed; perhaps even a bit relieved that I wouldn't be dealing with the unknown.
Did I ever feel like I failed?
Well, no, I must say it never even occurred to me to think that. I had my babies, I'd grown them and kept them safe and was more worried about the taking them home and trying not to kill them bit (which, by the way, I am totally doing). Nor did I worry about the bond I would have with my children. Perhaps being a section baby myself, with a fairly good relationship with my own mother, the fears just weren't there. I strongly believe that how you birth your baby is entirely irrelevant to the person they become, or the relationship you will have.
I know there are various insults handed out to C-section mums by ignorant people and trolls looking for a reaction...
I suppose a small part of me wonders what labour is like, how I would have coped, whether it would have been an empowering experience. The much, much bigger part is grateful that I have two beautiful (if somewhat maddening) children and a pristine fandango.