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I watched last night's episode with Keith, and wouldn't you just know it there were a pair of c-sections.

Despite it being a hanging offense to sneeze when the football is on, Keith decided that no such rules exist for my programmes and in fact audience participation was to be encouraged. That was an error on his part that was remedied with a swift "Will. You. Shut. UP!" at which point he retired into his copy of Classic Bike.

I thought I was going to hate the show last night, but actually I didn't. More than that, I genuinely celebrated the births of those babies as appropriate use of caesareans. One of the mothers, Hayley, was giving birth for the fourth time after having two babies who died at, or shortly after birth and who clearly carried a very heavy burden for her lost children. She was having an elective section because she couldn’t face the uncertainty of going through another labour.

I watched her sitting in her bed, going through the preparations with a midwife and her pain was etched into her face as clearly as if it were written in ink. There were tears in her eyes at the emotion of knowing she had brought this baby to term and that what was for her a stressful and traumatic state of uncertainty would soon be over.

Watching her I was profoundly sad that she still carried the burden of her lost children with her, and that nobody had been able to help her lay down those feelings of failure so she could enjoy her last pregnancy. I was also glad for her that she was able to take control of this birth by electing to have a section which clearly for her was the right decision.

Yup I did just say it, a caesarean was the right thing for her to do.

Maybe I take a contrary view to a lot of other NCTers, I think perhaps I do. I remember sitting at the conference last year and being shocked at the pantomime boos that came from the crowd during a discussion of hospital birth. I don’t really share that view, maybe because I don’t see nature as a soft, bountiful mother, but as a dispassionate observer who allows both great joy and beauty, but also great cruelty and suffering.

Anyway, the point is I believe most strongly that birth is a natural process, and sometimes that makes it a sad and bitter process. However, what I campaign for as a member of the NCT is for women to be given the right support to have the right birth.

Most of the time that means less interference, yes, but one size never fits all. Some women will never again believe in the power of their bodies to carry and birth a baby, and I don’t see that those women should be forced to labour when they can take control of that birth and opt for a section.

I think we sometimes overlook the mental implications of birth which has left so many women feeling broken and alone afterwards. I think forcing a woman like Hayley to labour would have been as damaging to her as it was to force a woman like me to have a section. It was amazing to see this couple have their pain respected enough to be given the choice to birth their baby in the right way for them.

This time, I think it was a job well done.

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