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Untold Stories With Maman Christelle

You have a choice
I had been cut twice before and now the consultant says, “you MUST have another caesarean section, or your uterus will rupture.”

I said, “rupture? Uterus? Why?” She responded, “because you have already had two c-sections”. “Two emergency c-sections”, I responded. She said “Yes, two! So trying to have a vaginal birth at this stage is too dangerous, it’s a risk we do not want to take because it could leave your baby brain damaged”.
I was shocked! I was not prepared for this sort of conversation. I said to her, “But there is nothing wrong with me”. She said, “Yes there is, you have had two c-sections and trying for a vaginal birth will be too dangerous for the baby, so again, we cannot take that risk”. I said, “I had two emergency c-sections due to unnecessary medical interventions”. She said, “Let me check your notes”. I was shocked that she had not read my notes fully, but she has already decided for me. She then looked at my file and said, “just because you do not have any medical conditions does not mean that there is no risk. Like I said, we cannot support a vaginal birth in your condition”.
I said, “My condition? What condition?” The consultant and I argued for over half an hour and with each response she said, “Your uterus will rupture, and your baby will be brain damaged”. I was defeated. I was despondent.

This was not just about bringing a child into this World. It was also about me, as a Mu Rega. For the women of the Rega Tribe in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Vaginal Birth is like a rite of passage into motherhood. This does not mean that that women
who have not given birth vaginally hold less value. It simply means that vaginal birth is encouraged and taught. Women prepare for this even before they are pregnant and during birth, crying is strictly forbidden. Upon hearing “uterus rupture and brain damage” I knew that the welfare of my unborn baby outweighed my need to experience a vaginal birth, like all the Ba Rega women who had come before me. I signed the consent form which lists “death” as possible side effect and was given an appointment, to be cut, again.

When I arrived home, I tried to accept that I will never experience the one thing I had wanted to experience my whole life. I had always known that I had a choice but somehow it had been taken from me. I called for help. I called Holistic Habibah, who told me to call Holding her Space for a second opinion. I called for help and Nai answered. She told me “you have a choice. Make sure you tell them what you want.

They might make you feel like you don’t have a say in this matter, but you have to know that you have a say, and they should support you in your decision”. After speaking to Nai for 45 minutes, I was empowered enough to call my midwife and asked to speak to another consultant because I was adamant about having a vaginal birth. 3 weeks later, I had a vaginal birth. What a marvellous experience it was! There was neither uterine rupture nor brain damage. There was only gratitude to The Giver of Life.