posted by Megan Wadsworth on May 10

I’m three months into baby number three. Lucas. He’s divine. And we are tired. They say write what you know and as having a newborn is all-encompassing, this is about the only thing I know at the moment.  It’s not a bad topic for this forum as the UK does seem to differ greatly from the US in regards to childbirth.

More and more American woman are electing to have cesarean sections over normal births these days for no medical reason. They just don’t want go through the whole labor ordeal. This is what many UK woman refer to as ‘Too Posh Too Push’. I don’t think this would register as an insult to an America woman, as being called ‘posh’ is quite exciting, but it’s not a terribly respected choice over here. I never thought of it as a problem until I found myself pregnant five years ago, not in the US but in the UK. I have since had quite the education.

My husband and I attended ante-natal classes the first time around, as you do. We had to miss one class in the six week course but I wasn’t worried. That was to be the class on homebirths and I wasn’t remotely interested in that. I’m American. We don’t really believe in such things useless you are uninsured, a hippie, involved in some religious cult, or any of the above. I was shocked to find on our return the next week that more than half the class seemed to be considering said lunacy. I jokingly mentioned they could have fun but I was headed out to the hospital for some drugs. I was particularly looking forward to the gas and air they give you here. We stayed after that night for a chat with the instructor. In that hour I became completely convinced that a home birth was exactly what I wanted. Brainwashed? Maybe.  But I’ve have other friends who have had a similar epiphany after educating themselves in just the smallest degree. 

I don’t know what homebirth statistics are like in the US but over here they have a very high success rate. Part of the brilliancy of the way it all works is how it’s all seen as an extension of the hospital. Once you go into labor your home effectively becomes an offsite delivery room. You get two midwives at your service whose only focus is you AND they bring gas and air. Brilliant. If there are any problems they are seen early on and you are brought in to the hospital to a well informed staff that is completely ready for you. If it’s a c-section that’s needed the time it takes to get to the hospital is what it takes to prep the theater for surgery so there really isn’t much of a difference there. Admittedly, being transferred to hospital by ambulance does sound terribly dramatic. However, I know a woman who had it happen to her and she barely remembers it. What she does remember is the time she had at home and is grateful for it. I was a believer.

While I still feel a homebirth is a great option, I’m totally full of it because I’ve never actually had one. I had my third c-section on the 15th of February this year. I was advised in my first pregnancy that due to the monster size of my baby and his inconvenient position, that I should go to the hospital as chances were I was going to need a c-section in the end anyway. I did stay at home as long as possible, which was lovely, and eventually ended up with an emergency c-section 18 hours in. Oh well. It’s rare these things happen according to plan anyhow.

The first c-section was unplanned but the last two were scheduled. I’m certainly not too posh to push but there are perks to c-sections. Scheduling a birth is great. I set the alarm, took a leisurely shower and arrived at the hospital in plenty of time. By mid morning you have a baby. Magic. The recovery sucks but nothing for me is worse than the final stages of pregnancy. I have huge babies.  We now have our newest addition and the way he got here is a distant memory.

What both countries have in common is the emphasis that is put on the birth, something that is over in moments. Once that’s all out of the way your troubles, combined with moments of absolute bliss, really begin…

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

6 Comments to “Too Posh Too Push”

  1. Travis DeLoach Says:

    I really enjoy your blog Megan, thanks for putting it out there. You’ve touched on a lot of the situations and emotions that come with being an expat! I too lived in England for almost a year( Blakeney, in North Norfolk) but never considered it as being a home. Sometimes I wonder where home is now. The home of my youth full of family, friends and simpler times. Then I look at my boys and realize,as you wrote, that “home” is wherever they are. Bon vent et gros bisous. Travis

  2. Kim Mercure Says:

    Love your perspective Megan. I am with you girl. I have 3 kids also, and the last two pregnancies were scheduled c-sections. My first pregnancy was awesome, but the birth itself was torture. I pushed and pushed for 5 hours and his positioning was all wrong, (I probably should have had a c-section, they thought he was huge, but actually I have a small pelvis). Nevertheless, I got to experience naturally painful childbirth. My second child was breach, so that choice was made for me. The third was also a c-section, naturally. I have to say that the pain following my first child’s birth really kept me from truly enjoying the beginnings of motherhood. With both c-sections, there was a lot less anxiety for me personally. I was more relaxed and got to enjoy the time with my bundle of bliss, rather than having to focus on the pain. Yes, the c-section recovery was longer, but I would take a painful stomach over an episiotomy any day.

  3. Mark Says:

    You’re pretty posh…however it sounds like you have more options in the UK which has got to be better. This way you can have your “C” and know what you’re doing.

    A co-worker’s wife just had her first. She was super in control and said natural or nothing. Hardcore. You know she got that epidural so fast it made his head spin!

    Say hey to Lucas. M.

  4. Pam Says:

    I love how true you are to your blog name: the floating expat. Always speaking to one side and the other on any given issue. , As always, good work, Meg! Hugs to all.

  5. John Sarver Says:

    So, that is yet another reason why I am glad that it is you, i.e., women, that go through any of that drama. I liked seeing you at the end and I was such a support to mom through those hours, like 2, of labor. She would say, ‘Not!”
    However, it all seems to work rather well for you. Three beautiful kids are living proof! I love you, Megan!!!

  6. Pete Smith (Author) Says:

    Wonderful post. Get some sleep when circumstances allow.

Leave a Reply

Key Largo Florida Islamorada Florida Key West Fishing