Like many other women, Priscilla Canice-Obi wanted to give birth like the ‘Hebrew woman’ but at the point of death, she had to have a caesarean section.
Barely four months after her first child, she got pregnant again. But this time, she was prepared to have her baby through C-section.
Having two successful C-sections in one year is no easy feat and Priscilla is not ashamed to let the world know. Infact, she wrote a book, “C-Section Mom, Super Mom!” to de-stigmatise C-section and to celebrate women who have their children through C-section.
In this interview with Sola Abe, Priscilla Canice-Obi shares her experience with C-section and what she wants the world to know about it.
On Why She Has Been Advocating For Caesarean Section
Oh yes, you are right about your observation. I am carrying out this enlightenment campaign for everyone out there, especially women. I want them to know that it is okay to have a C-section. C-section is a very valid means of childbirth.
Childbirth is not a function of strength or weakness. If you at any point need a C-section, do not feel bad about it, go ahead and have your baby via a C-Section. It simply means that you are reasonable enough to take the option that is best for you and your baby at the given time.
Let me make it clear at this point that my advocacy is not an anti-vaginal birth campaign. It is a campaign to enlighten the masses, erase the fear of C-section which leads to C-section aversion (avoiding a C-section when it is necessary can lead to infant/ maternal mortality) and also put an end to C-section stigmatization.
The Healing Process
Healing after a C-section involves many factors such as the state of your mind before the surgery, the support from family and loved ones etc. After my first C-section, I healed fast physically but emotionally and psychologically, I was broken.
I was depressed because I thought I had failed at childbirth and that God had abandoned me. But after my second C-section, I healed holistically and quickly too.
This time, I had already seen C-section for the miracle that it really is and so I was glad to be birthing my baby through a C-section. As a matter of fact, I was discharged from the hospital after 3 days.
If The Experience With CS Affected Her Psychologically
Absolutely! It had a horrible effect on me. In fact, while I was in the delivery ward to birth my first child, we were about 8 women in the ward.
Surprisingly, the other 7 women had their babies vaginally, I was the only woman among them who couldn’t have a vaginal birth and had to be rushed in for an emergency C-section. And so, I felt at the time that I had failed at childbirth. This led me into depression.
The Point She Accepted And Owned Her Experience
Something tragic happened. Few days before I had my second child, on the 24th of September 2017 to be precise, I lost my former housekeeper. She died at childbirth. The odds were against her for a vaginal birth.
She had a very hard labour, the baby survived but she bled to death. Personally, I believe her death could have been avoided if she had had the opportunity for an emergency C-section. She didn’t have that chance and she died.
I wasn’t told of her death until I had given birth to my daughter. I kept calling her line and her husband would pick up the phone to tell me she wasn’t around at the moment.
When I was finally informed of her death, it was devastating. I then realized that, just like her, I could have died at childbirth in my first childbirth experience (I laboured for 22 long awful hours), but a timely C-section saved my life and that of my baby.
Also, I decided to see the facts exactly as they were. The doctors informed me that I have a tight cervix, I was induced with about 4 packs of oxytocin (hot drips) during my first childbirth experience but my cervix just refused to dilate. So if not for a C-section, I would have been long dead.
Seeing all these, I decided to be grateful for the chance to be alive and the priceless privilege of being a mother.
On Family Support
Oh, very supportive. My husband and my mom were with me all through the experience. They never made me feel less for having my baby via a C-section. My family members were supportive in every way.
On Stigmatisation For Birthing Through CS
Well, I would say yes. Some people would actually ask how you birth your baby to determine if you are a strong or weak woman and when you say via a C-section, they begin to show pity and some would leave unfriendly remarks beneath their breaths.
On How She Felt When She Knew Her Second Child Was Going To Be Birthed Through CS
Oh, wonderful! By this time, I had gotten over the post natal depression and all that. As a matter of fact, I went in for my second C-Section as if I was going in for a vacation. I prepared ahead and I truly enjoyed the entire process.
On How The Second CS Went
During my second pregnancy, I had fears of my uterus (womb) tearing, because I got pregnant for my second baby barely 4 months after my first C-section but there was no such tearing. I had a very smooth pregnancy and a smooth/successful second C-section too.
The second C-section was a planned C-section. This meant that I had the opportunity of choosing the date for the surgery with my doctor ahead of time. I went in for surgery and my baby was out safe and sound. The surgery was over in about less than an hour.
Advice To Women Who Feel Less Because They Gave Birth Through Cs
Celebrate your incision scar my sister. You are a strong woman! Birthing your baby through C-Section is probably one of your life’s greatest blessings. It gave you the treasured privilege of being a mom. Because, where a vaginal birth attempt failed or proved risky, a C-Section saved both your life and that of your baby.
On How The Society Should See Women Who Deliver Through CS
C-Section Moms are Super Moms!
These women are cut open layer by layer and wide enough for a baby to be born. In fact, regardless of the pain of surgery, they begin nursing their babies just right after they exit the operating room. They are strong women who laid down their lives so that another life could begin. They should not be shamed; rather, they should be celebrated.