Once a couple is pronounced husband and wife, especially in Africa, the blessings or prayers for children start rushing in. Twins. Triplets. Quadruplets. And people keep shouting Amen to the prayers. Although, the number and loudness of the “Amen” start reducing once it reaches quadruplets and quintets. The economic implications of feeding four or five mouths at the same time outweighs the desire for such multiple blessings. Even though breast milk is free, there is a lot more needed in taking care of a baby.
There is more
Something else that the wife is considering as the prayers resound in her ears. These children will not be printed out of a computer neither would twins be gotten by photocopying one baby to get another. She would have to carry the pregnancies and deliver the babies. That is no joke! The best any husband can do is be in the delivery room and fake-push along with her. But everybody knows who is doing the actual work.
The mode of delivery, in generations past, was not an issue. It was the pride of every woman to push, grunt and sweat through labor. The cry of the baby is her final comfort. It did not matter the age or height of the mother and no baby was considered too big to pass through the birth canal. Besides, there was even no way to decide how big the baby was seeing as most pregnancies stayed at home and were delivered there. No antenatal care, no ultrasounds, and no investigations. So, both the tall mother with a 3kg fetus and a short mother with a 4.5kg fetus were expected to rise up to the challenge and make their husbands proud. Many pulled through. And many died too.
This went on till the time of better awareness and acceptance of antenatal care and surgical delivery of babies, also known as caesarean section (C/S). It soon became obvious that certain conditions and circumstances call for C/S. These include certain medical conditions in the mother; heart disease, heart failure, sickle cell anemia with crisis, eclampsia, and pre-eclampsia, then, low-lying placenta (placenta praevia) or conditions in the baby; macrosomia (big baby), breech presentation, etc. These are conditions that require C/S.
Things are Changing
Now, there seems to be a rise in pregnant women opting for caesarean sections just because they prefer it to vaginal delivery. Caesarean sections are painless as there are anesthesia and adequate analgesia, they are fast and free of cramps, pain, stress and pushing and with no risk of vaginal/cervical tears or getting an episiotomy. It is clean and simple.
But, it actually carries more risks than the usual route. The woman can react to the anesthetic drugs, she might bleed a lot, get infections or adhesions post operation and if she has C/S twice, her subsequent deliveries would just have to be the same way.
So, which would it be?