by Dr. Noah O. Olaomo
Have you had a Caesarean Section? Do not think it is an evil or an affliction that has befallen you. Neither is it that our good Lord forsook you in your hour of need. Caesarean Section is a life saving procedure that the Almighty has allowed the doctors to master its act and art to make reproduction less hazardous for mankind.
I do not know why, but from my undergraduate days, I had fallen in love with the specialty of Medicine that care for reproductive life of a woman from the newborn to the postmenopausal. I delight in being used of God to make women conceive and deliver safely. In the course of over a decade of practice, I have seen where WRONG APPLICATION OF FAITH, IGNORANCE AND OUTRIGHT FOLLY have made women and their partners reject Caesarean Section saying it is evil and that it is not their portion. The consequences have been less than awesome. A few instances will suffice;
There was this beloved wife of her husband; the second wife who occupied a special space in her husband’s heart. She was in labour, toiling to bring to life after her kind. With diligent monitoring of the mother and the unborn child, it was discovered that the baby was in distress. She was not refused. Everyone around pleaded with her. Her husband begged her but to no avail. And life gradually ebbed away from the child. She finally delivered a fresh dead baby (stillborn) and “her eyes opened” but it was too late. When we sensed she was becoming desperate and we do not want a case of stolen baby, we had to protect other women and their newborns.
Also, I once had a wonderful patient. She was easy to relate with and she wonderfully complied; she has a twin in her womb. I monitored her pregnancy till she was due. To my utmost surprise, she did not present in the hospital when in labour. I do not know if it was the counselling about possibility of CS or the influence of her husband, kit and kin that made her do this. She went to the house of a TBA (Traditional Birth Attendant). The first of the twin was successfully delivered but the second one would not bulge. After an unwholesome delay, she presented to me. I was livid with rage. What a waste of precious 9 months. The baby was dead and it was in an abnormal position. She still had the CS for a dead retained second twin.
There was also the story of a gainfully employed woman who was unfortunate to be managed in labour majorly by a set of Faith Based Birth Attendants. She was her family breadwinner. She was said to have had 2 previous Caesarean Sections. May be it was the fear of another CS that made her seek for an alternative. She eventually ruptured (burst) her womb. She died leaving behind her children. A woman who has had 2 previous CS should never be allowed to labour herself. She is to have repeated the procedure.
Another woman was presented with high blood pressure and convulsions in pregnancy. This is what we refer to as “eclampsia”. The standard treatment for this is immediate delivery usually CS. However, after counselling them for an urgent CS, the husband requested that I speak with their Pastor. The Pastor after ascertaining that I am a Christian, requested that I place my hand on the woman’s tummy and shout seven halleluyahs to avert the CS claiming CS is not her portion. I bluntly refused. I subsequently counselled the man that if the pastor contribute to his wife’s death through the misguided and ignorant counsel, he will have himself to blame. I made him realize I am also a Pastor. I believe in miracles and have experienced miracles of differing types.
Who knew then if the Pastor was somewhere enjoying a bowl of pepper-soup with his wife while endangering the life of another man’s wife. The husband listened to my counsel and the surgery was successful.
I can share another example of the negative influence of religious leaders was that of a man who was told that he should never allow his wife during pregnancy to be examined by hospital workers so as not to prevent others from seeing her nakedness. The wife laboured at home, could not deliver and eventually had CS in the hospital. They lost the baby. All religions are at fault but Christian leaders seem to misguide their members with regards to CS more from my experience. However, there are wonderful Pastors who support their members in taking lifesaving decisions when it comes to issues relating to life and death of the mother and the baby respectively.
It is a disaster when a woman dies because of pregnancy, labour and related issues. Who takes care of the children left behind? Who comforts the sorrowing families? What if she was the breadwinner? The hope of the family is dashed, the labours would be in vain, the expenses incurred did not yield the expected result and the travails of nine months wasted just because the fear of CS is the beginning of folly.
Caesarean Section is not evil. It saves the lives of mothers and their babies. Do not because of the cost of CS endanger your life and that of the unborn child. A living dog is better than a dead lion. GOD IS NOT AFRAID OF MEDICINE AND SCIENCE. HE IS THE AUTHOR OF THEM BOTH. Caesarean Section is the work of His hands made known to men.
Dr Olaomo Noah Oluwafemi is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist with a love for writing. His desire is to enhance people’s lifestyle and effect positive change in their health through his writings.