Given the Twittersphere and Blogospheres seem to be overloading on opinions regarding Caesarians and the NCT, I'm throwing my two penny's worth into the ring!
I left London and The Guardian behind and moved to commuter belt Surrey pregnant and knowing no one, with family a long drive away. Not the smartest move I ever made but the NCT group I joined became my lifeline.
Of the 8 of us 2 had C sections. I was certainly in no doubt as to what was going on, i felt well-educated and after 24 hours of screaming labour I was happy to be getting my xtra large baby out any which way! The only sense of outrage was that the two NCT friends who gave birth days earlier had managed it in 6-odd hours on gas, air and joy fullness!!
The support I received from the NCT was amazing, kind, helpful and understanding. No stigma, just women at their best, helping each other through.
They even paraded me a few months later to new groups as a working example of how to breast feed and "what to expect"
4 years on I had another, elective c section, this time an oasis of calm - my most abiding memory :
Me:(panicky) "The epidurals not working I can still feel!!"
Obstetrician: (calmly) "I sincerely doubt that Sarah, I've just lifted your baby out"
Of my 2 boys, the Emergency C section was born into a highly stressed environment to a terrified and incompetent first time mother. The second came calmly into this world, soft music and laughter. One slept soundly all night - one screamed heartily all night (guess which!!)
Both have grown up big, strong, smart, sporty and confident.
The C sections are many years behind me and although I was traumatised for years by the first (and I wish to god it had been planned, given the baby's position) the NCT helped me through - and you know what? I know girls who have all sorts of lingering issues from natural births years later - bad stitching, incontinence and ... Um... Internal changes ... Maybe you do too - so I thank god everything remained as it should after it was all over!!!