To think recovery from a csection is not necessarily harder than from a vb?

(150 Posts)
Cathycomehome Wed 21-Nov-12 23:18:08

Have had both. Second ELCS because of secondary tokophobia. I have a friend who is militant about home birth/natural childbirth. She states on her facebook pages"Recovery from section is painful, hard and unpleasant."

Not in my case.

I would have no issue if she'd said "can be", like I might say, "recovery from vb CAN BE painful, hard and undignified".

She also said to my face that "women like me" cause fear and put people off natural childbirth.

Devora Thu 22-Nov-12 00:47:05

Ooh I disagree, I think birth stories are endlessly fascinating! (Except for my own, strangely enough; revisiting it holds no charms.)

I've been lucky enough to be a birth partner a few times, and it is such a fantastic experience to witness how other women give birth. The first friend I supported in labour had a fantastic vb, almost Leboyerish. All the way through she was very quiet, very controlled, kept saying, "Do you know, this really doesn't hurt as much as I expected". Though she had said she would want the option of pain relief, when it came to it she felt she didn't need it.

The baby came out very quietly, eyes wide open, staring up at his mum the moment he was born. It was very calm, very beautiful, and of course not terribly typical.

it was a wonderful first birth to start with. It didn't make me unrealistic about birth, but it did show me what is possible (yes, if you're lucky).

Of course, it bore absolutely no comparison with my own experience of labour and birth: two nights of bellowing like a bison, followed by klaxons and rushing off to theatre. Not exactly Leboyer grin

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 00:58:23

Yeah!! Sorry. No idea what leboyerish is! Is that the cue for major drugs?

Again brilliant that you witnessed your friend pushing out her baby but its not for general consumption is it?

Don't get me wrong I am glad for your friend that she had you to support her and we all need that but you only have to go to a post natal group to witness the boredom on each woman's face( horror on the men's) as each woman recounts her 'story'.

I think it's good to read other people's birth stories, gives you some idea of what can happen. Some people go into labour with no idea about forcepts, bleeding or other things that can happen

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 01:48:01

gosh, you know a lot of stuff that other people don't, thebody. hmm

devora, i thought your story about your friend was lovely.

lisad123 Thu 22-Nov-12 01:52:25

Having had both I would much rather of had Normal birth than c section.

YANBU - your friend sounds a bit bonkers. I've had 3 births - 1 vb with painful tearing/stitching, an emcs and an elcs. The ELCS was by far the easiest recovery of the three. Surprisingly easy.

Of course a good, uncomplicated natural vb is optimum but there are no guarantees and the assumption that a c-sec recovery is always awful is wrong.

mathanxiety Thu 22-Nov-12 02:12:56

My great grandmother died while giving birth at home. So did her baby. By the same token my DSis only really recovered from her crash cs about 7 years later after a massive amount of physio to clear up adhesions left from a far too wide cut. I don't think either of them had the birth experience they would have considered ideal.

handsandknees Thu 22-Nov-12 04:39:04

Massive differences in experiences of both VB and CS on this thread alone, so obviously impossible to generalise.

I have had 3CS and no VB so can't compare. First 2 were emergencies after long labours, dc3 was elective after doctors felt same thing would probably happen again anyway. No differences in recovery (all fine), apart from me knowing how soon I should try to do things afterwards. The elective was actually the worst one, which was a bit disappointing, but it was due to the spinal not working properly so the actual operation was quite painful and I needed gas & air during the surgery.

The day after the CS I couldn't really move, but that got easier very quickly. The women on my ward who had VB were up and about much faster than me. However, speaking to friends who had difficult VBs, I think I got off lightly! If I did it again (which I won't) I would be more afraid of VB than CS, but maybe that's fear of the unknown.

I don't have any regrets about not having a VB, although I wonder if my tummy wouldn't have looked so terrible. I have the horrible CS overhang. Ah well, not a big deal really.

Impatientwino Thu 22-Nov-12 04:52:28

18 weeks after my ELCS and I'm still in quite a bit of pain at some points of the day - my stomach muscles aren't moving how they should and ache, my scar is uncomfortable and clothes rub on it.

Bending over/standing up with my baby is uncomfortable and it's getting me down quite a bit.

Nothing about childbirth is 'easy' so why women compare is beyond me

ELCS was not my choice but the safest way for my baby to be born so that was the main thing

The first day of my babies life I couldn't get out of bed and care for him as a mother should which I found terribly upsetting.

In my experience it is not an easy option or recovery but I'm glad some people have had a more positive experience.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 22-Nov-12 07:30:44

Better based on what criteria backinthebox?

It is comments like yours that cause upset and feelings of inadequacy.

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 07:40:56

Aitch, totally don't understand your post. Just because I am not really interested in birth stories doesn't mean 'I know a lot' what a daft thing to say.

As I too also said I was very glad that the poster was there for her friend.

Birth stories are unique to you. No two people have the same birth. So really sharing them many be interesting for the person involved but sheds bugger all light on somebody else's experience.

However I do dislike the competitive ' my birth was far more gruesome than your' story. Read the threads it's there.

It does nothing to inform or help pregnant women and often causes great distress. I was a nurse and can defiantly vouch for this.

I am glad that my 4 and me survived childbirth which is infinitely more safe today than it was for our grandmothers.

It's one day in your life and an infinitesimal part of being a parent.

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 07:44:03

And op yeas your friend is a massive twat.

If she's a militant home birth guru then good for her, but do tell her to shut up as noone else cares one toss how she pushes her baby out. It's boring.

Herrena Thu 22-Nov-12 07:50:31

I think some people can get upset if a VB is referred to as 'normal/natural', because it implies you're abnormal/unnatural if you didn't have one or don't want one. Or at least people can take it that way, such is the swirling cloud of guilt that seems to surround this topic.

I sometimes refer to VB as 'ordinary' birth because being out of the ordinary isn't always taken as being a negative thing but then I'm a bit of a stirrer

I went into the birth experience (both times) with the stated aim of 'emerging from it with a live baby and not being too battered myself'. I was lucky enough to get my wish both times so I'm counting them both as good smile

I'd block your so-called friend on FB and let the relationship drop OP, she doesn't sound like she has any emotional intelligence at all at least not for naughty birthers like you wink

The last comment is NOT to be taken seriously, please don't flame me!

HiggsBoson Thu 22-Nov-12 07:53:15

I think you are BOTH BU.

Your friend sounds like a twat, but you had an ELCS, which is MUCH easier to recover from than, say, an emcs which has taken place after a 36 hour labour.

I was in hospital for a week after mine and it took months to recover.

HippieHop Thu 22-Nov-12 08:10:48

My emergency c section was pretty awful in terms of my epidural not fully working and the recovery time, not helped by the fact I had twins to look after which made it more difficult.

It does annoy me when it is perceived as an easy option though- it's major surgery fgs. I did work with one woman who delighted in telling anyone who would listen how she was scrubbing the floor the day after coming out of hospital after having her section hmm

You just can't generalise. My recovery from a long VB with forceps was better than my recovery from an emcs after 7-8hrs in labour. I could see with an elcs, if you went in well rested and relaxed and had your section during the day (my emcs was 4am so I was suffering from lack of sleep as well) your recovery might be easier than a tough VB.

FestiveDigestive Thu 22-Nov-12 08:59:44

Your friend sounds like a cock.

I had an emergency c-section after a long labour & I felt a bit bruised & battered for about two weeks. After an ELCS I was up & about feeling fine after one week. I didn't think that either recovery period was THAT bad - but then I suppose I have nothing to compare it to. Plus I was taking the strongest painkillers I could find for two weeks on both occasions.

Backinthebox Thu 22-Nov-12 09:21:58

Alibaba, "Better based on what criteria backinthebox?

It is comments like yours that cause upset and feelings of inadequacy."

Please read the first first of my post that stresses how much everyone's experience is different and that it is pointless to compare, as (without saying it in so many words) comparison pisses people off. The second, tongue in cheek paragraph, was designed to show that everyone has an opinion based on their own experience that will not necessarily apply to everyone else. Obviously my irony passed you by.

For me, the CS with klaxons and panic, blood loss, parts of me being cut through that shouldn't have been, baby and me nearly dying, a night in intensive care and 4 days in HDU and 3 days in SCBU for my baby was definitely less preferable to the birth where my baby accidently plopped out in the corner of the bedroom before I even had the chance to decide whether I was in labour or not. Of course, if your comparison is a VB with massive tearing and damage followed by a long recovery, or a calm ELCS with your choice of whale music playing while your DH joyfully hands the baby to you, your thoughts would be very different to mine. I am absolutely convinced that there will be no 2 women on this thread who have had exactly the same experiences, so why does everyone get so hung up on comparing and competing?

FlangelinaBallerina Thu 22-Nov-12 09:44:07

Depends entirely on the particular VB and CS doesn't it? Obviously an uncomplicated VB with no epidural because the woman didn't feel the need for one is easiest, and an EMCS after several days of labour, unsuccessful interventions and a GA is hardest. But between that, there's a continuum. Plus, some people's fanjos are more suited to VB than others. Some people heal more quickly from surgery than others. Some people's stitched perineums don't get as sore as others. One might heal very well physically from an EMCS but get PTSD anyway, or have a really easy birth but find the internals impossible to deal with. We're all different, so it's impossible to quantify. Two women could have identical birth experiences but recover in totally different ways.

MerryMarigold Thu 22-Nov-12 09:47:05

Same here. I had a horrible VB and it took over 3 months to recover. I had a CS with twins and it was great, better in a couple of weeks. Less pain, less hassle in cleaning it up etc. Emergency CS's can be harder but planned ones are great.

Kethryveris Thu 22-Nov-12 09:47:55

never had a c-section, but in my second VB i had to have an emergency episiotomy because of shoulder dystocia. The stitched split and they left me to heal naturally.

it took a total of 6 months for that epi to heal closed. 6 months of bleeding, pain, sitting on cushions, having to clean it after every trip to the toilet.

Recovery from that was horrendous.. recovering from a Cs would have been quicker!

MerryMarigold Thu 22-Nov-12 09:56:00

"...so why does everyone get so hung up on comparing and competing?"

I think because the VB 'camp' can be so militant about it, plus it plays into all those natural feelings about doing it the way you have been designed to do it. It just makes the views very unbalanced. I have a couple of friends who had emergency CS's and felt like complete failures after their births. They were determined to do VBs the next time. In one case, her doctors advised her that CS would be best for her, plus she has had 3 late miscarriages but because of this ridiculous pressure, she felt that she had to try a VB. I shared my CS story with her and it gave her the confidence/ relaxation/ security (can't think of a better word, but I think their probably is one) to go with the CS.

KitCat26 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:02:26

For me DD1's vaginal birth was much much harder to recover from. Forceps, third degree tear a pph followed by physio and iron tablets for 6mths. Then double incontinence from 30wks in second pregnancy (thankfully not permanent).

DD2 ELCS was blissful by comparison.

Obviously everyone's experience is different but for me the ELCS was truly wonderful. But I don't fancy having anymore!

Your friend is odd.

cheesesarnie Thu 22-Nov-12 10:03:42

Every birth and every woman is different. It's not a competition!

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Thu 22-Nov-12 10:06:51

I've had 4 csections and they were all completely different from each other as I would imagine vb are. I had one that took me months to recover from and one that was amazing and 2 weeks later was fully recovered.

My friend had vb's and tore horrendously both times, I don't think she'd say vb was easier. And I've got friends who've had lovely calm drug free home births.

I think your friend is a bitch for blaming you for other women having sections. She's no friend. Dump the cow.

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