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.

WorraLiberty Wed 21-Nov-12 23:20:11

It's all down to the individual.

Bit of an odd friend though

She's a bitch. YABslightyU. Statistically, CS are a bit more to get over than a 'routine' VB. However, I had a great, no problems CS and found it a snap in comparison to people I know with complicated VBs.

MmeLindor Wed 21-Nov-12 23:20:37

Your friend sounds rather unpleasant.

I have had both and bounced back after my VB, took weeks to recover from CS.

Might have been due to the fact that it was a crash section.

Your friend is the one causing fear. What about women who for medical reasons cannot have a VB?

LAlady Wed 21-Nov-12 23:22:21

My emergency section (following a long labour, failed forceps etc) took me a long time to get over. My elective section was much easier to recover from.

Anonymumous Wed 21-Nov-12 23:22:24

I haven't had a C-Section, but I would expect it to be painful, hard and unpleasant TBH. I have never understood why anyone would choose to do it unless it was a matter of life and death - my friends and I were all terrified of ending up with one!

On the other hand, if you have experience of both and your friend doesn't, then your knowledge trumps hers. And mine! I am shocked at your friend's dismissive "Women like you" comment. Women like that put me off being friends with them. Leave the bastard!!! smile

Cathycomehome Wed 21-Nov-12 23:25:00

She is an odd friend, worra. We were at college together; I do like her, but I think we are becoming more and more different. She posted a facebook thing for her home birth group recently about "birth choices" which in my view was only about "how not to give birth any other way than home birth without medication"

GrimAndHumourless Wed 21-Nov-12 23:25:32

and she is your friend because?

just let the relationship dwindle away

Primrose123 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:28:59

I've had both. My VB was long, painful and traumatic, ended with forceps and stitches, and it took me a long time to recover. My planned CS was calm and painless, and my recovery was much quicker.

Cathycomehome Wed 21-Nov-12 23:30:56

Same here, primrose.

paddyclamp Wed 21-Nov-12 23:31:05

what a fruit loop she sounds .... having had both types of birth i'd go for the section every time...didn't hurt at all, i just took everything they offered me - it was great smile

larks35 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:31:21

I can't compare as I've had 2 VBs. But although the stitches I needed for DC1 and the serious piles I got after DC2 were irritating, I don't think that was as bad as recovering from a CS. I was in a ward after DC2 was born because she was induced after waters breaking but no labour, the other women on the ward were all post CS. I think those early hours/days were much harder for them as they were less mobile and seemed to be suffering more pain.

I think your "friend" sounds like a pain, hard-nosed and unpleasant herself.

WilsonFrickett Wed 21-Nov-12 23:34:45

I think recovery from birth is painful, hard and unpleasant tbf. I don't really believe in these people who skip away from it, baby in one hand, endorphins in the other. And ive certainly never met one in RL. But I digress. She is being insensitive and stupid. An ELCS is not the same as going 'do you know what, I dont give a fuck and I really am too posh to push'.

I would defriend or at least block. You're living with tokophobia (me too and I think you're amazing for managing a second dc. I couldn't do it), you don't need arses like that popping up on your fb feed.

wheresmespecs Wed 21-Nov-12 23:34:51

yanbu - there are a wide range of experiences with both births. One problem with cs's in general is that emcs tends to be used as the benchmark, and they tend to be a lot 'worse' and harder to recover from. It's a bit like taking an agonising traumatic vb with umpteen interventions and a 4th degree tear as standard and saying 'there, that's what they are all like!'

Attitudes towards planned cs in particular are so complex and emotional though. I don't know what your friend's ishoos are, but you don't need to let her problems become yours, iyswim.

Cathycomehome Wed 21-Nov-12 23:35:21

whispers the section was so much better, I'm thinking seriously about dc3! After the vb, it took me twelve years to contemplate pregnancy! Ds2 is 4 months old....

VivaLeBeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 23:38:23

I hope you're blocking her on Facebook?

Cathycomehome Wed 21-Nov-12 23:42:59

I dunno. When we used to see each other regularly, I really liked her. She has gone SO obsessed with so called "natural" birth though.

didireallysaythat Wed 21-Nov-12 23:48:42

I agree Cathycomehome. It took me weeks to recover from the forceps and the third degree tear. I had an awful time coming to terms with being a new mother and I hurt for months.

But my elective was fantastic - the best thing I ever did. It didn't hurt at all, and I can honestly say I was up and walking miles within days. It was an all around positive experience. Four years after my first baby, I felt like I could do mother hood under my terms.

Isn't it funny how some people get so emotional over what it, at the end of it, a really small part of bigger adventure ? I honestly can't remember the birth weight of either of my babies - again it seemed important once but only for about 5 minutes.

(Oh, I'm not sure that people like you put woman off natural birth. The statistics on double incontinence on the other hand....)

DueInSeptember Wed 21-Nov-12 23:50:16

Have had two ELCS. Both times have recovered really well. The second time, I was walking around the ward within hours and home the next day.

I truly enjoyed the whole operation this time, the staff were lovely in the theatre and I felt very relaxed. Have felt minimal pain.

Well your friend doesn't understand evolution. Our brains got bigger because it was better, we stood upright because it was better, our hips had to stay relatively small because of that. Our brains stopped growing when it got to the point that not too many women died in childbirth while still walking upright.

It is perfectly 'natural' for quite large numbers of women to die in childbirth because the benefits to the species of large brains and walking upright are so amazing for us. 'Natural' gets used to replace 'good' for some people. Nature is actually nasty, brutal and unfeeling.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Wed 21-Nov-12 23:51:31

Has she actually experienced a birth yet or is she pregnant? If still in the rosy glow of 'make mine a water birth' wish list pregnancy idealised version of childbirth that's one thing, but if she actually has had a positive birth experience and thinks that that's the only way you can give birth then she needs a kick.

I've had a natural labour ending in an emergency section and two no choice but electives. I know what I'd go for if I had to do it again bloody unlikely

Devora Wed 21-Nov-12 23:52:04

I think it is fair to say that in general it takes longer to recover from CS than VB. It is one of the reasons why we don't routinely offer CS.

But that statement doesn't do justice do the wide range of individual circumstances. Emergency CS after a long labour is of course harder to recover from than an elective CS. A really, really brutal VB is probably the worst of the lot.

LDNmummy Wed 21-Nov-12 23:56:23

She sounds horrid. You should tell her that its women like her who heap guilt on other women over their birth choices and make them feel inadequate and insecure.

Everyone is different and she is being very arrogant to think she has all the answers.

Cathycomehome Thu 22-Nov-12 00:01:00

She has had two very successful and happy home births. I have had one "text book, simple" vb and one elcs because I found the "easy" vb so traumatic!

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Thu 22-Nov-12 00:01:15

I think if people are going to push all this stuff about CS then they have to push the possible truth about VB too.

I had a pretty fucking horrible induced VB (and a long running aftermath of problems), I had the option of that or a CS a week later, I probably should have taken the latter in all honesty.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Thu 22-Nov-12 00:02:10

I'm not saying CS aren't hard to recover from btw, just that in some situations (including psychologically) it can definitely be the better option.

Cathycomehome Thu 22-Nov-12 00:04:02

Well, I must go to sleep, but thanks for responses, glad I don't seem to be totally U!

Devora Thu 22-Nov-12 00:04:59

Can I just add, OP, that I am quite militantly in favour of reducing the caesarean birth rate in this country. But I focus my militancy on all those factors that make it harder for women to labour confidently and effectively - like, too few midwives, uncomfortable birth suites, poorly trained staff, a focus on process rather than individual etc.

I think tokophobia is an excellent reason for caesarean. I can't bear women who guilt-trip other women over what kind of birth they had. It's not a moral crusade, FGS.

rhondajean Thu 22-Nov-12 00:05:07

I have had a vb and an emcs. I was very keen to avoid a CS becaus ei was petrified, mostly due to this kind of thing! but dd2 is an awkward bugger and was foot first at 32 weeks in Thr middle of the night.

The first 24 hours I would say we're worse than the vb but after that it was much better and much quicker to get over and given the choice, I'd pick an elcs as I think having it all planned and calm would be a much better experience.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 22-Nov-12 00:06:02

Your friend sounds horrid.

I have had 2 sections, one EMCS after a 36 hour labour, and one elective. Recovery from the elective was a breeze.
Recovery from the EMCS - it was 6 weeks before my wound healed and I could walk upright, and I still felt unwell and sore at 6 months postpartum.

So IMO anyone who has had a straightforward recovery from an ELCS has very much had the easy end of the spectrum.

There is a whole range of normal, and then there are the really horrid experiences which can happen with any kind of birth.

noblegiraffe Thu 22-Nov-12 00:08:00

Has she watched that program that was on the other night about babies born in other countries (4 Born Every Second)? That might change her mind about the wonders of natural childbirth. It's only wonderful if it happens to fortuitously go right, a lot of people are very thankful that we are lucky to live in a country where there is medical back-up on hand.

My DS was born by EMCS after careful monitoring showed distress. He had the cord wrapped around his neck 3 times, which could have ended very badly had they not whipped him out. Then 3 days post-birth the hospital picked up that he had Group B Strep and put him on strong antibiotics which prevented another horrendous outcome. This time there is no doubt in my mind that I want an ELCS to avoid these possible eventualities.

If she has had a natural birth, she should consider herself bloody lucky rather than superior to everyone else.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 00:08:31

i was amazed at how easy the recovery was from the cs, i was sitting cross-legged reading the paper on bed a couple of days afterwards. i think it's labour that we find it hard to recover from, personally. after my vb i felt like my fanny was going to fall out for weeks afterwards.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Thu 22-Nov-12 00:11:32

Totally depends on personal experience. I had a c section 4 years ago and it's a nightmare still. I don't think anyone can make any assessment as everyone and every birth is different

Whitamakafullo Thu 22-Nov-12 00:14:07

My planned CS was much easier. My vaginal delivery with DS was hard. I was induced due to pre eclampsia, he had should dystopia so needed the ventouse and the cord was round his neck so was strangling him everytime I pushed.

CS 11 months later was a walk in the park in comparison

Wheredidmyyouthgo Thu 22-Nov-12 00:14:48

I have nothing to compare with, but can honestly say my ELCS was a breeze, and I would definitely want the same again for any second child.

I've had three vbs and an emcs.

Ds1 was vb with forceps, 3rd degree tear, haemorrhaging and weighed 11lb 2, so was my most difficult vb

Ds3 was an emcs,which I found far more difficult than the vbs, but I have a hip to hip scar and internal cuts into my womb. So not a typical csection experience.

I may find out what an elcs is like in a few months, however I think it will still be harder to recover from than ds2s vb. It was quick, no stitches, no intervention.

So I think it depends on the individual experiance.

Devora Thu 22-Nov-12 00:24:28

So: lovely easy VB the best, horrendous traumatic VB the worst, ELCS generally easier than EMCS. But individual variation trumps the lot.

I think we've got that sorted smile. Tell your friend she's been outvoted.

cardamomginger Thu 22-Nov-12 00:24:47

YANBU. Send her my way. It's been over 2 years since DC1's birth (VB) and I am still not recovered. Two major gynae operations down, and one to go. Two medical procedures on my coccyx, and one to go. Plus all the therapy for the PTSD. Send her my way. Please!! I'm feeling really pissed off at the moment and could do with having someone to rant at!!

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 00:27:34

not necessarily, devora. i had a lovely easy vb, and a lovely elective (well, a bit of an emergency cos dd2 was in big trouble) cs. cs DEFINITELY easier to recover from in my case.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 00:28:13

sorry, not wishing to gloat, cardamom.

dashoflime Thu 22-Nov-12 00:29:10

I had ELCS. It was fine. I can honestly say I didn't experiance any discomfort at all. I discharged myself after 2 days and was eating out at Jaime Olivers with the Inlaws. Painkillers are great!
It wasn't exactly chosen (I went in for a scan and the doctor took one look and decided the baby needed to come out NOW) but I felt nothing but relief at avoiding a VB. VB sounds horrible!

cardamomginger Thu 22-Nov-12 00:29:54

That's fine Aitch. Pleased you were fine. X

MammaTJ Thu 22-Nov-12 00:31:12

Having had both VB and CS I agree that VB is the easier option to recover from.

Having said that, I had absolutely no choice. In the first instance of CS my DD would have died had I not had it and that would have taken a hell of a lot longer to get over than CS did. In the second instance, both myself and my DS would have died had I not had the CS, I clearly would have never recovered.

It IS major surgery, no getting away from that, though usually performed without the need for general anaesthetic, which adds to risk. Some people just do not have the luxury of choice and it is better to just accept that than regret the how not to give birth any other way than home birth without medication, she certainly does not sound pro birth choice to me!!

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 00:31:45

Anyone who bangs in about their birth being far more awful than anyone else's is a boring twat....

The plain fact is that giving birth can be freakin easy, like a bad period pain or fuckin bloody awful and cause mom long term damage and trauma.

It's not a competition of a race.

You can't prepare for it and its ALL about luck... If its an easy beautiful process for you then you haven't got the divine key to motherhood you arnt clever or well prepared or been to the right classes you are just lucky.

Well for me the emcs was worse than the horrendous vb and I think the elcs will still be worse than the lovely vb, but haven't experiances it yet so not sure

Devora Thu 22-Nov-12 00:33:45

envy at aitch's lovely easy births...

Backinthebox Thu 22-Nov-12 00:36:54

I think that there is no point in having any kind of an 'X is better than Y' argument when there are so many factors and variables. Sometimes CS is easier to recover from, sometimes VBs are easier. Many people favour one or another, and many of them don't have experience of both. Even among those who have experience of both there people who have had good VBs and bad VBs, good CSs and bad CSs. When it comes down to it, every woman experiences birth in their own way. It is individual to them.

(If it comes down to it, though, everyone knows VBs are better than CSs. And I've had one of each, so I should know! winkconfused)

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 00:38:40

lol, sorry Devora. second one was a bit... fraught, obv, but the right result at the end. grin

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 00:40:11

Ladies! It's not a competition! Really! The only person who cares is you,, and your partner.

Soz but think like most posters went straight to last page.

Birth stories are the most boring in the history of boring so not boring you with my 4.

procrastinor Thu 22-Nov-12 00:44:14

I found the oft repeated stance that vb was a breeze once it was all done and that women were up and about the day after quite upsetting. I had a really difficult birth with DS and was unable to sit down or walk without pain for three months. So felt like a bit of a failure.

Though that delivery has scared me so much I will definitely be having a CS next time round. Could just not face it.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

" 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.

nipersvest Thu 22-Nov-12 10:09:07

i have a friend who had to recover from both at the same time. twins, one was a vb, second one got stuck so it was an emergency csection. after that she felt she had a lot of experience to offer so re-trained as a midwife!

I've had two vaginal and two c sections births. Not sure if you are being unreasonable or not. It took me a long time to recover from my ds birth, vaginal but I tore very badly and mentally took ages to get over the whole experience.

Second labour easy, dd1 came out with ease and I was up and about the day after.

I had an emergency section with dd3. I was very ill afterwards, I lost lots of blood, my scar burst and bled for six weeks afterwards and I had an emergency blood transfusion about a week after the birth. It took me months to get over it all. I also ended up with a damaged bladder too

I then had a planned section with dd3. It was a doddle compared to my previous section actually but the recovery time was shorter and much more straightforward.

The problem is with sections is that the physical recovery time is longer than a v birth. You can't lift your baby. It is surgery so you are limited in movements. You are bed bound for a hours afterwards. You have more risk of infection and more at risk of complications too.

MerryMarigold Thu 22-Nov-12 10:11:50

I know it's not a competition, but sometimes half of the competition is inside us without anyone even saying anything. Things like the OP's friend's FB status just make it much, much worse.

RedToothbrush Thu 22-Nov-12 10:16:10

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

And where does she get this enlightened information from? Which study into fear of childbirth would she like to quote here? What evidence does she have to support her claim? I ask because despite the fact I have been following the subject for a number of years and have heard many a person say this, I've never once found any evidence to actually support this opinion.

What I have seen are studies exploring tokophobia which seem to support a pattern; women with primary tokophobia and women with secondary tokophobia have slightly different patterns as collective groups, but there are clear patterns in terms of their health and experiences.

If it was the case that other women were influenced by other women, then surely there would be these patterns as it would be across the board?

What she is in essence saying is that despite the fact that women who have had traumatic birth previously are more likely to request a CS than when who had a straightforward uncomplicated birth but the reason they do is because other women have put them off natural childbirth. They were incapable of making that decision themselves or drawing on their own first hand experience.

And she is saying that women who have never had a baby before are put off natural childbirth by other women; its not the case that other experiences in life are likely to have affected how they feel about childbirth. Can she explain why they more likely to have experienced sexual abuse, been raped or have a history of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression? Or is this just some odd and strange coincidence?

Instead we have been fed this ideological lie by the pro-natural birth lobby that women are asking for ELCS because of a cultural preference and because we are influenced by the media and other women. We are told to ignore the fact that perhaps these women have been advised by a doctor that, given their feelings and extent to which it is affecting their life and mental wellbeing, that perhaps it would be in their best interests to ELCS, even if they did manage a VB first time round. We are told that they would be empowered by having a successful VB without intervention instead; except of course they can not guarantee how a planned VB will progress as birth is unpredictable however you give birth (this is also true of an ELCS however there are slightly more certainties with an ELCS even if it is a certain intervention).

Its an amazingly patronising and ignorant view to have. Your friend isn't a friend. She a judgmental bitch who is so absorbed by her own ideology that she hasn't a clue how damaging HER views might be to others in denting their self esteem, confidence and well being. Which is somewhat ironic.

Women are all different, and should be supportive of others who are going through what is perhaps the most risky and potentially traumatic event in their lives. We all have different coping strategies and there is no 'right' answer; just the best one for each individual. The people best placed to decide that are the woman themselves and the doctor who knows their full medical history in each case. Judgment and ideology has no place in the good practise of medicine.

Tell her, how ignorant, ironic and damaging her views are to a lot of women, then kick her firmly into touch. You don't need someone like this in your life telling you, you are wrong.

MrsBovary Thu 22-Nov-12 10:21:16

I had a both a cs and a vb. I found recovery most limiting in the former; not being able to drive, not being able to lift heavy objects and so on. The scar can be painful, on occasion, in the first couple of days too, and moving around is slow progress initially, as you'd expect.

Odd thing for your friend to post on Facebook, though.

TheCrackFox Thu 22-Nov-12 10:25:35

She sounds like a shit friend who you need to cut out of your life.

Bellebois Thu 22-Nov-12 10:26:21

I had an elective section with my DD for various reasons, was made to feel a bit 'out there' at the NCT classes, but I ignored it. The is definitely strong feeling about the (various) birth process, that's for sure.
My birth was well planned, calm, painless (until the drugs wore off a few hours later!) I am not squeamish about needles though... Had my music on, DH chatting to the dr's etc... DD was gorgeous, the whole process was lovely really, all things considered.
The spinal block wore off a few hours later, it was a dull ache, yes, sore to walk. But I was up about about the next day and home on day 3. By day 5, I forgot to take any pain killers as is didn't need them. The boob thrush I got a few months later was a killer, by comparison....shock
I drove after a few weeks after being bounced between my insurers and GP and feeling fine. Twisting and turning was tricky for a while. Other than that, happy days.
But each to their own.... Your friend should not be so insensitive. Next she'll be saying your are not a real woman unless you have given birth vaginally... Crikey.

Bellebois Thu 22-Nov-12 10:28:56

Totally agree.

corblimeymadam Thu 22-Nov-12 10:35:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 22-Nov-12 10:40:43

It can vary massively between women and between births.
I've had 2 vb, the first was a difficult presentation (ear first) and required a ventouse and lots of stitches. The stitches ulcerated and became infected, didn't heal well, I had a massive haematoma on one side of my fanjo too. I couldn't stand up or sit down comfortably for about 6 weeks, and still wasn't able to ride my horse without pain 6 months later.
My second was a 100% straightforward delivery with nothing more than a slight graze which I didn't even notice. I was back riding the horse a week after delivery. so for some vaginal deliveries, a elcs would quite possibly have been easier and less painful recovery, for others it would obv be a much more painful and harder recovery.

From comments on here it seems that an elective CS is much easier to recover from than an EMCS or crashCS, which I find common sense.

I had 2 sections - an EMCS after about 9 hrs of labour and a crash section after 4 days of labour (after labouring at home for 3 days, having planned a home VBAC). I found the crash section incredibly hard to recover from. 11m on my scar is still sore and my stomach muscles were cut through terribly and I have little feeling left.
My EMCS was hard but made easier when DD slept through at 5 days old and I got myself up and about after 12 hrs.
The crash, I ended up in high dependency for 24 hrs on a drip and heart monitor. Didn't properly hold DS for 48 hrs.

This all seems common sense to me, just as an easy VB in water with candles will be almost bliss compared with a hard assisted VB with tearing after days of latent labour.

I know someone who had an ELCS after a VB which, in her doctor's words, had such bad tearing it was as it she'd given herslef her own c section down there.

I am a big advocate of natural and home birth but there will always be women for whom it is safer and healthier (either physically or mentally) to have a section.
I am very glad we live in a country where these choices are available and your friend shouldn't apply her values to all women.

Having said all that, i still stand by the fact that a section is, as far as I know, the only major abdominal surgery where the patient has very little recovery time and is expected to get up and function normally plus look after a newborn within a few hours. Every other surgery allows recovery time. Says a lot for mothers' strength i think!

Fourandstillcounting Thu 22-Nov-12 12:22:56

Redtoothbrush I'm a bit in love with you.

On threads about CS, which come up regularly, it never fails to amaze me how some women think that because THEY had a great experience one way or the other, then everyone else should make the same choice.

My SIL stunned me when she said "Sorry, Four, but I think everyone should try for a vaginally birth" knowing full well that I'd had 3 ELCS. But the same friend had managed to get to 9cm without even knowing and her delivery was so fast she didn't make it to the maternity department and gave birth in a cubicle in a&e. If everyone's birth was that trouble free, well perhaps we'd all make that choice. But cos it was great for her, then it should be great for everyone. angry

treaclesoda Thu 22-Nov-12 12:29:29

My recoveries from two emcs were horrendous, to the extent that it finalised my decision to stop at two children.

But some people's recovery from vaginal birth is equally horrific, so I wouldn't dream of saying to someone else that my experience has been worse than hers. Who knows really? Its not a competition.

Surely the only goal in the end is to have the best outcome for mother and baby. Does it matter how that outcome is achieved? For some people the best outcome is from a totally intervention free birth and for others from an ELCS. The best outcome should take into account not just the physically health of mother and baby but the mental wellbeing of the mother too.

As others have said, its not a competition. Giving birth is challenging enough without other women piping up and telling you that you are "doing it wrong" because you have made different choices to them.

<<and breathe>>

IAmNotACaterpillar Thu 22-Nov-12 12:34:13

My friends and I between us have a variety of birth stories from the really fast no time for pain relief to emergency sections. All we care about is the fact that we have our children. We all recovered differently from all the different births anyway.

FWIW I had a terrible time with ds1 (13). I shouldnt have had a vaginal delivery due to a medical condition which was only diagnosed 3 years after his birth - despite my repeated visits to doctors before my pregnancy and my pleas for a c-section which were ignored. I bled for months and months and months afterwards. I am still in pain from that birth. What would your friend say about that??

By the time of my second pregnancy 6 years later (which was how long it took for me to be able to have sex again) I was armed with my diagnosis and secured a planned section. Very sadly my baby was stillborn ten days after this was agreed. Although emotionally I have never really recovered from his death, physically after the birth I was bouncing compared to the first birth.

And when dd was born by section 5 years ago - yes I found it harder to recover from than the previous section, but far far easier than the first birth. There was minimal bleeding from both sections. The scars occasionally niggle but nothing major.

So surely we are all different and will all experience things differently. And the main thing is not how our babies are born but that they are born safe and well?

Booboostoo Thu 22-Nov-12 12:40:32

Your friend has an ax to grind so I doubt she would ever be able to think rationally about this. The very obvious point is that there is no one 'VB experience' and one 'CS experience'. It all depends on whether things goes smoothly or there are complications, whether the mother wanted this particular mode of birth or had to opt for another because of circumstances/medical reasons, how the birth was actually experienced, etc.

BTW I had a very pleasant ELCS which probably took a tad longer to recover from than an uncomplicated VB but was nonetheless completely non-problematic and easy.

shesariver Thu 22-Nov-12 12:44:11

Do you know I cant abide people like your friend who, because something worked for them, suddenly come all over all evengelical about something and obsessed with spreading the word and converting other people to, and cant even think there may be an alternative viewpoint.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 12:55:29

thebody, i would have put money on you being a nurse, funnily enough.

Spuddybean Thu 22-Nov-12 13:07:26

i had a terrible vb 10 weeks ago and am still recovering (7 days of on off contractions, 3 days of labour after being induced, foreceps, tearing, surgery, loads of stitches, double incontinence, feelings of being a total failure). The 2 women in my nct group who had emergency sections recovered much quicker. So it depends on your experience.

Also the care you receive makes a massive difference. i was failed on almost every step of my pregnancy/birth.

upsylazy Thu 22-Nov-12 13:33:28

I've had 3 VBs - 2 ventouse and one forceps and, if i was going to have any more, I'd ask for an ECS as the last birth was so horrific i still have nightmares about it occasionally. I think the whole natural/active childbirth movement began with the totally laudable aim of moving away from 1960s and 70s obstetric practices when birth definitely did become overmedicalised and there were lots of unnecessary interventions - my mum has told me how it was routine for women to be virtually strapped on their backs with their legs in stirrups, routinely shaved and given enemas etc.
However, I think it's really sad that something which was initially about empowering women has turned into yet another thing for women to feel they have to get "right". Educating yourself about birth and realising that you have choices is obviously a good thing but I get seriously pissed off with women like the OP's friend who become evangelical about the wonders of natural childbirth and bang on about how women's bodies are perfectly designed to give birth - as has been pointed out, for evolutionary reasons, this simply isn't the case. If it was the case,the vast majority of women wouldn't end up tearing or needing an episiotomy which tends to point to a bit of a "design fault". I just think it's so sad that so many women start motherhood feeling as though they've somehow "failed" rather than being proud of themselves for producing a perfect baby.
My best friend totally bought into the whole wonder of natural birth but ended up having a crash section as her BP was so high, she could have ended up having a stroke. She said to me that she felt as though she'd spent months preparing for a race but hadn't even managed to cross the starting line. I just thought that was so sad.

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 13:48:37

Aitch not sure why you are personally attacking me.

Yes I was a bloody good nurse and then worked in the district.

I saw many women who either felt they had somehow 'failed' as they didn't have a 'so called normal' delivery or they had pain relief or they didn't breast feed or they didn't look like a wag model in 2 days.

These comments are born of pressure out on women by mostly OTHER WOMEN.

Twats like the ops friend and birth bores who harp on about their experiences which are if course valid and precious to them but are individual and not a mantra for any other woman.

I have 4 children. 3 vaginal deliveries and one with forceps. One c section.

That's my story and no one else's.

I had to give up my career recently as my dd was very badly injured so please don't bloody lecture me in empathy. I have it in bucket loads but HATE this birth competition.

Mibby Thu 22-Nov-12 14:07:02

I had a vb and it was awful. 36 hr labour, forceps, masses of stitches, ridiculous blood loss pp. If I ever have another I want a gold plated guarantee of a cs before conception!

I think it all depends on the actual birth. My mum has a VB and a emergency c-section. Of course the VB is easier to recover from, because the c-section is unplanned!

I had a VB with ventouse and episiotomy. Not sure about the degree of tear, but mustn't be too bad. I was up and going straight after birth. I went to the hospital shower, cleaned myself of the blood, walked myself to the postnatal ward. Picked up my baby and gave her a feed. Next morning I was discharged with no pain. I didn't have pain from peeing either. So in my experience even an assisted VB can be very quick to recover from. I can't compare with c-section because I never had one. And I'd never dismiss anyone with their own experience.

Oh and I had a very long labour too. It's 3 days because I know I went into the hospital in the wee hours of the morning and didn't give birth until the evening of the 3rd day.

The labour itself is awful, but not the recovery.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 14:16:01

thebody, you spoke for THE WORLD, telling us all that birth stories are boring and of no interest to others. On a thread where people were telling their birth stories. hmm

tbh that's just rude, but not atypical for those in the medical profession who transfer their own jaded values onto everyone else, while thinking they know every-bloody-thing.

and it's not an attack to say that you'd have guessed someone was a nurse. but it is revealing that you see it as such.

grimbletart Thu 22-Nov-12 14:33:17

i don't think it's a straightforward CS v VB comparison. It seems to be 'what sort of CS' and 'what sort of VB'.

I've only had VBs - two. The second one was easy - insofar as birth is ever easy - and I was out shopping the next day.

The first was a nightmare with 48 hours of back to back labour, Keilland forceps and massive tearing. I couldn't bloody sit down properly for weeks and my innards felt like they were falling out for weeks afterwards as well. So if two VBs in the same woman were so different I don't really see how we can compare births of different types in different women.

Oh, and your friend is an almighty tedious twat.

NicknameTaken Thu 22-Nov-12 14:37:15

I had no problem with an emergency c-section. I had a failed induction and never properly went into labour, so I had a weirdly pain-free experience - I actually felt slightly guilty for a while about it.

In the bed opposite me in the maternity woman was someone who had a forceps birth, and I'll never forget the little moans she made all night. When she had visitors, she managed to put a brave face on it, but she was truly suffering.

A friend who gets obsessed about anything to the point where they disregard your feelings is a problem. For some, it's temporary - she'll probably get over it when her dcs are a bit older and it's not so fresh in her mind. But until then, I would block her on facebook and avoid contact for a while.

NicknameTaken Thu 22-Nov-12 14:38:05

maternity ward. Aggh.

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 15:24:56

Oh aitch not sure the world is that interested in our views chik.

My post stated that other people's birth stories are boring.. They are. Lots of posters will have scrolled down the details of others stories here because they are essentially only relevant to each individual.

The ops friend was advocating that her way if giving birth was ''worse' than hers... That's the sort of ridiculous bollocks some women foist in others.

As I said in my post I have seen a lot of suffering from women on the reviving end of this when I was that dreadful nasty thing called a nurse.

I suggest you address your own prejudices and not project those onto me.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 16:51:05

chik? hmm

point is, thebody, this whole thread is full of people telling their very interesting and very personal birth stories. you do not speak for anyone other than yourself in saying that they're boring. to you, maybe. not to me, or devora, or many other people who are taking the time to talk about their experiences.

yours, sadly, is just a typical 'caring profession' stance, shut up, don't talk about it, least said soonest mended. all done under the guise of knowing more and caring more... if there is a sense of competition over this then just dismissing it doesn't actually help anyone.

IWipeArses Thu 22-Nov-12 17:11:09

I took ages to recover from my emergency section, I lost about 800ml, but apart from that had no problems apart from anaemia and sort of shell shock.
With DC2 I had a VBAC, and despite the best efforts of the staff managed a VB without intervention. It was brilliant and my stitches healed ok.
Everyone is different, and if I hadn't been up for the VBAC would have happily had an elective section if I thought the other option was an emergency section, as that seems to be the worst of both.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 22-Nov-12 17:15:48

My physical recovery from my EMCS was probably better. The scar healed beautifully. I had little pain. Emotionally, it was hard because it was unexpected and (ridiculously), I thought I'd failed.

After my VBAC, I had a blood transfusion, a second degree tear, and horrendous piles. Lots of pain. Ironically, I'd opted for a VBAC because I wanted to be more mobile to look after DS1. Actually I was probably less mobile and in more pain

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 22-Nov-12 17:29:51

I think birth stories are cathartic for the teller, and therefore important to share with someone, A bit like when you tell someone about your dream/nightmare. Not always interesting for the person you tell, but respectfully listened to anyway

RedToothbrush Thu 22-Nov-12 17:55:40

My post stated that other people's birth stories are boring. They are.

How many series have there been of OBEM? I'd love to know the viewing figures on that, cos I was under the impression it was pretty damn popular and that people found it interesting. I think that alone safety proves that other people's birth stories are in your opinion boring, but to lots and lots of other people they clearly aren't.

This is the problem when people present opinions as fact. They are not facts. You are perfectly entitled to an opinion, but when other people disagree with it, you can not say you are right and they are wrong. Facts need substance, not hot air.

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 18:24:39

Er I don't think I presented my opinion as a fact i just said its boring to me. Of course birth programmes are popular, so is emergency 999 and coastguard rescue, people love a bit of drama.

however it is a fact that many women on these threads are very affected by other people's stories in a negative way.

Surely that's the point behind the whole bloody post.

Red the whole point of aibu is to agree or disagree, that's the point of asking opinions.

Jamie you stated that you 'thought you had failed' so presumably others birth stories had made you feel a failure?

Aitch, clearly you have issues with the nursing/medical profession and I can't be bothered to counter your silly prejudices and assumptions.

I have had 4 kids so was also once in labour but its my story and no one else's.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 18:32:45

no you didn't say 'to me', thebody, neither time. i think that's where the problem lies. (well, one of the problems, at any rate... hmm)

thebody Thu 22-Nov-12 18:38:12

Aitch sorry chik ( that's what we say in affection around here) can't be arsed with you any more so leaving thread.

Op your friend is a silly twunt. Ignore her.

whistlestopcafe Thu 22-Nov-12 18:39:31

I had two sections and recovery was easy both times despite not being very particularly fit. I'm not sure why people are so concerned with the way other women give birth. Your friend sounds like a bore.

RosannaBanana Thu 22-Nov-12 18:43:18

I've had an elcs for breech and a induced vb. I would say the c section was harder to recover from physically, but the vb harder emotionally. I had flash backs for about six months or so of the mind bending agony sad

I find it extremely irritating if people are in any way judgy about others birth experiences.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 22-Nov-12 18:56:44

i don't think you feel any affection for me, thebody, hence the fact i queried it.

better to stick to the facts, i think, rather than present your opinion as the be all and end all. we're all equal on here, that's the joy of MN.

searching4serenity Thu 22-Nov-12 19:05:34

Ugh mine was much harder. Everyone's different though!

hazeyjane Thu 22-Nov-12 19:10:06

A lot of people say that elcs are easier because there has been no labour, and they are calmer and people have an idea of what will happen

Just for balance, my elcs was fucking awful! I felt like a woman sawn in half for months afterwards, lost 1500ml of blood, reacted badly to the drugs used and spent the rest of the day vomiting (this is is really, really horrible when you have been cut open!), I developed an inflammation in the veins of my legs (causing one to swell up like an elephants) because I tried to walk too quickly. Plus ds went straight to nicu with respiratory distress (more common in babies born by elcs). I ended up having flashbacks about the birth, it was definitely the worst of my 3 births.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 22-Nov-12 19:14:52

I've had both. Both were good births and yes the V-Bac took much longer to recover.

1944girl Thu 22-Nov-12 19:17:21

Your friend is ignorant and that is being polite.
I have had two children, both born by crash section so cannot compare as never had a VB.
I must be well known on the childbirth board I am an oldie and am now a grandmother.I would not be writing this now, and would not have my two sons and therefore none of my five grandchildren if I had not had C-sections.
Times have changed since my last child was born 40 years ago, I was very ill after the first birth but then you were in hospital 2 weeks after a section.
I can remember people who were in hospital with me having horrendous VBs and could hardly walk afterwards or sit down.I had difficulty walking as was cut with the classical scar, but at least I could sit down.The section rate was much lower then and some of these poor women would have not been in so much agony now as they would have had sections.Tokophobia did not exist as a name but I had it big time during my second pregnancy.
I consider the only ones who find childbirth easy are those who have uncomplicated VBs and to a lesser extent some of those who have only had elective sections.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 22-Nov-12 19:19:44

Sorry meant elective C-section was harder to recover from but then it is major surgery isn't it. With my C-section I was mobile very very quickly and only in hospital two nights but getting up stairs, lifting and pushing the buggy was exceptionally hard for a week despite being ultra fit beforehand. I felt sluggish from the drugs for about a month also. The V-births were quick and I was up and about with only a minor tear.

stillsmarting Thu 22-Nov-12 19:45:27

Never had a C-section, but it does occur to me that at least you don't have to sit on your stitches.

hazeyjane Thu 22-Nov-12 20:01:51

No but, in my case, my stitches pulled and tugged and hurt every time I moved. I can't explain the soreness I felt around my girdle (I think that's the right area!) it exhausted me.

I had 3rd and 2nd degree tears with dd1 and 2, with botched stitching in the second birth, and yes, it definitely hurt, but didn't touch the pain when the morphine wore off after cs

Same with me hazey trying to stand up straight and walk was agony.

lola88 Thu 22-Nov-12 20:21:33

I had a VB 3 weeks before 2 friends had sections days apart both are completely recovered i am still in pain and suffering due to my 'natural birth' almost 10 months later. Next time i will be getting a section.

IWipeArses Thu 22-Nov-12 20:35:28

lola, don't count on it on the NHS, I assumed after my first emergency section I'd have to fight for a VBAC and it was the other way round, assumed I'd be offered an elective, in order to avoid an emergency and was very bluntly talked out of it. Thankfully a nice nurse actually went through my notes from my previous birth and chatted about it and I found the right support and am very glad I went for it in the end, but I don't know quite how I'd have got an elective if I'd really wanted it.

iismum Thu 22-Nov-12 20:45:41

I had two EMCS after long, difficult labours and recovered just fine. I was thankful to avoid the tearing/incontinence/horrible piles, etc, that some of my friends suffered.

Cathycomehome Thu 22-Nov-12 20:46:30

Sorry, late back to thread, it's been very interesting. I'm glad I do t seem to BU on this one, I think I'll have to hide my friend as I find her views extreme and upsetting. I liked her very much once, but we seem to have less in common not more since she had her children and I had my ds2.

mathanxiety Thu 22-Nov-12 21:19:52

<You can avoid incontinence if you are diligent about Kegel exercises. They are not a necessary accompaniment to VBs even if you are half diligent, but Kegels will really help.>

mathanxiety Thu 22-Nov-12 21:21:54

What is wrong with your friend to make her so extreme and nasty I wonder? It's not normal to hold opinions that disparage others' experiences to such an extreme degree, and be so insistent on being so forthright that you don't care about potentially alienating friends.

loveroflife Fri 23-Nov-12 11:58:23

Jumping on this thread as am expecting no.2 and after an emc with no.1 have been offered an elc this time?

I am now considering going for it because I am petrified about giving birth and reacted badly to the epidural last time (got stuck at 7cm after a 2 day labour) and feel sick at the thought of having to repeat that again.

However, is the milk supply not hugely delayed with an elc? What would happen if it didn't come in for a couple of days, how would the baby get fed?

frumpet Fri 23-Nov-12 12:11:19

First birth VB , ventouse extraction , a billion stiches , couldnt sit down comfortably for about 4 weeks
Second birth VB , mild graze , slight stinging when having a wee , otherwise felt perfectly normal
third birth crash section , felt ok after about a week and a half , normal after three .

Your so called 'freind' has stopped having babies has she ? My third birth started as a homebirth . You never actually know what is going to happen during the birth until it happens regardless of all your predjudices and best laid plans .

elizaregina Fri 23-Nov-12 13:17:02

strange that most people who are open to ELC are also open to HB and VB but alot of militancy the other way from the HB crowd.

I really really dislike people saying that people who air thier birth stories are trying to compete in gore and drama and whose was worse.

Redtoothbrush is so eloquent I wish I could put my points across lilke you but you have summed it all up so well.

Its VITAL that women talk about birth and thier stories and experiences, once info is out can choose to take it how you wish ignore - take with pinch of salt etc...but for goodness sake dont make women feel bad for talking about what happened to them,

I have been alert to birth stories nearly all my life since I was very young as I have always been afraid of it -not once have I ever heard a woman bragging or talking in a seemingly " competitive" way about how - awful her birth was. Not once in all the toddler groups - nct etc I have been to has anyone said in a braggy way " oh yes i tore like buggery down there will never pee again"...

Who would suggest such things> It sounds like north korean thinking to me - supress surpress surpress and make women feel bad about talking and sharing!

I like you cathy had a textbook birth but that was awful for me, and then an ELC.

From the panic attack I had - ( mild ) on entering theatre I did realise that is my way - i am very emotional and a thinker and I did panic but the panic didnt last very long whereas it didnt stop duiring my first labour which went on for hours.

I had a glorious first day cuddling the baby and had no problems changing the nappy on the hospital bed - feeding baby and cuddling which is all you can do with a new born and all you are supposed to do anyway!

My experience was marred dreadfully by a nasty MW coming round telling me curtly about 8 hours after op that i need to " turn" i did a massive twist - pulled or did some damage and was in alot of pain in that point afterwards.

If it wasnt for that I would have been totally fine.

Its GREAT to feel my pelivc floor - and have all down below nicely intact, its great not to have lower back pain, and to be able to use the loo in comfort.

Its not great to have pain on side - after twist or being limited once home - I had alot of help. I am not sure what I would go for if I had a third...but comparing a text book birth with elective - recovery from both was hard but in very different ways....pain wise - i was def in more pain down below and in my vback after normal birth - pain with elctive was minimal

Chopsypie Fri 23-Nov-12 13:27:40

I dont think the way baby comes out matters one bit.
I know friend who have had C sections and had horrific recovery, and some friends who have had natural births who have struggled to recover.

I dont see how/why people get so annoyed by other peoples choices. I did pregnancy yoga and my teacher was a HB/BF/baby carrying 'earth mother' (her term not mine) who had had 3 babies at home naturally. But one of her main points wen discussing birth was always to do what was best for you and your baby, and bugger anyone elses expectations.

She really gave me and the other in our class a sense of confidence that we understood the process, and were perhaps better prepared mentally to try and give birth naturally, but she also made sure we knew what was what with interventions, and also some other options to make the interventiona bit easier.

I think we need more people like her, and less of the 'I think its best, so it must be'

That got a bit long and ramble-y but it makes me so sad

TroublesomeEx Fri 23-Nov-12 13:28:16


I had an EMCS. If I hadn't, my baby would have died.

Your friend can fuck off frankly!

bishboschone Fri 23-Nov-12 13:36:37

I have had both . A horrendous vb with ventouse and episiotomy and a calm section . The section was undoubtably much more painful and took longer to recover . You are cut in half for goodness sakes !!! I would still have a section given the choice . My vb frightened the shit out of me !!sad

I think your friend would benefit from watching "four born every second", and hopefully realise just how ridiculous she sounds.

And I say that as someone who booked a homebirth for DS2 after a bad hospital VB with DS1.

blueshoes Fri 23-Nov-12 13:49:18

Hierarchy of births from good to worst:

Easy vb
Easy cs
Bad cs
Bad vb

NicknameTaken Fri 23-Nov-12 14:33:46

is the milk supply not hugely delayed with an elc? What would happen if it didn't come in for a couple of days, how would the baby get fed?

I don't know if it delays things, but it's perfectly possible to have a c-section and breastfeed. Isn't it the baby suckling that brings on the milk? I can't tell you exactly when my milk came in, but my post c-section experience was that dd successfully gained weight from birth. And if you've breastfed before, you won't be as clueless as I was, trying to get it started!

YerMaw1989 Fri 23-Nov-12 14:46:23

I've had both VB.
first one about 30 stitches, vontouse,(sp.) heavy bleeding for about 8 weeks.

second time didn't need a single stitch, no assistance, bleeding started to clear up within the first week.

there is no definite with things like that.

loveroflife Fri 23-Nov-12 14:47:31

Thanks Nickname...

Last time was an ecs and I read that this kick starts the milk supply quicker as the body has gone into labour where with an elc no labour starts?

I don't know if this is a load of shite and have a scan in a couple of weeks so will ask then but don't want to struggle with the breast this time so trying to be as fully prepared as possible before I make the decisions of vb or ec.

NicknameTaken Fri 23-Nov-12 14:57:45

I'm no expert, and it's possible that labour does kickstart milk production. But it's not required and even without labour, your milk will come in anyway. And babies are born with a store of fat to tide them over for the first few days. It's quite common for breastfed babies to lose a bit of weight at the very start as they're learning how to feed effectively.

Removal of the placenta kick starts milk supply.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 23-Nov-12 17:39:28

Well I had an emergency section with the best recovery ever. Felt a bit sore the rest of that day and went home 2 days later. Didn't need painkillers by then and felt fine. Was doing housework, and did a 3 mile walk when dd was 5 days old.

My sister had a vaginal birth and missed our wedding when her dd was two weeks old as she couldn't sit down in the car to come to our town.

I've seen hundreds of postnatal women. Some section women are in lots of pain, some are fine. Same goes for women who've had vaginal births.

And by the way I love birth stories, they're fascinating.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 23-Nov-12 18:17:06


The feeling a failure thing:

Actually, it was pregnancy Yoga, my own ignorance/prejudice, and waaay too little preparation for the possibility and the facts about EMCSs from my NHS antenatal classes

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 23-Nov-12 18:21:13

Oh, and also the fact that I'd endured a 13 hour labour, with an hour of pushing, which made me unduly emotional

I had heard almost no Birth stories at that point. Coming on MN and hearing others experiences actually would have made me feel a lot better about the birth, and related issues such as not bf

Procrastinating Fri 23-Nov-12 18:32:40

I have had 3 cs, they were all lovely and I breastfed easily from the start.
Recovery was no problem, and certainly not painful. Milk letdown was more painful.
I cannot be arsed with people like the OP's 'friend'.

TroublesomeEx Fri 23-Nov-12 20:22:15

I successfully and easily BF after my EMCS and I didn't go into labour with her. She was 5 weeks early but it made no difference.

I didn't have any real pain afterwards. I didn't take the painkillers I was given on discharge because I don't like taking medication I don't need and I didn't even have the 'twinges' I was warned about when the nerves started knitting back together.

I had terrible stomach cramps and wind for a few days following the CS but that was all.

ellee Fri 23-Nov-12 22:51:08

I had two cs, one e, the other not. Recovery on both v essy. Huge box of painkillers in med box that I didn't need.

Milk was def a bit delayed. I managed about 6w on ds but only 10d on dd. But I have pcos as well and I don't think it helped.just couldn't seem to get the milk going, both lost too much weight etc etc. Dd particularly.

But I have two friends who both bf'd v successfully long term after cs. So it is absolutely possible.

LibrarianByDay Fri 23-Nov-12 23:20:50

Everyone is different and our bodies react differently. I found an EMCS a doddle to recover from compared to a VBAC. I guess if the VBAC hadn't caused the damage it did, I might think differently.

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