Can you request a c-section?

(35 Posts)
xmasevebundle Fri 28-Sep-12 03:40:59

Im 27+4 with my first and i do NOT want a natural birth.

I asked my midwife if i could have one, her reply was you can have a natural birth so i thought okay.

Fast foward to now, at 16 weeks my stomach muscles tore at the front<waves hello to pain> I still suffer from it now its getting worse as im getting bigger. I had an awful water infection it came on due to stress(dr told me). It killed to even touch my tummy and i thought i was in labour it was that bad. Worse pain EVER, dialled 999 everything.

I cant handle pain, i have 2 tattoos and tongue piercing. Which did not hurt, but i am a woss when it comes to stomach pains.

I dont like the thought of it all, i mean the whole birthing process, it makes me very paranoid that i wont be able to do it and something will happen during labour. With my tore muscles i cant even think of what it would be like in labour, my braxton hicks send me into tears because of it(i dont get them often).

I dont even know if i can kick up a fuss, because i dont want to be rude, its effecting me as i worry most days.

HmmThinkingAboutIt Fri 28-Sep-12 09:06:55

Number one: Your midwife is shit.

A request for a CS should be treated by all HCP as a red flag.

Why? Well because in a high percentage of cases it shows a very high level of anxiety and a need for extra support that needs to be taken seriously as a result. To be dismissive in the way that she has is unacceptable tbh. With the right support you may be able to change your mind. But to simply ignore you in this way, is not in your (or their) best interests either way. Its poor care and ignores the number one rule of listening to patients.

Number two: Yes you can ask for a ELCS. Under the new NICE guidelines on csection you should have this request taken seriously and if you are not happy with the support given to you, you should be allowed a CS.

Number three: Ignore number two! The new NICE guidelines are just that - guidelines - they do not have to be followed. In fact many hospitals have policies which are in complete opposition to the guidelines. However the guidelines do give strength to your case and are helpful if you are serious about wanting a CS. They arm you with a little bit of knowledge and power. This is your best ally.

Number four: You absoluetely should kick up a fuss about this. This is not being rude. This is trying to get the care you deserve and should be getting, and haven't due to having a shit midwife who isn't listening to your concerns. If it is affecting you to this degree it is a health issue as it is affecting your mental health. It may be appropriate to ask for a referal to a mental health midwife team depending on your circumstances. This is what they are there for!

Number five: Don't rule out other options. There may be things that could be suggested that could reassure you; but if you aren't given the opportunity to discuss these properly with your HCP you aren't going to get that. See point four.

Number six: If you want a CS, you do need to be prepared for a fight. Some places and doctors/midwives are sympathetic about it. Others are not. There is far too much politics going on in this area too. Women are the bottom of the listen of priorities. This might sound doom mongering, but its something to be honest about when talking about this. On the up side, whenever I seen threads like this here, even when women have initially been refused a CS in the vast majority of cases, if they have really pushed for one, have eventually managed to get one. Its a stressful process though.

Ask for the help and support you NEED. You are not being rude or difficult. You NEED help to deal with this.

SoupDragon Fri 28-Sep-12 09:15:18

You need to read up on the risks of a CS. Not to put you off but so you can go into any appointment armed with knowledge and show that you have weighed up all options properly rather than just a panicked "I can't do this!"

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Sep-12 09:24:26

I had awful anxiety in my second pregnancy.

I asked for a got a c-section easily. I had to fight the snotty consultant (female) a bit, but all midwives and other doctors were absolutely supportive with no questions asked.

I think I had to have counselling about it, in a non judgemental way, ie what was I scared of. ButI still opted for one.

Best day of my life, no complications, no where near as bad, or as longrecovery as first (natural) birth

xmasevebundle Fri 28-Sep-12 11:36:25

I have my bloods taken next week and anti-d so i will have to wait until im roughly 31w.

I have a different midwife each time, which annoys me ALOT, i dont really like telling a new one all over again whats happened.

When i asked she just looked at me? I will ask again at 31w and the refuse to even look into it i will to to the doctors. I feel depressed they know the score the midwifes about my pregnany and know i panic alot.

I feel helpless and useless as its out of my control to do so, its also around christmas which they might think oh no!

Its no way a cop out for natural birth, its the long process im worried about it could be 12 hours or 2hours.

My mum has had 5 kids, one a horrid birth which i stoppes her at 8cm, she nearly died having me. I know every labour isnt like that though but its stillsad

I have leaflets about c-section how long it takes to recover, the healing and the c-section its self. I do live with my mum and dad so they will help until i 'move more'.

Im just not sure if they so the c-section 2 weeks before or 1, i have seen so many weeks before, thats the only thing i dont know about is when they do them, if i had it a week before it would be the 17th decemeber!

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Sep-12 12:39:30

I found a c-section a lot less debilitating than a natural birth tbh

HmmThinkingAboutIt Fri 28-Sep-12 12:58:24

Xmas. Not one here will say asking for a CS is a 'cop out' trust me. There are a lot of women here who for various reasons support choice in childbirth, including asking for a CS, without being judgemental about it.

Women with a history of depression or anxiety are far more likely to ask for a CS than women who do not. Its not uncommon. But the trouble is, its a taboo subject and there is lots of people who have very ignorant views about it which are particularly difficult for people who are suffering from depression or anxiety to deal with.

I think you need to stress a few things here to your midwife. Your anxiety and your fear. Your need to feel in control is also worth mentioning if you have panic attacks. Basically the fact you are not coping and you don't feel supported enough by the midwives and you feel that your concerns are being dismissed and just how much this worry is affecting you.

It sounds to me a lot like you need a familiar face to talk to about this, or at the very least someone who takes your anxiety seriously. If the midwives already know you have problems with it, ask for a referal to someone specialist if you are struggling to cope.

laluna Fri 28-Sep-12 14:41:55

You say you are a wuss when it comes to stomach pain. Thus is inevitable post caesarean. Contractions working on the cervix tend to feel just like this - they are not stomach pains as such. I am not saying they don't hurt but you do get relief as they are on/off and not constant. Some women cope without pain relief in labour but I have never know a post caesarean lady to have NO pain relief, even just paracetamol (although I am sure there wil be queue of mumsnetters to proove my 16 yrs of midwifery wrong!!!). An epidural can be very effective. It is not your midwife's decision: it is yours in conjunction with an obstetrician and they do not have to say yes. May be worth having a chat with a local supervisor of midwives for support.

Goldmandra Fri 28-Sep-12 15:11:44

I second laluna's comment ^^

The pain I had following my Elective CS for DD2 was immensely more than that which I experienced during a long drawn out and unpleasant labour with DD1 where her spine was pressing on mine and sending horrendous pain down my legs along with the normal contraction pain.

I accept that I didn't get to do the very last pushing her out bit because I ended up with EMCS after pushing for two hours so I can't vouch for that very short part right at the end but I'd have done the whole labour again rather than have the pain of the recovery after DD2.

It hurts - a lot - every time you move. It isn't necessarily an easier or a less painful option and you can't be involved with the care of your baby for the first day or so which I felt quite deeply both times.

xmasevebundle Fri 28-Sep-12 15:17:26

Its inside pain rather than outside pain if you know what i mean? The pain outside my stomach would not effect me as much as braxton hicks.

My MW are not really that good at all it took 17w for then to arrange a mums group for me to go to! So the c-section seems a long way off!

I will ask the midwife for a 29w app and explain everything, if no joy i will go to the doctors!

EasilyBored Fri 28-Sep-12 16:39:27

Definitely talk to the Dr about your concerns, maybe even call PALS if you're not happy with them? You could also try and raise it with the midwives at the hospital (rather than the community midwife). They might be able to offer you some counselling, or talk through your fears and you may even find you feel better about having a vaginal birth. But if not, stick to your guns, do not be afraid to kick up a fuss. Going into a brth terrified could possibly affect how things go; your mental health is important and don't let them make you feel like you're being silly!

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Sep-12 17:29:58

I found it a whole lot less painful then an episitomy which I couldn't sit on for a month

Flojo1979 Fri 28-Sep-12 17:46:39

CSection pain is not 'outside' pain. They cut through all the layers! it hurts more on the inside than out!
Having said that, its much less painful than episiotomy stitches!

SoupDragon Fri 28-Sep-12 17:50:37

its much less painful than episiotomy stitches!

Not necessarily. I didn't get pain from mine.

Fairylea Fri 28-Sep-12 17:55:20

I have had both types of delivery and would choose a c section anyday. I didn't have gaps between my contractions. The pain was constant. At least with my section the pain was manageable. (And I had an epidural with firstborn too).

I requested a section and was granted it at my 35 week appointment with the consultant. It can be done. You just have to keep pushing for it.

AnitaBlake Fri 28-Sep-12 18:00:34

The thing is, the pain you are going to feel in unavoidable. Afterpains are going to happen either way, and these are like the Braxton hicks. I had an EMCS and am very reluctantly facing an ELCS this time. The pain is there regardless, I never actually had labour pains as I've never been in labour due to medical mistakes.

I was incapacitated for well over six weeks, my nextdoor neighbour was driving days after giving birth naturally. My wound was badly infected and the internal pain, plus the afterpains, which are your womb contracting, was dreadful. This is not a path I would choose willingly.

MagicMikesThong Fri 28-Sep-12 18:17:20

I'm in a similar boat but on my second pregnancy. First time round I was very keen for an earth mother type water birth with minimal intervention. I wasn't scared at all. The birth itself went ok - gas and air only, 2nd degree tear. But afterwards everything just felt "wrong" - sex and smear tests absolutely excruciating. Felt as if everything was falling out. I saw the GP and gynae numerous times as I suspected a prolapse but they said it was ok. But the skin there just feels so tight and dry and I am terrified of a baby coming out of there sad
I haven't broached the subject with the midwife yet but I think I will the next time...,

IShotJR Fri 28-Sep-12 18:18:18

I had a EMCS is would 100% recommend it. I will request one for my 2nd too. If you don't ask,you don't get! Good luck x

Ephiny Fri 28-Sep-12 18:23:14

I think you need to ask to see your consultant, to explain your concerns and discuss options for the birth. It's is up to the consultant to decide whether CS is appropriate for you, it's not the midwives decision.

An ELCS would normally be scheduled for 39 weeks, unless there's a reason it needs to be earlier.

wheresmespecs Fri 28-Sep-12 19:25:01

Afterpains? What afterpains?

I had no afterpains after my ELCS. DS was 100 percent BF too (people kept mentioning afterpains in connection with BF - no idea what they were on about).

They can't be 'inevitable'. I guess some women get them, some don't. I had a great recovery, took paracetamol and diclofenac and the most uncomfortable bit was my stitches starting to pull. But they were removed day 5.

Just my experience though. You should obvs be as well informed about the risks of a cs op (I think people should be as well informed about the risks of a vb too, but this seems to be an unfashionable view). Just be wary of people who say MY BIRTH WAS LIKE THIS SO THIS MUST BE WHAT THEY ARE ALL LIKE. That applies to vb and caesarian....

whatinthewhatnow Fri 28-Sep-12 19:48:13

hello, sorry to hear you are so frightened about the birth. You need to request an appointment to see a consultant at your chosen hospital, as they will be performing the operation they will have final say over whether you can request one for non medical reasons. If one consultant won't do it they can refer you to another one who will.

You may be referred for counselling or to see a midwife who specialises in this kind of stuff.

You may have a true phobia of labour, called tocophobia. This is itself a good indication for elective cs. Although some trusts to have a policy of not offering elective cs without medical indication they often do if there is a psychological indication, as there may well be in your case. (I work in a trust like this).

Whatever the guidelines, your fears should not be dismissed as they are being at the moment. A good starting point is a local supervisor of midwives. Ring her and explain your fears and the problems you are having accessing proper support. Your hospital has to provide you with this information if you ask for it.

Only you can decide what is best for you. Some women would never choose vaginal birth, some would never choose a section. Every woman is different, and whatever choice you make is right, as long as it is right for you. Good luck, and I hope you can start enjoying your pregnancy soon.

xmasevebundle Fri 28-Sep-12 19:53:42

I guess it varies person to person how you heal.

My skin heals quick after a cut or a deep layer of skin, my tattos healed within 1 week scab dropped off everything. So i dont know if that would 'help'

But i am going to get a c-section now, i think it would put me at ease. My MW told me they make the choices how i give birth not myself?

Im 19 and its my first so i have to VB because i 'can'.

I am going to see the dr next week and tell him my worries and what my MW said.

Its awful that they have just said oh no you can do it. They arent really the 'best' midwifes but are VERY supportive of my situation with my exp, i dont need thar support now, i am worried about having a baby not a bloody man boy!!!

HmmThinkingAboutIt Fri 28-Sep-12 22:03:35

xmasevebundle, I'm going to be very blunt with you and hope you don't take offense to this.

Your age is going to play a big factor in this whether you like or others will admit it.

Both in the way you are taken seriously and whether you will be able to get an ELCS. To put it bluntly, some midwives/doctors rightly or wrongly will look down their noses at you or view you are immature / not informed enough about the subject / responsible enough given your age and current status with your ex-partner and this could be why they are being so dismissive of you at the moment.

And they are more inclined to give older women an ELCS for a few reasons - they are less likely to have subsequent children as they have less fertile years, they are more likely to suffer complications than you are, they are more likely to have the vocal support of a long term partner and they are better equipped and able to state their argument for an ELCS.

You really do need to consider this yourself. It is not a level playing field and not everyone is treated the same.

The real elephant in the room is that, at 19, the truth is you don't know how many children you are likely to have as you simply can't predict the future especially if you do not have a stable relationship. The big deal is that the risks associated with childbirth increase with every CS you have, and they generally decrease with 2nd and 3rd VBs.

Having an ELCS so young therefore does have more potential long term health issues and consequencies if you have multiple pregnancies and in turn more CSs. This is why the fact you are so young is a big deal; you really need to understand why the doctors will be reluctant to give you an ELCS and just how this decision could have a big impact on your life choices in the future.

If you really do want an ELCS you are going to need to prove to them, that you fully understand this and are making a truly informed decision - perhaps to a greater degree than an older woman. You need to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Ideally, if you can enlist your mum to go with you to appointments and back you up, it might aid your case for any extra support (if not an ELCS).

I wish I could give you a more positive response about this, but I think you need to be aware of this in order to get the help and support you need, and that is best for you, and the only way to do that is to be completely honest about this.

I don't want to frighten you either; you just need to know that from the outset you may find this a particularly difficult thing for you given your circumstances. Its doesn't make it an impossibility just that you need to really have to do your homework and show you fully understand the decision you might be making here.

xmasevebundle Fri 28-Sep-12 22:32:55

I know thats half the reason they wont give me one because of my ageangry

I have spoken to my mum, she even thinks a c-section would be alot better for me.

I understand the health risks and with the 'relationship' side. I doubt unless i marry i wont have kids again, there is no if or buts.

This pregnancy has been far to stressful and shit if im honest!

I dont think i will get a c-section, but i want one. Id be very annoyed if i didnt, unless the dr can state a good enough reason which i think will benefit me, i wont have one.
E.g
If the dr said if you have the c-section you are unlikey to have kids again, i would not have one.

But thats really not going to happen is it? Unless if effects me in any way like that i will push for one.

Emerald6 Sat 29-Sep-12 00:52:48

Hey xmasevebundle

Take someone with you to your consultant appointment, maybe your mum or someone who really supports and understands why you are asking for one and is prepared to speak up for you if you get emotional.

Write down all the reasons why you are asking for one and make sure you go through them all, don't get thrown off track.

I've had midwives & other mums look down there noses at me and roll there eyes when I have even mentioned my intention of asking for an elective c section this time round. And I'm double your age smile

My last midwife appointment was last week, I had two midwives there and I was in a right state talking about my first birth & future birth in five weeks. The one which was most resistant had no idea of my previous birth, she just patronised me. When I asked her outright if I can ask for a c-section at my consultant appointment next week, she said 'The country we live in does not provide c sections on demand'.

The other midwife who has been seeing me for a few months now, was more sympathetic and gave me the advice about writing everything down.

Good luck girl, be prepared to fight your corner.

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