WWYD? I'm in early labour but booked in for ELCS in about 3 hours!

(61 Posts)
SunnyUpNorth Thu 27-Dec-12 06:23:19

I am 41 weeks pregnant with dc2. Briefly, last time I was induced at 41+6, had several sweeps over the week prior to that, then had gel pessaries, waters broken, syntocinon drip over a 3 day period and eventually an EMCS due to FTP. Never got past 3cm.

Anyway this time I agreed I was happy to try for a VBAC but I didn't want any sort of induction at all. My strategy was that if I went into labour myself I had a better chance of it being successful and if not I would have the ELCS.

DH and I had totally given up on me going into labour and then typically yesterday I started having cramps and contractions. By 6pm they were every 7mins or so, lasting around 30/45 seconds. By 11pm they were every 4mins so labour ward told me to come in.

I had a show before I left home and then when they examined me I was only about 1cm dilated. Due to previous CS they kept me in and sent DH home. Still having v regular contractions, haven't slept at all and just about surviving on my tens machine.

Really don't know what to do now. On the one hand I would like to give the VBAC a go but they said it could still be hours/days before I am in established labour....if it ever happens. Really don't want a repeat of last time where we had no sleep for days and days and were quite traumatised.

We were psyched up for the CS and as the date had become so close had booked childcare for dd, booked DH's paternity leave etc. So waiting for days and potentially ending up with a CS anyway and then further days in hospital is not ideal.

Think they will examine me again around 8 or 9ish and see if I have dilated at all which will help in making a decision. But I really don't know what to do, help!

SunnyUpNorth Thu 27-Dec-12 06:25:07

Ps stopped timing contractions as was getting too difficult with tens machine too but think theyre consistently around every 4mins still and around a minute long. On advice of the midwife I've been trying to rest rather than move around and get things going.

Notafoodbabyanymore Thu 27-Dec-12 06:36:17

I would probably wait to be examined again, and set myself a target (eg, if I'm more than 3cm I'll stick it out, if not go for CS)

I had a long, long labour followed by EMCS with DD, so with DC2 due in April, I may be in a similar situation. Although I'd love to try for a VBAC, I so don't want my first few weeks to be like last time due to utter exhaustion from the word go.

Hope it all goes well and you are happy with whatever choice you make.

Jacksmania Thu 27-Dec-12 06:37:18

<offers to hold hand until the day shift arrive>

I'd wait and see what examination reveals and go from there. Personally, unless you really start progressing, I'd go for the ELCS. The thought of going through all that ^ and then possibly ending up with another emergency CS makes me feel quite ill on your behalf.

helebear Thu 27-Dec-12 06:39:11

Morning sunny, I have no experience of this but thought I'd reply as im wide awake with pregnancy insomnia. I can totally imagine that you don't want a repeat of the very long labour you had before, it sounds very traumatic. Maybe you can see what's happening when they examine you in a few hours & take it from there? If you're progressing do you think they'd postpone c section until later today so you can see if your labour will progress naturally but put a limit on how long you are willing to wait for things to progress if not much is happening? I've no idea how realistic this is btw.

In the meantime can you have a bath to help with the pain & kill some time before they examine you? The fact that you've cracked out the tens machine sounds positive to me as there must be something going on IYSWIM!

I'll be thinking of you.

SunnyUpNorth Thu 27-Dec-12 06:49:36

Wow thanks all, replies already.

My instinct was the same - basically if I was say 3 cm and they could break my waters to encourage things along then I would probably do that but set a time limit for progress.

But I am also scared of missing my CS slot and then if they are v busy later in the day not being able to have a CS and being forced to carry ok even if progress is slow.

The contractions are really painful!! I'm quite surprised, I thought 'natural' contractions would be a walk in the park after induction!

Thanks for your advice and support.

Ps don't want to have a bath as don't want to risk slowing it all down.

RillaBlythe Thu 27-Dec-12 06:50:58

Thinking of you.

Jacksmania Thu 27-Dec-12 06:53:49

Ok, I'm really the worst person to give advice about this (seriously shit trainwreck birth with tons of damage to me) so feel free to ignore but I'd stick with the CS plan unless exam shows you to be really chugging along.
And oh yes, natural contractions hurrrrrrrrrrt!!!!!!!

<squeezes hand>

SunnyUpNorth Thu 27-Dec-12 07:05:06

Thanks Jacks! That's the other thing...if I'm going to have a VBAC I want it to be all very straightforward and cathartic! Couple of contractions, couple of pushes, out it pops,no tears, home in a few hours!

My mum keeps telling me that I really am not missing out by not knowing what childbirth is like!

Quite tempted by the CS I must say, it's just the recovery with a 2 year old that has pushed me towards a VBAC.

Jacksmania Thu 27-Dec-12 07:14:28

But you do know what childbirth is like! You gave birth as much as anyone else did. angry
Aaargh. I hate when people say that you haven't given birth if you've had a CS. Ignorant bullshit.

<locates a grip>
<gives head a shake>
<deep breath>

Ok, keep saying to yourself "sneeze birth or CS, whichever is best for me" with each contraction smile
Like a mantra or an affirmation. Maybe it'll work.

NanoNinja Thu 27-Dec-12 07:15:56

No real experience other than an ELCS, but I would say better the devil you know and go for the CS. Recovery likely (?) to be easier than EMCS, and you have all the arrangements in place. Good luck!

SunnyUpNorth Thu 27-Dec-12 07:32:41

I know Jacks, the midwives keep saying to me 'as you've never been in labour before...'! I had bloody back to back contractions for hours and hours with no epidural last time and just because I didn't dilate past 3cm I apparently haven't been in labour.

With regard to childbirth I mean actually pushing it out.

Yes nano I was hoping ELCS recovery would be good and agree it could be the right decision.

porthcurnick Thu 27-Dec-12 07:54:07

Go for the CS, it's planned and booked, unless you are really cracking on when they examine you.

Recovery will be fine with a 2 year old, if you stick with the vbac you could end up with lots of stitches etc. which will make recovery difficult.

Failed vbac here so I may be biased, but thinking of you in labour for hours and then still ending up with CS after all that.

Very exciting anyway <passes pillow for sqeezing and rubs your back>

blondassassin Thu 27-Dec-12 08:12:08

Hi Sunny, hope you're doing ok. Just wanted to add my experience. Like you I had an EMCS first time around due to FTP. Got pressured into trying for a VBAC with my second for same reasons as you. It was a disaster. I am tall but narrow hipped and had a tiny bump. I was told it was a small baby, no way it could be more than 6 pounds. DS was finally born after a long long labour weighing 9lb 2!! I had so much damage, an episiotomy that resulted in a haemorrhage and more surgery to stop bleeding and a 4 pint blood transfusion! It left me absolutely exhausted, in a lot of pain for weeks with a newborn and a 2 year old to look after. My recovery after the EMCS was so quick and trouble free in comparison. If I could have my time again I would have an ELCS.
Good luck with everything, focus on the fact you will be holding your precious bundle very soon. Your Mum is right, you are not missing anything if you don't experience a VB!

NeverFullyDressedWithoutAScarf Thu 27-Dec-12 08:13:24

I had this! Emcs first time round at 10 cm (took over a sy and I glare at anyone who says I didn't 'do' labour !) Second time round I was desperate for a vbac as felt I had missed one of te great experiences of womanhood.

Things started happening but I went with the elcs and don't regret it at all. It was actually lovely and I had an 18mth old at home and was home in48hrs beginning to end.......,now, the reflux, crying baby for a year, ah yes, that was definitely not so great ![grins] good luck and enjoy whatever you choose!

Yama Thu 27-Dec-12 08:14:46

I'd go for the ELCS.

NeverFullyDressedWithoutAScarf Thu 27-Dec-12 08:14:58

'Over a day' and other phone posting mistakes!

ithaka Thu 27-Dec-12 08:23:03

I'd take the ELCS, if I were you. I pushed all my babies out naturally, so I can confirm that you are really not missing anything.

I would not want to risk a long potentially traumatic labour if it can be avoided. You are mum, you have given birth - be kind to yourself.

SunnyUpNorth Thu 27-Dec-12 08:33:53

Thanks all, think I am veering that way.

Blond assassin - I would be very scared of that happening to me. A very good friend of mine had a similar experience and found her vb delivery harder to recover from than her EMCS and wishes she had an ELCS.

Will let you know. Thanks so much.

RooneyMara Thu 27-Dec-12 08:34:07

Can they still do a CS if you're having frequent contractions? I suppose that is thick question of the day...of course they can blush

I hope it goes well whatever you choose to do. Fwiw I don't quite get why they are assuming you can't do it this time, just because things got a bit stuck last time. It seems a bit defeatist iyswim? Not that a CS would be any sort of defeat but your body sounds like it knows what it is doing smile

Good luck and keep us posted.

TheBeanAndTheBee Thu 27-Dec-12 08:56:33

Second time around i went into labour the night before my booked c-section, and although there were no choices to be made (natural birth not an option) I do remember the panic! So no advice really just hand holding! Let us know what you decide. Incidentally was home after 24 hours after the section with a newborn and a 14 month old to look after and thank goodness I did have the section, recovered really quickly and wasn't totally shattered before I even started. Disclaimer: i have never had a natural birth so nothing to compare it too! Good luck with whatever you decide.

MissLToeishavingsantasbabyboo Thu 27-Dec-12 09:25:00

Just wanted to wish you luck whichever way you give birth.

Flisspaps Thu 27-Dec-12 09:35:22

Whatever happens, good luck! You're going to have your lovely baby soon grin

Good luck smile

bealos Thu 27-Dec-12 09:40:27

Good luck! Sounds like you are doing amazingly. Being on a ward (presume this is where you are?) on your own over night and managing contractions without any support is really hard work and you have done really really well to get this far.

Do remember that there's no 'magic' in that 3cm - it's just what medical professionals use to gauge there monitoring. You could go from 3cm to 10cm in a few hours... or days.... there's really no knowing.

Are you able to labour at home at all?

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