C section anxiety and worry!

(26 Posts)
cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 12:46:29

I'm currently 20 weeks pregnant, went to meet with my consultant yesterday for the first time to discuss future deliveries.
I will keep it as short as possible, with my first child born 8 years ago I suffered a 4th degree tear, which in all fairness healed fantastically and I was out and about 4 days after the birth. No pain no nothing. I have had no problems since either.
Now, my consultant is adamant I should have a c section due to these issues but she didn't have any of my previous notes to look through, so she is just going off what I can remember! She kept emphasising 4 degree tear and questioned me like I was exaggerating it ( not something I could forget really) and she kept asking was I sure it wasn't 3rd degree tear.
Anyway I said the thought of a section scares the life out of me just thinking about epidural, iv in hand, cannula and being cut open. And all I got back was " planned sections are more popular than you think" still not helping! I've got to go back to see her in 2 months to make a decision!!!
Can anyone please tell me if there experience wit elective sections and all the needles, cannula and being in theatre?
I don't really know anyone that's had one so I can't get advise from anyone I know.

Baconyum Wed 09-Mar-16 12:58:12

Mine was emergency, but it was fine.

Epidural took no time at all and was effective, canula was no problem even though I have shit veins and usually have problems, but on maternity units they're used to canulising prem babies so are very quick when not dealing with a tiny wriggly baby. I hate needles but it was all fairly painless.

Sore day after, bit sore day after that. Day after that felt almost normal.

BUT I was overseas and I was given different support/advice to UK.

I was given excellent pain relief inc complementary relief, I was encouraged to be up and walking the day after, I healed really quickly compared to friends who had sections in UK and were encouraged to lay up for up to 2 weeks! Only do not do was driving but that was because of the meds, not told to not stretch or lift baby in fact was encouraged. Was even given gentle tummy stretching exercises. My scar is tiny and no scarring internally.

I'm sure you will be fine but I totally get why you're nervous and if you're like me you cope better when you know what you're facing/possible issues.

ingenvillvetavardukoptdintroja Wed 09-Mar-16 12:58:30

I've had an emergency section. Don't know if I was particularly lucky but found recovery v easy. My baby was in special care for three weeks though so I was able to get lots of rest at home.
The actual wound stopped hurting after a couple of days, then it was just being careful when sneezing, laughing or moving in bed.
They took catheter and canula out 24 hours after and encouraged me to get up and moving. I was walking short distances locally within a fortnight. Seems to have been a good recovery in comparison to friends with slightly more complicated natural births.
I don't really remember the epidural or canula being put in because I was in active labour but it wasn't a problem. Only problem staying still while having contractions, shouldn't be a problem with a planned section!
I have already decided I will have a planned section next time as it was such a positive experience. But that's my choice. I don't know much about tears but do some research and don't get talked into something that isn't what you want

Baconyum Wed 09-Mar-16 12:59:04

They tend to use smaller/thinner needles than other medics too which helps.

VagueIdeas Wed 09-Mar-16 12:59:48

You know what? So many people struggle to get a consultant to agree to an elective section for all sorts of (valid) reasons, so if this consultant is strongly recommending a c section, then please take it smile

A fourth degree tear is a really serious injury. You were lucky to recover with no issues re. faecal incontinence. Even an uncomplicated natural birth could stress your pelvic floor to the extent that you start suffering with incontinence or leakage.

I'll find you the RCOG guidelines so you can have a look.

I had a third degree tear btw, and although the consultant I saw told me I definitely wouldn't tear again and I definitely wouldn't cause any stress to the pelvic floor/sphincter (hmm) I insisted I wanted an elective section and it was fantastic.

cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:02:32

Thankyou for your reply.
I honestly didn't think it would bother me lol BUT I have never been very good with anything that involves needles. With my first it all happened so quick after my tear I don't even recall having any until I woke up with a iv in my hand. The thought of being awake whilst being cut open petrifies me even though I know I won't feel or see it and hubby will be by my side 100%. I'm a total wuss and feel like I'm acting like a drama queen but honestly I don't think I will cope well the morning I go in to have it done. I have been known to suffer anxiety attacks and it scares me to think what if I have one that day.

LuckySantangelo1 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:06:46

I had an elective section & it was ace. I was anxious when I got in the operating theatre so they gave me some marvellous drugs to take this edge off. You will be fine. I was home within 24 hours.

Marshpillow Wed 09-Mar-16 13:07:12

I has an EMCS and the procedure was about a million times more pleasant than my labour! (I was induced at 39 weeks, took ages to get going).
The most unpleasant bit was having the spinal, but like a PP I was in active labour, 10cm dilated and had been pushing for about 30 mins so it was pretty uncomfortable bending over far enough, but I guess with an ELCS you won't have all that! I didn't feel the cut at all, and I healed really well and quickly, no complications at all. I would absolutely have an ELCS if I had to next time, and even the thought of another EMCS doesn't bother me.

LuckySantangelo1 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:07:57

Plus you'll be so excited about seeing your baby that being cut open or worries about the IV will be the last thing on your mind.

cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:17:04

You ladies are so brave compared to me lol. I know deep down I don't have anything to worry about really and I definitely agree with everyone when they say I don't want to suffer the rest of my life rather than a few weeks taking it easy. I understand 100% that I would be possibly putting my body through a lot more if I go for vb again. And I'm certainly not saying no to cs. I just need to combat my fears and try to relax myself on the day. Hubby loves needles he'd take his own blood if he could! So I know that I'm safe when I'm with him

VictoriaRoses Wed 09-Mar-16 13:17:20

I am petrified of needles and not being in control of my body, but had no choice but to have a c-section because my twins were transverse. They used numbing cream on my hand where they put the cannula in. I really freaked out when I went into the theatre (tried to walk off-had to be held by DH) so they gave me something to calm me downsmile. The c-section took 1 1/2 hours but felt like 5 minutes.

cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:21:38

You know what I honestly think it's the fear of needles more than anything I tried avoiding having my bloods done but I knew it needed doing at some point. I have already bought some emla cream hoping that will work for cannula I'm going to test it out at my next lot of bloods and whooping cough vaccine.

LadyRoseMacClare Wed 09-Mar-16 13:22:10

I was absolutely adamant I didn't want an epidural and nor did I want a section, but when the option came and it was epi or nothing, and then I needed an EMCS, it was a total no brainer!

I'm 31 weeks with dc2 and am opting for an ELCS- my recovery last time was a total breeze and I'm hoping this time will be the same.

chandelierswinging Wed 09-Mar-16 13:27:36

I've had two c-sections (1 emer, 1 "elective", sort of... I went into labour!) and am having a third (elective) later this year. I can honestly say that, following a scary experience with my first emergency section, my "elective" was a delightful experience. I wrote a birth plan, met an anaesthetist and visited the theatre (their suggestions) to help it seem "less medical" iyswim and to help me overcome some of my fears.

Like PPs have said, not being in labour makes a difference (I suspect!! I was in labour both times!) and being very vocal about your concerns and anxieties is very powerful. I also suffer with panic attacks and anaesthetics seem to bring them on (as well as being in theatre obvs!) but I was very open about that and my totally sexy anaesthetist and wonderful midwife were very much in charge of the rest of the theatre team and advocating for me during my "elective". They waited until I was competely ready and calm before starting and were there hand-holding (literally and metaphorically) throughout, checking on me regularly. It was an altogether empowering birth experience.

The worst part for me was/is the odd "washing up in my belly" feeling when they deliver baby (!!!) but it's over very quickly.

cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:28:33

Thankyou for all of your comments.
I know it can't be as bad as I have in my head otherwise women wouldn't opt for them again given the choice haha. I might talk to mw about my fears and see what she suggests to help me she is lovely and I trust everything she says

VagueIdeas Wed 09-Mar-16 13:30:16

Didn't you have an epidural to have the fourth degree tear repaired? Or was it a general?

I remember being in theatre absolutely trembling even though I wanted the ELCS more than anything. I'd never had any surgery before either. It's normal to be scared. Try to banish thoughts of "being cut open" (the incision heals really small - mine is about five inches across) because that won't help grin

The time taken between starting the operation and baby being born is REALLY quick. After that you'll be too distracted by the baby to worry about what's going on at the other side of the curtain.

helensburgh Wed 09-Mar-16 13:30:55

I've had an emergency and an elective but no natural birth to compare to.
The worst part for me is the spinal makes my blood pressure drop, I feel.awful and vomit.
I'm having my third c section in a few weeks.

cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:35:46

No, before I had my stitches an anaesthetist (think I've spelt it correctly) came and seen me and asked me what I wanted so I opted to be asleep for it. And when I came round I was half expecting a catheter too but was suprised to find I didn't need one. I had a lot of options in regards to the stitches which I really am glad about. (But again they knew about my fears of needles) I was too tired to stay awake and my son stayed with my mum and mw on the ward. I kick myself now though thinking I should have had an epidural so that fear would be gone now.

LowlLowl Wed 09-Mar-16 13:40:23

I had an ELCS with DS2, after an EMCS with DS1. The ELCS was a good experience (Although I'd rather have had a VBAC but that's another matter). I wanted to see DS2 come out and they set it up so I could - it was amazing! The recovery has been much quicker than with the EMCS too. I won't lie, it's not nice for the first few days but given it's major abdominal surgery you'll be up and about very quickly. You just need to take it easy for the first few weeks (which is no bad thing with a newborn anyway!) If you're squeamish, why not discuss this with the docs, they will probably be able to help. It doesn't hurt, but it does feel a bit weird when they rummage around to push the baby out. To be fair, I never even noticed them sewing me up either time, I was too busy concentrating on the babies!

Cuttheraisins Wed 09-Mar-16 13:42:17

The thought of having a fourth degree tear scares me a lot more than a c section. But then I am not scared of needles, or operations. I have friends who had bad tears and were and still are in a very bad way. You were very lucky.

cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:46:30

Yeah invert thankful that I recovered perfectly, and I know next time could be a different story which I obviously don't want. I will have the cs because I know that's the better choice of the two I'm just a very nervous, anxious person and I have a lot of fears when it comes to medical things.

cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:47:14

My phone with auto text I'm very, not invert lol

Cuttheraisins Wed 09-Mar-16 16:10:47

Cheeky, you still have time to prepare though. Medical staff are used to dealing with mothers who are scared of needles don't be embarrassed about it. I won't lie, I did not enjoy either of my c sections (both emergencies) but the staff were very professional. Maybe going through your notes with a midwife would help?

cheekymummy89 Wed 09-Mar-16 18:32:11

Yeah, I know that I have a while to go until it happens but I've always been the same. I overthink things and start googling things lol. Can't help it I think a lot of it goes back to when I had my son the cannula came out of my hand and I started bleeding and when I told the mw on the ward she just tried forcing it back in which hurt a lot! So I'm petrified of having them now. Which then doesn't help with other needles, I.e epidural, blood tests, vaccines etc. I have managed to grin and bear my blood tests upto now don't know how I will be with whooping cough vaccine yet. I've bought some of that emla numbing cream so I'm hoping that will ease my issues with needles on the day I just can't get past the thought of having it all. I can handle the thought of the section itself because I know I won't feel or see it happen and recovery I'm not worried about because I know I will be giving pain meds lol it's literally needles! Doesn't help when my last mw who I have moved away from now, messed up EVERYTIME she did my bloods, left me in agony, big black bruises and even had blood squirting out my arm because she wasn't confident in doing blood tests.

Duckdeamon Wed 09-Mar-16 18:37:05

It might be worth reading up on birth after a serious tear, eg any guidlines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. To see if there really are any other options and what the risks are.

I don't mind needles but found the canula in hand much more distressing than the spinal for my (unplanned) C sections!

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