Pros and cons - ELCS......

(45 Posts)
M0naLisa Tue 28-Aug-12 21:31:36

Posted this in chat too.

I am pregnant with 3rd and I am shitting bricks about going through labour again. We always said number 2 was our last but then decided to have another at Christmas.
It was a huge decision for me as I have to get my kind round giving birth again. I am absolutely petrified of going through it.
I have thought about an ELCS and it's looking like an option but as I am due 1st Dec I don't want to be poorly and sore over christmas.

I want to know what the pros and cons of an ELCS are from you ladies as you say it how it is.


I had to speak to a midwife today as getting abit of bloody discharge and I mentioned to her my fears and I just cried when I got off the phone as that's what the thought of natural labour does to me sad

Now I know its not an Aibu but I could turn it into one

AIBU to ask for an ELCS as i am a wuss and scared of labour.

mememummy Tue 28-Aug-12 21:46:00

What happened in labour? I have laboured twice and ended up with EMCS both time I asked for elective second time but they refused you have every right to ask for one also you can see a counsellor to help with traumatic labours? I have no idea if it helps so... Bump all the best

JumpingThroughMoreHoops Tue 28-Aug-12 21:47:36

Having had a labour that went tits up followed by an emergency and then 2 x elective CS - I'd take elective every time.

I had to have one for medical reasons with dc2, massive third degree tear and subsequent problems from my first delivery.

It's definitely no walk in the park and I think my recovery was reasonable, you need to really consider the pros and cons. Though no doubt you'll have people on to tell you how they were out jogging two days later and didn't need so much as a paracetamol.

Can your midwife refer you for counselling? I know it is offered in many areas. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Scrubber Tue 28-Aug-12 21:52:57

I've never had an ELCS, but have had 2 EMCS. They were fine. The first time I was pretty frightened being wheeled into the op theatre and having all the lights focussed on you knowing they're going to slice you open, but I had been labouring for a couple of days. I quite enjoyed the second one, was mentally prepared for what was going to happen and the staff all seemed to be in a really good mood and they put on The Proclaimers for us which was a bit odd but fun. The recovery for me was fine both times, just try not to do too much too soon and take your painkillers. I've never had a VB so can't compare, but CS are fine ime.

molly29 Tue 28-Aug-12 21:55:51

Ok i had a planned c section, it was a lovely calm birth, we walked through to the room, i had the epidural while my husband got changed into scrubs, then i had a giggle at him as he walked in, it was 7 minutes from cut to here is your baby, i felt alot of tugging and pulling , it was a wierd sensation, i can't really remember what they did after as i had my boy! When i went into recovery it was wierd that i couldn't move and felt panicy about the cut being pulled open, but it didn't of course.
I think if it makes you calmer its probably a good idea.
Obviously there are the con's of infection and recovery and as you probably already know they cut through muscle, it has risks, you already know this i assume!
People give you their opinions on natural births and thats great for them, but you know how you feel.
My experience was wonderful and i fully enjoyed the one to one time with my new little man for my 3 day stay.
You are not a wuss, you know what you felt and experienced, if having a c section gives you happy memories of the birth of your baby then go for it. Worrying will not do ur bubba any good.x

Meglet Tue 28-Aug-12 21:56:59

If you rest properly after the birth you should feel fairly human by Xmas. I didn't do a thing for a month after my ELCS and was so much better for it. I learnt the hard way after my EMCS and was in pain for weeks as I 'got on with things', never again. PJ's and sofa for me second time around.

Can your DH take sufficient leave to cover the month to do school runs so you can rest? A CS isn't a walk in the park but IME it's bearable if you can plan ahead and get lots of help, it's a major operation so plan accordingly.

Olympicnmix Tue 28-Aug-12 22:06:55

I recovered quicker after my ELCS than my 1st VB. You can really plan for it too. So Christmas shopping done all before, online shopping booked and someone else to host Christmas dinner! You could even book a cleaner for a couple of weeks. I was pretty mobile by day 5, changing dc3 on the floor etc but of course it's different for everyone. It also gives you a lovely excuse to go and lie down, air your stitches and cuddle up with your nb.

If you do decide to go ahead with a ELCS there are loads of hints and tips MNers can share with you to make it successful. Mine is to lie absolutely flat as much as possible after the op to get a straight, smooth scar and help avoid CS overhang.

BigRedIndiaRubberBall Tue 28-Aug-12 22:11:29

Watching with interest as I am due with DC2 on December 2, and had a birth options appointment today to discuss whether to ELCS or not. DC1 was an 11lb via EMCS, so not keen to repeat that experience ... But I keep swinging between the two.

My main reason to try for VBAC is the recovery time. I had a very straightforward, completely pain-free recovery last time, but there's no way I could have been running round after a toddler with a baby in tow for weeks afterwards. But then you never know what kind of recovery you'll get with a VBAC either ...

M0naLisa Tue 28-Aug-12 22:12:16

Dh isn't working at moment and if he's not working at the time then he will help big style.

It's all from my first birth. I was wheeled down to theatre as baby was distress his HB was dropping. I was 4cm and hadn't dilated anymore for 6hours despite the painful and excruciating contractions. He was born in theatre via ventouse, I was cut and had tears.

My second would be a normal birth, felt like he got stuck sad but midwife said he didn't they kept saying push and I was pushing and they'd say one more then I'd push again and baby wasn't coming. He was born a normal delivery with no interventions but the pain was worse than the first and it terrified me. I passed out from the pain 6 times. Midwife said I didn't but I know I did. I know the feeling of passing out I've done it loads of times.
My episiotomy cut ripped and had 2nd degree tears as well as labia lacerations. It was horrific and I never wanted to go through it again. When we decided to ttc I thought about labour and the birth and thought I can do it again. But now it geting closer my fears are coming back thick and strong and I cry at the thought if it.
I know if I talk to a midwife bout I'll be in tears. I'm seeing her on 10th sept when I have GTT and 28 week bloods.

My mum had sections with both me and my sister.
Emcs with me and ELCS with sister. She said she wouldn't wish a section on anyone. She was in hospital 14 days after both times. But this was in the 80s. Surely times have changed now.

WelshMaenad Tue 28-Aug-12 22:17:52

I loveloveloved my elective. Dc1 was an emergency section, my recovery was average. My recovery from my elective was really quick and I felt great. I was driving after 13 days. I recommend a theraline caesarean belt and lots of Manuka honey, eaten and also gathered on the wound. I also bought hibiscrub and washed with it for a few days before my elective date and afterwards until the wound healed.

I guess only you can decide what's right. Vbsc wasn't an option for me for medical reasons but even if it had I would have opted for the elective for the sake of my mental health. I would recommend asking for a debrief of your previous births with a midwife, and time to chat. This really helped me. Best of luck, whatever you choose. X

youngermother1 Tue 28-Aug-12 22:19:14

NICE guidelines seem to suggest that ELCS is fine - detailed information about problems reduced by CS and potentially more likely under CS (compared to vaginal delivery)

Wigglewoo Tue 28-Aug-12 22:21:55

I opted for an elcs with ds now 10 weeks. I had a very long 3 day labour ening in ventouse with dd now aged 9 and I didn't want to go through that again. I argued with my consultant after referral through the midwives and gp and I was booked in for my elcs at my 35 week consultant appointment. I wish I had been granted it earlier as I spent the entire pregnancy in fear of being forced to have a natural birth so if you know you want an elcs start fighting early!!!

For me the elcs was 1000000x better than the vaginal birth. No trauma (well for me there was as they discovered I had undiagnosed placenta previa - I don't "do pregnancy well!!!) But still... Even with this is was reasonably calm. Everyone was lovely to me, there was little pain - the spinal hurt a bit but I felt nothing after (nothing compared to labour and I had had an epidural before too)!!!

The moment I saw my son being held up was amazing and I have to be honest and say I felt a surge of love for him immediately that I took time to develop with dd because her labour had been so long and drawn out.

I enjoyed my 3 day stay in hospital with ds. We really enjoyed that time just us two to bond and the midwives were great and very helpful unlike when I'd had a natural labour and they just fucked off and were horrid (but maybe I was lucky!)

I found recovery better than I thought... I was almost back to normal in around 5/6 days but I left it about 2 weeks before venturing out mainly from tiredness. I found the pain not bad at all - and at least you can sit on your bum without pain from your fanjo! smile

I always thought ds would be my last baby but because having the elcs was so easy and relaxed I remember thinking in the hospital "I'd like to do this again" ....

Now 10 weeks on and the pain of sleepless nights make the pain of an elective c section pale in comparison!!! smile

Olympicnmix Tue 28-Aug-12 22:22:04

Jmo, but sounds like your undercarriage would not bear up well under a vb and a ELCS would be the cautious way to go. If you have friable tissue prone to tearing you also need to think about your future sex life and also continence post-menopause.

your mother has only her CS sections to compare with of 30 years ago. You've had only VB to compare with. It is stepping into the unknown but if the previous two times have not gone well I'd not choose the same option again.

BigRedIndiaRubberBall Tue 28-Aug-12 22:24:12

Well if I knew DH could be around for a few weeks, that would swing it for me. As I said, my CS was pain-free and recovery straightforward, and I quite enjoyed sitting on the sofa for ages afterwards smile.

A friend who had two CSs said the hardest thing was not being able to pick up DC1 for six weeks afterwards. I don't think she missed doing the housework though wink.

1944girl Tue 28-Aug-12 22:29:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

M0naLisa Tue 28-Aug-12 22:32:52

I do worry about the continuance issue. I nearly pissed myself in shoezone this morning when out in town and I'm only 26 weeks pregnant and it was only a little cough. blush

The worry about the tearing too scares me due to the trauma of last time. I had loads of stitches and it took the midwife 2 hours to stitch me up afterward ds2.

I for PND bad after ds2 and I dunno if it was something to do with the birth as its making me just want the baby out now sad I don't want to go through PND again. But then I don't want a midwife to tell me that I'm stupid requesting one iykwim?

M0naLisa Tue 28-Aug-12 22:34:07


Wigglewoo Tue 28-Aug-12 22:37:36

My mum kept scaring me too - she waffled on about how long I'd be in pain for and made me think I'd feel like I'd been hit by a truck.. I'm sure some people do but the pain relief nowadays and the way they cut and sew you up is vEry different. Even she was completely shocked how well I was and said I was so much better than when I'd had dd.

M0naLisa Tue 28-Aug-12 22:39:21

Yes my mums like that
"you don't ever want a section I was so poorly afterwards etc etc"

I just think hmm you've never had a VB mum never got contractions!

BigRedIndiaRubberBall Tue 28-Aug-12 22:40:26

I was slightly dreading today's appointment for just that reason Mona - but the midwife was lovely. I said I was leaning towards an ELCS, and she just nodded and wrote that down. I think it varies from trust to trust how willing they are to let you have one, but I really don't think they'll laugh at you or anything like that.

It was really useful going through my notes too - she took one look at them and came up with a really straightforward explanation for how things turned out which nobody had even suggested at the time. Helped allay any guilt/regret/other emotional bollocks which inevitably gets attached to it.

HazzleMcDazzle Tue 28-Aug-12 22:41:35

I don't think YABU at all.

I had an ELCS having had a horrendous VB with forceps four years previously. Physically, there was no medical need for me to have one but, like you, the thought of having another 'natural' birth completely freaked me out to the point that I couldn't enjoy being pregnant. I talked about this with my Midwife, who recommended a CS for the good of my mental health and stress levels.

I can only tell you what my personal experience was, but I can honestly say that having a section second time around was wonderful. I felt calm, in control and enjoyed the whole thing (in stark comparison to the VB which left me so battered about and traumatised that I ended up with PND). Recovery was also a lot easier - I was discharged after 24 hours and although the first five days or so were quite painful, it was manageable if I kept on top of my pain relief (dicloflenac for the first few days, paracetamol/nurofen thereafter).

I'm aware that mine is only one side of the story, and I'm sure that a lot of other people will have had a much rougher ride, but I wanted to give you a positive account. All the best for the rest of your pregnancy and hope everything goes the way you want it to when you see your Midwife.

M0naLisa Tue 28-Aug-12 22:42:10

Would they be able to go through my last labour notes? I'm going for the same hospital as ds2 birth but not ds1s birth. It will cost me around £50 to get my notes from my labour with ds1 sad

M0naLisa Tue 28-Aug-12 22:43:32

Also what about breastfeeding after an elcs? Would that be an issue?

I've had an elcs and an emcs after a failed vbac. I would chose an elective again. I was back on my feet very quickly, driving after four weeks, did sod all housework grin. Joking aside it was calm, relaxed, my boy was born healthy and there was no trauma. Compared to
A failed vbac and emcs it was a wall on the park, although I maintain the best part of my vbac was the spinal for my section.

Good luck in your decision op.

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