Please help me, feeling so down(55 Posts)
Right, will try not to make this too long.
I had a c section with my dd almost 13 years ago. I had an extreme fear of natural birth which wasn't helped by some appaling and humiliating treatment in my pregnancy. After I broke down and had a panic attack during an examination at 31 weeks, I was finally seen by a consultant who agreed to a section, which was wonderful, no probs.
I have had such a fear that I have waited all these years to try again. Panic that has gripped me in the night for years. Am now 11 weeks.
I have hired a private midwife, have seen her once, she know my fears, has said she'd help me re a repeat section but at the moment she's proving to be as useless as a chocolate teapot really, already thinking that i've chucked 3k down the drain, but I can't be at the mercy of a hospital midwife team again.
She is now saying that the 3 hospitals she contacted will push me for a VBAC and will probably not agree to a second section on my request.
I am thinking of terminating this pregnancy, I cannot have a natrual birth, I don't know what to do.
iwanticecream, I'm not able to give any useful advice but I am also in a similar situation.
I am unable to have a natural birth due to extreme fear of examinations due to past abuse. My dd was born 4 years ago by elcs and I'm now 11 weeks pregnant.
I too thought of terminating as the fear of them saying no to a section was terrifying.
I'm not sure if it's different depending on areas but my midwife said that as I'd had a previous csection I'd be offered one automatically. Has your midwife said different?
Also meant to say, feel free to pm anytime for a rant, moan or cry, it's so hard being in this situation and want you to know that you're not alone
As far as I am aware if a consultant will not have you a c section you are entitled to ask to be referred to a consultant who will.
I am having an elcs this week due to trauma from first birth.
Ask for a referral to the nearest perinatal mental health team. They have no vested interest in avoiding CS but aim to get you to the other side of child-bearing in one piece. Your condition is called tokophobia ie extreme fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Your GP or mw can refer you. You may be able to self refer.You would be seen by a psychologist who will have seen this before. At 11 weeks, you have time on your side.
You can do your own research about services or you can contact a Supervisor of Midwives at your local maternity unit. It is their responsibility to support women to get the care they need. They can advocate for you with the obstetric team. The unit should have a website with contact details.
You will get your section, purely on the grounds that you had one previously, never mind the other issues. Don't panic and don't arrange a termination. You just need to speak to a consultant and take somebody as an advocate with you if you don't think you can do it alone.
So sad that termination has crossed your mind because of this.Having had 1 section already is a good enough reason to request another and can have on nhs,no need to pay private fees.You need a referral to see a consultant in antenatal clinic,your GP can do it or midwife.Normally see you at 20weeks to discuss & 36 to bo
Sorry,36 weeks to book date.Good luck
iwanticecream so sorry you are feeling like this.
I am no expert (so not sure how helpful this is) but I would imagine that NHS consultants wouldn't confirm to a private midwife (or anyone else outside the NHS on your behalf) that they will definitely give you a ELCS without seeing you especially as it is fairly early on.
As others have said get booked in and ask to see a consultant and take your private midwife along to that.
You have a valid reason for a ELCS. Anyone I know who has wanted one (all in different places) have been given one.
Do you have people you can talk to in RL about this?
Thinking of you.
Hi, sorry I didn't come back yesterday, wasn't feeling too good.
The time frame is worrying me. I cannot have vaginal birth, and I don't want the fear hanging over me, I would rather terminate. I spent my first pregnancy gripped with fear and anxiety, I couldn't leave the house, I couldn't breathe until they agreed a section.
My midwife is also stressing me out beyond belief. SHes tried telling me what bloods I MUST have, what tests I MUST have (believe me, I know my rights and what is optional, what is my choice), I can't beleive I have paid all this money for someone to cause me stress. She's been no help with any of this either.
My three neasrest hospitals are trying to get their c section rates down, apparently they would only consider me for a vbac.
Can you ditch the midwife? She should be informing you and supporting you, not pressuring you.
All hospitals are trying to get their section rates down, my own hospital only has a 17% rate that they are very proud of but they still don't force VBAC on anyone and agreed to my elective immediately. I think you need to engage with the actual hospital, speak to a consultant and not rely on what this midwife or what anyone else says. If you are honest about your fears I am sure they will listen to you and agree to your section at an early stage. If you don't get anywhere with the first consultant you see, request to see another. Get someone to support you and attend appointments if need be - can your partner not help?
Sorry this is upsetting you so much. I think if you are considering termination rather than go through childbirth again, this is something that should (and may well) be taken very seriously by your hospital.
Your private midwife doesn't sound very supportive. Have you spoken to the hospital midwives at all? I know you found them bad last time, but it may be very different this time. I found all my NHS midwives very supportive in obtaining a section. Have you been booked in yet at the hospital?
At my hospital, I was booked in about 11 weeks and scanned at 12 weeks with DS2. At my booking in appointment, I spoke to the midwife about my previous traumatic birth and resulting injuries and explained that I wanted to see a consultant about a c section.
I saw the consultant at 16 weeks and he had no hesitation in recommending a section in my circumstances. I found no battle at all, although my hospital is also hoping to cut their section rates. Where are you living, OP?
This thread here explains how the OP saw a consultant and was successfully able to campaign for a section with the help of a specialist NHS midwife.
Please don't despair. Keep talking to us and there will be a way to handle this.
If I get rid of this midwife, I am not sure I will get my money back.
I've not booked at the hospital yet. The midwife spoke to three and said two wouldn't even talk to her about it and said they would not do cs on maternal request anymore. The third said I could see the midwife there to talk about it, but it is one of the worst hospitals in london with an appaling track record. It's actually due for closure soon it's that terrible.
I am so confused and I don't know what to do for the best.
I'm sorry but I don't believe what the midwife is saying. The NICE guidelines say that maternal choice is allowed, yes they will try to dissuade some women (typically first timers who are frightened of pain), but you have already had a CS and therefore have valid clinical reasons for having another. This is before you even go into your psychological issues over it all.
If I were you I would go to your booking in app and discuss all the issues and see what they say. At this point you can request a consultant appointment too.
Also, I would see your GP and tell them how down this is making you. You might benefit from a mental health service referral anyway to help you with the anxiety.
I really feel for you though, I was in a similar state until 32 weeks and I wish I had just spoken to my consultant earlier. Everyone kept telling me I wouldn't be allowed an elective, including my family, yet it was no problem at all, despite there being no clinical reason and it being purely psychological. You are very different as you actually have a clear clinical reason.
I need to talk to this midwife properly, don't I? Kick her into line, I have paid her all my savings.
I went with a private one in the first place as I was treated so terribly in my first pregnancy, but she just seems crap. All she cares about is ramming every test under the sun down my throat saying they are compulsory - I know they are not and it's giving me loads of stress.
I am seeing my gp soon.
Grrrrrr! Right! I am so sorry that ou are being made to feel this way! I had the same problem in so much as I just didn't want to give birth and I was put under an immense amount of pressure to have a vaginal delivery. You are entitled under the NICE guidelines to have a section for maternal request. I ad I really dig my heels in and had a really ard fight, but I did eventually have my section. I think that I only had the courage of my convictions because I am a health care professional myself, but I still found it incredibly difficult. I felt really bullied and belittled at times. Hang in there. Ask to see the consultant and tell thm that it is your body and hey are risking not only your physical health but mental health also by dictating to you how you will give birth. They will tell you about the risks involved - haemorrhage, increased isk of deep vein thrombosis, wound infection, and possible minor breathing difficulties your baby might have (usually if born but section under 37 weeks by section) all of which are true and you must be aware of. You will have a spinal anaesthetic for your section, meaning that you will be awake for he birth of your baby. You will have to have bloods taken to make sure that your blood chemistry is fine before they start and to make sure that they have your blood type on hand should they need it. ( this is all standard procedure, and nothing o be worried about) hs is usually done the day before your section is planned. Your partner will be able to come into theatre with ou to see his baby being born too. You will still be able to breast feed after a section, if that is what you want. I can tell you all this, as I work in obstetrics operating theatre and have helped the anaesthetists with loads of them, and have been through it myself 9 months ago. Good luck.
You do not need any more test throughout your pregnancy than an anyone else does, just because you are having a section. I work for the nhs and am really proud to do so. I hope you can find it within you to give them another go.
It might be worth exploring how much money you can get back as she had only done a very small amount of what the overall service presumably involves. I don't think you need her, I think you can get more appropriate support from various parts of the NHS. I can completely understand why you hired her but I think you will be fine without her.
I'm glad you're seeing your GP. Mine referred me to perinatal mental health services who would have supported me with the request for a section if it had been necessary.
Also, there are good and bad midwives but the good ones are brilliant. You just need to find them, same with consultants.
I'd assumed the tests were the routine antenatal screening like nuchal translucency etc. which you can of course opt not to have.
It sounds to me like your midwife (for whatever reason) has a vested interest in you having a VBAC. I would be inclined to give her her marching papers and demand your money back as she is not providing the service you paid her for.
Then go to your GP an explain your situation and get her on side.
You are not having a CS for maternal request. That's the important thing to remember here. You have 2 very valid reasons, you had a section previously for tocophobia & this is still the case & you have now had a previous section. They can encourage you to have a VBAC but cannot force you as the evidence is very equal for risks for both & if you are not planning to have a 3rd pregnancy this is very much the case. Once you discuss your fear of childbirth with them they would be very unlikely to push you towards that option anyway, it certainly wouldn't happen with any of the consultants I've worked for. They will have to tell you risks & benefits of both before signing off on it though. You need to see your GP & book ASAP & ask him for an obstetric referral as soon as possible explaining the severity of the situation etc.
You do not need any more test throughout your pregnancy than an anyone else does, just because you are having a section. I work for the nhs and am really proud to do so. I hope you can find it within you to give them another go.
Thanks, I know the risks well. Didn't have major complications with my first section, but I ended up having it at 36 weeks as I went into labour - DD had breathing probe etc, but I still feel strongly about having another one.
The midwife is obsessed with all the screening bloods - I didn't have them with DD, just the blood group ones, hospital didn't bat an eyelid, they are your choice. She has told me a hospital will not see me without all the other screening bloods, I know from personal experiece that this is utter crap.
She is obsessed with the glucose test as well. Didn't have it the first time, won't be having it this time, fwiw, I have doen my research. Again, she says this is a MUST. It's not.
I am feeling powerless again at the moment and I am begining to wonder if it's all worth it.
With regard to the nice guidelines (as the not so helpful midwife pointed out), they are worded in a way which doesnt give me much hope:
184.108.40.206 Maternal request is not on its own an indication for CS and specific reasons for the request should be explored, discussed and recorded.
220.127.116.11 When a woman requests a CS in the absence of an identifiable reason, the overall benefits and risks of CS compared with vaginal birth should be discussed and recorded.
18.104.22.168 When a woman requests a CS because she has a fear of childbirth, she should be offered counselling (such as cognitive behavioural therapy) to help her to address her fears in a supportive manner, because this results in reduced fear of pain in labour and shorter labour.
22.214.171.124 An individual clinician has the right to decline a request for CS in the absence of an identifiable reason. However the womans decision should be respected and she should be offered referral for a second opinion.
I don't want CBT. Fgs, I know what I want, I had one previously.
Please go and talk to your GP about this. Ditch the private midwife, ask for your money back. If you dont get it take her to small claims court once this mess is sorted.
Your mental health and that of your baby is much more important than 3k.
Get referred to the hospital consultant and perinatal mental health team. As you've had a previous cs I think that makes it massively easier tbh.
The thing is, my GP wanted to refer me straight to a consultant at the hospital. She just told me to get the name of one.
This midwife said she spoke to the hospital, and they want me to be referred to the midwives first.
Am seeing GP soon, I hate all this stress.
Is it just me or is the midwife not giving you the full story? No test is a 'must' although some are indeed recommended. E.g. we have a family history of diabetes although my own sugar count is quite low, and so I had the GTT. Now, as for the ELCS, I am wondering if there are two things happening a) they are fobbing your midwife of because they dont want to discuss with her and will be far more reasonable when YOU speak to them face to face b) that she isn't pushing for the ELCS as strongly as she makes it out to be? Yes, London hospitals are trying to bring CS rates down, but you need to be able to speak to a consultant face to face to discuss this.
I think I don't trust her already.
I have only met her once for booking, and since have had contact via phone and email. To be honest, her emails are long and rambling, full of mistakes and appalling grammar... doesn't sit right with me.
I am well informed on all the tests. I did lots of research in first pregnancy, and when I was planning this one. On top of that, I studied healthcare, so am far from uninformed.
All I want to do is speak to a consultant, not faff about with midwives, who IME, push natural birth.
So do that. Can you self refer?
Ask your GP to find out who she should refer you direct to, she can phone the hospital and ask.
No, i can't self refer to a consultant.
When I spoke to my GP, she said just give me a consultants name and I will refer you, but, I have been told that even though I have this private midwife, I have to get booked into a hospital by the hospital midwives, who will then book me to see a consultant.
I don't understand why this is the case. I am having all scans elsewhere (privately). I am having all appointments with the (useless at mo) private midwife.
I don't understand why I can't be referred to a consultant? I was made to wait so long the first time round for a decision on CS, it was hell, i can't go through that again.
I agree that you should talk to your GP. You don't have any faith in that private midwife. Can you get some of your money back from her. It just seems pointless if she seems to be making things worse rather than trying to reassure you which should be her job.
Iwanticecream I have no experience in c-sections or this area but I totally understand your rationale and decision - at the end of the day whats most important for you and your baby is that your pregnancy and birth is stressfree.
Having said that, why don't you also look into some form of therapy - my stepdad does CBT and thinks its very useful to people with fears. I am not saying this to convince you into a VBAC in anyway and think that at this stage of your pregnancy you don't need any pressure about into choosing one but it could be worth trying to alleviate some of your fears in another way too IYSWIM? It might make you feel less stressed?
to be clear, my stepdad practices CBT as a form of therapy and has done the training so he has experience (not from having CBT for himself)
Your midwife seems to have set herself up as a gatekeeper so you can't access advice and services without going through her.
I am fairly sure you can get a consultant privately without going through the midwife team, or at least do it all on the same day.
I agree with going back to GP getting GP to talk you through who to have as consultant (or do some research before hand) and setting up an appointment/referral.
Unfortunately, I think you have to have it out with the midwife so you can ditch her and get some money back. That might be better done after you've had a consultant appointment on the basis that if the consultant confirms the midwife is talking nonsense you've got a stronger basis for complaint.
The trouble is, I have tried do research on the consultants at the hospital (like I said, GP just said give her a name) but it's like banging my head against a brick wall. I keep getting told the midwife team will refer me.
I know I can see one privately - I wish I could afford it! My GP is not in my area so has no links to the hospital, she usually deals with women wanting private referrals.
How can I get to see a consultant myself?
You cannot usually just see a consultant without going through some form of gatekeeper. If your GP can't help (but I am honestly surprised that she cant just phone and find out who usually specialises in women with similar issues at your chosen hospital) then you have to go through NHS antenatal appointment with a midwife, who will then refer you on for a consultant appointment.
There is no way to see a consultant on the NHS without having your 'booking' appointment, you would automatically be allocated consultant led care though and in the absence of risk factors other than prev cs, the 'next available' appointment, or even as you fear one at 36weeks. However, if you were able to state your level of anxiety/ mental health problems clearly, at my trust you would receive a swift referral to the specialist mental health mw who would be an excellent advocate ime. I struggle to understand how an indie mw would liaise with an NHS consultant but that may be a London thing? Good luck.
Ah that makes sense. Basically you will see the midwife who will then refer you to a consultant. Once the midwife has seen you, you will be able to make a booking with the consultant's team. You can't see the consultant directly. Sorry, but I think if you do go for the booking in appointment and get to see the consultant, your mind will be at rest.
And if you don't trust the midwife, then you don't. Doesn't matter what she does or says. It is her job to make you comfortable and she isn't doing that.
Ok. There are lots of people here on mn who want to and will help you so you are not alone. I think that all the anxieties you have about hospital/VB/midwives/lack of control/what to do are all getting jumbled up and causing increased stress and pressure. I was in a similar situation to you in that I wanted an NHS CS in London as a 2nd birth (1st was traumatic VB). I got one.
Firstly, you do not need to consider termination. You WILL get a CS and we will help you take the steps to access the right help and support to get one.
Secondly, I think that the mixing of private and NHS care is causing a muddle about who will be responsible for what. It's fine to do it this way I think but we need to work out who is responsible for what and where you need to be when. Am I right in thinking all your antenatal care is supposedly to be provided privately but the birth NHS? Or will you have a private delivery at an NHS hospital? If you are ultimately giving birth under NHS care you'll still need to be booked in. I'm not sure how the private info transfers across but they would tell you that at the booking in appointment.
Thirdly, I want to reassure you that NHS midwives does not automatically mean "bad" (although I appreciate you may have had that experience before). It was my booking in midwife who suggested consultant referral, another one who accelerated my second opinion when I was struggling to function after the 1st consultant refused me. I was never discouraged from my CS choice by any midwives.
Fourthly, it sounds like your independent midwife is causing you increased anxiety by being unclear, incorrect and potentially pushing her own agenda of VBAC. I'd seriously consider getting rid of her and demanding a refund for the services she hasn't yet rendered. You've listed enough errors and examples on unprofessionalism to report to the RCM if she gets difficult in this situation.
I would book in with the NHS midwives - they will get you the consultant referral. You should also request support from the perinatal mental health team to reduce your anxiety. They will not try to persuade you to vb, they will work on getting you to feel calmer and back in control (I have done this myself). This does not mean you can't revert to private midwife support but I think you need to get in the system for the consultant appointment.
Once you have the consultant appointment you can run through strategies about what to say and do to ensure the CS. Although some of us have been refused CS at 1st appointment I do not know of a single example of anyone made to VB when they wanted a CS. And I have read A LOT of ELCS threads on mn! They all got the CS request granted eventually. You will too.
Keep talking on here, keep sharing the issues. Apologies that this is so long.
Thank you. Thanks to everyone on this thread.
Yes, I will be having my own private care - private midwife, private GP and scans but having the birth on the NHS. This due to the horrendous experience I had the first time round.
I booked the private midwife as I wanted continuity of care. The last time I never saw the same midwife twice and was barked at by a succession of rude and aggressive midwives and subjected to a forced internal. She will also come after the birth instead of community midwives - I am not registered with an NHS GP and never will be, my new baby will see the same private ped as my DD has seen since birth, no HVs etc.
All I want is to be able to get to see a consultant asap.
I must admit I'm slightly confused, I could ring up a hospital and find out the name of a consultant so why cant a private gp?
Or I could find out the name, ring his secretary and book a private appointment myself. That way surely you would save money on gp appointment and just having one private consultation to talk this through wouldnt be that expensive.
Personally I think its easier and cheaper to stick with nhs but pick and choose who you will see and where you should go. I think the issue is actually about feeling in control rather than nhs/ private.
If you are going to gavd birth on nhs then you are going to have to have booking appointment anyway I imagine.
Yes, and that's fine, I understand I will need a booking appointment and have my blood group taken there so they have my blood on site. I'm ok with that one midwife appointment, all the rest will take place in my home or at my workplace with my private midwife (IF i keep her on, an undecided).
I don't understand why my GP can't also contact a consultant, so she can voice my concerns and try to get me to see someone sooner.
If you're having an NHS birth, you will need a referral to an NHS consultant. A private midwife has no jurisdiction in the NHS & the NHS consultants will not discuss your case with her, as they have had no referral & won't have any medical information about you - there's also confidentiality/consent issues.
I guess you have 2 options: your GP could refer you or you can book in with an NHS midwife.
I'm pretty sure your anxieties will be recognised & appropriate support put in place for you.
Good luck - I really hope you can get something sorted - and hopefully start to enjoy your pregnancy.
Why not ring your gp and ask her why not? presumably private gps are much like vets in terms of how easy they are to contact/ arrange appointments with?
That seemed like an odd response but the vet rang me back within an hour this morning! !!
Your GP can write to your consultant and request that they care for you, I have seen such letters occasionally, but they just seem to be popped in your notes to guide referral when allocating a consultant at the booking appointment. The timing if the process doesn't change I don't think.
lotsofcheese - I know that and so does she, she will only be able to come to appointments as an advocate for me. She just rang around some hospitals to see where the ground lay with them. Which I actually have a massive problem with, I am capable of doing that myself, she didn't even ask, just did it and then informed me I would be billed for extra work
My bones with her is that I feel she has her own agenda in terms of VBAC.
Your private GP should be able to refer you BUT you still need the booking in appointment and that will guarantee the referral.
I think Herethere gives excellent advice.
I understand that you have chosen private healthcare after such a negative experience 13 years ago.
But as many people on this thread have pointed out, NHS midwives can be very supportive of c sections and so can consultants in the NHS.
And if you are having the birth within the NHS, you may be better off interacting with the hospital for all crucial points, giving them the information to help you get the birth you want. It is hard for a consultant to appreciate the severity of your previous trauma if the only contact is through a private midwife.
As someone else says, it is also unlikely that hospitals have time to discuss your case in detail with a private midwife. They may well have simply said "oh well we would want her to have a vaginal delivery". The guidance from the hospital that you post is not the same as having a tailored conversation about your case with the people involved in your care. It should be totally different when you yourself have a conversation once you have briefed the midwives/consultant on your previous trauma.
As I said before, I had an awful first birth - overdose, fourth degree tear and so on. It was the subject of an investigation.
I had an excellent second birth where I was listened to all the way. All the midwives and consultant were incredibly supportive. This was all NHS. Everyone looked at my notes and was incredibly kind.
I feel so much for you, but I don't think you will necessarily meet the resistance you expect to your section. As another poster said, I know of no-one who really wanted a section who didn't receive one.
At first, I didn't expect there to be so much opposition.
But then the midwife said to me that we will 'have a fight on our hands' getting an elective section and such (she still works within the NHS herself). SHe has scared me shitless.
I am so confused about everything.
That midwife is doing nothing for your state of mind.
You WILL need to take active steps to get the CS but it WILL be possible. She should be acting as your supporter and enabler, if she is not doing this you should really get rid of her unless you think her service is going to be improved by confronting her with the inadequacies in the support she has provided so far.
You have got to get rid of that midwife. You don't trust her. When it comes to pre-birth, birth, post-birth.. you need to be with someone you trust. Ditch her now, surely she can refund lots (as you'd expect most of the work to be late pregnancy onwards?!)
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.