Cesareans - advice and experiences wanted please

(55 Posts)
saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 11:12:45

Can anyone tell me the truth about cesareans? I'm first time pregnant and have absolutely NO desire to go through labour. I know that cesareans are a major operation and that they have a longer recovery time, but can someone who has had one tell me what this means in practice, in regards to mobility and pain after the op.
I'm especially interested in women who have gone through labour and a cesarean and can compare the two.


JeanSeberg Tue 18-Mar-14 11:16:20

I've done both and there's no way I would have a C section through choice. The operation was fine but the recovery period was incredibly long, slow and painful.

Labour on the other end was easy in comparison (with maximum pain relief) and recovery reasonably quick.

Hedgehog80 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:17:18

I've had four caesareans. Three were elective and one was emergency after I was in labour for four days.

Recovery after #1 and #3 was ok but #2 and #4 was very difficult

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 11:25:06

So hedgehog, which would you prefer?

OohMrDarcy Tue 18-Mar-14 11:25:50

I have had 2 x long labours followed by emergency c-section
- oops
first time I was in labour for 3 days - induced, hormone drip, the lot - babies head never fully engaged and I had to have mega strong drip and a stronger than normal epidural, can't talk much about the pain really as it was 7 years ago and I can't clearly remember! They topped up the (stronger) epidural before the op and baby was out in 2 mins - it wasn't a full on emergency, just a standard failure to progress job - stitch up time seemed a matter of minutes, then was wheeled back to recovery where DD / DH were waiting - they had waited to weigh etc until I was back, and let me choose outfit, then even offered to take a family pic for us - I was bed bound until the next day, when catheter was removed, took a shaky walk to the bathroom for a shower, the midwives hovered nearby for first walk, and I had to call them when done and they walked me back agian

wasn't too bad, was healed enough for day 2 day bits and bobs in about 3 days, but had to be careful for a couple of weeks - fine after that!

Second time was a natural labour but the same issues (turns out that my hips are the wrong shape or something!) I managed the labour pains fine (4 days I think this time - definitely longer anyway) baby had somehow got into a position where I was feeling an urge to push even though he wasn't engaged at all... so at 6/7 cm I was pushing without even realising it - I wouldn't say that pain was bad at all as long as I was going with the pushing.... when midwife checked and realised I was nowhere near ready they asked me to breath through it - didn't work, given gas and air and told to breath through it - didn't work! Eventually given epidural to stop me feeling the urge, and apparently I was still pushing a bit - oops

anyway - at around 8 cms it all stopped progressing, again and then DS got a bit distressed so was whizzed around for c-section, I wasn't worried as had done it before. However - and this is a minor risk, but something you need to know - the epidural was starting to stop working, I started to feel more and more -ending up in feeling quite sharp pains - the anaesthetist asked the surgeons to stop whilst they did something, but I had a minor heamorrage and they couldn't stop - so I was knocked out - DS had already been born (was just after this that I started to feel), but the second part of the op takes the time.

It did also take a little longer healing second time around and was in more pain for a few more days

good luck and hope you come to the right decision for you!

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 11:27:11

TY for input Jean. How long was the recovery?

I realise I'm more than likely going to Labour and I'm kind of resigned to it, but I think I'd feel better about it if I knew more about cesareans and how they worked.

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 11:29:00

Thank you MrDarcy.

Hedgehog80 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:35:20

It is very hard to answer that! With my first I had induction at 41+3, was in labour for four days (regular contractions that for the last 12 hrs got to 2 mins apart but only dilated to 2cm), waters broken then dd1 was distressed and I was rushed in for a cs so I didn't experience the whole 'normal' delivery experience.

I think if I could have chosen I'd like to have given birth at least once 'normally'. I had an epidural when I was in labour and gas and air which took the pain away so it was ok, in terms of recovery it would have been quicker I think.

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 11:44:49

Thanks hedgehog smile

yadahyadah Tue 18-Mar-14 11:52:29

I had 3 emergency caesareans and had not wanted any of them. I had longed for natural labours with as little intervention as possible. Ho bloody hum. However, having had lots of lovely counselling from friends some who only had natural labours and one a caesarean followed by a natural labour, it seems to be a 'six of one half a dozen of the other' kind of affair. Caesareans are hard to recover from, your abdominal muscles are fkd for a long time, if not forever and it is a major abdominal surgery. Natural labour is also hard to recover from, the afterpain is not necessarily surgical but you are left bruised, sore and sometimes a bit ravaged in your underpants. The friend who had both said she loved the process of natural labour and the bonding it enabled at the moment of birth but the state of her vag wasn't great afterwards nor since. I on the other hand would still have had the joy of the natural birth rather than the surgery. It is like being in a vets. You are not the thing the surgeons are concerned with - the baby is. And to be removed from the process of its birth while being central to it is a profoundly alienating experience.

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 12:06:15

Thank you yadahyadah,

EasterHoliday Tue 18-Mar-14 12:14:18

I've had a couple - one emergency after a long labour, then begged for an elective the next time. I didn't find the recovery terribly difficult, and didn't take pain relief for long (couple of days?). Was up and out of bed same day both times - the more you move, the less stiff you are (or so they told me, and it seemed to work). i wanted that damn cathether out as soon as humanly possible so there was incentive!
I didn't give a fig about being removed from the process of birth - was quite relieved to be so, in fact. Absolutely no issues bonding, and they handed the babies over immediately while someone else was dealing with the stitching up.
Didn't find abs fckd for a long time either - was very fit going into labour both times so maybe that helped, & deliberately did a lot of post natal pilates / exercise expressly for post section. No overhang, minimal scarring. I highly recommend them.

ItsSpringBaby Tue 18-Mar-14 12:32:37

I'm soon to experience my first ELCS. It was my choice this time initially due to previous pelvic floor damage - I didn't want to end up going down the surgical repair route later down the line. Now due to unforeseen issues with the pregnancy I don't really have a choice.

My second birth was lovely, I went home the same day and recovery was amazing. There is something about natural childbirth (in my opinion) that just completes the whole experience...as long as it's not too traumatic that is!

As time goes on I'm feeling more and more apprehensive about the whole surgical side, being in pain etc. I'm also a bit disturbed about the whole c-section "stomach apron" aftermath I've heard about so many times! I managed to escape with a fairly flat-ish stomach so far. I know that's very vain of me though.

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 12:40:28

Thanks both.

@springbaby: What is a stomach apron?

I couldn't give a toss about how I look afterwards, the main thing I am concerned about is the pain of labour, and although I am pretty damn certain I'll have an epidural I still don't want the pain (any of it!) of labour. I also don't want the risk of tearing, or a fucked up pelvis floor or any of that. But hey, it's probably too late now...!!

pandabear86 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:12:25

I had an elcs. It was the calmest, most AMAZING experience ever. I loved it!
My consultants team was so amazing. When I was frightened they calmed me and they talked me through every tiny detail that was going on during the procedure.
They were so gentle with me throughout and I never felt anything. The first night in hospital was the scariest bit for me. Alone with my baby whilst I couldnt move to feed or change him but the midwives came running to help and coo whenever I ran the bell.
It was quite simply - amazing.

Recovery was pretty scary the first few nights. I was discharged from hospital less than 24 hours after my baby was delivered. Getting in and out of the car was horrendous but only for a few days. I was up and walking on the beach when my baby was 4 days old.
I bled constantly for about 6 weeks. I was worried as it was a lot but it was all normal.

The midwife, doctor and all HV all checked my scar frequently and made sure I was healing well.

Don't give up on your pelvic floor. My son was huge and my joints and muscles were giving up on me but I never once leaked my pants.

The worst pain I experienced was having my first post cs crap and my engorged boobs.

I do have a bit of a belly still but I am not dieting to get rid of it and it is going down slowly.

Had my baby 4 months ago today!

MolotovCocktail Tue 18-Mar-14 13:13:34

saranga, it's more commonly known as an overhang. It's where the skin above the incision/scarline hangs over the scar, iyswim. Some get it, some don't: age, weight/fitness (pre-pg and pg) and skill of the surgeon all seem to play a part.

I've had both a VB and ELCS. First birth (vb) was long, I pushed for a long time but the pain was never as bad as I had imagined it to be. I got through it on G&A alone (though if I was to do it again would have insistes upon an epidural because a) I could have rested and possibly slept for several hours instead of being awake and b) I had an episiotomy anyway, so the 'epidurals mean an episiotomy' argument was void in my case!)

I incured a significant tailbone injury that I felt was reason to request an ELCS for my next birth.

To be honest, I preferred the ELCS birth experience over my VB ... but that's because I am comparing my births. In a perfect world, I would have liked to have had both my babies in water with minimum intervention (dd1 delivered by ventouse in the end) and no tears/cuts anywhere. Breathe 'em out.

It didn't work that way. Anyhow, both recoveries for me were fairly long, but I preferred the predictability of the CS recovery.

However, we are contemplating a third child who I would request a repeat CS for and honestly, the idea of having another CS and recovering from it whilst having three children to care for and also being concerned about developing an overhang ... well, I'm very carefully thinking, that's all.

Beware that multiple CSs are not recommended. The more you have, the riskier they become. I think 4 is about the maximum recommended limit.

You might want to read Cesarean Birth : A positive approach to preparation and recovery by Leigh East, as she discusses the pros/cons, risks/benefits of VB and CS.

It's swings and roundabouts. As someone once said to me "there is no easy way to have a baby".

purplebaubles Tue 18-Mar-14 13:20:45

I'm due to have an elective C..due to major birth trauma from first time round. I'm still bowel incontinent (over a year later) and this affects me massively on a day to day basis.

I had a 3 day labour which ended in forceps and a generous episiotomy. I couldn't walk at all, or sit down, for about a week, and was still in a lot of pain 8 weeks later. I felt battered, cut open, bruised and very vulnerable.

I was also very angry at anyone who suggested that I'd had it 'easy' because I hadn't a c section!!

This time round I will be able to compare! Of course C section is major surgery, but when it's elective, it's controlled (as best as can be). My birthing experience had no element of control to it whatsoever and I genuinely thought I was dying at one point. I remember thinking my poor daughter and husband. The team can be better prepared for giving me pain relief.

I've been advised for a c due to the damage I already have, and the fact that giving birth naturally would make that 100% permanent.

But I do think, in an ideal world, if you have a nice, 'natural' birth, it would of course be much much easier to recover from than major surgery.

I'm not sure, with first pregnancy, that no desire to go through labour is the right reason to request major surgery!!

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 13:32:03

Thanks guys.

Slebmum Tue 18-Mar-14 13:34:06

I had an emergency section and would if I was ever going to do it again, want a C-section again.

I think the recovery / issues with a section are much more tangible than a natural birth, and most of my close circle of friends have ended up with emergency C-sections after laboring for bloody ages anyway which has got to be the worst of both worlds.

I had emergency section for a massive APH, I felt so shite for several weeks before I was just delighted not to be pregnant anymore and the whole thing was so quick - went into theatre at 21.50 and out again by 22.20.

Recovered brilliantly - DTs were in NICU and I was able to walk to see them less than 24 hours after. They were 31 weekers and pretty little and my scar is correspondingly narrow - I wonder if you need a bigger cut with a bigger baby that could make recovery worse?

Marrow Tue 18-Mar-14 13:38:55

I have had an emergency section after a long labour and three hours pushing. My next baby was a very quick labour and only a couple of pushes. I would opt for a section without a moment's hesitation. Recovery from the EMCS was much quicker and less painful than the vaginal birth.

diamondlizard Tue 18-Mar-14 13:39:34

i good vaginal birth is going ot be betetr than a good cs

the problem is theres no cyrstal ball, you dont know what the outcome of either birth will be

ive had both types and had 4th degree tear from vaginal birth still not right after almost 7 years

and ive since that had cs that went v v well

you will probably find hcp will tell you all the risks of cs and NONE of the risks of vb
which i don think is on really

so i suggest you find out all the facts yourself and make yourown informed descion

good luck op

Catnuzzle Tue 18-Mar-14 13:42:00

Hedgehog are you me? We appear to have had the same birthing experience!!!

With second DD I went into labour naturally, but still ended up with an EMCS only after a few hours this time though.

Recovery long and uncomfortable and second time round my scar got infected. Unable compare to the natural way though and never will, not allowed another one sad

I always described it as having someone rummaging around in their handbag to find a lost key, or the last spoon in the washing up bowl. My first EMCS was extremely painful, I could feel EVERYTHING and it HURT, they offered to put me under, but I didn't want to miss it.

Second time round was much better although still immensely unpleasant.

MolotovCocktail Tue 18-Mar-14 14:12:17

Agree with Lizard re the overplayed risks of CS and downplayed risks of VB. Also, risks of ELCS and EMCS are lumped together, so ELCS tend to come out as riskier, statistically speaking.

I had a very hard time getting my ELCS agreed. That was in 2012 so things might have changed, but you'll need a stronger argument other than 'no way am I going to labour', unless you go private.

MolotovCocktail Tue 18-Mar-14 14:12:49

Assuming you are in the UK and/or not already private smile

NancyJones Tue 18-Mar-14 14:37:10

But it's so difficult to tell you because everyone's experience is different. I haven't had a CS, but have had 3 vb none of which were traumatic. I'd be lying if I said they didn't hurt but I only had a tiny tear first time and none either the others so no stitches. I think statistically you are more likely to tear with an epidural because you have less control over how you push but the upside would be a pain free birth and, if you did tear, you wouldn't feel them stitching you either. Fwiw,I've had a 6hour discharge each time and was up walking around within the hour. So a good vb will always be better than even the best CS simply due to recovery time.

However, I have no doubt that some women have very traumatic VBs do for them a calm elective is a wonderful experience in comparison. I have friends who have had both. Two good friends had very difficult 1st VBs and opted for an elective 2nd time with no regrets. But I also have a friend who ended up with a CS with her 1st and had so much trouble with recovery inc infected scar that she opted for a vbac for her 2nd with an epidural and said her recovery was amazing in comparison. So it really is different for everyone.

If it's the pain that's worrying you, could you not explain to the midwife or see the consultant and have it written on your notes that the fear is making you so anxious that you want an epidural ASAP in labour without procrastination? If it's all understood before then they're less likely to try and make you wait or try to talk you out of it.

I'm sure you know this but the pain is not like other pain and you may surprise yourself by how you cope with it. I'm quite little all over and a real wuss with pain (hate dentist etc) and my babies have all been 9lbs+ but I coped as it wasn't pain as I knew it to be.
The bottom line is that nobody knows how they'll labour and whether it will end up with intervention. You could end up with body trauma either way but the crucial thing to remember is that most women do not retain any long term trauma either from a VB or a CS. You tend to only hear the horror stories from both. Good luck.

penniespigsandpewter Tue 18-Mar-14 14:38:03

The pain of labour is short term & ends when baby is born. I know plenty of women who've had natural birth & gone onto have c-sec & would choose labour & childbirth over it.

I could not bear having to be cut open.

schmalex Tue 18-Mar-14 14:38:18

I had an ELCS with my first and will have another soon. I can't compare with a natural birth, but I found the experience great. All very controlled and calm. I found recovery much easier than I was expecting - after a week I was 90% back to normal and could walk a couple of miles with the buggy after 2 weeks.

My tummy muscles took a few months to recover to the extent that I could do 'proper' exercise again, but I don't know how much of that was to do with the CS and how much of it was just that they'd stretched so much!

I didn't mind having to stay in hospital a couple of days and take it easy for the first week as I was trying to establish bf so was doing a lot of sitting around feeding anyway. My DH was able to take 2 weeks off to help me at home, and he did all the running up and down stairs, etc.

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 14:45:36

Thanks everyone. All comments (for VB or for cesareans) are helpful.

I just want to be as informed as possible, regardless of what the docs/midwives decide is best for me.

NancyJones Tue 18-Mar-14 14:47:53

Of course it helps if you have help. How else do you get up and out with older children. I drove my 2yr old DS to nursery 2days after giving birth to his brother. DH had a wk off each time. Last time I had 2 boys to get to school. I couldn't have done that if I couldn't have driven for weeks.

MolotovCocktail Tue 18-Mar-14 16:00:44

Conments like I could not bare to be cut open are panic-mongering and unhelpful.

Compared to a worst-case VB, I couldn't bare to endure a 4th degree tear and face bladder and bowel incontinence. I'd much rather "be cut open" across a controlled abdomindal incision, where the outcomes are predictable and, in most cases, turn out well.

Like I say, you choose your risks. Know the risks for both and make the best decision for you.

NancyJones Tue 18-Mar-14 16:11:49

Molotov, your last post has probably scared the op just as much! The vast majority of vaginal births do not end up with either horrific tears or incontinence. Just like the vast majority of women do not end up badly damaged by having a CS.
A good VB will always be a quicker and more straightforward recovery than a good CS. That's just medical fact. That's not to say that the op would definitely be fortunate to have one or that VB is right for her at all. She needs to weigh up what is right for her. Stats from this thread don't mean anything as she could ask the same question on different days and get completely different experiences relayed to her.

I do think if it's the pain she's nervous about rather than actually giving birth them she should take steps to ensure she receives an epidural early based on medical anxiety. Because most of the pain associated with CS is post op either on the ward or at home and she won't be able to told something which completely blocks that out.

ditsygal Tue 18-Mar-14 16:26:23

I had a 44 hour labour - drug free, mostly at home with my doula and then into a midwife led unit. but after 44 hours I had got to 8cm but stopped progressing even with my waters broken, so I was blue lighted to hospital.

They wanted to put me on a drip to see if they could strengthen my contractions and move the baby down more but I refused due to the increased chance of an instrumental delivery once engaging with intervention. (I was very anti forceps after being at my sisters traumatic birth and had seen a consultant during pregnancy to say if I came into hospital I wouldn't consent to forceps under any circumstances which he put in my notes and agreed with, I only say this as I think it helped them agree to go straight to c-section once in hospital).

So as I refused to go on the drip they agreed to emergency c-section and they were amazing. I was prepped within 20 mins of being in hospital and then taken into theatre. I was calm and relaxed. The midwife was lovely. The anaesthetist chatted the whole time and it was really lovely and exciting. The only downside was not being able to hold my baby until after I came out of surgery as the sheet was really too high on my body for me to have any space for him. I had also asked if they could delay cutting the cord but they said no as they had women coming in straight after me.

I really hate injections so hated the idea of a spinal block but it was fine at that point you really don't care. I was also worried by the idea of having a catheter in, but again it was fine. Only in for about 10 hours and then they took it out which didn't hurt at all. And I didn't like the idea of a cannula - but it was in my arm, and whilst being annoying, it wasn't really that bad and I knocked it accidentally after a few hours and it bled so they just took it out for me.

The recovery was fine, I was able to walk the same day (to the toilet etc) and I showered and went home the next day. Just stay on top of your painkillers for the first week as you'll know about it if you forget them, but if you take them its really fine. I also got signed off by my dr to drive at 3 weeks.

As my baby was large (9lbs 15oz) so I would expect the same for the next and knowing they wouldn't want me to have a home birth next time as a previous c-sectioner, then next time I will be requesting a c-section I think.

Labour was also fine, I actually enjoyed it - although obviously never got to the pushing.

The hard bit in my opinion is once the baby is here and all the sleep deprivation!

So either way you will be fine. Try some hypnobirthing it works wonders! Good luck either way. The hard bit in my opinion is once the baby is here and all the sleep deprivation!

MolotovCocktail Tue 18-Mar-14 16:29:13

Sorry, hope I haven't scared you OP after what Nancy pointed out. I just tire of comments like that about CS.

I hope everyone understands that I was making a comparative point.

MolotovCocktail Tue 18-Mar-14 16:35:00

Also, I was comparing a worst case outcome of a VB against the concept of 'being cut open' and the connotations that has.

Most VBs turn out fine. Most ELCSs turn out fine. They're just different, with different risks/benefits.

tugamommy Tue 18-Mar-14 16:41:16

I had both and would never chose a c - section due to the recovery. Although I did have a very easy straightforward vaginal delivery.

The one thing about the c - section apart from the recovery that I found unpleasant and is rarely mentioned is how exposed I felt. And I'm not one to be bothered about this, don't care about internal examinations, etc. But not to feel anything and knowing that everyone is looking and touching and o don't know where or what they were doing freaked me out a bit. In my case I had placenta praevia and the drs told me they didn't get much blood out of my vagina, so they were rummaging in there and I wasn't able to tell....

saranga Tue 18-Mar-14 16:50:24

Thank you all. No one on this thread is scaring me!
The way I cope with difficult situations is to get as much information as possible so I can understand as much as possible about the situation.
For me, not knowing detail about what can go wrong and right with a vaginal birth and a cesarean is the scary thing.

I am fully aware that no matter the birthing plan I want, or choose, something will probably happen to change that, but this way, I can be prepared and knowledgeable and at least have a clue about what is happening to me, which is what helps me.

Noddyandbigears Tue 18-Mar-14 16:51:04

I have had one c section (due to breech baby) and one natural. The c section was lovely - you feel quite detached from your baby at first though as its literally like someone coming to hand you a child in the street as you don't actually experience any pain! I took the pain relief drugs afterwards and i was totally fine, my shape went back to normal (no flesh apron as I call it) and I had a bit of numbness round the scar tissue.

My natural birth was horrific, his shoulders got stuck and it was a forceps delivery which basically felt like it tore me in 2. I took weeks and weeks to recover that one as I felt like I'd been kicked right up the @rse with a hob nailed boot.

I am now on baby number 3 and I have been talked into going for it naturally. Apparently this time round "should" be a lot easier. hmmmmm as you can imagine I am VERY nervous that history will repeat itself however, I had to take into consideration the fact that c section is a big operation and hospitals biggest fears are infection.

There is no magic answer I'm afraid all our bodies are very different it really is luck you may find you are a natural at giving birth - if so I take my hat off to you.

Good luck.

MolotovCocktail Tue 18-Mar-14 17:20:00

saranga, do check out the book I mentioned. It contains everything you want to know.

Enjoy your pg, and good luck smile

Booboostoo Tue 18-Mar-14 17:28:40

I had a lovely ELCS - great experience and I am chosing to repeat it with DC2. My DP was in the theatre with me, DD was placed on me immediately which was lovely, I breastfed, my pain was completely controlled by meds so not a factor, I needed a bit of help with picking DD up off the cot for the first two days but after that I had a very quick recovery - out of hospital after 5 days, riding after 7 weeks, no overhang, tiny scar is disappearing 3 years later.

However, it's difficult to rely on personal experiences to make this decision as it's really down to luck who responds to your thread. I chose an ELCS because I did not want to risk a problematic VB. I accepted that a straight-forward VB would be the less risky option but since I couldn't guarrantee that a VB wouldn't go wrong I preferred the extra control offered by ELCS (as it turns out DD was transverse so I would probably have been an EMCS anyway!).

plentyofsoap Tue 18-Mar-14 18:39:11

First one fine, second one hard.
I would have them over labour though.

1944girl Tue 18-Mar-14 23:01:33

I have never had a natrual birth. Two EMCS's last one 41 years ago. I had two very long complicated labours.
I hope you get the type of birth you wish for.Be it a natrual birth with no complications or a calm and controlled ELCS.

zoemaguire Wed 19-Mar-14 09:58:21

2 natural births,one c section. I'd take the c section over natural birth 1, but natural birth 2 over the c section! Both can be easy and both can go catastrophically wrong, so no straightforward answers! I had no choice over elcs, but if I was doing it all again (no chance!) and did have a choice, I'd probably opt for labour. With elcs there is the near certainty of pain and extended recovery (bar a few freaky exceptions who are pain free within a few days!) - it is major surgery after all. With a good natural labour, as my second was, you could be fully back to normal within a day or two. Its a chance I'd take!

theborrower Wed 19-Mar-14 10:10:57

I couldn't give a toss about how I look afterwards, the main thing I am concerned about is the pain of labour, and although I am pretty damn certain I'll have an epidural I still don't want the pain (any of it!) of labour.

Except with a CS you have the pain afterwards. I remember thinking at the time (had an EMCS because of undiagnosed breech) that I wouldn't wish a CS on anyone. I couldn't move for hours, had a catheter in for about 30 hours, could barely move myself in bed it was a struggle, when I was up and about you are shuffling like an old lady, it takes a few weeks to recover - and that was me with supposedly a good recovery.

And yes, I'm aware that everyone is different and ELCS can be different from unplanned CSs.

I'm not against CS for those that want them, but I think people need to be realistic and realise that a CS is not an easy option or way to avoid pain. There's no easy way to get a baby out, in my opinion.

saranga Wed 19-Mar-14 10:39:07

@theborrower: "I think people need to be realistic and realise that a CS is not an easy option or way to avoid pain."

That's exactly what i'm trying to understand! Thank you for the input.

zoemaguire Wed 19-Mar-14 10:52:27

Spot on theborrower! I had straightforward elcs but am still needing painkillers on occasion, 4 weeks on, still can't do heavy lifting or long walks. And i was in real agony for a good few days after section, properly horrible! Having a baby is hard, no way around it. Worth it thoughsmile (snuggling one month old as I type!)

RufusTheReindeer Wed 19-Mar-14 10:59:24

Hi there, natural first birth which I didn't find overly painful, however... I was cut and torn so badly that I needed ELCs for both of my further births

I recovered very quickly from the CS's, no pain killers after 2 days with both of them, driving after 2 weeks etc

You do hobble round afraid to sneeze for a few weeks! I think the quick recovery was due to the fact that both CS's were elective, very calm and went well. I should imagine that an emergency CS would mean a very different recovery

Not keen on my apron! But have three healthy happy children two of which tease their big brother mercilessly about him having to come out through mummy's woo!

Good luck

sausagefortea Wed 19-Mar-14 11:10:25

I've had 2 elcs and have never gone into labour at all. 1st cs was because of problems with the pg and that my Dc was breech. 2nd was because I felt it was 'safer' than a vbac (I know that depends on who you speak to, but that was my interpretation based on my experiences and concerns).

I would have liked to have had a VB and experienced labour. I did feel a little like I'd had my babies removed rather than given birth. But it was only a pang of regret rather than any source of angst. My DC are here and healthy and that's all that matters however they came into the world.

As to the CSs themselves... I didn't find either CS particularly great nor too bad though. it was very painful to start, but eased off and was Ok after 4-6 weeks. Just it's a long slog of painfulness when you're tired and dealing with a newborn. I was very sick post op and so after the first 30min felt too ill to actually enjoy my baby. Was sick (vomiting after a major stomach op.....not the best!) for the first 4 hours or so, but daddy had cuddles instead. I don't do well with morphine and codeine based pain relief so I was probably in more pain than if you can take those drugs with no ill effects.

MyDarlingClementine Wed 19-Mar-14 13:04:04

For me there is no comparison. My first labour was 3 days, 6 hours established ( strong regular contractions baby is on way) but I had no sleep for THREE nights because of the milder contractions.

You don't know whats going to happen at any turn, everything goes well then baby gets stuck and so on. Mine was back to back I felt intense and un bearable pain in my back, I had no idea when or how it would end, would I get her out? Would I be cut? You don't know when the pain will stop it just went on and on and on, every minuet was an eternity...

ELC, I was afraid when I saw the theatre, the staff soon jollied me along, the spinal went in with no issues, and very quickly the baby was out, which was amazing, recovery and ward. It was quick, easy and painless. I didn't have to worry about anything getting stuck or problems, and if something went wrong in surgery I had the staff right there in the room to help me....

You have to know your own personality. I found loo issues really stressful after first delivery, I was crying and sobbing in the shower trying to wash myself, crying on the loo, frightened to drink water and so on. I felt I was lucky first time and got away with a good labour. I hated the aftermath of it down below, it put me off sex for a year. I hated the fear of the un kown, your just in a process that can and does go wrong. For me it was hideous. The tiredness the physical toll it took, the headaches and migranes after all the straining, drugs and lack of sleep had took their toll. Emotionally I was wildly up and down.

With the section I had one nasty burning pain that came and went, it was small fry compared to hours of labour slog. It was perfect for me, perfect ( as perfect as an operation can be!). I came at the baby fresh, emotionally and mentally there, I was able to EBF, bond better and so on. I was pleased my under carriage remained in tact and un scathed too, which was a huge bonus for me.

MyDarlingClementine Wed 19-Mar-14 13:09:36

I'd much rather "be cut open" across a controlled abdomindal incision, where the outcomes are predictable and, in most cases, turn out well

This was a strong consideration for me, I would much rather have this, than worse down below.

schmalex Wed 19-Mar-14 13:40:30

There is not always pain after a CS. I didn't have any pain at all, and the anaesthetist told me to ask for more pain relief if I did feel any.

Hopefully it will be the same this time around!

Booboostoo Wed 19-Mar-14 17:41:49

My CS was not particularly painful either. I took what drugs they gave me in hospital, I didn't need to ask for extra and then a few days of paracetamol but mainly preventative as I was worried about being able to look after DD.

Some VB complications can be quite painful as well. My riding instructor, who makes her living from riding horses, had to take 5 months off riding for her tear to heal and she is the most hard core and 'get on with it without complaining' person I know. I was back riding at 7 weeks.

mummyhb Wed 19-Mar-14 18:28:45

Think you need to think long term. How many children would you like to have? If you want a big family then go for natural as risks to future babies get higher.

I had two sections. First elective, second after labour. Slow recovery and really painful. Not an easy option.

No easy way out. But worth it in the end!

Good luck x

MyDarlingClementine Wed 19-Mar-14 18:37:04

Do yourself a favour and get a co sleeping cot they are amazing and saved me totally in so many ways.

Do research, these ones seem to be the cheapest to get on ebay etc but also hold their relsale value, moses downstairs this by the bed. And a v pillow

MyDarlingClementine Wed 19-Mar-14 18:37:26
Wuxiapian Wed 19-Mar-14 18:45:05

I've had 2 natural births and 1 C-section.

Natural birth so soo much easier to recover from - out and about in a day.

My C-section recovery was very slow and painful. I'm almost 5 weeks post section and have only been feeling better the last few days and been able to go out. I was pretty much useless the first 4 weeks and that was with continual painkiller-usage!

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