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16 weeks pg with DC2. First birth experience traumatic. Unsure about choosing 'natural' birth or c-section.

(15 Posts)
LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 10:39:20

Hello,

Yes, I'm scared! confused

Just wrote an account of ds's birth but had to delete it because it upset me to see it written down with all the details. sad Suffice to say the birth took days and ended in emergency, things got a bit scary, we were ok thankfully but both ill afterwards with an extra week in hospital. Full recovery within a couple of months.

Everyone warned me about PTSD afterwards but I decided I was alright and just wanted to focus on the wonder of my beautiful little boy.

So now, happily pregnant with DC2, I find myself wanting to go for a Caesarian. But there's another voice inside me urging me to 'try again' for a natural birth. God knows why!

Also, if I need six weeks to recover from a cs, potentially, it will be hard with (and for) my two year old DS. And people do say second births are often much easier. Right?!

I'd love to hear fom other women who have made this choice one way or the other. I'm really struggling with it.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Mar-13 11:13:40

Would it be useful if you had a debrief on your first birth and a discussion of what went wrong and whether it would be likely to happen again? Your hospital should be able to do this for you.

Fwiw, I slept a lot easier in my second pregnancy knowing I'd opted for a CS and removed a lot of the unknowns. My recovery was good too, I would say after two weeks I felt better than I did after 6 weeks with my first EMCS.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 11:20:49

Thanks giraffe, good to hear that. I have contacted the hospital birth counselling service but the waiting list is long.

I keep thinking if I knew I was having a cs I could just relax, as you say. I don't really know what's motivating me to consider a natural birth again tbh.

Maybe it's the idea of 'doing it right' hmm this time - replacing a bad memory with a positive one...

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Mar-13 11:46:52

Did you have an EMCS last time, it's not clear from your post where you say the birth ended in an emergency? Have you been offered an ELCS this time around?

If you have been offered an ELCS, then the final decision doesn't need to be made until 36 weeks. You might find that as the pregnancy progresses and the birth gets closer, what you actually want gets clearer in your mind.

Do you feel like an ELCS might be a bit self-indulgent? I struggled with that a bit, knowing that it could all be fine second time around yet nonetheless saying 'no thanks, I want the easy way out please'.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 11:57:22

No it was ventouse in the end, although they were going to do an EMCS. So I don't have experience of that kind of recovery.

I honestly don't think of it as self-indulgent - for anyone else I would give full support if that's what they wanted, and would see no reason to be a martyr!

Yes have been offered ELCS. Thanks for your advice re waiting until 36 weeks. I don't have to decide right now....I suppose if I did decide on a cs right now, though, I'd feel relief.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Mar-13 12:06:36

What does your DH think? It must have been pretty scary first time around.

Teaandflapjacks Tue 19-Mar-13 12:11:19

I have experience of traumatic birth experiences from close members of my family - they are very real and frightening and I saw very real elements of PTSD in them - awful for them, partic with new baby to bond with. Counselling is good - but the point is no counsellor can remove the horror of such an experience from your mind (oh to have one of those pens from MiB that wipes memories).

If I was in your position, I would think absolutely nothing of booking an ELCS, and then getting on and enjoying your pg safely and happily. The point is to get baby out safely and you to be ok - you don't get a special badge of honour from the horrors of childbirth (though you already have a few medals there anyway!!). It makes my blood boil people making women feel guilty making sensible choices about ELCS (and Giselles 'breathing baby out in the bath' story - grrrr)- which in your case is very sensible.

Also - since you have been offered an ELCS - it makes me wonder what the doctors view is. As sometimes it is considered much safer to have an ELCS second time round, depending on how the C-section occurred in the first pg. There are low risks of uterine rupture to consider. I am not a doctor - but other medical ladies on here might be able to hep further. I also found, from people I know who had two, they may be the exceptions, but they found the second c-section much easier than the first, and were on there feet quicker. But this is second hand experience. xx

GotAnyGrapes Tue 19-Mar-13 12:30:42

I've been fortunate enough not to have suffered trauma with any of my birthing experiences but immediately after DC1 was born they wrapped him up and handed him to DH. This is such a ridiculous little thing but I was irrationally upset and making sure it wasn't repeated was a major part of my birth plan second time around. I definitely wanted more than one child but my need to make it right by doing it again would have made me have another even if I wasn't sure.

What I'm trying to say in a less than concise way is that I totally understand your 'wanting to do it right' feelings. You almost want your second experience to be cathartic. But even if you opt for the elective section, you will come out the other end feeling that this time you have had the positive experience you missed out on. So it doesn't have to be a vaginal birth to be that experience if that makes sense.

Foxeym Tue 19-Mar-13 12:42:29

I also had a traumatic birth with my DD1 14 years ago which left me emotionally an absolute wreck for months after. When I was pregnant with DD2 2 years later I opted for an ELCS as I knew I couldn't go through with that trauma again and had a great delivery with no problems and a very speedy recovery. I too was looking after a 2 year old as well at the time but was up and about within days of my ELCS. I have now found myself pregnant with DC3 after a rather large gap and my midwife has already explained that if I feel I need to have an ELCS again there won't be a problem because of my previous one and my age now?? To be honest I probably will opt for it again as out of the two births, I recovered physically and emotionally from the ELCS so much better and the thought of giving birth naturally still terrifies me 14 years later!!!!

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 12:42:52

giraffe DH says he supports whatever decision I make and that there's time to come to a decision as my pg progresses. I think that privately he's worried about the possible recovery time involved in a cs - concerned he won't be able to get six weeks off work to support me. He doesn't say this but I can see him worrying when we discuss possible recovery rates. Maybe it's that which is putting me off - what would I do if I was still laid up but DH had to go back to work?

But maybe it won't take so long to recover - so many maybes...

Thank you teaandflapjacks. There is that societal pressure out there, isn't there? Sorry to hear about your family members' experiences. I wish we had a MiB pen too smile Talking it over with a birth counsellor will be a good start though - if I can get an appointment!

Thank you both for your support and thoughts, I really appreciate it.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 12:48:23

Thank you gotanygrapes, that's a good way of looking at it. You're exactly right about wanting the catharsis. It feels like I want to give it another go in order to 'triumph' over what happened before. So irrational but a powerful feeling.

foxeym fantastic that your recovery was so quick from the cs - if I knew I'd recover that quickly I think I'd definitely go for it!

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Mar-13 12:53:58

I've had two sections, one an EMCS and one an ELCS. My recovery for my EMCS was much more difficult than that for my ELCS and I was still ok to look after my baby by myself when my DH went back to work after 3 weeks. 6 weeks is the time they suggest you wait before doing hoovering, or driving, but that isn't the same as being laid up for that long.

And recovery from an ELCS is usually much better than that of an EMCS. Like I said before, I felt much better after 2 weeks than I did after 6 weeks first time around. I would have been fine looking after the baby then. I even managed a supermarket shop. At 3 weeks I felt ok to drive, by 4 weeks I felt pretty normal.

The way I saw it was that I could opt for a natural birth and still end up with a c-section. At least with an ELCS I got all the benefits of booking in childcare, arranging for grandparents to visit etc.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Mar-13 12:58:24

I think it would be very unusual to still be laid up 6 weeks after a section, I'm pretty sure you can reassure your DH that he won't need anywhere near that much time off work.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 12:58:41

giraffe thanks - am ignorant of what a cs recovery involves so that's helpful. Hoovering can definitely wait grin

Being able to plan ahead with that degree of clarity would feel so reassuring too.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Mar-13 13:04:21

They make you get out of bed and have a shower less than 24 hours after your section. After my ELCS I was up and pottering around the ward, changing nappies etc probably 18 hours post-surgery.

People say it's major abdominal surgery and you need time to recover, and that's absolutely true, but that means lounging around on the sofa and shirking housework rather than lying in your bed all feeble. smile

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