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Expecting 2nd child anxious about birth

(11 Posts)
MythicHypercurve Tue 05-Apr-16 16:13:26

Hi,
I'm new to the board but figured a problem shared is a problem halved. Sorry if it gets a bit rambley, I'm a bit all over the place lately.

I'm 32 weeks pregnant with my second child (a boy). My daughter is 2 1/2 years old. 2 weeks prior to her due date my husband was in an RTA and broke his femur, we were living with relatives as we'd sold our home and we were in the process of purchasing a new home. The week of the accident my bump grew 4cm and I had a lot of drama waiting to see a consultant and eventually just being told my daughter was probably on the large side. Despite this the hospital let me go the standard 14 days overdue before induction.

The experience was horrible, I was hooked up to all these machines and needles and felt like it was something that was happening to me rather than something I was doing. The contractions were hellish, after an eternity I couldn't breathe or speak as the pain was so intense. I had an epidural which helped but my daughter got stuck. They tried ventouse but the cup came off and tore her head. They tried again, no budging. They then opted to perform an episiotomy which tore badly when my daughter eventually came free. I was then rushed to theatre as I was haemorrhaging and my placenta had not fully come away. I remember being wheeled away from my injured husband sat in a chair with his crutches looking terrified with this baby slapped on his chest. My daughter was 10lb (4.55kg).

It was all very difficult. I felt guilty about her head wound, I felt guilty about my husband being injured and being so powerless during the whole process, I felt guilty about being so mopey when I should have been holding it together. I healed well but I had a 3rd degree tear and a lot of stitches (13) I have no ongoing issues with toilet or otherwise, I believe this was akin to dodging a bullet. I feel lucky in that regard.

With my current pregnancy the hospital is monitoring me closely (same hospital as last time). I have a growth scan scheduled at 36 weeks. Throughout the pregnancy I have had a lot of anxiety regarding the birth. I have the option of elective c section at 39 weeks or an induction at 38 weeks. I could also refuse induction and wait and see what happens. My consultant says I would be likely to go overdue again if I refused induction.

I do not want induction again, I hated every moment of it and still have nightmares. I do not want another tear from a big baby, my scar from last time still haunts me. I had a midwife appointment yesterday and I'm measuring big for dates and he's breech and causing me a lot of pain. I can't get out of bed in the mornings without the stabbing pains causing me to cry. As it's muscular and not bone pain I'm told they can't do anything for it.

Sorry for the essay. My questions are as follows -
I've heard that growth scans need to be taken with a pinch of salt and if he shows as being a reasonable size he could still be big. Has anyone experienced this?

I've heard that elective sections are more relaxed and calm than emergencies. Does anyone have any positive section stories? I've never had any surgery before (apart from my repair last birth) and the whole section idea fills me with worry. Being awake on a cold table feeling people rummaging around, and all those horror stories of feeling the cuts...

If I don't want induction and I don't want an overdue large baby really section is my only option. I think I'm just getting jittery as the scan date gets closer as I'm remembering how awful I felt last time around and I had a house move, newborn, and badly injured husband to keep me focused and busy. I want to sort my head space before my son arrives so I don't sabotage my recovery with anxiety as this time I can actually focus on him exclusively instead of dealing with 2 different hospitals, 3 sets of solicitors, insurance claims, removals, and all the other drama we had last time.

Thoughts?

babynumber3eek Tue 05-Apr-16 16:41:47

Firstly, hugs and breathe! I'm sorry you had such a rubbish time last time.

I have had an induction and 2 C Sections. 1 was classed as an emergency and the second was elective. I'm due to have another elective in 2 weeks. My elective c section was a wonderful experience. The staff were attentive and explained every step and it was only minutes before I was holding my son. Yes, you can feel some odd sensations but I found them more intriguing than disconcerting!

I appreciate the issues that stressed like those you suffered add, my husband is currently seriously ill in hospital having been run over 7 weeks ago and it hasn't made this pregnancy any easier! I would though urge you to discuss that with your team, especially if your feelings are ramping up. I have had huge support from all levels of the medical staff and it has helped me enormously.

No 2 births are the same, I hope my experience helps to ease your mind on the c section a little, good luck with whichever you choose xx

babynumber3eek Tue 05-Apr-16 16:43:12

I'm not quite sure what happened with my word ordering there...on my phone!

MythicHypercurve Tue 05-Apr-16 17:49:02

It's funny how having all those extra things going on keep you so busy you can't really process what you're going through. In my case I was so anxious about having another baby I had a 'debrief' at the hospital I delivered at when my daughter was 1 1/2. The consultant was lovely and asked me how I felt the birth went and I went to say 'It was all fine really' and then burst into floods of tears. I'd had so much going on at the time and this feeling that I had to hold it all together as my husband was really depressed after being hit by a car and being so helpless at a critical time (understandably) so I dealt with everything. I remember being 9 months pregnant washing him and changing dressings and both of us laughing at the time. It's only in the calm after everything was back to 'normal' that the birth really hit home.

I think I'll be fine on the day but it's the anxiety in the lead up that's stressing me out!

Spandexpants007 Tue 05-Apr-16 17:53:58

We're you induced?

My first birth was hard. The second was a piece of cake! They often are easier according to my MW

Spandexpants007 Tue 05-Apr-16 17:54:48

Is it worth doing some mindfulness and meditation?

MythicHypercurve Tue 05-Apr-16 20:15:59

I was induced the first time and I'll likely be induced again if I opted for a vb this time around as I don't seem to go into labour on my own in a timely manner. That's the real killer. If someone had a crystal ball and said 'You're guaranteed a natural labour and a moderately sized child' I'd probably be able to handle it. It's more my fear of another induction and another huge baby and traumatic birth. I think I'll keep reading the elective success stories and psych myself up for that. Best to focus positively on what's likely to happen than worry myself over what might be otherwise.

skankingpiglet Tue 05-Apr-16 22:09:06

Personally in your situation I would choose an elcs. The worry and anxiety just wouldn't be worth the opportunity of a straight-forward natural birth for me. That's not to say I think the same thing would happen again, more about reducing the pressure on yourself. It might not be the best of all worlds but it's predictable which sounds like a good thing for you.
I had one last time as my DD was breech. I was gutted when I found it was the decision I needed to make, so far from the water birth I had wanted. I'm pretty squeamish when it comes to my body (fine with other people's blood!) and have a needle phobia so the thought of it made me feel completely freaked out. The reality was so much better than I had it in my head. It was so calm, so quick. I found the recovery hard, but I'm sure no worse than yours and at least I had been able to plan for it. Also I was a very fit and active person before the op so I think that contributed to finding recovery hard quite considerably rather than it actually being that bad: I was used to being able to get around very ably and lift heavy objects, it was quite a shock to find I just couldn't anymore for a while.
This time I have the option of vbac or elcs, my choice. I've chosen vbac as for me I want the chance of an easier recovery than I'd get with an elcs, however I'm not carrying the baggage of a previously traumatic birth. I'm still in blissful ignorance and I think that's what makes the biggest difference. If I go overdue (they said they would be happy for up to 40+10 for my situation) I get the choice of induction or elcs. I have chosen elcs as I don't want to put myself through induction and the increased risk of rupture. If my previous experience of an elcs was that bad then I'd avoid it like the plague, but I was very pleasantly surprised just how smooth and easy it was.

And yes, they can be wrong (sometimes very wrong!) about the size of the baby in both directions. My DD was apparently measuring small, and came out at a very average 7lb 4oz.

ispymincepie Tue 05-Apr-16 22:20:12

Being controversial here but worth a thought-women don't usually grow babies bigger than they are able to deliver. It is entirely possible that if you had declined induction first time round you could have potentially avoided the need for an epidural and subsequent assisted delivery. You also had an awful lot going on last time but without that you may well have a perfectly straightforward delivery of a regular sized baby who arrives in a more timely fashion! Good luck....

cheeseandcrackers Tue 05-Apr-16 22:36:36

My first birth sounds quite similar to yours and I had similar worries when pregnant with dc2. DC1 was 10lbs2 so I had growth scans to check size of DS2 when pregnant. They all said he was average size and my bump measurements were actually on the small side. I didn't really believe them as I felt that he was a similar size to ds1. He turned out to be 10lbs. But.. It was a much, much better birth. I felt a lot more in control and even though I had a second degree tear I felt no pain afterwards at all (it took me weeks before I could walk normally after the first birth). If you do go for a VB, it is likely to go better than the first time round as your body has done it before (according to the consultants I saw anyway). I would take any growth scan results with a large pinch of salt. If it is really worrying you though, go for an ELCS.

MythicHypercurve Wed 06-Apr-16 09:36:07

Thanks skankingpiglet. I think I'm going to go for the elcs and spend the last few weeks getting my head around it. I'd rather be prepared and calm on the day. Also if I have placenta or rupture problems again I'll already have the spinal in so they won't have to knock me out if there's any surprises.

Ispymincepie, while I see the value of your input as I'm already measuring big for dates and my consultant said I'm likely to need induction again if I wait as at 14 days overdue I wasn't dilating or anything. She also quoted some statistic like I have a 6% chance to end up tearing worse than last time which would be 4th degree and I'd rather not risk that.

As long as I go into this knowing there may be surprises either way I think elcs is a more calculated risk. Infection, rupture, complications, it's all workable. A tear worse than last time is something I can't mitigate. Thanks for all the stories and thoughts, I feel happier that I'm making the right choice now smile

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