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To demand a c-section?

(69 Posts)
steppedonlego Sat 07-Sep-13 09:55:52

Quite willing to be told I am by the way.

I was really lucky to have an easy pregnancy, until the last 8 weeks or so, when I started to have severe period like pains and back pain. Went to the hospital to be checked out, and I found the midwives and doctor there very dismissive. They did an internal exam, (later finding out I have gbs) and then discharged me. When I asked what the cause of pain was or what they could do to help me, the doctor looked at me, sighed, and asked "why did you come today?" I responded "to make sure that me an my baby are alright". He replied "you're both fine, go home." I went home, feeling like a scolded little girl who had wasted his time.

The pain continued throughout the next few weeks, with husband asking me to go back, and me refusing, thinking that I was being hysterical, and that I must be exaggerating, until last night when it got too much, and I went back again. Waited 6 hours to be seen, was waiting in a room with other pregnant women, all happily chatting amongst themselves, looking radiant, and I was curled up in a corner, dripping with sweat and sobbing. Eventually got seen, at first the doctor thought the baby was breech, (no idea why that would cause pain) but got an ultrasound machine, and slapped it on, looked once, announced "head down" then took off, throwing the curtain open and leaving me fully exposed with no means of cleaning myself of the gel, and on full view to everyone. I was poked and prodded by about 5 different people, and then told that I probably have spd, and that they'll refer me for physio, but I probably won't get it in time, and that now they were going to give me an internal exam. I ended up just sobbing, and asking why they needed to, doctor said it was to check I wasn't in labour. I told them not to, and that if I was surely I'd know about it very shortly. They eventually discharged me at 2am. I went home and didn't sleep all night.

There were several other things that bothered me, the urine sample dropped on the floor that I was in that obviously belonged to the last person and which had not been cleaned, the monitor having old gel left on it from the last person and only wiped off with a tissue. The six hour wait, I know nurses are run off their feet, but the quality of care is really poor.

I'm now just really worried because I have read stories from women on the Internet who have spd, and also from a friend saying they got too exhausted to push and they ended up having an emergency c-section. I'm doubly worried about this because my baby is very large (8 pounds at 36 weeks) and this was a worry for me anyway. I'm having nightmares about her not being able to breathe and getting brain damage, and nobody is giving me any advice, or even information about what gbs is, or what spd is, or the risk of having a bigger baby, they're just telling me I have these things and leaving me to worry. I'm not bothered about myself, all I was is my baby to be safe and happy and healthy, and it seems the NHS is determined for her to be anything but.

Sorry to ramble on so much, but my question is, am I being unreasonable to have no faith whatsoever in the NHS's ability to get me through natural birth safely, and to demand a c-section?

motownmover Sat 07-Sep-13 10:26:02

What an awful experience - can you change hospitals and complain before you leave.

How upsetting and I hope you get good care and have a healthy delivery.

Good luck!

cantreachmytoes Sat 07-Sep-13 10:36:44

That sounds pretty horrific! I'd be looking at a home birth rather than a c section, just to avoid staying in there.

I was also going to suggest looking in to a doula. At the very least, she'd make sure things like being left exposed wouldn't happen. It's important for your baby that you feel safe for the delivery, however it ends up happening.

As for SPD, I had it to the point of not being able to walk without crying and went to an osteopath who made it go from pain 9-10 to 1. I've heard of people going to chiropractors and physios too. After DC1 (osteopath) I had no problem at all with SPD from the next day. With DC2 I had it again, but much, much less severe. I felt it now and again for a few weeks after the birth, but now (2 months) it's gone and has been for a few weeks (I'd forgotten about it until now). I had no problem because of it with the delivery in either birth and both babies were 9lbs, one with a 97th percentile head. Just to say that it's not necessarily going to cause you problems in the delivery if you have a VB.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sat 07-Sep-13 12:10:22

Hi - firstly want to sympathise - SPD and sciatica are both hideous in pregnancy. Secondly, whichever hospital it was sounds dirty and the staff unprofessional. I've never come across something like this. It's not too late to change hospitals - and you have every right to do so. Is there somewhere else you could swap to?

I wouldn't have a c-section in a hospital where I didn't trust the staff - but I can see your thinking. If you don't think you should be sent home and the staff do discharge you, my old NCT teacher said to ask them to write on your notes that they were sending you home for xyz reason. No one wants to put their name to this so invariably you're kept in. Also, have you thought about a doula to be an advocate for you when the time comes?

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sat 07-Sep-13 12:26:06

I would want a homebirth in that situation, I think you would be crazy to trust them with major surgery if they can't even clean piss off the floor.

MrsWildermac Sat 07-Sep-13 12:26:23

I had severe SPD with DD - couldn't walk more than a few steps without being reduced to tears and my physio said they discourage women with SPD from having cs as they have to cut through the abdominal muscles thereby leaving you with no pelvic support at all. I was told DD was big, went 10 days overdue and she was back to back normal vaginal delivery on just gas and air. Turned out she was only 6lb 15oz!

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 12:35:26


We all want our babies born safely. A c section is not the answer.

Explain to your provider your concerns ASAP.

specialsubject Sat 07-Sep-13 12:50:20

changing hospital is perfectly possible. Taxi, relatives, whatever. Costs trivial in the scheme of bringing up a child!

yes, I know you should not have to do this.

also no such thing as a totally safe birth, whichever way it is done. Happily the vast majority do turn out well.

Osmiornica Sat 07-Sep-13 12:58:58

"This isn't true - it's rare there is any trace of it after a week or so, and it's something you can go home with straight away (unlike c-section, where it's nearly always 2+ days in). Plus of course you'll still have the same time for SPD to subside, irrespective of means of delivery."

I have to say that this isn't true in my case. All the people I know who've had spd (myself included) it hasn't gone straight away at all and certainly isn't rare. That isn't to scare anyone but I think you should be aware of this so you can plan to do something about it afterwards. What I will say is that it does get a lot lot less painful (I was on crutches by the end) and it has now been sorted by going to an osteopath. If you're offered physio take it up and keep going after the birth.

As to the birth, I found it no more painful at all giving birth but make sure your midwives know the problem and encourage you into sensible positions (ie not on your back with legs wide open).

There's a website somewhere (will search in a minute) with lots of advice on spd.

Osmiornica Sat 07-Sep-13 13:00:09

MortifiedAdams Sat 07-Sep-13 13:03:57

I had GBS and had a mahoosive sticker on my notes stating it.

IV antibiotics four hours before delivery is ideal,.and they should be being shit hot on this. It can have veru serious consequences for baby if infected.

Ask to speak to the head of the labour ward about your complaints and concerns, and the flippancy of the staff re: GBS. If they are this bad, could you choose a different hospital? I wouldnt be trusting them with a Csec.

MortifiedAdams Sat 07-Sep-13 13:05:09

A taxi 45mins away is negligible in relation to the lack of care your current hospital is offering.

I would also look at changing hospitals, it could be worth the effort.

In terms of the CS, I can understand wanting one especially when you are in a lot of pain and feeling out of control and, by the sounds of it, like you are not being listened to. I had one for DD - I had an awful pregnancy, hyperemesis followed by hellish SPD. I was in constant pain and because the HG ran in to the SPD, I was exhausted by the time I was getting close to term. I was scared, feeling like I had no control over anything and got to the point where I was developing a phobia of birth because everything else had gone wrong and I was so damn sore. There were also stories in the papers about the excessive use of "high" forceps in my local hospital, including a couple of really sad endings.

I will say that my SPD was very bad. I could only separate my upper thighs by an inch or two, and having separated them by more than that (accidentally) in the bath had caused me to be in agony for days afterwards so I wasn't comforted by the "just have an epidural" response I was initially offered.

For me,the CS was the right choice. I genuinely don't believe I would have been able to have a simple, natural birth. DD was big, I had very limited movement, I was exhausted and in pain and also very frightened.

I'm in no way saying a section is necessarily the right way to go - just wanted to know you are not alone and you have to make the decision that is right for you. Everyone appraises risks in different ways, for some a c-section is the worst they can imagine whereas for others the thought of forceps is terrifying.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sat 07-Sep-13 13:15:34

Just wanted to add - I'm in the US, where c-sections are a lot more routine. Here, you'd just ask for one and get one, and there is a lot less talk of them being major surgery etc. Obviously they are, and all operations carry certain elements of risk. However, when pretty much every American mother I know has had at least one elective c-section, as well as half the expat population, it does become the norm somehow as opposed to being something to be avoided. You need to do what's right for you and your baby. Being confident in your choice, whatever that may be, will help you feel more in control.

Catsize Sat 07-Sep-13 13:32:00

I would seriously look at water birth at home. Don't know what gbs is though. Does that mean no home birth?
Just souns like you would be in a much better state mentally at home, but 45mins may be longer than recommended from hosp.
If it is SPD, surprised it is only kicking in now. I was in a wheelchair by 32wks and bedbound by 36 with DS and have had symptoms since six weeks with this one. Think I am a it odd though. Still pushed out number one though, despite induction lasting nearly four days. Good luck!

Tealteeth Sat 07-Sep-13 13:35:20

YANBU. You don't need anyone's approval.

cubbie Sat 07-Sep-13 13:50:06

Hugs xxx don't care if un-mn-netty, you need them! I'm appalled at your experience. Google group B strep, there is an excellent website,I think it's something like

One of the pregnancy magazines had a big campaign about it when I had my Dc 6 years ago, it's a very serious condition and I knew girls online who'd lost their babies to it. Not trying to scare you, I'm just amazed at the lack oc concern and awareness of if from your HCPs.

I also had SPD, very severely. In the end up , it was so bad that I literally begged through tears for an elec c-section. The midwife in charge at daycare arranged it in the blink of an eye! And I can honestly tell you that it was a blissful experience, even my DH said how lovely it was, so different from my emcs with DS1.

My recovery was fine, I had no problems. Unfortunately, I still have SPD and Ds2 was 5 in July, so that's almost 6years.

It's a myth that it clears up as soon as baby is born, I know people who still have it. I was on crutches and just couldnt see logistically how I would have a normal birth. I have very very fond memories of my elective c-sec!

As other posters have said, you need your DH with you to support you while you sort this out.

Best if luck and you truly have my sympathy. Oh , I also had group B Strep, was on an IV drip during labour, it's very simple to sort out.

(Apologies for any typos, on phone and ds2 jumping on me!)

Chunderella Sat 07-Sep-13 13:52:51

Yanbu in that an elective section is a totally reasonable choice, in itself, and one that every woman should have the right to make. However, it sounds like you have two main reasons for wanting one and a section is only going to be helpful for one of those. Clearly if you're worried about the risks inherent in giving birth to a large baby, ELCS is an obvious way to mitigate those. So that's sensible- though not the only option, of course. But a section is not going to take away the problem of being treated like crap and the hospital itself being badly run.

I think you'd be better giving birth elsewhere. Once you've decided on that, see if you still want a section then. You might find your worries evaporate if you know you'll be somewhere you trust more. I also agree with the poster upthread who said see if you can get a trainee doula, particularly if you decide on VB. There might even be someone reading who could help?

cubbie Sat 07-Sep-13 13:55:23

Meant to say that I had planned to have a VBAC with ds2.
Just wasn't possible!!!

Chunderella Sat 07-Sep-13 13:59:09

With regards to homebirth, NHS doesn't usually advise it if you have GBS. Obviously you could still do it anyway- a quick google yielded the story of a woman who went into hospital to have the antibiotics once in labour, then came home again. I have no idea how safe this is, but it does happen.

holidaysarenice Sat 07-Sep-13 14:09:20

Reading that the first thing I want to say is slow down and breathe.

Your anxiety levels have hit the roof, which is not helping. Its normal to worry but honestly try to relax first. Then make a plan, try writing down your concerns and making a list of questions to ask.

Trying to keep your thoughts clear will help you to control the controllable and not fixate on the uncontrollable.

Then if a c-section is what you consider best, by all means go for it.

Idocrazythings Sat 07-Sep-13 15:01:49

Try not to worry about the GBS... A lot of women have it. It's just a bacteria that lives in the vagina. It's not sexually transmitted or mean that you're dirty.

Once you've been diagnosed with it you're treated as if you have it every pregnancy. You are required intravenous penicillin every four hours when in labour, and watched carefully if your waters break before labour starts. They would consider inducing you if that happens or at least giving you some oral antibiotics. Takes about four hours to work. Remember though, a function of your waters breaking is to wash your vagina out so if you happen to labour quickly chances are you would naturally be protected by the waters, especially if they break late in the labour. Afterwards the baby's temperature would be observed. Not sure exactly what your hospitals policy is regarding GBS monitoring of a newborn, but it's a reasonable question to ask.

With your SPD pain, be careful to be aware of your leg positioning if you have an epidural in, as you will be less likely to feel any over stretching of your legs. Maybe you can ask DH to keep an eye out for that, and for him to be aware if you are holding the same position too long or that the way your legs/hips especially if they don't look like they are in a "natural" position.

I truly do not think a c section is the answer to your concerns, but know that pregnancy, especially late pregnancy makes you worry more than usual and whilst your concerns are entirely valid and reasonable and you deserve the answers; you may not be reacting to them how you usually would. I am too embarrassed to comment about some of the things I thought/said/did from about 38 weeks onwards of pregnancy but let me tell you I cringe now blush. I am saying that with genuine care and hope you don't take any offense to it.

Take care have a nice bath and try to get a good rest before the busyness of life with a newborn begins. flowers

fabergeegg Sat 07-Sep-13 17:31:20

Ignore those saying you're being unreasonable to ask for a c section on this basis. They don't know what they're talking about.

You're weakening your argument by talking about the dirty hospital - though the lack of staff is certainly an issue if you might wish to request an emergency c section to avoid forceps and stirrups.

My own feeling is that there are risks both ways and you can really only evaluate them and decide for yourself. If you go for a c section, you'll be cutting through muscles that will be important in recovery. If you don't, there's the chance that you'll be placed in an unsafe birthing position. The one thing I don't think you need to worry about as a result of your spd is the baby. You don't have a higher chance of staff not getting the baby out in time.

Most importantly, it's very important than you receive manual therapy before the birth and start strengthening the muscles that will support the pelvis, as this will help with the birth and help you recover faster. I would not accept that you won't see a specialist physio, as you are meant to be referred urgently. In the circumstances, I suggest that you call Pelvic Partnership, as suggested above, and ask for help finding a specialist physio local to you. You will have to pay but I don't think you have the option of not, unless you can get the NHS to perform in time.

Famzilla Sat 07-Sep-13 17:38:14

I'm sorry you're having such a crap time but I really don't think a c section is needed under the circumstances you described.

I had SPD and a large baby. Was induced a week early. She was back to back and the epidural failed. Was a very stressful time & I ended up demanding a c-section because her heart rate wasn't ideal and I just felt so panicked and out of control.

I ended up staying in hospital for 5 days, could barely move for months and it still gets sore now. My tummy looks gross, I have a pouch and loads of water has been retained around the incision area so my belly looks like the Himalayas.

I frequently wish I had just let nature take its course and not panicked so much about everything! I think you're just getting yourself worked up and it's hardly surprising considering how poorly you've been treated.

Famzilla Sat 07-Sep-13 17:41:48

Oh & DD was only 7lbs 10oz in the end, a massive fuss about nothing!

TattyDevine Sat 07-Sep-13 17:52:33

Fight for a section if you can


I've had 2, wouldn't have it any other way and had neither of your problems

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