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To ask for a c-section?

(63 Posts)
Rigbyroo Sun 12-Jan-14 20:31:16

Any advice greatly appreciated. I'm 21 weeks pregnant and really do not know what to do. I had a terrible, extremely long labour with dc1 ending in forceps theatre delivery and a third degree tear. My latent phase and second stage lasted an age and I don't feel like I can do it again. I felt like a total failure and I cannot mentally feel that way again. What are the chances of me getting an elective c-section without stress? Please help and give your c-section or second birth stories! Thank you.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 12-Jan-14 21:01:55

Do you think anyone will think I'm less of a mother for not doing it naturally?

If they do that makes them a twat.

Mushypeasandchipstogo Sun 12-Jan-14 21:02:15

Go for it! I was anxious to have a CS for various reasons and I had expected lots of opposition from GP and midwife. They couldn't have been more supportive, especially my female GP, and it was the best decision I could have made!

Fairylea Sun 12-Jan-14 21:02:59

I will come back and post properly as soon as I I can (toddler up and down like a yo yo!) But essentially I had a similar first labour to you (3 days long!) And I opted for an elcs with my second baby ten years later as I found the thought of going through another labour absolutely terrifying.

I had to see two consultants. First one fucking arse who made me feel like an idiot. I wrote letter of complaint to hospital about him and he then referred me to I said if I didn't have a c section I would be suing the hospital for mental distress caused. I made sure they knew I knew the risks etc. I was very firm. They in there and then for 38 weeks.

Don't be afraid to argue your case. Make it crystal clear you know the risks, you need this etc.

My elcs was amazing..I loved it and bonded with ds instantly (unlike with dd where I had severe pnd and birth trauma ptsd). The recovery from the elcs was better than with the difficult vaginal birth.

I hope you get the birth you want.

Silvercatowner Sun 12-Jan-14 21:03:41

Of course you wouldn't be less of a mother. Your body, your choice. If it is what you want then go for it.

Worried3 Sun 12-Jan-14 21:05:31

Dr here- yes, you can request an elective section and you can get one without a clinical requirement for one.

Please be aware though that your doctor is obliged to tell you all the risks before agreeing to it- it's not us trying to scare you, but it is our job to give you the facts and advise you accordingly (last week I had a patient get very upset when explaining the risks for consent purposes, as she thought I was trying to put her off by scaring her). Usually, we do advise vaginal births unless there is a reason not to, but with the new guidance elective sections are offered at maternal request.

Ultimately, you have to weigh up the risk of vaginal birth vs risks of section (including implications for future pregnancies, if you plan to have more) and make your own choices about what is best for you.

livingmydream612 Sun 12-Jan-14 21:06:13

Rigbyroo many women are harsh on women who have elcs. Tbh I never cared anf openly tell people I had an elcs just for fun and you can see them judging me while i tell them why i did it. It didnt matter to me what people think. I have to live with my body for life. And birth is only a birth, I think its more important to be a good mammy. Good luck. X

Mushypeasandchipstogo Sun 12-Jan-14 21:07:40

I should have added that I never had any problems with a consultant as I only saw him after an early scan it was all discussed with GP and midwife.

InPursuitOfOblivion Sun 12-Jan-14 21:11:45

You will come across negativity from others about asking for a CS but who gives a flying fuck? -- Better than a shredded vagina! (Possibly) --

RudolphtheRedknowsraindear Sun 12-Jan-14 21:12:45

I miscarried my 1st baby at 4 months. I've been lucky enough to have 2 children naturally after that. But, that is what it is, sheer luck; I did nothing differently in pregnancies 2 & 3.

A friend of mine said she was having the aromatherapy room & a birthing pool. When she asked me what I was having I said, "all being well, a baby."

For me that's it in a nutshell, what do you want, an xyz birth or a baby?
You are the Mum, you have carried, loved & known your baby for 9 months. You should do what only you can know is the best type of birth for your baby.

As far as I'm aware, no medals are given out for what type of birth you have.

Make your decision based on your knowledge of your own body & your baby. Nothing & nobody else should influence this decision. I look forward, in a few months, to hearing your wonderful news. thanks

Bumbez Sun 12-Jan-14 21:13:41

I had a 3rd degree tear following a normal delivery with first baby and for that reason requested an elective lscs with 2nd.

I don't recall anyone trying to talk me out of it. However it took much longer to recover from the lscs, not helped by having a 2 year old to care for. I still sometimes regret that I didn't try for a normal delivery. Hth

Fairylea Sun 12-Jan-14 21:17:33

I've never had any negativity about my elcs by the way. Everyone has been really supportive- and envious!

Crazeeladee Sun 12-Jan-14 21:17:45

See if your unit has a consultant midwife, they can go through all your previous labour with you and debrief you, go through all the options and help you to make the right decision for you. If that right decision is a section, that's fine, but you'll have done it with fully informed choice and spending time with someone going through it all .

herethereandeverywhere Sun 12-Jan-14 21:20:11


A few thoughts:

1) There are loads of threads in the Childbirth section (or have been in the past) about wanting and how to get an ELCS. Do a search, there's some great advice.
2) Yes, the NICE guidelines have changed but they're ignored by departments trying to reduce their CS rate so you are much more likely to come up against resistance than find a consultant that simply accepts your request (in the experience of those posting on MN) so you usually need to put up a fight. I'd be wary about leaving the request process until 30 weeks.
3) I'd be wary about leaving the request process until 30 weeks. It's much easier to bulldoze you into accepting what the consultant/hospital want when you feel time is running out and you have no choice. I requested my first consultant appointment at my booking in and persuaded my midwife to accelerate my 2nd opinion (after the first one watched me sob, listened to my case them wrote utter bollocks in my notes).
4) I'd be wary about the 'compromise' suggested by HardertoKidnap if it's a CS that you want. Once you are in labour you are too vunerable to argue if you're told you can't have a CS as it's too late/theatre is busy/baby is too low/ whatever excuse they feel like. You will still also experience (some of) the pain and exhaustion of labour with this option.
5) Take notes at the consultant appointment. Go with your partner and a pre-written case for why you want ELCS to jog your memory. If you are refused tell them you would like it recorded in your notes that your preferred method of birth is being refused and that you are being forced into a VB against your wishes. If they refuse to write that put it in writing yourself and attach it to your notes.
6) 2nd births are usually easier. But not all of them are and there seemed to be no science out there to be able to predict whether I was going to fall into the lucky or unlucky camp. There is inherent uncertainty with VB. With CS there are risks but you can know the exact stats for those risks (and so the relative likelihood of them happening) ahead of time.

Good luck and do post in Childbirth if you want some support for your consultant appointment/s.

cerealqueen Sun 12-Jan-14 21:20:39

I was exactly like you, I dreaded giving birth again. I had same tears, ventouse, enormous blood loss, (transfusion) very long second stage. I suggest you speak to your (hopefully sympathetic) midwife and talk through with her. That helps.
I really wanted a c-section. I thought I'd get one for medical reasons, placenta issues, too big a baby, anything really. Didn't work out for me but you go for what you want, and keep asking.

If you do have a vaginal birth, write a birthplan and talk her through it. Ask for your notes to so you can see what happened. Its easy to forget.
What helped me most was practising my breathing and having a mantra, something I said in my head at height of contractions and when pushing. I never thought I'd push out another 9lb baby with no help, but I did it.

Good luck.

mumaa Sun 12-Jan-14 21:37:58


Go with what you feel comfortable with, remember things have changed and it is now your right to choose. I had ELCS due to baby being breach and it was genuinely a great experience. Very calm and everything explained, recovery was good, just be sure to follow the advice.

In my view it's better you go with what you are happy with and be more relaxed for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Snatchoo Sun 12-Jan-14 21:48:14


I don't agree with CS by choice unless it's for these types of reasons. I think in your case you are only being sensible!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 12-Jan-14 21:49:40

Hi, DC1 was vaginal, 3rd degree tear and I was scared of the same thing with DC2. DC2 was breech so there was no choice re a c-section. And I was very relieved about that!

I had DC2 in the US where c-sections are ten a penny and there is much less resistance to them than in the UK (they're good money spinners for the insurance companies, after all). Like the UK, 3rd degree tears won't necessarily lead to a recommendation for a c-section, but are certainly taken into consideration if you request one.

In your position, I would go for the c-section every time. Quick, pain free and whilst everyone bangs on about the major operation angle, they're also pretty much the most commonly performed op. 12 weeks on, all is well, DC2 is exc. breastfed and doing well - 95%ile for weight - and for me, from a psychological point of view, my vagina is still intact! I wrote this on another thread recently but given the choice, I'd rather have stitches in my stomach! Good luck!

Lilacroses Sun 12-Jan-14 22:00:49

Yanbu at all. I could've written your op. Dd's birth was just as you describe. I was so traumatised by it I said I'd never have another. Anyway, I never got pregnant again but I would've fought for a ecs. My sil had a similar experience first time and an ecs the second time and it was so much better. Good luck op.

FruitbatAuntie Sun 12-Jan-14 22:14:38

I was booked in for an ELCS at 38 weeks, so an appointment at 30 weeks should be fine I would have thought. They don't like to book you in too early for some reason. I got one even though their diaries were totally full - I just got added onto a gynae list instead.

Laurel1979 Sun 12-Jan-14 22:19:53

YANBU, I imagine you'll be offered a section from your history in any case. When I did my obstetric training, it was usually discussed at the 34 week appointment, with the section being booked at 39 weeks. Every unit has different appointment schedules though, so I'd recommend checking with your midwife when you'll be due to see the consultant next.

MairyHoles Sun 12-Jan-14 22:33:22

Hi, I'm on phone so this will be brief but you have had good advice regarding your rights when asking.

I personally would insist on a CS in your situation, the earlier the better for your peace of mind. I had 3rd degree tear with number 1 and my consultant (known to be very conservative and actually IMO quite anti-section) encouraged me to have a VB with number 2. I spent the pregnancy fretting and worrying and second guessing my choice (i felt that I could have pursued it further and I acknowledge that the VB was my choice) and I was quite anxious and miserable. That delivery ended in a forceps delivery and a lesser category 3rd degree tear. Although it wasn't apparently as severe it took far longer to recover from and was, quite frankly, the most awful few weeks of my life, unable to walk anywhere for more than a few minutes, couldn't lift the buggy into car etc, I was basically housebound. I found the debrief with the consultant helpful but he told me the risk of the same tearing happening with subsequent pregnancies was so minimal that he would expect me to push if I found myself pregnant again. Coupled with the fact that the hospital didn't do epidurals I decided with my 3rd pregnancy to change to a different hospital. On first meeting with the consultant he agreed readily to an ELCS. I did the school run with toddler and newborn 4 days post section. It was far easier and less painful to recover from.

I don't mean to scare you, just sharing my story. Press for a CS if this is what you want, you will enjoy your pregnancy far more without worrying. I am only now getting help for problems caused by the birth of number 2 and I wish I had trusted my gut and been more firm re the CS. On the other hand, they are right when they say that the majority of subsequent pregnancies don't end in another 3rd degree tear tries my best to give a non-biased view and not terrify you! Good luck

RaspberryRuffle Sun 12-Jan-14 22:34:38

OP, request your CS firmly and with your reasons stated clearly, bring someone with you for backup.

Harder to Kidnap I hope that consultant doesn't categorically state taht 2nd births are always easier. "*One of our consultants compares first births to an investment. They are hard and long. The payback, the benefit of going through a hard long labour is that the second one is quick and easy. By opting for a section, she says, you lose the benefit and payback of that first experience*. I actually think this is a really irresponsible thing to say to someone who's been through a traumatic first birth (or any traumatic birth experience). How much worse would someoen feel if this 2nd birth did not bring 'payback'.

Livingmydream glad to hear your medical team were willing to listen to you, the patient, about how YOU gave birth.

TimeToPassGo Sun 12-Jan-14 22:37:20

I had an ELCS for a long list of reasons. I found the recovery very painful and was over-optimistic about it, partly because I read so many threads online where people said they were out weeding the garden 3 days later.

Some people are very lucky with CS recovery and others aren't. However the actual CS is fine. I found recovery painful but was able to breastfeed without difficulty. No long term effects either unlike friends who are still suffering with birth injuries. Good luck OP.

Purplepoodle Sun 12-Jan-14 22:41:53

My second birth was the best birth after a horrible long saga with dc1 ended up with ventouse and a messed up episiotomy.

Second time round, dh was briefed and ready to take control. Hypnobirthing relaxation dc's worked wonders as did the classes in breathing (I was very sceptical but it was brilliant)

Feartheescalator Sun 12-Jan-14 22:44:34

My first labour was very similar to yours and left me with severe feelings of failure and PND. I was terrified to go through it again and I requested a CS at my 12 week appointment, they referred me to consultant midwife who tried to dissuade me by outlining risks of CS. I pointed out that all data available on CS risk relates to emergency sections and therefore it is a risk of natural labour and told her I still wanted CS. She asked me to think about and come back. This went on 3 times. I was then referred to consultant and eventually I was scheduled for CS. It was an amazing experience. i had no fear and I bonded with DD2 straight away. I will never forget the feeling of triumph, relief and shear happiness I had in the recovery room while holding DD2. Recovery was so much easier than after my natural delivery and I was back to normal within a couple of weeks. I would never tell anyone else what to do but in my case it was the right choice.

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