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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.

livingmydream612 Mon 13-Jan-14 23:41:19

Cardamomginger your experience sounds awful and I am so sorry your still recovering from your birth. Its bloody awful... That was one of the reasons why I forced a elcs. My mum had 3 kids and cannot go 30 mins without needing the toilet and she is only In her 40's. I feel so sorry for all the ladies traumatic birth experiences that I have read and researched. I am also sorry you cannot have baby no2. We live and learn but im sure thAt means fuck all when you have suffered in the way you and many women hAve. Sorry for errors on phone.

NicE1 Mon 13-Jan-14 23:08:11

I had an elective C Section and it was definitely the right decision for me.

The procedure itself was not scary - I felt no pain at any point and the staff were all lovely. I did skin to skin with my son on theatre and again in recovery , and also breast fed in recovery.

I was up walking that same night and had my cannula and catheter out the following morning.

I stayed in hospital for three nights to get breastfeeding established. The pain was well managed and not bad at all.

Once home I never had any problem lifting and caring for my son. He is now 11 weeks old and has been exclusively breast fed throughout. I took him to baby massage classes from a week old and was driving within three weeks of the op.

If you feel a C Section is the right decision for you then it is - trust your instinct and ignore anyone who tries to influence that. Once I had made the decision I was able to relax and look forward to meeting my son without the fear I had been feeling about a VD.

You will know in your gut what is right for you - trust that and ignore anyone trying to persuade you that it will be easier for you to have a VD second time around.

Good luck x

tigerpug Mon 13-Jan-14 22:49:11

Awful 'natural' delivery with dc1, ending in forceps, major bruising to dc and prolapse for me. Traumatised for a long time. 3 years later (8weeks ago) i had dc2 by elcs and it was a truly fantastic, amazing experience. Totally relaxed, painfree and happy. Dc2 bfed straight away. My recovery was quick. Im so pleased i didnt listen to my midwifes advice....

cardamomginger Mon 13-Jan-14 21:27:16

Not read the whole thread, but go for it. Read the NICE and RCOG guidelines. Have you had any bowel problems after you gave birth? (You don;t have to tell us, if you don;t want to!). Because I think if you ever had any faecal incontinence, it's pretty much a slam-dunk for ELCS. If you are incontinent of wind, that would also work in your favour.

Best of luck.

living - I wish to fuck I'd been like you. I let myself be talked into the 'natural' birth route and gave birth to DD vaginally in September 2010. Three major operations later and I am still having trauma therapy and medical treatment. A second DC is out of the question sad. I applaud you for doing what I did not.

CheshirePanda Mon 13-Jan-14 21:00:09

It's your right under the NICE guidelines to choose a CS. You don't need any special medical conditions....the drs will just need to make sure you understand the various risks with CS vs vaginal delivery (some risks are higher with CS, some are higher with vaginal delivery - my consultant said its pretty equal)

In my experience there was no resistance from the consultant at all. When I told the midwife I wanted a CS, she made me an appt with the consultant ( as is the procedure). I went expecting resistance, and Took a printout of the NICE rules, with the relevant parts highlighted. Almost literally he said 'you want a CS? Right ok. He explained the risks and then got the calendar out and offered me 2 dates.

In my experience, midwives will try to persuade you to go for Vaginal birth. I found a firm no thanks did the trick. If you can quote a few statistics from the NICE guidelines showing you've read them that also shuts them up pretty fast!

I was invited to a meeting with a senior midwife at the hospital. The aim was to ensure I really understood the pros and cons of my decision. I phoned her, said I understood the risks, had discussed them with the consultant and wouldn't be coming to see her (waste of my time, and I also told her i didn't appreciate getting the hard sell on vaginal birth from midwives). She wasn't thrilled, but wasn't rude or aggressive. She wrote me a quick letter just confirming we had discussed this and I was happy to go ahead, which was fine.

As for comments from friends/acquaintances, just smile sweetly and say you're too posh to push. This gives them nowhere to go with any snide comments.

The actual CS was a doodle. I was nervous but it was absolutely fine. Talking to many friends who had vaginal births almost all said it was horrific or at least pretty awful. I was going for tiny walks after 4 days and by 7 days walked up the road and back (500m?). Did 2 miles on the second week. However, I don't know how you would deal with a toddler (if you have one). Lifting them into highchairs etc would be pretty difficult in the early days.

It's your choice. My experience was extremely good. I would have one again in a flash.

Good luck!

Shitehawke Mon 13-Jan-14 17:51:11

If youre anything like me, once you have the thumbs up for as csection, you will relax and probably consider a vaginal birth with a more open mind. I think fear of being 'made' to face your birth fears again are making you panic a bit.

Afritutu Mon 13-Jan-14 16:28:38

First labour 36 hours. Waters had gone, but labour didn't progress. In a tonne of pain getting no where, ended up with epidural and mammoth 2 hour plus pushing. So much vomiting was awful. Second time was so so different. Very quick labour, got to 10 cm without realising it, pushed baby out in 20 mins on gas and air. My body knew what to do, it was so much easier

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 13-Jan-14 14:23:26

Having had one child in the UK and one in the US, all the approval stuff for c-sections in the UK does strike me as a bit crazy now. Here (in the US) you can literally get your diary out and schedule your c-section around work/other commitments. Now, obviously the NHS is somewhat different, but given women are meant to be able to choose whether they have a c-section or not, why is there so much discussion/so many attempts to dissuade? Surely a woman should have the right to request a c-section (barring medical reasons which would make it unwise) and that be the end of it.
Yoni - here there would have been none of the to-ing and fro-ing you've experienced. I can't help thinking that the stress of not knowing in the meantime must be bad for both you and baby.

YoniOneKenobi Mon 13-Jan-14 13:25:17

I'm currently 28 weeks and will go for my 6th appointment with a consultant this week. I've seen three junior doctors (none with any authority to approve a csection). First consultant said no, but did say I've 90% chance of getting elcs, second consultant who also said no, but again said it was more than likely I'd get elcs, and referred me back to original consultant who I see this week. I had a terrible first birth and consequently am unwilling to take the unknown risks again. I have researched the pros and cons and feel this is the right choice for me. Hopefully, this next appointment will finalise what has been said at the last two appointments. It does seem rather a waste of doctors time though.

IrrelevantSquirrel Mon 13-Jan-14 09:40:22

I had a third degree tear and was told that meant I would be offered a CS for any subsequent deliveries. So I don't think you should have any problems requesting one.

BrickorCleat Mon 13-Jan-14 09:34:34

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

If you give birth to a chair or baboon, perhaps.

Otherwise, by the wonder of modern medical advancement you've made a choice which is right for you and your baby.

It's the stuff that comes afterwards that REALLY matters! Good luck with your lovely adventure!

Rigbyroo Mon 13-Jan-14 08:17:22

Wow, thanks so much for responses, you've already given me more knowledge and confidence to go to appointment stronger. Thank you. Lovely to hear your stories and I'm sorry so many of you had difficult births too.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Sun 12-Jan-14 22:50:08

Do you think anyone will think I'm less of a mother for not doing it naturally? I've read that some people have

Yes people will judge you, they are just sheeples who don't think about anything or even why they think what they do, so do you care?

My ELC second time round has made me a far better mother, because I wasn't traumatised this time, I wasn't battered and bruised and in shock, physically and mentally, I was not scared and wondering will it all be ok will I get through this or will something go wrong... my hormones also seemed more settled, so I wasn't a wreck, I wasn't tired and could actually tend to my baby, and I was able to establish BF this time.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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