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To just ask for an ELCS?

(158 Posts)
NotAWhaleOmeletteInSight Thu 10-Dec-15 18:16:22

I'm 7 months pregnant with dc2. Dc1 is 21 months old and my experience of birth was extremely traumatic. I don't want to go into loads of detail but it went very wrong, dc was in danger, it ended in theatre with a room full of people, spinal, forceps etc. Afterwards I'm fairly sure I had undiagnosed pnd, although I didn't know it at the time.

The hospital have apologised for how things went and I'm under the consultant for this pregnancy, because I'm so worried about the birth.

I've been psyching myself up for it and they've promised that I can have an epidural as soon as I arrive if I want (they talked me out of it last time). They've also asked if I want an ELCS.

I know this isn't technically an AIBU but I'd really appreciate your opinions. The more I think about it, the more I don't know if I can face going through labour again, although I know it's unlikely to be like last time.

I'm also worried though about the recovery from a CS whilst looking after a toddler. Dh will have 2 weeks off work, and then my mum will come to stay for a bit (family all live hundreds of miles away). I don't need to drive as we live in the suburbs and everything is walkable.

Just how bad is the recovery from an ELCS? Should I just go for it?

AlpacaLypse Thu 10-Dec-15 18:21:51

I was lucky enough to have a reasonably trouble free natural delivery with my twins so I have no first hand experience. It does sound to me like ELCS would be a good idea for you after the misery of your first. I'm sure someone with direct experience will be along soon.

My youngest sister had both her children with ELCS, she found it irksome not being allowed to drive, and did have to go back in for a day on a drip with second as the wound became infected.

Topseyt Thu 10-Dec-15 18:29:24

I would go for it. They have offered you the c-section, so take it if you don't want to face labour again.

I had a very traumatic first birth with DD1 and it took far longer to recover fully from that than it did from the c-section I needed with DD3 (DD2 was an OK delivery, as far as they go).

Having given birth both ways, I personally preferred the c-section. Over quickly, far less painful, and a much easier recovery than I had with DD1.

If you are worried about coping with the toddler could you perhaps stagger when your DH and your mother are going to be with you rather than having them both there at once? I mean, perhaps have your mother around for a couple of weeks first, while DH continues going to work, and then when she goes home he takes his time off work, or vice versa. That way you would get about a month to recover whilst your mum and then DH look after toddler. It worked best for me that way, so worth considering.

TaliZorah Thu 10-Dec-15 18:32:13

I did it. I hadn't had a traumatic birth but I was terrified of giving birth because of a family history of traumatic births.

My ELCS was easy. Pain free on day 2 back to normal day 6. Less painful than a blood test

It also saved DS, as they found out he'd got distressed and no one had noticed!

NotAWhaleOmeletteInSight Thu 10-Dec-15 18:39:19

I'm pretty much decided I think! Although I am squeamish about wounds...

Sorry, I didn't explain very well. The plan is for my parents and inlaws to visit briefly when the baby is born. My parents will look after dd here while I'm in hospital (I have local friends who will come rushing round if I go into labour and can't wait at home for 4 hours). Inlaws will go to a hotel.

Then they'll all leave us to it till dh goes back to work, and then my mum will come back to lend a hand.

TaliZorah Thu 10-Dec-15 18:42:58

I'm squeamish too, I couldn't see my scar for the first few days because of the weird jelly belly, by the time I saw it it was healed and just looked like a red line. I was expecting something really horrible but it just looked like a scratch.

There was a lot less squeamish stuff than in a natural birth id imagine

NotAWhaleOmeletteInSight Thu 10-Dec-15 18:47:09

Good point. Natural birth took me a long long time to recover from - in fact it's a wonder dd isn't an only child!

puddingbrains Thu 10-Dec-15 18:47:12

Same here... Traumatic birth followed by elcs. I was hoovering and man handling my toddler about on day 3. Bridesmaid at a wedding on day 4. A total breeze in comparison to first time round! Good luck

Ragwort Thu 10-Dec-15 18:49:11

I had no trouble at all recovering from a CS (emergency) - no scar, and it is an urban myth that you can't drive - but check with your own insurer.

Pico2 Thu 10-Dec-15 18:49:42

I had a traumatic VB with DD1 and an ELCS with DD2. I recovered much quicker from the ELCS. I was driving after 3 weeks and DH had 3 weeks off, so that was fine. It was a great experience and helped me to put DD1's birth behind me. DD2 was massive, so I was pleased not to have tried a VB with her.

Pico2 Thu 10-Dec-15 18:51:15

I wouldn't have been up to being a bridesmaid on day 4 though. Hats off to puddingbrains for that!

ACatCalledFang Thu 10-Dec-15 18:55:38

I had an EMCS earlier this year - but pretty relaxed as neither of us were in distress or anything, it was just that DS wasn't coming out any other way. He's my first so nothing to compare it to, but I've been pleasantly surprised by how easy the recovery was. I certainly had an easier time of it than friends who had, e.g., ventouse/episiotomies/PPH.

We were in hospital for two nights, then home, and I was able to walk (slowly) to the park on day 4. I could walk a couple of miles, with a rest in the middle, after a fortnight and was able to do most things after four weeks.

I did have DP at home for the first four weeks, which helped massively. But a lot of the help I needed was due to trying to breastfeed rather than having had a section.

I recommend a co-sleeper crib and a changing table; I would have struggled without them.

Good luck, whatever you decide! I would definitely consider an ELCS for subsequent births.

puddingbrains Thu 10-Dec-15 18:59:08

<takes a bow> a wee medicinal g and t to wash down the Tramadol

SnozzberryMincePie Thu 10-Dec-15 19:01:50

My dds birth sounds similar to yours (traumatic forceps delivery in theatre, baby in scbu) . I had a birth debrief (which I highly recommend if you haven't already) and was told that the chances were that I could have a straightforward birth next time, and based on this i went the other way to you and opted for a home birth for dc2. Luckily everything went to plan and ds' birth was brilliant, and the recovery was really quick too.

However saying that if you want an elcs then yanbu to do it.

DisappointedOne Thu 10-Dec-15 19:02:38

I had a similar birth experience (had planned a home water birth). I'm still dealin with the PTSD years later. It's the main reason that DD will be remaining an only child.

Trickytricky Thu 10-Dec-15 19:02:52

I had an ELCS (previous medical reasons) and I can honestly say the recovery was a LOT better than anticipated. I expected to be In loads of pain and unable to do anything for 5 weeks. I thought getting up from sofa and out of bed would be impossible but both were fine. Pushing oran up a steep hill in first week wasn't easy but by second week I could do that. Just make sure you keep taking the pain killers so pain Is managed. You don't want to miss one. The theatre team were all so nice and made the experience an enjoyable one! Good luck.

Trickytricky Thu 10-Dec-15 19:03:20


ThursdayLastWeek Thu 10-Dec-15 19:03:21

I had a bad first experience that resulted in an EMCS with DS nearly three years ago.

I'm now 6mo preg with DC2 and am having an ELCS this time. I can honestly say having the decision made has enabled me to enjoy my pregnancy so much more. Such a weight off my mind.

I had a bad initial recovery from the EMCS (in hospital for 10 days after), but as soon I was on the right track I recovered really well at home.

And yes, the scar is covered up for the first week or so, by which time it just a red line. So long as you keep up the pain meds and don't do too much too soon you'll be right smile


Headofthehive55 Thu 10-Dec-15 19:07:26

Had lots of problems after my cs, was in pain for years afterwards. no such problems after VBAcs. One was so quick she was born before I met the midwife!

good luck!

NotAWhaleOmeletteInSight Thu 10-Dec-15 20:10:28

Thanks all! I'm going to ask for an ELCS. Feeling relieved already.

Blackpoollassy Thu 10-Dec-15 20:10:46

Go for it. It sounds horrendous what you went through and recovery from an Elcs wasn't bad for me. I could also drive after 3 weeks as GP and insurer were happy. flowers I hope you gave a stress free remainder of your pregnancy

loveandsmiles Thu 10-Dec-15 20:29:01

Please don't worry about recovery from ELCS. I have had 2 VB, an emergency section and 3 ELCS. After my last ELCS I was doing the school run within a week - no family and DH self-employed so has to work! I would always choose an ELCS - I like to know what's happening and when and the pain was minimal compared with previous ventouse delivery/episiotomy/3rd degree tear etc.

Wishing you all the best for your new arrival xx

NotAWhaleOmeletteInSight Thu 10-Dec-15 20:51:32

You are all lovely. I bloody love this site!

Cardbordeaux Thu 10-Dec-15 22:00:05

Out of my three births - VB, EMCS, and ELCS - the ELCS was my favourite. It was so chilled out and calm, everything was managed as it happened. Even when my BP dipped down low during the surgery and needed medical help to come back up, it wasn't a stress because everyone was so calm and they just dealt with it while I cuddled my baby. I even got to watch the surgery and see DS being born thanks to the reflective bit in the middle of the big theatre light grin

Recovery was fine. I slept whenever I could while DH was on his paternity leave and it really helped keep my energy levels up along with good, wholesome meals - I left him in charge of the food so had lots of stews, soups, and casseroles, then he got it into his head that I needed iron so he started adding kale to everything hmm

Stay on top of your painkillers, take them by the clock for at least the first four or five days, and always do slightly less than you think you're capable of because you won't know if you've overdone it until the next day. You don't need to take to your bed (short walks are beneficial) but you don't need to go running any races either.

BillBrysonsBeard Thu 10-Dec-15 22:31:37

Good luck OP! I had an ELC for my first and it was great. I walked hunched over for a week and it was painful but then I recovered really quickly. Far better dealing with a bit of physical pain than risking feeling traumatised mentally afterwards.

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