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To wish I'd just had a c section?

(113 Posts)
Absofrigginlootly Thu 22-Sep-16 18:28:41

DD is 22 months old. Had a vaginal delivery after over an hour at the pushing stage (!) with failed vontouse so they used forceps with an episiotomy. Still resulted in a 3rd degree tear. I had to go to theatre straightaway afterwards anyway because of a retained placenta (and they stitched me up while I was there) so I ended up being separated from DD for 1.5 hours only 10 minutes after she was born sad. This affected both myself and DD for quite some time.

My recovery was awful, I could barely walk, sit or climb the stairs for several months. It made breastfeeding so much harder because I couldn't move about easily.

I've had to have ongoing physio to try and improve my pelvic floor tone. I have always enjoyed running, it's the only exercise I do enjoy because I feel like it gives you a good whole body workout and gets you outside in the fresh air. I'm not one for gyms, loud music and exercise machines.... My physio said to me today that running is not really the best exercise for me because of the 'pounding' affect it has on the pelvic floor. She said she's obviously not going to tell me I can't do it, but that she thought something like an elliptical trainer would be better.

I feel gutted. I wish I'd just had a bloody c section when it was obvious that DD was stuck and not coming out on her own.

But I was so out of it at that point that when they asked me if I wanted to avoid a section they could use forceps I just said whatever you thinks best you're the obgyn!

I hadn't done much research about birthing options tbh because I was sort of in denial that we'd actually reach the point of giving birth (long story) so also feel angry at myself for not researching it because I've since read several things online and on here where people have said that they would always pass over vontouse/forceps and go straight for c section. But really, it shouldn't be down to the patient to have to advocate for their best interests should it? The HCPs should be doing that anyway.

Aibu to think that the whole push to get c section rates down is actually a negative influence on women's birth experiences and choices?

Just feeling fragile. Please be kind

Elllicam Thu 22-Sep-16 18:36:29

Yanbu. I had a forceps delivery with DS1 (kiellands rotation) and if I had researched it previously I would have definitely asked for a csection. I had a lot of trauma, large episiotomy which got infected and had a pph. DS2 got stuck at the same point, pushed for 1 hour 30 and they said they were taking me in for forceps again. I told them I wanted a section. They put the fear of god into me about the risks for me and my baby of a section but I stuck to my guns. It was so much easier, easier recovery, no pph and much less painful. I wish they would enumerate the risks of forceps in the same way they do the risks of a section.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Thu 22-Sep-16 18:36:56

I total understand where you're coming from, it sounds like you've really been through the mill. However it's not that clear cut to decide what's in the 'best interests' of the patient as the consequences of birth are hard to determine in advance. There are outcomes which are more or less likely to happen depending on which procedures are used but its not possible to say for certain in advance how any given patient will respond to any given procedure.

CodyKing Thu 22-Sep-16 18:41:29

I had a section and DD was removed from the room while I was stitched up.

I think it's bad practice to remove the baby from its mother unless really necessary - they never remove pups from their mother due to possible rejection. I think it's an instinct

I also have forceps etc second time and recovered very quickly unlike the section when I couldn't climb the stairs etc or sit or lie too long - bit like having a bad back when you need to move round but need to rest

Neither option is easy

You sound very hard on yourself

Nan0second Thu 22-Sep-16 18:42:02

A Caesarean section at fully dilated is not the easy option and a baby that can be helped out with forceps would be very difficult to get out abdominal let. It has a huge risk of serious problems including major haemorrhage, bladder damage and serious tears to the uterus.
I am really sorry you had a horrible time but I don't think a caesarean would have fixed things the way you imagine. Pregnancy and pushing damage the pelvic floor so you may have had urinary problems regardless unfortunately. Bowel problems would be due to the third degree tear. I hope your physio goes well.
(I'm an obstetrician)

bilboteabaggin Thu 22-Sep-16 18:44:22

That sounds awful and I completely agree they shouldn't be asking you at that stage and just do what is in your best interest.

I was actually pushing for 3 hours straight and in between every contraction I passed out and started snoring I was that exhausted! They kept referring to my notes which said I would like to avoid a c section so let me push.

Just keep telling yourself it was worth it for you baby and promise never to do it again grin

AshGirl Thu 22-Sep-16 18:46:53

I'm sorry you had this experience flowers

I am currently pregnant and my consultant has offered me the option for a CS (previous uterine surgeries and other risks). Given that I will be 37 when the baby is born, I am very worried about complications and tears etc from a vaginal birth. I am also a keen runner and want to get back to it as soon as possible.

Hope your physio improves things for you soon

Graceflorrick Thu 22-Sep-16 18:48:59

Yanbu. Poor you, that sounds awful. I had a section and I truly believe it was the best decision I've ever made. Next time go for the section. flowers

Tokelau Thu 22-Sep-16 18:55:46

YANBU. When I had my first baby, I was pushing for six hours after a long labour. I had an episiotomy and forceps. My recovery was very long and painful.

When I had my second baby, I asked for a caesarean. My consultant couldn't believe I was pushing for six hours, so she checked my notes and it was correct. I had the caesarean, and recovered much more quickly than the first birth.

Absofrigginlootly Thu 22-Sep-16 18:56:02

Thanks you for your messages. And thank you Nan0 that's kind of 'good' to read in one way - kind of that there was probably no good outcome.

Although I've often wished I'd had an elective section! So that kind of reinforces it!

Don't worry I'm having an elective next time if we have another!

Every midwife who read my notes afterwards suggested it, along with 2 different obgyns and 2 different physics - without me even bringing it up!

Absofrigginlootly Thu 22-Sep-16 18:56:54

Physios not physics!

Absofrigginlootly Thu 22-Sep-16 19:00:07

Tokelau 6 hours!!! See that's what I'm talking about... Why did they persist with a vaginal birth for 6 hours of pushing time?!

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 22-Sep-16 19:09:53

Yanbu, I had a Forceps delivery nearly 14 years ago and I am still suffering symptoms I believe are directly related to the damage that did to my pelvic floor.

Recovery took a very long time, I had pelvic pain for months and months. I then developed what I believed to be a prolapse but fate intervened and before I could get it properly investigated I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and all was removed anyway.

Since then I've suffered a 'vault prolapse' that was operated on and I still have a large rectocele I have refused surgery for. I strongly believe all these prolapse issues are a direct result of forceps.

Fwiw, I do run, about 30 miles a week normally. I know it's not ideal given my problems but I love running and won't give it up. I'm not running at the moment due to tendinitis in my knee and I miss it every day.

Buglife Thu 22-Sep-16 19:17:06

YABU, I. The kindest way though because you've had a rough time. My DS got stuck and he ended up being an attempted forceps and finally a ventouse delivery in theatre. I had a small episiotomy and that healed in 2 weeks and I have no pelvic floor issues. My friend had a similar emergency but had a C section. She got an infection and had to have the scar reopened and stitched again. It was an open wound for 8 weeks, healing from the inside. Midwives had to come and dress the wound every day. She couldn't drive, barely pick up her baby, wash properly (no showers) and she was in a lot of pain and got profoundly depressed. There is no way of knowing how well any birth situation will end. HCP know this and they try what they can before going for C Section. I doubt my friend will ever think she had the easier option.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Thu 22-Sep-16 19:17:06

YANBU OP. ELCS is absolutely the way to go next time!

I ended up with a colostomy bag for 4 months due to forceps and an awful obstetrician. I'm still traumatized by the whole thing 3 years on and cannot talk about it without crying. The recovery period was a full 6 months including the colostomy reversal. I was on complete bed rest until my son was around 2 months old. I had to breastfeed lying down and wasn't even allowed to sit up to burp him - I had to call my (wonderful) partner for every single burp.

Compare this with my recent ELCS. I wasn't actually allowed to have a vaginal birth because of the damage done last time, though I had breech twins so it would have been a c-section anyway. Turned up at the hospital at 7am, a cheery team of lovely people (new obstetrician) had my girls out by 9:30 and breastfeeding by 10. Spent the day napping and cuddling and was walking around within 24 hours. I've been able to hold and cuddle and burp my own babies since then and 6 weeks in it's like nothing ever happened.

I really feel for you, OP. You're right that c-sections are a really great alternative. If I'd had any idea of the improved child and maternal health outcomes for c-sections I would have done that first time around. This really should be publicized more so we can make informed choices. I'm willing to bet it's just cost cutting to our detriment. Of course a vaginal birth where everything goes according to plan would be the best option, but this doesn't happen for so many women and we should be given the information required to take care of ourselves.

I hope everything gets better for you really soon, and if you have another baby I do recommend ELCS.

nicelyneurotic Thu 22-Sep-16 19:19:58

Yanbu. I had an almost identical experience with my first that left me with ongoing problems. You might have to fight for a c section next time as I was refused one for my second. I was referred for some therapy though as the experience was causing me panic and anxiety years later. I wish they were more upfront about the risks of vaginal birth.

meladeso Thu 22-Sep-16 19:22:57

Sorry that sounds awful OP, poor you

I had a traumatic experience with my first, ending with an emergency section even though fully dilated

I just had my second via elective section, and whilst the delivery itself was all really positive and peaceful, the recovery has been truly awful and in some ways has felt more traumatic at times than my first!

There's often no"best way" for some people sadly. I certainly won't be having any more!!

Hope you feel better soon

Humidseptember Thu 22-Sep-16 19:27:45

Compare this with my recent ELCS. I wasn't actually allowed to have a vaginal birth because of the damage done last time, though I had breech twins so it would have been a c-section anyway. Turned up at the hospital at 7am, a cheery team of lovely people (new obstetrician) had my girls out by 9:30 and breastfeeding by 10. Spent the day napping and cuddling and was walking around within 24 hours. I've been able to hold and cuddle and burp my own babies since then and 6 weeks in it's like nothing ever happened.


Same here.

The problem is - as I see it - c sections are described and packaged as the worst out come for mum and baby and something you want to avoid.
I disagree. For me personally I hated not being able to use the loo, hated being scared to sit down.

With my section I had a wound which affected me in a different way which was preferable to me ad over all the whole experience was far far far better than my first labour and birth.
You might have to fight for a c section next time as I was refused one for my second. I was referred for some therapy though as the experience was causing me panic and anxiety years later

It depends when, as NICE put their guidelines in place its been a little easier, you have to know the system though and know your rights.

hazeyjane Thu 22-Sep-16 19:29:26

I have had 2 vaginal births and 1 elective section

The vaginal births resulted in a 3rd degree tear (stitched in theatre, some incontinence after)
and a second degree tear (botched stitching, repair to botched stitching in theatre, double incontinence after)

The elective section was a fecking nightmare from start to finish. Reaction to drugs, uncontrollable shaking, huge blood loss, ds born grunting so whisked off to NICU. I spent hours vomiting after the birth (this really really hurts when you have a massive fresh wound in your belly!), felt like my skin was crawling with ants and had chest pains so had to be wired up to a heart monitor. I didn't see ds for 24 hours, I was Ill, he was on cpap and being tube fed. The first time I saw him was a photo, and when I did see him I wasn't able to hold him as he was in an incubator. He was in SCBU for 8 days, I was able to stay, it really missed dd1 and 2 (4 and 3) and had an infection of the veins whilst there which meant my leg swelled up like an elephant, and I had to use a wheelchair.

After we got home, I was a wreck, I honestly felt like a woman sawn in half, and ended up on antidepressants. I had several infections in my scar, and still struggle with core strength, and stomach problems as a result of my section.

I think any birth can be horrendous tbh.

OwlinaTree Thu 22-Sep-16 19:32:57

Sounds like an awful experience, so sorry you have been through this. As others have said, there's no way of knowing the outcomes of delivery sadly.

I've had 2 elective sections which have gone well, I would definitely recommend this if you are planning a next one. After a traumatic first birth, I find knowing I was having a section made me feel so much less anxious.

Fauxgina Thu 22-Sep-16 19:35:17

As said above a c-section at pushing stage is not necessarily as going straight into an elective section.

My pelvic floor is completely fucked after my forceps baby and I am on the world's longest waiting list for a complete repair.

Fortunately for me tearing was minimal and I was always grateful in the early days for how easy I found it to pick up and tend to my baby.

I wish there was an easy answer and a quick fix. Perhaps a greater inclination towards c-sections during labour when things are going a bit awry. We were both showing signs of distress well before pushing, I feel like it was inevitable we were going to get worse as he was coming out!! Be nice if I could have had a c-section when I was begging everyone to help me and give me on hours previously.

ShowOfHands Thu 22-Sep-16 19:35:21

I had an 8hr second stage, attempted ventouse, attempted rotation, forceps, emergency caesarean and haemorrhage. I remember nowt about a lot of it.

I spent 2 years wishing I'd done differently, feeling guilty that I'd "failed" and lost precious moments of my baby's birth, regretting, crying etc.

I had birth trauma counselling eventually. I realised that I made decisions based on available information. I couldn't know outcomes. I did my best. You did too. Birth is beyond our control and you just don't know. You didn't choose the outcome.

In every way that matters, in every actual event I have choice in, I do my best. My babies grow up knowing I love them and I try. The births are irrelevant to them.

It's okay to be sad, to pine for perfect deliveries and Hallmark first precious seconds but it's also healthy to acknowledge nobody chooses them. Luck hands you a deal and you hold on for dear life knowing that you only ever did your best at each stage with the available information.

Talk about it as much as you need to. Cry. Feel sad. Then forgive yourself.

Your fitness will come back. Decent physio, time and careful building of goals. You can heal physically and emotionally. Just be gentle with yourself.

JinkxMonsoon Thu 22-Sep-16 19:35:47

Been there, got the third degree tear and PND due to how horribly traumatic it was flowers

Second time around, I did request a c section, and it was bloody brilliantly. The recovery is no worse than recovering from a year. If anything, it's easier, because you have a surgical wound in your abdomen and not your fanjo.

galaxygirl45 Thu 22-Sep-16 19:40:05

I had a horrendous instrumental delivery with my 1st, and 2 sections with my last 2. All were difficult in their own way, but what I would say without wanting to belittle your worries is that having had a stillbirth in between my 1st and 3rd, there is no "good" way of giving birth other than mum and baby both being alive and well, no matter how bruised and battered you are. Every birth is unique, and your body also - Drs and Midwives just have to make the best decision for you and your baby at the time, often fairly quickly and it's too easy to look back and think "if only this had happened". I've got horrendous scar tissue from my 1st delivery after an awful episiotomy, and I've got equal horrendous scar tissue internally around my uterus and bowel that's caused equal amounts of aggro from my sections, along with total loss of nerve sensation around my bikini line. I don't honestly think one is better than the other. It's a good idea to ask why the decisions were made that way though if you ever have another, and make it really clear that you want a better experience next time.

hazeyjane Thu 22-Sep-16 19:42:52

The recovery is no worse than recovering from a tear. If anything, it's easier, because you have a surgical wound in your abdomen and not your fanjo.

Not necessarily.

Galaxy sorry for your loss flowers

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