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Caesarean and Vaginal birth experiences

(33 Posts)
k4mi Tue 05-Jul-11 20:16:21

Hi all,

I am 12 wks pregnant with my first baby. Before getting pregnant i knew that i have a slightly odd shaped womb (arcuate) that puts me at a slightly increased risk of both early labour / late miscarriage and having a breech baby.

Because of this I think a CS may be necessary but wont know for months yet.
I just wanted to get people's thoughts on VB vs CS (elective) so that I can prepare myself for either option!! Has anyone out there had either? Initially I had thought I would try my best to avoid a CS but from some of the things I have read it doesn't seem as bad as i had thought (especially if planned and not emergency).

Any thoughts / experiences you can share would be great.



shipsladyg Tue 05-Jul-11 20:27:09

CS is not an easy option. It's major abdominal surgery. I had a EMCS after FTP. It took me four weeks before I could walk more than a mile. My scar popped and got infected. Not driving for 6wks sucks. However - it was good for me in that I benefitted from being in hospital for four days concentrating on making BF work, getting to know my DD & learning off the other mums instead of being at home feeling like a duck out of water yet trying to be a supermum.

I'm trying for VBAC this time as the recovery is much faster. But I shall pine for that moment when the needle went in my back and the pain went away and I could snooze for the first time in two days.

EyeoftheStorm Tue 05-Jul-11 20:38:48

How did you know about the shape of your womb? I have had a breech baby and was told my womb was slightly heart-shaped.

LunaticFringe Tue 05-Jul-11 20:42:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

k4mi Tue 05-Jul-11 20:43:08

Yes, that is what mine is 'slightly heart shaped'. I found out a couple of years ago whilst having a scan to determine cause of painful periods (no cause). They told me it was more likely i'd have a breech baby. It is to do with the baby not having enough space in the womb - hence why sometimes you go into labour sooner.

Can i ask what your experience was Eyeofthestorm throughout your pregnancy? Did you end up having to have a CS or VB?

Italiangirl Tue 05-Jul-11 20:45:19

I had a completely different experience from shipsladyg. Was up and about the next day and driving within 2 weeks. Mind you my baby was v small (4lbs) so I guess the cut was maybe small compared to others? I have also had a standard vaginal birth. They are very different from each other, both have good and bad points. On reflection, my "normal" birth was probably more physically traumatic as I tore, lost quite a lot of blood and had stitches.
I think CSs are a wonderful option - helping us have healthy babies in circumstances that would have had tragic consequences on the past.
Don't worry too much - your experience will be unique to you and I'm sure you will cope well.

EyeoftheStorm Tue 05-Jul-11 20:49:39

DS1 was ELCS at 39 weeks. Obstetrician didn't try turning him - said he was wedged in. Had great pregnancy and CS was absolutely fine with good recovery, little pain, breastfeeding etc. He did look like a little frog for a few weeks though because he was bum down in the womb with his feet up round his ears!

k4mi Tue 05-Jul-11 20:52:41

Thanks, yes I don't really have much choice! I just want to gear myself up for both options...the mother in law put quite a lot of fear into me about the CS but I can't control it and just want what's safest for baby and me in the end.

mosschops30 Tue 05-Jul-11 21:03:05

I have had two vaginal deliveries followed by a csection.

In all honesty i would rather have 100 babies vaginally than one by csection.

Neither are easy, vaginal birth can be long, painful and damaging, although in most cases it is not.
C section is major surgery. Mine was a complete fuck up for which i am taking legal action against the nhs, however the recovery was slow, painful with mrsa infection and open wounds. It was not pleasant.
But there will be people who could tell you the same about their vaginal delivery.

Speak to the professionals involved in your care and make the decision that you feel most happy with.

Good luck smile

nunnie Wed 06-Jul-11 09:02:24

I have had a VB and an EMCS neither of which have left me feeling one is better than the other.

I am pregnant again and have decided I will go for a VBAC all being well with my placenta at 34 weeks, this is mainly due to recovery and having a 4 year old and an 11 month old to look after.

However if I require an ELCS I won't feel like I have failed as it will be what is best for me and the baby and I will manage to recover and look after all 3 if necessary.

With my section I was doing the school run within a couple of days and driving at 4 weeks. I have known some women who birth vaginally who have had a long recovery time and been more uncomfortable than myself, my VB was relatively straightforward slight placenta issue which led to a 2nd degree tear and stitches.

Sadly no one can predict what either will belike for you, you have to make the decision of what you are happy with, if howevert he option is taken away from you due to Consultant choice (breech) then you are not a failure for some odd reason there is a belief that a section is the failed option, it is not I can assure you I don't feel I have failed either of my children because of their entrance to the world it's the care and love I give them after this that decides that surely.

I think it is great that you are looking at both and getting your head round both options.


Imnotaslimjim Wed 06-Jul-11 09:11:55

I've had VB and ELCS, 2 years apart. MY VB was wonderful, apart from the actual delivery. That was more to do with DS than the hospital though, we nearly lost him as he throttled himself with the chord on the way out, and I was a few seconds off a crash section. Recovery was a couple of weeks due to stitches, but I was up and about the same day

The ELCS was due to severe SPD. Was bedbound for 3 days as the SPD got worse not better and my symphis pubis collapsed. Day 4 seen me out of bed, without crutches and ready to go home! Walking any distance was an issue for a good couple of weeks, and DS was lazy a late walker so I had to use a double pram which was painful. Other than needing a pillow every time I coughed, sneezed or laughed it was a fairly straightforward recovery. My scar is minimal, the surgeons were very good!

sprinkles77 Wed 06-Jul-11 09:30:53

I had a EMCS as DS needed to be born quickly and induction had not resulted in labour after 3 days. The surgery was fine, the recovery OK. Came home on day 3, stitches out on day 10. Out and about after about a week and driving after 4 weeks. The stuff about not being insured to drive for 6 weeks is a myth, though feel free to check with your insurance company. We are TTC and I fully intend to push for ELCS if I get to that stage. If you are offered an ELCS I would seriously consider it, a normal labour can still end in CS, but if it is all planned you won't have to go through labour and all the unknowns that go with it.

sprinkles77 Wed 06-Jul-11 09:32:00

OH, and a rule of thumb regarding MILs: smile sweetly, say "oh, really?" then do your own thing. They are a cross to bear!

bumperella Wed 06-Jul-11 10:35:45

I had an ELCS due to medical condition. I found hte recovery time really long - I'm 37 so am not sure how much is age related. I had a general anaesthetic (which is very unusual for an ELCS) and frankly felt nothing for the baby for the first few days, and it took 9 days before milk came in.
HOWEVER, perhaps it helps that my baby is the loveliest ever (sorry, I know people may thing theirs is, but they are wrong :-)), now it all feels like a distant memory and other than endless breasfeeding guilt it feels irrelevant as to how my lovely daughter got here.

Cheria Wed 06-Jul-11 13:22:22

I had a EMCS - was a breeze compared to the labour I tried beforehand. Recovered fine, but needed some help. Had unrelated complications a few weeks later which led to open stomach surgery - one on top of other was awful of course - but had it just been the CS life would have been a doddle!

You'll hear nightmare stories about both of course. If I were to do it again, which I can't, I would definitely go for ELCS.

Lovethesea Wed 06-Jul-11 22:57:01

I've had an instrumental vb and an elcs. The latter was a dream to have and recover from in comparison to the vb. Just to put the other side to the earlier comments from people's other experiences.

The vb was traumatic, DD was in an unbirthable position, mw made errors, 6 hour second stage, loads of tearing, episiotomy, scars, incontinence due to high rotational forceps, appalling postnatal care, sent home with catheters, 10 months of physio and consultant follow up.

The elcs was calm, exciting to meet my new baby, uncomfortable but not painful to recover from, took it easy but felt ME much, much quicker than after the vb.

DancingWind Thu 07-Jul-11 02:21:06

Yes, a planned CS is a lot safer and less traumatic than an EMCS.If you have such high chances of needing one anyway, you might want to elect to have one. I think you might need to go private for that though. From what I understand the NHS doesn't encourage maternal choice c sections. TBH, I don't even quite understand what they consider 'medically necessary'!
There was a woman(perhaps on mumsnet itself? Or maybe some other forum) who posted how she was being forced into a VB despite having had two sections already. And despite carrying twins. So, it really depends on the hospital trust and what their policy is.
There are many benefits to a planned CS! You know what is going to happen and when, you don't have to be in labor endlessly, strangers don't come and check your fanjo;) repeatedly, no risk to the baby of cerebral palsy or head injuries from ventouse/forceps, you have a lower risk of developing incontinence or any sort of prolapse. Thats quite a lot of good suff. There are positive sides to everything. If you have an uncomplicated VB , you will have a faster recovery and you'll lose weight easier. So, look at the bright side of both options!

Tolalola Thu 07-Jul-11 02:41:19

I had 2 emcs's and they were pretty different from each other, tbh, in that I literally don't remember the first 2 days after my first one, while I was happily chatting to people and bfing dd an hour or 2 after the second.

The anaesthetist the second time around knew that I had a bad reaction the first time and so was really light on the gas (both were under GA).

Recovery time was not bad either time - the second time I was out of bed and walking around less than 12 hours later and I was out of hospital in 2.5 days both times. The second one was 2 wekes ago today and I feel absolutely fine with no pain at all. I feel like I could drive easily, but the consultant told me I couldn't for 6 weeks as the abdominal muscles aren't strong enough to do an emergency stop before that.

idlevice Thu 07-Jul-11 06:22:04

Have you looked at the possible pros & cons for the baby as well as yourself? Generally a straightforward VB is better for baby due to the hormones it receives via the cord, the pressure sensations clearing respiratory passages, more gradual emergence, etc Some of these are thought to have possible long-terms effects, such as increased likelihood of development of asthma in childhood. It's all about risks & chances so very difficult to weigh up objectively, but at least consider baby as well as yourself.

SofiaAmes Thu 07-Jul-11 06:38:10

I had 40 hours of labor followed by emergency cs with my first and a VBAC with my second. If I had it to do all over again, I would have had an elective cs with both. I was 37 and 39 when I had my two and my body is still recovering and my ds is 10! Our bodies were made to have kids at 13 and my opinion is that the issues for a 37 year old are very different than for a 20 year old and I think it's time that the medical profession started taking age into consideration. (By the way, I was an extremely fit and healthy 37 year didn't seem to help me any).

cory Thu 07-Jul-11 08:45:14

I've had one vaginal and one emergency section. Did physically better with the section, recovered quicker, got mobile earlier (I was 36 so not that young), found it easier to establish breastfeeding. But tbh neither was traumatic.

BrassicaBabe Thu 07-Jul-11 10:30:59

I loved my planned CS. Not had experience of VB though. 2 weeks down the line and we've already returned to normal service in the bedroom wink and I'm fit to drive.

DancingWind Thu 07-Jul-11 10:39:20

BrassicaBabe, any little doubts I had about an ELCS have just been destroyed. winkYou sold me ideagrin

mosschops30 Thu 07-Jul-11 11:11:00

And there goes the stupidest thing ive ever read on mn.
What a great way to make an informed decision <bangs head on wall>

mosschops30 Thu 07-Jul-11 11:13:27

In fact dancingwind your previous post is so ignorant and ill informed i am shock

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