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Went in for ELCS, ended up with VBAC - anyone else have this?

(21 Posts)
lucysnowe Sun 02-Oct-11 14:41:12

Hi all

I was booked in for an ELCS (due to DD getting stuck during my previous labour) but started having contractions early, so went to hospital a day early. The theatre was being used and everything was moving surprisingly fast, so by the time it was free I was at the pushing stage and DS was born by forceps and I had to have an episiotomy. Has anyone had the same situation where their baby has come before they could have a c-section? Am a bit shellshocked about the whole thing (labour was pretty painful and DS was back to back, which didn't help) and would really like to hear about other people's experiences.


QTPie Sun 02-Oct-11 16:32:22

Funny you should say this, since we have house guests at the moment: 3.5 year old (EMCS) and 7 month old (surprise VBAC).

The mother was down for ELCS (gestational diabetes and previous section), but went into labour premature at 36 weeks. By the time she got into hospital (didn't believe it was labour at first - since 4 weeks early), she was 5cm dilated and the Consultant said "it is better for a premature baby to be born vaginally". So - despite protests - her DC2 was born by VBAC. The mother felt very unprepared, since - because she was expecting ELCS - she hadn't "prepared" for a natural birth (she had with the first one, but that was 3 years previously.... so not fresh in her mind).

I was shocked.... I had always believed that, if you were signed off for a ELCS, you would get one (even if you went into labour early).

So you are not alone... sad

Raven78 Sun 02-Oct-11 19:10:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lucysnowe Mon 03-Oct-11 11:24:51

Raven: not sure if I'm unhappy or happy to be honest! Still sorting out my feelings. Obviously a forceps birth, even with a cut, is a bit easier to recover from than a c-section, and everyone at the hosp was telling me so... but like QTPie's friend I felt completely unprepared for labour and vaginal birth. DD was 42 weeks so I was sure nothing would happen before my section. Also, I thought DS was breech (he must have turned v. late). I was convinced my pelvis was too small for a baby to fit through - the consultant agreed v. readily to a second section so I think she must have thought so too - at any rate, DD was definitely stuck.

QTPie I guess it was a bit different in my case as the theatre was being used, and my labour was so quick - 8 hours or so. I think, in truth, the m/w was taken a bit unaware that I had progressed so quickly (so was I!). She didn't examine me until right at the end when I was already 10 cm dilated. And then suddenly the whole scenario changed - I had to actually push shock - and feeling DS crowning actually really freaked me out. I know this sounds stupid because it is the 'normal' way to give birth but I was so focused on a section (and have been, actually, since forever - I was born by c-section and always assumed I would need the same) I couldn't rationalise it to some extent. And I did feel massively, massively out of control.

I am physically okay now, and DS is absolutely fine - but (as you can see) I can't stop rolling it around in my mind!

lostinwales Mon 03-Oct-11 11:34:28

Nothing of any use to add as I have never had a c section but in each of my three deliveries 'crowning' has freaked me out, even though I knew it would happen after the first time. It is the most unpleasant sensation I have ever had and remembering it now makes me feel odd. <crosses her legs and thanks god she just had her Mirena coil checked>

lljkk Mon 03-Oct-11 14:28:03

tbh, I think with pregnancy, you have to be prepared for anything to happen.
Hopefully it will just fade to a strange memory, now.

PrincessScrumpy Mon 03-Oct-11 18:22:23

dd1 arrived in 2 hours 5 mins so with this pg I was rushed for cs as soon as my cervix had softened - but twins were breach so vb would have been too dangerous for them and me.

Congratulations on your new arrival x

Raven78 Mon 03-Oct-11 20:03:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

feelingratheroverwhelmed Mon 03-Oct-11 20:46:24

This scares me as I'm booked in for an ELCS after a prolonged back-to-back labour and EMCS with DS. I've said from the start what I want, and it hasn't been questioned, but I don't trust the MW's at our local unit not to get me to a point in labour when I'll be basically forced to go through with a VBAC. I'm booked in for ELCS at 39+4, but DS came at 37+4. I'm now 37+1, have had painful BH's since last week (had an admission) and there is no way this baby is waiting till nearly term.

I've been told that as I'm booked in I'll still get the section even if I go into labour early, but I'm sooooooooo not convinced! And I'm not prepared for a natural birth either.

ICantFindAFreeNickName Mon 03-Oct-11 21:04:10

My 2nd child was breech & all efforts to turn her had not worked so I was booked for a CS. However my waters broke 3.5 weeks early, so we went straight to hospital. I did warn them that my DS had been quite a quick birth, but the consultant was very laid back. Whilst on the operating table, I told them I needed to push, but the condescending consultant just kept patting my arm & telling me to relax I was going to have a CS. When I insisted that I needed to push the midwife decided to have a little look down there just to be sure! She then pushed the emergencey button & all hell broke loose. My DD was born very blue (still breech) on the operating table a few minutes later.
I was left shell shocked by the birth, as it was so early & because I was mentally prepared for a CS. I was also scared to death that she might have suffered brain injury from the breech birth (as a friends child did) & did not really relax until she was 6 months old & could respond to people & her environment.

EyeoftheStorm Mon 03-Oct-11 21:20:16

I had had 2 c-sections - one for breech and the second for PROM and failure to dilate. Planned section for DC3 who decided to arrive early at 30 weeks.

When I started having contractions, docs told me the drugs would stop them. Silly me, I believed them. Also assured I would have a c-section if I went into labour proper. I understood they wanted to keep DS2 in as long as possible.

But after 3 days of contractions, a doc examined me and told me if anything changed to let them know. Half an hour later, DS2 had arrived like a rocket. Next 2 months are whole other story, but thankfully, he is now a lovely 2 year old.

But I was completely thrown by the birth. I felt panicked and out of control, fearful for my life and my DS. I've never seen my DH, a man who takes life in his stride, look so frightened. Add the unbelievable hormones - something I never experienced after my nice c-sections - to the mix and I felt like a cat with my claws in the ceiling.

So I'm not surprised you're feeling a bit odd at the moment. Completely normal when your expectations have been thrown in the air. Find someone who doesn't mind if you talk it out, however many times you need to, just to get it all straight in your head.

WantsToBeAMan Tue 04-Oct-11 00:15:34

Why do doctors think it is better to leave the baby in as long as possible?

I have grown up with the thought process that after about 40-41 weeks it isn't healthy to just let the baby stay inside. In most countries other than Uk and maybe Poland, 38 weeks is considered full term. Induction and cesarians are allowed any time after 38-39 weeks.

miamama09 Tue 04-Oct-11 16:21:38

you can't win. You go in prepared for a natural birth, you end up having an EMCS. You book in for an ELCS, and end up being unprepared for a VBAC.

lucy I had EMCS for same reasons as you, and am due to have ELCS this time around. Luckily, I am mentally preparing myself for any eventuality this time - but after DD's terrible birth I literally didn't stop mulling it over for agggges. Even now, 2 years later, you still think about it and how wrong it went, and how things could have been different.

In your case, I think you should be proud that you managed a successful VBAC, well done! It's natural for it to keep rolling around in your head, it affects you soooo much. Just try to snap out of it when it keeps happening and tell yourself you're amazing for getting such a little miracle out safely!

ASByatt Tue 04-Oct-11 16:25:41

WantsToBeAMan - in France 'fullterm' is 41 weeks, though.....

fraktious Tue 04-Oct-11 16:51:01

ASByatt actually 37 weeks is full term, 41 weeks is end date when you discuss whether you want to be induced there and then or have daily monitoring. Most people I know who got to 41 weeks here went fir that appointment with their bags packed and came home with a baby. you don't have an EDD, you have an EDMonth where it could happen at any point really.

OP sounds like it was a worrying experience for you but (trite as this sounds) as long as you and the baby are okay that really is the most important thing. I'd encourage you to ask for a debrief though - it might help you get things straighter in your head.

WantsToBeAMan Tue 04-Oct-11 17:00:45


Is it? My nephews were born there and both times my cousin asked to be induced at around 38 weeks.( her pregnancy was tough and giving her trouble) There was never a problem.
This was around 4 years back.

Perhaps it depends on the hospital.

I find it odd that they say 9 months when it's actually more than even ten. Too long if you ask me.

nunnie Wed 05-Oct-11 10:50:17

1st born by VB.
2nd EMCS due to being brow.
3rd planned ELCS with trial of labour if presented before ELCS date.
I arrived progressing well 2 weeks before ELCS like you my DD was born in just over 2 hours by forcep delivery. The forcep delivery left me upset but I am four weeks post today and all seems to be on the mend and the very small bruise on DD went within a couple of days and sge appears fine which is the main thing.
Give youself time, even though I was half expecting not to make my ELCS it still shocked me.

lucysnowe Wed 05-Oct-11 17:15:45

Thanks guys for relating your experiences. Raven - thanks for the congrats. miamia: A part of me is pleased I managed a VBAC, despite the circumstances! feelingrather: I really hope everything turns out well for you. It does seem that in most cases the consultants etc only call for a VBAC when your labour is unexpectly short, or progresses amazingly quickly. So I hope that doesn't happen, if you see what I mean smile I guess the only bit of advice I would give is to treat your labour as a normal one, in terms of accepting pain relief etc (I refused pethedine as I thought I would be theatre any minute - stupid me).

ASByatt - my section was booked for 41 weeks, and I did question it at the time. DD was 42 weeks exactly (contractions started at hosp while I was waiting to be induced) and 41 weeks does, on reflection, seem to be cutting it a bit fine.

Find someone who doesn't mind if you talk it out, however many times you need to, just to get it all straight in your head.

Thanks smile I do seem to need to repeat it over and over again, like the Ancient Mariner...

maighdlin Wed 05-Oct-11 17:28:49

41 weeks seem late for elcs. my hospital did them at 39 weeks, 40 +10 was induction. im surprised that you weren't considered an emergency and had an emcs when you went in. i was having a c/s from the start and the hospital said that an "emergency" c/s was if you went into labour early before your booked c/s

BleughCowWonders Wed 05-Oct-11 17:32:42

with my dc2 I had a long labour, failed epidural and was being prepped for c/s when they tried and succeeded in pulling him out by ventouse in the operating theatre. Much to the surprise of theatre staff who were still arriving smile

Having had a elcs first time (breech), it was a VBAC for me, and the recovery was about the same.

DC3 was born at home in a birth pool..........

but too fast for the water so not actually a water birth smile
And that was the fastest recovery of all!

Absolutely agree that you need to talk it through many many times. Nearly all new mums seem to in order to make sense of it all.

HappyHugs Tue 11-Oct-11 20:09:32

Happened to me too Lucy, after 2 previous sections!! Number 3 elcs booked for 39 weeks but the little rocket couldn't wait! He was born at 37+ weeks in theatre surrounded by scrubs! Glad about it all now though shell shocked like you for quite some time.

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