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Second birth c-section or try "natural" again?

(12 Posts)
Mummy252 Mon 05-Nov-12 14:07:26

Hi. Hubby and I are pregnant with no2. I am trying to decide what I want re the birth. A bit of history.....

My first birth was a living nightmare.
My baby was facing up instead of down, which they didn't know until the very end. I started labor but my body was trying to stop it because it could tell the baby wasn't in the right position. I was in "slow labor" for 5 days, the hospital would not induce of help me despite being over my due date anyway. After 5 nights they finally admitted me and gave me something to help me sleep. I was not admitted to the actual delivery ward/given any proper pain meds until I was 7 cm about 30 hours later. This was because my contractions were still not regular or strong enough.
At this point I finally got an epidural but it was another 13 hours to get to 9.5 cm and I still was not having regular/long enough contractions. They finally gave me something to help bring on the contractions but I never had a contraction longer than 30seconds. They also did not top up my epidural so it was virtually worn off when I really needed it.
I pushed for 2.5 hours before they decided baby was not coming. I was then left with my legs tied in stirrups for a further 30 minutes whilst the drs set up all the ventouse/forceps stuff and about 15 ppl drs and nurses came in and set up equipment/incubators for baby. None introduces themselves of said why they were there, nothing was really explained to me, no option given etc. I cannot describe the panic I felt seeing all these drs entering.
Anyway I then started pushing again and they did ventouse twice with no luck, then they tried forceps to turn her but she just got more stuck so then they used forceps and did an episiotomy to drag her out.
The episiotomy was huge, I don't know why but the dr cut so for out you could see the end of it outside my knickers. I had over 100 stitches and list that much blood I had to have a blood transfusion that night and the next day.
Despite my best efforts the episiotomy became infected and the scar tissue continued to build up so it took 6 months to heal properly and can still be painful during sex although this improved a lot after about 12 months.
Dd was fine except a huge cone head! I think what upset me the most was the lack of control. Noone listened to what I wanted, noone explained what was happening, who half the people in that room where.
Dd will be 21 months when no2 is due. I could not have a lobor that went on as long as that one, it wouldn't be fair on her. I know that future births do not always follow the same pattern but they can, and I don't feel like I trust the nhs to actually listen to what I want if I "see how it goes."
I had a high risk of incontenancr after the birth etc and after speaking to the midwife at my booking in I know it's basically my choice, c-section or normal.
At this stage I am thinking c-section and certainly to them I have said that 100%. Again I think a lot if the midwives have their own views in birth etc and if you aren't very strict and clear with them they just take over.
If I had a crystal ball and could know that the next would be a normal birth I'd do that. The recovery After a csection worries me. A baby and a 21 month old in tow especially but I can't imagine how I'd cope if I went the normal way and ended up the same as last time. I couldn't walk for 6 weeks!!
I think I've just totally list any faith or trust in the drs and nurses after what happened. I think a csection might be the best choice but I just don't know.
I'm so scared of birth now, I'm
A wreck when friends have babies so if I go for a csection ill never get over it, and then when it's dds turn in years to come ill just be useless.
Any advice? What would you do?

firstpost Mon 05-Nov-12 14:15:24

No advice, but I am in awe of how you coped with all that. Must have been very difficult caring for a new baby after such a traumatic birth and recovery. Did you ever have a debrief with the hospital on your experience?

My experience of a EMCS was completely positive, I had no pain (just a little discomfort) healed well, breast fed immediately and will definitely be opting for a CS if I am lucky enough to have another.

Hope all goes well for you smile

singinggirl Mon 05-Nov-12 14:16:07

It is very hard to predict, but DS1 was a bit of a nightmare (39 hours labour, ending with epidural, episiotomy and forceps). DS2 only took 8 hours from start to finish and it was a text book delivery. I think second time round your body knows what it is doing - as do you. Just my story, other peole may have different experiences though.

MrsBungleScare Mon 05-Nov-12 14:25:05

Hi Op

Your first labour sounds very similar to my first labour. My baby was back to back too, very long labour. They tried turning her with hands up there and all sorts.

At the end, she became distressed the room filled with loads of people and she was dragged out with forceps. She didn't breathe and they had to work on her for what seemed like ages. In the end, she was fine.

I was traumatised for ages. I only spoke to someone about it when I became pregnant with DC2. My consultant (consultant led due to hyperemesis) reviewed all my notes and I ended up with an apology from the hospital (I had had forceps with no pain relief at all) and the offer of a C section.

I don;t know why but just going over it with them made me feel better about the whole thing. I decided to see how a natural birth, again, would go. I knew that I was in good hands, they knew all about my previous birth and I knew that if it looked to be going haywire again they were going to go a Section quickly.

As it turned out, this baby was not back to back. He was postioned perfectly! 1 hour and 54 minutes of active labour and he was born in 5 pushes.

A completely different and cathartic experience for me. I am so glad that I did it that way as I feel so much better about the first birth now. That is just me. You should do what you feel is best and what you feel will help you to relax. Hope it all goes well!

exBrightonBell Mon 05-Nov-12 15:40:32

Firstly I am also in awe of how you coped with your first birth, it must have been a horrendous ordeal. I had a long and difficult labour which ended in an emergency c section. I also had a fear of hospitals and medical situations. In order to help with the hospital fear I saw a midwife counsellor at the hospital where I was due to give birth. She was very good and listened to all my concerns. I was particularly worried that the hospital staff would not introduce themselves or explain what they were doing. That was one of my main worries actually. Most importantly, the midwife counsellor wrote a letter outlining my issues and what the hospital would do to prevent or minimise them. This was then stapled to the front of my notes. My DHs job was to make sure everyone that walked into the room had read it! This really helped me feel calmer in the hospital. Perhaps your hospital offer the same service?

Crushinginevitability Tue 06-Nov-12 18:52:21

I have had 2 ELCS and all I can say is, they were calm, painfree, lovely experiences. The recovery was fine. I was up that evening both times and I felt normal after about 3 weeks. Prior to then I felt like I'd done 100,000 sit ups so I'd need a sit down more than normal, but hey, I was tired cos I'd just had a baby!
BF no problem, stitches fine, no overhang, scar is below my knicker line.
Good luck with your decision - but don't be put off CS because of recovery - I was text book, not a miracle case.

dancinginthemoonlight Tue 06-Nov-12 18:57:05

Would you consider hiring a doula to support you if you tried a vaginal birth?

MyLastDuchess Tue 06-Nov-12 19:10:49

That sounds like hell.

My experience was nowhere near as bad as yours but I was still traumatised (eventually diagnosed with mild PTSD). I am expecting DC2 in a few weeks, and I feel fairly well-prepared. I have had hypnotherapy which worked wonders and have a great doula lined up, plus the midwives have assured me that it will go better this time (we probably have a different midwife system here though in NL, I am using a different practice this time).

I am still rather nervous about the birth, but before I was, like you say, a mess when anyone I knew had a baby. After the long discussions and hypnotherapy I no longer cry when talking or thinking about my son's birth and the feeling of panic has gone. I would strongly recommend that you talk to some doulas and see if you can find a good match for you. Even if you choose to have a CS it can be great to have someone there to advocate for you.

MyLastDuchess Tue 06-Nov-12 19:17:02

Oh also - like MrsBungle said, I found that going over the whole story several times really helped. I think I did it once with the midwife, once with the doula and once with the hypnotherapist (a birth professional BTW). They were all very sympathetic and patient, and just having someone say, "Well, nobody did anything horribly wrong, but almost everything could have been done BETTER" was so good to hear.

As for people not explaining or introducing themselves, that is absolutely unacceptable. I feel very angry on your behalf.

MolotovBomb Wed 07-Nov-12 16:35:33

Poor you x I had an episiotomy and ventouse delivery with DD1 and incurred an injury to my tailbone.

To cut a very long story short, I chose to have an ELCS with DD2 I could have tried labour and was offered support by the hospital for how to do this, but I couldn't face the pain of another perineal or coccyx injury.

The ELCS that I had in April this year was fabulous

A much better birth experience: calm, controlled, and relatively predictable.

You need to read Leigh East's book Cesarean Birth: a positive guide to preparation and recovery. It gives the pros and cons of vaginal and section births, without the biased information pu are generally provided with at hospitals if you could physically labour.

Remember that just because you have the anatomy to deliver the baby baby vaginally, this doesn't necessarily mean that it's the way your baby should be delivered.

As long as you have help at home in the first few weeks post-section, you'll be fine. But you could say that about any birth. And more so after your appalling first experience.

Good luck x

MrsAmaretto Thu 08-Nov-12 09:13:22

Christ, your first birth sounds awful, and very similar to my sil, who was in surgery for 2 hours being reconstructed/ stitched back up. She was referred to a consultant to discuss risks of future natural birth/ incontinence etc. Can they do that for you? She opted for an elective rather than risking long term health problems.

I had an elective, and although I had to take it easy I was back to normal after 7 weeks - not 6 months like you suffered. My elective was a good experience, but I think you need to have the full possible consequences of both options discussed with you.

MolotovBomb Thu 08-Nov-12 10:04:56

I agree with mrsamaretto that you need to know the pros and cons of VB and ELCS.

However, from my experience, I learned that hospitals would prefer you to deliver 'naturally' if you can. And that means if you have none of the usual affectations that would necessitate an ELCS: breach presentation, placenta praevia/accreta, etc.

My ELCS was 'maternal request' which I suspect yours would be, OP. there are no guarantees you'd have such a nightmare birth second time. There were no guarantees that my tailbone would over-stretch again. However, I knew in the back of my mind that it was probably going to happen again and after careful consideration (research, consulting my physiotherapist and chiropractor) I decided that I would rather take the (low) risk of a first-time ELCS rather than the high risk of my coccyx being damaged again.

I found the wound on my tummy healed much more comfortably than my perineal wound did and I was feeling much like myself again after about 8 weeks (this would have been sooner but I had a low white cell blood-count after the section. It wasn't a big deal; I just felt tired until the cells replenished).

Inform yourself and take an advocate (I.e. Your DH with you) if you decide to have a CS and see a consultant.

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