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Was your second different from your first? In what way? C-section/vbac and so on...

(17 Posts)
Thingiebob Thu 14-Mar-13 21:44:50

I wondered if anyone had any positive stories about their second births and recovery compared to their first.

I am 33 weeks pregnant and planning for a vbac. First time round I was induced due to pre-eclampsia, baby's heart rate dropped and ended up having a c-section at 10 cm dilated. This resulted in bad internal tearing, massive hemorrhage which necessitated a long stay in hospital and a number of blood transfusions. It was a long time before I was out and about with my little girl.

I was discouraged from breastfeeding for a number of reasons. Firstly due to drugs given to me, I had to stay lying down due to surgery for a while afterwards and the fact my iron levels were so low so my milk was horribly delayed. My DD was bottle-fed for the first week, after that I struggled terribly with establishing breastfeeding and ended up expressing for some weeks before my milk supply vanished. I found this really hard to deal with.

This time round I have been encouraged to go for a vbac provided I don't get pre-eclampsia and naturally go into labour.

Frankly I am shitting myself and having anxiety attacks about what can go wrong this time. I can't imagine having a successful vbac nor being able to breastfeed. My consultant seems to think I have a good chance at the vbac as all the issues last time were down to intervention.

Has anyone here had pre-eclampsia with their first but not their second?
Had a successful vbac?
Difficulty bfing their first but managed with their second?

So far this pregnancy has been totally different to my first and no sign of any high blood pressure but it just all seems to unlikely.

SoHHKB Thu 14-Mar-13 21:55:22

dd - emcs for undiagnosed breech, 2 nights in hosp, terrible recovery due to muscles being cut because she was stuck, breastfed for 6 weeks painful as fuck!, felt like a failure for not giving birth 'properly' or coping with breastfeeding...

ds - emcs for failure to progress, during op bladder found to be fused to womb by previous scar tissue, group b strep infection in amniotic fluid, 7 nights in hosp (IV abx for me and baby), very comfortable recovery, breastfed for two weeks not bothering with that much pain again, couldn't give a monkeys about 'proper' births or the virtues of sore nipples... wink

I reckon every birth is different and there's not much you can do except go with the flow - good luck! thanks

SoHHKB Thu 14-Mar-13 22:00:10

Just realised that really didn't sound too reassuring...
I think it helped a lot that although i was aiming for a vbac, i had elcs booked because i was so far over on dates - i'd 'made my peace' with the idea of another section so emcs wasn't as traumatic psychologically...
Also, dd was much wanted, much planned pfb and i wanted to do everything perfectly. DS was an unexpected blessing conceived with a copper coil - the control freak in me freaked out and gave up long before the birth wink x

Thingiebob Thu 14-Mar-13 22:05:47

Thank you for your reply.

Interesting what you say about your bladder. I'm pretty sure I have scar tissue problems as well. Were they able to rectify the problem? I know I have to go with the flow but am just quite anxious. Almost tempted to have an elective c - section.

SpaghettiBologneighs Thu 14-Mar-13 22:13:27

I've had two vaginal births so not directly comparable, but the second one (ten days ago smile) was an infinitely better experience than my first, either though neither went according to plan.

First time I was planning on giving birth in a MLU, ended up in the CLU on continuous monitoring due to meconium in the waters. Had an extremely long pushing stage (the longest I've ever come across), was quite literally purple when DS arrived, and was far too exhausted and shell-shocked to be given a baby. I had a tear, and stitches, and felt like a wreck for weeks. Unsurprisingly I then developed PND. My poor DS also suffered during his birth and was extremely unsettled for the first four months. All he ever did was cry sad.

This time I had planned for a home water birth, but once again ended up in the CLU on continuous monitoring hmm as my waters went nearly 36 hours before labour properly established. I was having cx every half hour or so and was able to sleep in between.

However, once it was established I had a total official labour of less than one hour with only 20 mins of pushing. No tear, and physically I feel totally fine. Of course, I've been up and down with the hormones, and I was slightly disappointed not to get a hb but overall this time was such a positive experience compared to last time.

I used a fabulous book called Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke to help me prepare for this birth. It's based on mindfulness meditation; I thoroughly recommend checking it out. Good luck!

SpaghettiBologneighs Thu 14-Mar-13 22:15:17

*even though

SoHHKB Thu 14-Mar-13 22:15:26

The consultant said he removed all the scar tissue - i had a catheter for 48 hours to rest my bladder but it was fine after that and still is (ds is 7 weeks). In hindsight it was weird how during early labour going for a wee would trigger another contraction and I wonder if that was a symptom of the scarring - no idea though!
As for elcs, lots of people had told me they are a far calmer option than emcs but i still felt anxious agreeing to set a date. But i think it really helped me to accept that that was the way it might go anyway iyswim. I also felt i was taking back some control.
Seems to me, labour is perhaps the most unpredictable thing we go through. Keep talking about your anxieties - you mat have another drama or you may have a lovely peaceful birth experience that will be the envy of everyone wink if that exists!

Thingiebob Thu 14-Mar-13 22:30:48

It's not so much a peaceful birth but just one that doesn't leave me feeling like a train wreck afterwards! I am surrounded by friends and family who have just breathed out their kids and keep asking me if I am excited!

MammaCici Sat 16-Mar-13 14:12:20

I'm 33+0 with DC2 so was reading your thread with interest. You mention feeling like a train wreck after your first birth. I felt train-wreck-like for several months after my first birthing. Most of mine was emotional/ psychological rather than physical. I found the birth traumatic and transition to motherhood very intense. I started a thread a little while back about how second time differs from first time emotionally. I have been reassured by some nice mums on here that second time is not only usually physically easier but pschologically much easier too.
Best of luck!

Thingiebob Sat 16-Mar-13 14:16:23

Thank you Mamma

I'm hoping other posters will be along soon with their stories as well.

mrsfox Sat 16-Mar-13 14:40:58

I had my first by EMCS - not quite the same as you as I was induced at 42 weeks but whisked into theatre at only 1cm dilation as baby was in distress. Complete failure to BF as baby wouldn't suckle at all, so he was FF although I did express for the first few weeks (not fun!).

My second was a VBAC - completely different experience! It did take a long time (55 hrs total, although only about 12 in active labour) as my cervix had never dilated before, but the hospital was great and I didn't feel under time pressure to deliver, which was one of my main concerns. I did hire a doula, and chose one who was a BF expert. in fact, DD latched on immediately and BF with no trouble at all, but it was great to have an expert on hand. I did have an episiotomy but that was nothing in terms of recovery time compared with the CS, where I felt like a train wreck for six weeks.

I found it very helpful to see my consultant and discuss my concerns - I was lucky in that he was very supportive, so I felt listened to and less scared of going for the VBAC than I would have done if I had felt that I would be under pressure to be strapped to monitors and under time constraints to give birth. I had mobile monitoring and was encouraged to keep active, which was exactly what I wanted.

Sorry to ramble on so long - I hope some of that is useful! And good luck!

Thingiebob Sat 16-Mar-13 16:27:38

That is really really useful mrsfox. Stories like yours make me feel so much more positive!

MyDarlingClementine Sat 16-Mar-13 22:53:50

1st birth straight forward vb - supposedly text book, back to back though and horrid for me, back ached for years after, pelivc floor weak.
2nd time ELC, scary !!!! but alot less scarier than VB, now I know I have got through worst of it I feel 100% more intact and better than from my first VB.
recovery wasnt easy but I made it as easy for myself as possible with lots of preparation.

two ladies in nct group had sections for vairous reasons fist time and really wanted to experience natural birth second time round.

they both really regret not pushing for sections again, one had bladder damage, in and out of hosp for weeks. the other just had a nasty time of it in terms of care during labour, no pain management, and doesnt feel right below, months on.

they regret not having sections again because they had already had one they had a chance of another one. they both didnt want the recovery hassle though.

emsyj Mon 18-Mar-13 09:14:50

First birth crash section at 37 weeks (I was also 10cm), DD1 very sleepy as a result of GA and then diamorphine - in hospital for a week, took ages to get her to feed, very stressful and exhausting and horrible lengthy recovery.

Second birth a straightforward natural birth at home, bit of gas & air, no tears or stitches, DD2 latched on straight away, didn't ever go to hospital. My pelvic floor is weak, but improving with exercises.

I think the key is to get as much information as you can about what happened first time around and how things could be done differently and what your choices are when certain things happen. Have you had a de-brief at the hospital regarding your last birth? It sounds as though you've had conversations about it with your consultant, which is good. A friend of mine who had a lot of intervention followed by a c-section last time around decided to hire a doula and think about what she would like to be different next time. She's just had a VBAC a couple of week ago and although it was not totally straightforward, she felt much more in control and that she was listened to this time - probably because she had a number of meetings with her consultant and went through in detail the various possible scenarios and what she would want to happen in each situation.

Have you thought about hypnobirthing? It's a useful relaxation technique and might help you feel calmer when the day approaches, regardless of how you birth this time.

I have a lot of sympathy with this - "I can't imagine having a successful vbac". I felt exactly the same.

MiaowTheCat Mon 18-Mar-13 13:31:33

So far - number 1 rolled up at 33 weeks when slow-leaking waters were found - with bog-all pain relief as the stupid trace machine refused to decree I was in labour until the bitter end... forceps, episiotomy - the lot.

Number 2... now at week 35 (almost 36) into week 2 in latent-labour... 3 minutely contractions doing naff all useful... right now number 1 is looking more attractive if that was possible!

Happygirl77 Mon 18-Mar-13 19:39:57

Dd1 - 95 hours from waters breaking to delivery shock back-to-back, epidural and forceps, one push away from EMCS (was prepped in theatre), 11 days early

Dd2 - 1 hour from waters being broken at 2cm to delivery shock only TENS and gas & air, fantastic experience, 11 days late

Happygirl77 Mon 18-Mar-13 19:42:06

Oh, and dd1 was jaundiced so kept in but drew blood the first time I bf shock little piranha! Then got thrush at 3 weeks

Dd2 v easy and straightforward to bf, no issues smile

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