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Does anyone regret having an ELCS?

(30 Posts)
MammaCici Thu 28-Mar-13 08:41:19

I have a meeting today and I think I will request a ELCS.

The reason being I have prolapse issues (rectocele) since DC1 and this baby is lying back to back so the odds of an assisted delivery being necessary are higher. Even if baby wasn't b2b I am very scared of the labour because I coped so badly last time. G&A made me hallucinate and I was in the horrors for hours.
But I really fear making my prolapse issues worse and unliveable. I've been told I'll need surgery but I would like to wait until menopause before going down that road. At the moment my rectocele is manageable. I dread the possibility of incontinence. With my first child my biggest fear was having a c-section. This time it feels like it may be my best option.

Baby is b2b and extremely low down with the placenta at the front. I am currently 34+5.

I'm wondering if anyone regrets their decision to have an elcs and why.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Thu 28-Mar-13 16:26:39

I can't help but it sounds to me like you have a very valid reason to request a section. I hope it all works out for you.

Giddypants Thu 28-Mar-13 18:16:33

I had an ELCS on Tuesday, although I'm a bit sore now I'm so pleased I had it, lovely anaesthetist, calm environment dh at my side and able to see when DS came out, really quite stress free, no regrets what so ever.

You don't get a medal for going through labour, and the most important thing is having a safe delivery.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 28-Mar-13 18:46:20

I can't help you in saying I regretted it,

I was pain free, it was a calm experience.

The most fantastic "bonus" is the fact I have an intact pelvic floor, and all down below is intact and my back is also brilliant.

I took it really easy for two weeks, and then gradually got back to normal.

However I must mention this cot< people will think I work for them, I don't, but its been a life saver generally.....

all reviews are true, read them not just on mumsnet, everywhere.

Its saved my sanity, and helped enormously after the op.

MammaCici Thu 28-Mar-13 20:48:58

Thanks for your replies. I have another appointment in 10 days time with the doctor who will decide. Today it was just a specialist midwife. As expected she wanted me to have an open mind. She said the upfront position of my placenta and the current position of the baby didn't mean the baby would be b2b during a vaginal birth. She went through different options with me. She suggested a "planned vaginal birth". When I asked what she meant she explained they could induce me at a time that suited me. I told her that wasn't something I wanted. Convenient timing totally wasn't my reason for wanting a section! IF it's going to be vaginal I want baby / my body to decide when.
I have read that most of the damage is done during the first birth and that a c-section the second time around doesn't necessarily mean less damage. She said that looking at my notes she thought I'd have a better outcome with a vaginal birth. On paper my first birth was straight forward and uncomplicated. But the reality for me was sheer hell for several hours. That's what scares me. What if things aren't straight forward next time? What will it do to my body? But her angle was, with better pain management I could have a much better experience.
She mentioned that internal scar tissue from a c-section could complicate my pelvic floor issues later on. I always wonder how much of what doctors/midwives tell you is true. DH says they are there to help me but I always have to question their motives. If things do go wrong during the birth, I'm the one who has to live with the consequences.
Your elcs stories sound so serene compared to the reality of a vaginal birth.
I have a lot to think about and more research to do.
Thanks for the link. I intend co-sleeping with baby in our bed. DS1 never slept in his cot. DH will be banished from our bed for a while until DC2 and I find our groove.
Thanks again.

StateofConfusion Thu 28-Mar-13 20:51:39

I've had 3 babies all by elcs i have no regrets and they were all a calm positive experience.

WhatSheSaid Thu 28-Mar-13 20:53:58

No, I have never regretted having an elcs, I was a bit nervous on the day but it was great. Given your medical history you seem like a very good case for an elcs.

Beatrixpotty Thu 28-Mar-13 21:30:48

I've just had my 3rd ELCS and have no regrets,except that DS1 due in September was delivered at 39 weeks at the end of August which is rubbish for school!On a more serious note,my last 2 deliveries ended up having unforeseen complications which were dealt with much more quickly as I was already in theatre ;so I am really grateful my 3 healthy DSs were all delivered by section.I hope all goes well for you this time.

herethereandeverywhere Thu 28-Mar-13 21:42:41

I had an ELCS second time round after a horrible 1st birth and have no regrets whatsoever. My 2nd was also anterior placenta (making it more likely to be b2b birth like the 1st) so I was not in the mood for taking chances.

Please be careful with medical advice received from professionals who may be pushing their own agenda. Get specific stats. Do your research. If there is a problem after a 2nd VB I bet the consultant you've spoken to will wring their hands and refer you down the corridor to colo-rectal/urology. One less CS on the stats so their job is done. Do look into the allegation that CS scarring would affect your existing issue - I thought CS incision was in a different area (front rather than 'under') but you can see from my description I'm no expert!

I would make it clear that if you go ahead with the VB and your medical issues worsen you will sue that Consultant - watch for cracks in their veneer at that point.

Also, take time to examine the birth you want. Would you be happy with VB or do you feel 'pushed' into it? Fight for what you'll be happiest with.

festive Thu 28-Mar-13 21:49:30

No advice but following this with interest this as am in similar position to you. Traumatic first birth, 24 hr labour no pain relief (back to back) large baby ending in ventouse and a prolapsed bladder. Also terrified about further damage to my pelvic floor, the baby pushing my bladder right out on the way out etc!
Have next consultant appt in 2 weeks (at 36 wks pg) when c-sec will be discussed again and I am torn about what to do. Consultant said at last appt she wd not support a c-sec at that stage but will discuss again at next appt. For some reason she seems to think this baby will just slide out and does not seem concerned about the size whereas I am v anxious it will be another whopper.
I keep thinking I def want a c-sec then worrying abt recovery as I have a toddler to look after too...

MyDarlingClementine Thu 28-Mar-13 22:29:30


I was sent to see a head MW re alternative birth plans and I never got the sense that she was listening to me at all.

She was talking at my body really, and not viewing me as a whole.

I was quite open minded until I met her and I lost faith and her almost brain washed attitude made up my mind to have my section.

My consultant on the other hand was much more open minded and took into account my actual feelings about it all. She would have preferd me to have a VB I think but in no way pushed me at all either way.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 28-Mar-13 22:31:41


The recovery is not to be sniffed at, its tough, but once its over, it should be over.
If you have another traumatic birth - whilst you may perversely be able to physically cope more with the toddler in the immediate aftermath, what would the long term prospects be.

atrcts Thu 28-Mar-13 22:42:11

MamaCici, what have you read about When you refer to 'most damage during first vaginal birth is not necessarily prevented in a second (CS) delivery' <paraphrased> ?

Sounds a bit scary to me as I've been "allowed" a CS due to previous forceps damage. They seemed to suggest it would help prevent any further damage which would be much more likely to occur with a second VB so am interested in a different view to that so I can be best informed!

RedToothBrush Fri 29-Mar-13 06:36:10

atrcts I think it depends on the level of damage you sustain during your first birth. If you have significant damage so your body is more weakened than the 'average' woman, then you might be at more risk of subsequent damage which they might not be able to repair to a certain level of acceptability.

I think when they talk about 'most damage during first vb', they are referring to what happens to an 'average' woman and how it changes her body. The first birth stretches and reshapes the body, making it more able to have another vb - hence why second vbs are 'safer' as the body doesn't have to change as much during the birth.

I think this mainly comes from information about incontinence. There is something of a myth that having a CS prevents you from becoming incontinent. Its not true, as pregnancy itself can be a cause - a CS does reduce this risk but it doesn't prevent it - and if you've already had a VB your muscles may be weaker than a woman who had a CS previously because of this. This is why there is this point about having a CS for a 2nd birth isn't necessarily going to be of benefit.

Its also about what is defined as 'normal' and 'acceptable' levels of damage to the body rather than a hard and fast rule about when most damage occurs too. A lot of damage isn't obvious or even problematic and doesn't become an issue until later in life. Once you can identify women who seems to have above average problems though, you might treat them differently than an average woman - but you can only do this after a woman has had a birth, and presented the doctors with evidence of there being an issue.

So both pieces of information - what you've been told in your particular circumstances and what Mamacici has read - would be totally true.

Most women have more damage during their first VB, but this is not prohibitive to their lives and this damage is effectively advantageous for subsequent birth. This is the average experience of women.

But in some cases a woman has had so much damage already that the risk of further damage which will cause complications and potentially will have an impact on your quality of life is significantly higher and more of a problem than the risks associated with having a CS than the average woman. This is the individual experience of a woman outside the boundaries of 'normal'.

So effectively its about balancing risk factors in individual cases and circumstances versus a generalised pattern for the overal population.

Hope that makes sense. I think if you are concerned about what you've been told, I would discuss it with your consultant about what they think your particular risks will be so you can make an informed decision, bearing in mind you are an individual and not necessarily this mythical 'average' woman.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 29-Mar-13 06:41:37

My only regret is that I will never feel my waters go - isn't that daft!? wink

MammaCici Fri 29-Mar-13 07:23:28

Thanks for your posts. Redtoothbrush yours is very interesting info for people in this position. One of my problems is that I haven't been officially diagnosed. I discovered my rectocele last summer when DC1 was 18 months old. I was constipated and bearing down when it popped out and it was fairly big (about the size of a half kiwi fruit). There's nothing quite like discovering that you have a prolapse for the first time. I was in shock and unsure what to do. I was too embarrassed to go to my usual doctor. So I didn't do anything for a while other than googling. Then I contacted my midwife and she refered me for physio. But at no point was I examined. Then this pregnancy happened and having endured 2 miscarriages last year I didn't want any unnecessary exams so at this point I am 34+6 and I still haven't had anyone examine me (my choice). But I do feel like I have more damage than the "average woman" you speak of. Although it wasn't apparent at first - I just had 3 small tears needing one stitch each. I know there is a weakness in my family because my mum and all 5 of her sisters have prolapses, even two that never had children.
atrcts, I will have a look for the info I found before. It was when discovered my problem last summer so I'll have to do a bit of googling again.
Herethereandeverywhere, I have learned to be very wary of advice I receive. DH thinks I am paranoid and overly suspicious of motives but it's my body and I have to satisfy myself that I'm making the right decisions. While I agree that most medical professionals will advise on what they think is best, I am also aware that everyone has an opinion. Doctors differ etc.. And there is also the drive to reduce c-sections. I don't think threatening to sue would be helpful. Firstly I live in Sweden and there isn't a culture of suing here. But since I will most likely be in the care of this doctor or her colleagues, I really don't want a hostile situation. If I am having a vaginal birth I will need tranquility and harmony.

LadyWidmerpool Fri 29-Mar-13 08:47:53

If you are induced an EMCS becomes more likely (I think) which is arguably the worst of all worlds! Good luck with your pregnancy.

ByTheWay1 Fri 29-Mar-13 09:02:09

If you have an ELCS whilst awake under epidural - make sure the anaesthetist checks BOTH sides of your body are numb before cutting!

galwaygirl Fri 29-Mar-13 10:10:56

Hi MamaCici
I'm reading this with interest as I am also likely to request a c-section after a traumatic first birth. While I've been lucky in that I don't have a prolapse the effect on my mental health was something I don't feel I can risk again.
Are you meeting with the Aurora midwives today? I'm also in Sweden and am meeting them in a couple of weeks.
The psychiatrist I saw in the UK was really good and advised me to take all the cultural/social/family expectations of what I should do away as much as possible and focus on what is the best plan for me. When discussing it with her I felt really confident an ELCS was the way to go but a few weeks later I'm wavering again.
I had pelvic floor complications after DD1 and for me that nearly finished me off completely. I'm also not sure if I can cope with all the uncertainty around trying a natural birth.
Anyway, sorry to hijack!
Hope your meeting goes well today x

MammaCici Fri 29-Mar-13 10:26:35

atrcts, I can't actually find the same info that I read last summer about the first vaginal birth "doing the damage". But it's certainly something that has stuck in my head. Here's are some links to blogs, threads that might be of interest to you.
I think I may opt for a vaginal birth IF the baby moves into a good position in early labour. If not I may see about trying to rotate the baby manually. If that doesn't work I'd like a c-section sooner rather than later. I don't want baby descending in a bad position, getting stuck and needing immediate help to get out. That's what I personally want to avoid. We all need to decide for ourselves. Although I certainly don't rule out c-section my own sister almost died the day after her 4th c-section. She had a complicated pregnancy (GD, high blood pressure etc..) and then haemhorrhaged and from what I understand her heart stopped. But she was saved thanks to an expert team. Her first c-section was due to placenta abruption so was an emergency and a very different situation to either of ours.
I just wish I could see the outcomes for the different approaches ahead of time! I'm sure you are the same.

The midwife I saw yesterday said they could fix any damage if that occurs. That's really not what I want to hear. I want to avoid damage. I'm going to keep reading research and statistics and compile some questions for the doctor. People can't seem to understand how devastating pelvic floor prolapse feels to the sufferer.

AdmiralData Sat 30-Mar-13 14:24:37

Mamacici - I had an ELCS almost 3 weeks ago and do not regret it. It was (IMO) a beautiful experience and the recovery process (for me at least) was not anywhere near as bad as people warned me it would be! 6 hours after the op I was walking about, albeit with a catheter which was slightly awkward :D
Whatever your decision, good luck >:] x

ColouringInQueen Sat 30-Mar-13 14:38:10

Hi MammaCici, I had an ELCS for my second birth and have no regrets whatsoever. It was a very calm and positive experience. I'd had a very traumatic VB with first child ending with 4th degree tear, surgery, physio which all took me a long time to recover from both emotionally and physically. By comparison the ELCS was like a walk in the park! I took it very easy for 2 weeks, but gradually built up from there. And because I wasn't so mentally traumatised I found the first few months much more positive, calmer and happier (tho still knackered wink). I am probably biased now towards ELCS, but I can also completely understand your worries re: your prolapse - that is worrying for you at the best of times and more with a birth ahead. If you feel that an ELCS would be best for you then I'd say go for it. Wishing you all the best.

SoHHKB Sat 30-Mar-13 14:48:16

Hi, just to add my tuppenceworth....
I eventually booked ELCS for dc2 after a tough EMCS recovery on dc1 and I was nearly 2 weeks over dates, the size of a house and totally fed up! I actually ended up going into labour naturally but had EMCS for failure to progress.
My recovery was far quicker and more comfortable and I'm sure this was due in part to having already come to terms with the idea of a section so didn't have the psychological trauma/shock to deal with alongside the physical wound.
Good luck smile

MammaCici Sat 30-Mar-13 17:17:23

Thank again for replying ladies. Your elcs stories all seem to be very positive. I will have my mum staying and DH will be off work for a few months so I should have lots of help at hand this time. I will defo check that I am numb on both sides before cutting if that's the road I take.
Galwaygirl, I missed your post until now. Perhaps we are neighbours! PM me if you want a private chat at any time. Yes, it was an aurora midwife I saw. She was very good but I can't say I have walked away from the meeting any more confident about a vaginal birth than before. She was an older lady, a more experienced midwife which is exactly the sort of midwife I'd like. She made suggestions but very much listened to what I said too. She was confident I could have a good vaginal birth but her confidence didn't rub off. She seemed to favour a lot of interventions which scared me. I can't understand why anyone would choose to be induced before their due date. But she said that once my cervix looked ready they could start an induction with oxytocin and a balloon-like device to open the cervix and then they could break my waters. Any one of those interventions would scare me, nevermind all three. I'm not sure what will happen after I meet the doctor. I'm hoping the midwife will help me with my birth plan. But it's getting very close with just one month to go.

growyourown77 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:12:53

MammaCici there are two books that I found helpful in deciding to have an ELCS in two weeks time. they are:

Choosing Caesarean


Caesarean Birth: A positive approach to preparation and recovery

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