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Elective 2nd c-section - what do you think?

(49 Posts)
clairemow Tue 16-May-06 13:10:12

I am expecting DS2 in September, and because I had a c-section last time (breech baby), I've basically been offered a c-section this time. I wondered whether anyone had any advice on the decision. On the one hand, I know the procedure, and am not scared of it, it was made as pleasant as possible last time, and I would know when the baby was going to arrive (unless it was 10 days early, like DS1...), so childcare for DS1 would be easy.

but would I feel like I'd never done the whole natural childbirth thing? Is it cheating? I'm v. scared of the pushing bit...

Thanks for any thoughts..

Uwila Tue 16-May-06 13:19:48

I had an emergency section followed by an elective. I don't feel I missed anything. But, some people do. Why this is I will never understand. But, nonetheless some people feel that way. If YOU really feel vaginal delivery is an experience you long to have, then I think you should discuss the pros and cons of VBAC with your midwife and your consultant. However, if you are being pressured into thinking you need to have this experience, then don't listen.

Your baby, your birth, do what YOU want to do.

megglevache Tue 16-May-06 13:21:29

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megglevache Tue 16-May-06 13:21:50

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mrsflowerpot Tue 16-May-06 13:43:24

I had a second section last year. I'd had an elective the first time because ds would not engage or descend at all and they would not induce me. I was in two minds too about what to do second time around, but in the end dd was exactly the same and I had a section on the day that I would normally have been induced (so 12 days after due date). So I was hedging my bets to the end, really.

Bit different as for me the situation was the same both times, but I do know where you're coming from - I did fleetingly have the natural childbirth issue after ds was born, but I have to say it doesn't bother me in the slightest now - it just didn't work out that way.

I actually found the recovery easier second time - although I did need plenty of help with ds in the first couple of weeks, I was up and about pretty normally much quicker.

clairemow Tue 16-May-06 13:52:20

Thanks, my mum has said that she'll come down to help out once DH goes back to work if I go for the c-section, as I am concerned about the toddler issue as well, esp. since he weighs over 2 stone. So I'll have someone at home all the time with me for the first 4-6 weeks. I'm kind of hoping the decision will be taken away, and this baby will also be breech or something. It's interesting that you didn't decide until right at the end, mrsflowerpot. I guess I don't need to decide now.

helsi Tue 16-May-06 13:55:29

I had an elective c-section 2 weeks ago and I feel fantastic to be honest. I found elective much more pleasant than the emergency one I had first time round as everything was planned and time taken etc I do not feel that I have missed out by not having a "normal" childbirth - what is there to miss out on? Its hardly a bed of roses.

motherinferior Tue 16-May-06 13:58:03

One thing to bear in mind is that although this will be your second birth it will (I assume) be your first labour, too.

CarolinaMoonfish Tue 16-May-06 14:03:47

doesn't mean you'll necessarily have any problems though - a friend of mine for instance has had two straightforward vaginal births after her first was born by cs for breech.

You could see how it goes then go for a cs if things aren't progressing well.

bamboo Tue 16-May-06 14:03:50

I had an emergency cs with dd (she was back-to-back, long labour, failed ventouse). With ds I definitely wanted to try for a VBAC, there seemed no reason for me not to, and like meggelevache I didn't like the idea of a long recovery time with dd to contend with too.

In hindsight I wish I'd opted for another section. Without going into the gory details my recovery ended up being far longer than with my section. Having said that, though, I think for every story like mine there is a positive VBAC one.

I think at the end of the day you need to go with your gut instinct. It really doesn't matter how your baby arrives as long as you are both safe and well. My gut instinct turned out to be wrong but there's no saying yours will be .

If (big if!) I have a third I will be in a real dilemma. I think my instinct will be to have an elective but part of me will be saying "pull yourself together, other women manage it fine". Stupid attitude really....

clairemow Tue 16-May-06 14:09:28

it won't be my first labour, as I went into labour early with DS1 - a week before we had an appointment to try and turn him round. We knew we should get to the hospital asap, and in the end I was in labour for about 5 hours before they did the c-section. Not sure how far I got though - was only 3 cm when we went in, but must have got a bit further than that at least!

clairemow Tue 16-May-06 14:11:44

just read your message Bamboo - I think that's my dilemma - why am I thinking of opting out when loads of other women, including most of my friends, have all done it successfully? Feel like a bit of a wimp if I go for elective, although I know I shouldn't.

clairemow Tue 16-May-06 14:11:44

just read your message Bamboo - I think that's my dilemma - why am I thinking of opting out when loads of other women, including most of my friends, have all done it successfully? Feel like a bit of a wimp if I go for elective, although I know I shouldn't.

CarolinaMoonfish Tue 16-May-06 14:13:23

ha! took me 36 hrs of contractions to get to 4cm with ds

In your situation I would deffo try for a vbac.

CarolinaMoonfish Tue 16-May-06 14:14:31

can you tell us what happened bamboo?

Rochwen Tue 16-May-06 14:21:26

My advice would be go for the c/s. If they offer you one go and take it ! Why have two scars?

If your mum says she'll come and help then you'll be fine.

Personally I never felt I needed to experience a vaginal delivery. Doesn't sound much fun to me. I had a c/s with my dd (breech) and I remember jumping for joy when they told me that I was getting a section. I'm just sooo happy that my bits and my pelvic floor are still intact. I certainly won't go for a VBAC should I decide to have another child, but that's just my view.

bamboo Tue 16-May-06 14:40:15

CarolinaMoonfish, basically it was a fast and frantic labour - shouldn't complain too much about that, I guess. But it was frightening and agonising. Anyway I had a ventouse delivery and they performed an episiotomy but the doctor who stitched me left quite a large swab inside , which I didn't find for over 3 weeks! Couldn't understand why I wasn't feeling any better - I was probably lucky I didn't get toxic shock syndrome! I may have got an infection, but in any case, the stitches didn't knit together very well. It took me a good six months to feel normal again.

I know I was pretty unlucky but it hasn't given me much faith in trying for a natural delivery again. I hope an elective section would be a bit more ordered and mistakes like that wouldn't happen.

Clairemow, I guess we need to get it out of our heads that a c-section is an easy option - but that's hard when I'd have one precisely because I hope it would be an easier option than ds birth IYSWIM.

clairemow Tue 16-May-06 15:01:43

Poor you Bamboo, it sounds like negligence to me... Got to go now and entertain DS1 for the afternoon - will log on again later. Am going to try and not see c-section as the easy option. Nothing about childbirth in any form could be described as easy!!

softymom Tue 16-May-06 15:03:07

This is an interesting thread for me. I'm expecting no. 2 late November. I just had my first midwife appointment and she advised that because of my previous birth history (no labour, emergency cs at 42+3, big blood loss) it would have to be a monitored hospital birth - probably be another cs. I can say yes to elective now and/or discuss VBAC options with the consultant who I'm seeing at the end of this month.

I'm not so worried about 'the whole birth experience' as I had to get over all that from last time (was booked for home birth!). What worries me is coping with an active nearly 3 yr old while recovering from a c-section. It took me ages to get better from the last one. I remember using my push chair like a zimmer frame to stagger the 1 block to the doctor's surgery for my 6 week appointment.

What is recovery like if the cs is planned? How soon can you pick up your shopping bags or an older child? How soon can you stop using those v-shaped nursing pillows and sitting at exactly 90 degrees (how I hated that!) to breastfeed?

mrsflowerpot - I'm interested that you had your section on your induction date. Did the consultant offer you this option? I'd like to go as late as poss to give myself a chance to go into labour.

Moomin Tue 16-May-06 16:33:30

i've had two elective sections, i had placenta praevia twice (just lucky i guess!). both actual deliveries were great, very calm, very controlled and i felt great. first one was 4 and a half years ago and i recovered really well - was up and about after a week and driving after 3 (with permission from my insurance company).

second delivery was last october and it was much harder. i was in terrible pain for 2 weeks until my gp swapped my painkillers (they only give you paracetemol at the hospital these days!) and it was made a bit easier with co-codemol and paracetemol combined. it was still a slow recovery though and it was at least 5 weeks before i could walk properly and without pain, despite not having any infections etc. luckily i had lots of help at home with dd1 and dh was off work for 3 weeks. take all the help you can, DO NOT EVEN THINK OF PICKING YOUR TODDLER UP in the first 4-6 weeks!!!! and take it easy. hopefully you'll actually feel a lot better sooner but it's as well to be prepared. good luck!

mrsflowerpot Tue 16-May-06 16:52:04

My consultant was quite happy for me to wait it out - I wanted to see if I went into labour and he was of the opinion that if I did go into labour spontaneously then probably the issues that had been present first time round wouldn't arise. So there was no need to 'stop' me going into labour by scheduling early iyswim. I saw him at term nearly, 39 weeks I think, and we agreed that we would book the section for the induction date and hope I didn't need it, but obviously I did. He was really open to what I wanted, but equally we were very open to what he was saying - if he had at any time said, 'no, this is a bad idea because...' then we would have gone straight for the section obviously, I wasn't that desperate for a vbac! With hindsight, I suspect that he thought all along that I wouldn't go into labour.

softymom Tue 16-May-06 17:36:21

thanks for your feedback

I think, honestly, that I probably will have a cs, but I'd like to keep my options open as long as poss (while getting prepared of course).

I think I'm going to have to start thinking about some hired help for the early period, just in case (dh can get 4 weeks - 2 weeks paternity + 2 weeks hols) but after that I'm on my own!

I had bad pain after the first cs, but the hv gave me strong drugs that sorted me out. I think the exhaustion and problems with bf were my biggest difficulties - but I don't know now if the exhaustion was aenemia or the reality of being a parent !

CarolinaMoonfish Tue 16-May-06 18:24:29

Bamboo - that sounds horrendous. Did you complain?

CMac Tue 16-May-06 18:26:08

I've had the same decision to make in the last couple of weeks so can sympathise. DD1 was an elective section (breech) and I'm currently due lo2 this Thursday. Was offered another section but I had a bad experience last time - extensive bleeding into my abdomen and a second operation the day after etc etc... While I'm obviously keen to avoid another section (though it's extremely unlikely anything like that would happen again - it was basically human error) there was still a bit of me that would rather have an elective section than an emergency one after hours of labour! At the end of the day I'm booked in for a section on the 25th which is 7 days over my due date so I have until then to go naturally. Like the other posters I don't fancy the extra recovery with a section but it's a really personal decision, probably based largely on how your first went. I found my original section great - really relaxed etc and if things hadn't gone tits up later on I'd probably have been delighted to have another (have no desire to have a vaginal birth for any other reason!). Basically though I didn't feel that I could opt for an operation unless it's absolutely necessary - then again reading bamboo's post shows that it's not just with sections that mistakes can be made... Basically neither appeals much atm!

clairemow Tue 16-May-06 19:07:04

Goodness CMac, sounds dreadful! It's scary how much human error there is about.

Perhaps the thing to do is book an elective cs for 39 weeks, and if I go into labour before that, let it run its course. It would be galling to have a long horrible labour and then an emergency cs though. I would def rather have a cs than have to go through what some of my friends have with interventions (esp ventouse/forceps) or massive tearing. I guess they'd open up the same scar for the cs, so like you say, only one scar. It's good to know that the decision really can be left to the last minute.

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