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Help please, I need to make a decision today natural or c section...

(19 Posts)
betsybo Tue 23-Apr-13 15:36:00


I'm in a pickle and could use some rational perspective. I've got to decide tomorrow whether to go for a elcs or natural birth for my second baby. I had my ds naturally 18 months ago, it didn't go that well ending up in with a prolonged labour, high rotational forceps and a baby that was floppy and not making a sound and rushed off to resus without me even seeing him, BUT it was all ok in the end. I just find it harrowing to think about it all. It has left with me with a complete panic of this happening again and also a damaged coccyx. If I could predict the future and know all would be well I would do it naturally again with the goal that this time round things could be completely different and go beautifully. My anxiety levels about this whole issue are through the roof though and I realise that no one can really tell me that it will be ok because the fact is no one knows - I've talked to several of my HCPs about my anxieties including my consultant and had a session with two supervisors of midwives who went through all my notes from last time to try and allay my fears. I was an emotional wreck in both meetings, even to a degree that surprised me. The consultant has said I can have a c section but it wouldn't be his recommendation and thinks I have every chance of a good labour this time round. I found the debrief of the last birth not that helpful and if anything made me more stressed but I can see why they do it. Anyway, I need to decide what to do and get on with feeling ok about either choice but I'm just completely stuck. With an ELCS I worry about the recovery with a 17 month old to look after at home and what if I cause some unnecessary problems to me or my baby that would be avoided if I just faced up to a natural delivery again that could be totally fine. Am I being totally pathetic? But then the thought of having a vb again still terrifies me and I'm not sure how I'm going to get my head into a place where I can feel positive and calm about it. I've also had some difficulties in this pregnancy with bleeding from a low placenta so I think I've been on edge pretty much the whole way through everything has got to me more than normal. If anyone has any advice for me I'd really appreciate - I know I must sound a bit crazy!


CoteDAzur Tue 23-Apr-13 15:38:57

I was in a similar place to yours and chose elCS. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Ragwort Tue 23-Apr-13 15:40:56

I can only speak from experience but I had to have an EMCS - actually I was delighted as had asked for an ELCS but refused one grin. I had no problems at all regrding recovery, not even a scar confused.

MolotovCocktail Tue 23-Apr-13 15:48:15

Hi, I chose to have an ELCS with my dd2 (born April last year) because I unstained damage to my coccyx during the 2hr pushing phase with dd1 in 2009.

My consultant was much the same as yours: in short, he agreed in the end but it was not his recommendation.

You need to ask yourself how bad your tailbone pain was/is. Mine was awful; worse than the pain of my episiotomy and I did not want to risk damaging my coccyx again. I went to see a physio and a chiropractor who said, in my case, the risk of re-damaging my tailbone again was high. Coupled with research I did (NICE guidelines on risks/benefits of VB and ELCS and Leigh East's Cesarean Birth: a positive approach to preparation and recovery, I decided that ELCS was best for me. You don't really have time to read this, do you? I'll try and find the link to the thread on here to my discussion about whether I should have VB or ELCS (from 2012). I think it'll help you quickly mug-up.

Are you NHS? You tend to get biased info from HCPs in the NHS because they're trying to reduce CS rates. However, if you strongly feel that ELCS is what you want, then don't let them put you off.

In terms of recovery, you could breathe the baby out with VB and walk out after 6 hours. You might need high rotational forceps again. You just don't know. ELCS tends to be predictable in healthy mums, so to know you'll feel a bit battered and bruised for a couple of weeks (this is managed with meds) and you should feel more like yourself after 5/6 weeks - definitely better between 6-12 weeks.

I still suffer with my coccyx and am glad that I had an ELCS 2nd time - but you need to read up and inform yourself on what's best for you

<nips off to find old thread>

MolotovCocktail Tue 23-Apr-13 15:55:50

I used to post as Lunarlyte, but it's still me! smile

Thank goodness for MN. Re-reading this tread reminds me how many wonderful, knowledgable women there are out there who helped me take on a lot of biased evidence and make the right decision.

betsybo Tue 23-Apr-13 16:05:29

I think that's what I'm finding hard - trying to find an unbiased professional in the nhs when I know they have targets to reduce cs rates. It's not like I'm desp to have one but the whole time I know they are leading down the route of a vb again when all I want is an unbiased discussion.

My tailbone pain is ok most of the time now but I get pain if I sit on a hard chair and things like going on a seesaw or anything like that are totally out of the question as I get a shooting pain right up my spine. It's taken me about 8 months to get to this point of manageable pain. It's annoying because every time I've mentioned my tailbone to an HCP they point blank refuse to admit it might have anything to do with my previous birth when obviously it is!

It sounds like the three of you had good elcs experiences so that's positive.

unclefluffy Tue 23-Apr-13 16:06:03

I had an EMCS first time and an ELCS the second. I hated the birth debrief too - found it really unhelpful. It made me feel terribly stressed and I cried for weeks. I chose an ELCS because I just wanted it to be different to the first time. I made a rational decision, but I wasn't really coming from a rational place. I read up extensively on the risks, decided it was pretty much a wash, and went with the elective surgery. My eldest was three and therefore didn't need lifting, so I didn't worry about recovery. I was lifting my three year old again by 6 weeks, and had a lot of help from my DH and found recovery to be pretty good.

Anyway, my question is this - are they sure that your placenta is not still low? A low placenta can be a medical indication for an ELCS in any case.

betsybo Tue 23-Apr-13 16:44:52

Molotovcocktail - what a useful thread! You sound just like me but a year ago. I will digest all that info, it certainly makes a much more balanced discussion than that I've had with my HCPs. Its useful to see what the opinion of your chiropractor was too.

Unlclefluffy - yes, not sure who benefits from a debrief. Perhaps people who believe they had an awful time but actually their birth was a walk in the park? I really think that's what they hoped, that I would come out thinking I was remembering everything wrongly and realise it was a breeze but I'm generally not an anxious person and what happened did happen. There was also a lot of extra not very nice info about swelling on my baby's head that I didn't know and could have done without knowing. My placenta has now moved, so they say, and given I had been bleeding right up until 31 weeks and now it has stopped (34 weeks almost) I think it has too.

Did anyone have any problems with their scar? Infection etc.

betsybo Tue 23-Apr-13 16:46:26

Also, when did you book your c sections? Just wondering if I have any more time left.

MolotovCocktail Tue 23-Apr-13 17:04:41

Glad you've found that link to my old thread useful smile

My ELCS was booked about 3 weeks before the section (36w) x

MolotovCocktail Tue 23-Apr-13 18:35:25

For recovery, I'd advise that you have someone around for at least the first 3 weeks, if at all possible. I arranged it so that DH had the last week of my pg and the first 2 weeks of baby's arrival off. MIL was with me for week 3, DM for week 4. MIL helped for a couple of days for week 5, then I was on my own for all but the Friday of week 6.

If you do go for an ELCS, I'm happy to answer any questions you have, either here or if you want to PM me smile

MyDarlingClementine Tue 23-Apr-13 18:47:04

I was same, sobbing going to see consultant to talk about elc, broke down when saw elevator doors and the state I was in going into them last time.

I was granted ELC, and I do not think about it now, whereas I was haunted by first birth for nigh on 5 years.

You may not be one of these people were are up playing golf the next day, I was v fragile for two weeks, less so after that but took it v easy for a month and had DH home for 6 weeks.

IF you can prepare for taking it easy for a good month I d say go for it.

I got one of these and have had easist time sleeping, moving etc after it.

Over all for me, although I was still scared, it was soo much better than labour. I felt fear going into the theatre for a good ten mins, where as i felt fear in labour for over 6 hours.

Also, one of the best most un expected bonu;s has been down below, still feels normal and intact and fine.

butterflyexperience Tue 23-Apr-13 20:49:51

I have recently come across a site called: Birthwithoutfear

Google it for the URL

There are some extremely inspirational birth stories in there.

Maybe that can help guide you to your decision?
Good luck smile

stokiemum62 Tue 23-Apr-13 21:12:19

I think a big issue is how many children are you hoping to have. If you are stopping at 2 then there is really no major difference in risk between a planned section or a vaginal delivery. If you are hoping to have more than 2 you might want to think about the impact on a third delivery as things get more complicated after 2 sections and that might push you in the direction of vbac.
Good luck whatever you choose.

NotSoNervous Tue 23-Apr-13 21:24:12

I had an ELCS with DD because she was breech and my waters had gone so it wasn't safe to try and turn her even though I wouldn't have let them anyway. I was worried about having a C section but I had a positive experience, smooth operation, safe delivery, great pain management in hospital, good nurses and no complications afterwards. The thing I struggled with was being in bed for 24hr completely until they removed my catheter.

I was driving after 2 1/2 weeks, my doctor did say I was fit too and my insurance were fine too. I only had help for the first 2 weeks then could manage, don't get me wrong it was still abit painful but I could manage it (tbh I'm a complete wuss so was dreading it). I still took things easy and just focused on DD and left the housework and cooking ect and even though I could drive I didn't much but felt alot better knowing I could. I know your situations a lot different to mine ESP with having another DC but I just wanted to share that it can be a positive experience

SwishSwoshSwoosh Tue 23-Apr-13 21:30:37

I think if you feel very scared about a vb, utterly understandably in light of your last birth, then opt for an elcs. Sometimes people are allowed to put psychological wellbeing at the top of the list.

Line up family, friends or paid help for the recovery period.

You do not sound at all crazy IMO.

betsybo Wed 24-Apr-13 19:59:39

Thank you all so much for your input. I went to my consultant appt today feeling much more calm about the whole situation. We talked everything through and although I've pretty much decided to go with the c section they are going to let me have another couple of weeks to make the final decision given that the last week has been a rollercoaster of emotion and anxiety for me. The doctor I actually saw today was very supportive and made me feel like the decision was all mine; I feel like a huge pressure has been lifted off and I now have much more clarity and positivity about this birth. Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to read the book Molotovcocktail suggested as well as doing some hypnobirthing techniques and just see how I feel. Your positive but realistic and sensible comments about your c section experiences have put my mind at ease no end that if I do go down that route it's likely to be totally fine and I can make it work for me. So hopefully sanity will resume and I will start looking forward to the big day instead of being in a blind panic. Thank you all again.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Wed 24-Apr-13 20:23:59

So pleased to hear you have had a very positive appointment, I'm wishing you the best of luck whichever route your pregnancy takes.

MolotovCocktail Thu 25-Apr-13 10:05:46

Good luck! Try to relax and listen to your gut instinct x

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