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EMCS v ELCS: quick survey please

(34 Posts)
Fuckwittery Mon 20-May-13 19:42:19

Please can you tell me

1. How long did you stay in hospital for
2. When did you have it and do you know whether your baby was engaged or not?
3. Recovery: would you consider yours good or difficult? (more details welcome, but was trying to keep this a quick survey!)

Trying to weigh up whether I should go for a ELCS or risk a VBAC with end of another EMCS. I also suspect whether baby is engaged or not might affect recovery, mine were deeply engaged and I feel I was v bashed about in the operations!

Jollyb Thu 23-May-13 21:02:37

EMCS at 42 weeks after failed induction. I spent 2 nights in hospital after the section - the first was spent on the labour ward High Dependency Unit as I had developed an infection prior to my section.

Recovery was fine. I felt so much more mobile than I did at the end of pregnancy. One of my first thoughts when I heard I was going for a section was 'but I haven't got a changing table'. In the end it was fine and I was changing nappies on the floor from early on.

We were discharged with blood thinning (heparin) injections that I had to give myself for a week.

I drove at around 7 weeks. I felt well enough to drive before that but TBH I didn't really need to. Was power pramming by 10 weeks.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Squitten Thu 23-May-13 10:01:49

We found out DS1 was breech at 41wks. ELCS was planned but then I went into labour anyway so it ended up being an EMCS.

1. In hospital for 2.5 days
2. See above
3. My time in hospital was awful. Ward was overcrowded and we were quite neglected, which meant nobody noticed my BF struggles and we ended up FF before we got home. My personal recovery was absolutely fine.

Different hospital for DS2. Very supportive of VBAC and it was excellent. Good delivery, no interventions whatsoever, home the same day. 2nd degree tear but healed no problems. BF was established easily.

Planning a homebirth for DC3 this autumn

NanoNinja Tue 21-May-13 21:50:51

DC1, ELCS due to breech ( tried ECV but no luck)
1. 1 week, is standard where I am
2. 38+1, by scan dates, but dr said that he was probably younger. Not engaged.
3. Good recovery, prob due to 1 week hospital stay!

Good luck - am TTC DC2, and wondering the same thing....

Fuckwittery Tue 21-May-13 13:45:50

thanks everyone, I have read all the replies in detail and still dont't know what to do! i thought it would be an unanimous elcs are easier than emcs but that hasnt been the case for all.
I had a hosp appt today and was told it's a more complicated operation with more risk of bleeding if they have to do an emcs when you get to nearly fully dilated,i.e. after a failed vbac which is what happened last time. So I can see an elcs would be more likely to be easier recovery but really had awful recoveries the last 2 times and would so love to avoid! The hosp would be happy for me to try for a vbac if I want.

TwoTearsInABucket Tue 21-May-13 11:39:43

DS was EMCS after a failed induction at 38 weeks due to pre-eclampisa. His heart rate kept going down with every contraction.
I have no idea if DS was engaged or not.
I stayed for 4 days and was only let out coz I could not stop crying.
Recovery from CS was good. Scar healed very well, no infection. i did make sure I took it easy.
DD was VBAC but 3rd degree tear which got infected and I didn't get off the sofa until she was about 5 weeks. I hated it, much worse that CS but so glad I had natural birth if that makes sense.

I am opting for ELCS this time.

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Tue 21-May-13 11:26:55

DS1 was EMCS after hours and hours of labour due to failure to progress. I was exhausted, sore and scared, got an infection afterwards, back into hospital for another week. Recovery was slow and I was swollen for months.

DS2 was ELCS 6 months ago, it was a cakewalk by comparison. I was prepared, had slept the night before, had help arranged for coming home. Birth was calm and lovely, recovered much faster and glad I insisted on a second c section.

Downside is that my scar is a bit ugh.

BennettsBiscuit Tue 21-May-13 11:20:20

DC1 - EMCS at 40 wks after 48 hr & v long fruitless second stage. Baby never engaged I don't think though waters broke etc so not sure.
Stayed 24hrs, recovery was fine apart from fluid retention in lower body from all the ivs they gave me. Was also v white for a few days!

DC2 - ELCS at 39. Went home next morning, felt amazingly normal! Not being knackered from labour made big difference. Baby was 3/5 at scan week before. Looked fine, you'd never have realised. After pains worse as DC2 but much less pain/discomfort otherwise, I think a lot of the pain first time was from malpositioned baby bruising my insides! EBF both with no real issues.

Personally I'd recommend the elective, though if I'd been planning to have dc3 I might have chosen to try a VBAC.

Exhaustipated Tue 21-May-13 11:12:42

ELCS for breech (dc2)

1. Stayed in hospital for 2 nights
2. 38+2 (as there were other concerns). Not engaged due to breech.
3. Difficult recovery. Lots of pain when first moving around (wasn't expecting that for some reason). Scar got infected and took a while to clear up. Still find it itchy and sensitive (9 months on).

Actual caesarean birth was lovely, v calm and moving, but I still have some regrets that I didn't experience the 'easy second birth' thing. Anyway, that's not what you asked... blush

Hope things go well for you.

Portofino Tue 21-May-13 11:10:12

PS I was discharged after 3 days and my recovery was good, not too much pain etc.

Portofino Tue 21-May-13 11:09:26

With dd I had transverse lie and polyhydramnious. I was scanned at 37 weeks and admitted to the ante-natal ward for 2 weeks to await an ELCS. On the day I was due to go to theatre, dd went head down and they sent me home. She never engaged. I went back to be induced at 41 weeks and ended up with an EMCS after a night in labour after the baby became distressed. Personally I wish I had insisted on the ELCS originally - I could have done, but they advised a natural birth if at all possible.

Notmyidea Tue 21-May-13 11:04:58

emcs for dc3, (2 previous vaginal births.)
Complex presentation. (little sod had got his arm through my cervix and was merrily shaking hands with anyone who cared to do a ve) but had not engaged prior to waters breaking. (39 weeks.)
Was in hospital for 36 hours. Pain well controlled, healing straightford. I feel back to normal 5 weeks on.

ExBrightonBell Tue 21-May-13 10:51:01

I had an EMCS for the birth of my ds.

1. Was in hospital for 5 day before due to a lengthy induction. Then in for another week due to both of us getting a group b strep infection :-(

2. I was a week overdue when I went in for the induction. Had two attempts at the pessary, then some contractions followed by my waters breaking on the 3rd day. Everything slowed and stopped and then on the 4th day I had the hormone drip to get things going again. Had another 30 hrs of contractions only to discover I wasn't dilating hardly at all cos ds was in brow presentation. He was well and truly jammed, so then I was whipped in to have an EMCS. He came out covered in pus and stinking which is when the GBS infection was discovered.

3. Recovery was grim due to the infection and the complete exhaustion of the prolonged induction. Pain was ok as long as I took the many painkillers I was given. I had to get mobile as my ds was in SCBU so had to walk there to see & feed him. I was then really unlucky in that my scar was weeping in large quantities and wouldn't completely heal so had to go to the wound nurse at the GPs every day for the first 2 weeks at home. I felt like I'd been run over by a bus for about 4 to 6 weeks.

I would definitely try and avoid having a EMCS at the end of a long induction/labour as its the worst of both worlds.

lateSeptember1964 Tue 21-May-13 06:58:53

1 x EMCS 2 x ELCS. As an ex- midwife I would say you are starting from a better position on an ELCS and therefore recovery is quicker. You have not been through a long exhausting labour prior to the section and you have a better state of mind. The secret to any section is to get moving quickly and keep the scar very dry (use the cool setting on the hairdryer).

BabiesAreLikeBuses Tue 21-May-13 06:53:00


3 nights in hospital

Was induced, 5cm and 36h in dt1 went back to back, was advised it would be v painful and may still need section for tiny dt2. Fully engaged.

Was driving in less than 4 weeks, scar did split at some point which wasn't great but fully healed and barely visible now.

Think i would go elcs in future, vbac stats scare me although rationally i know they are very good!

rallytog1 Mon 20-May-13 22:26:48

1. Stayed in hospital a week + one more night when I was re-admitted the following week. This was longer than for most EMCS due to extra injuries I sustained during the CS.

2. Went in for induction at 40+10. After 24 hours of painful labour, was fully dilated and pushing but DD was in an odd position and got stuck, hence the emcs. My understanding is that she was engaged but only just when the induction began.

3. Recovery for me has been very difficult (was only 4 weeks ago). My bladder was cut open during the EMCS, which happens in about 1 in 1000 cases and led to further surgery under general anaesthetic straight after DD was born. This came with various complications and meant recovery is taking longer than with a 'standard' CS. I'm also struggling emotionally with what happened as I don't really understand why things went wrong and large parts of the whole thing have just vanished from my memory.

I've been told in no uncertain terms that I mustn't even attempt a VBAC in any future pregnancies and to be honest, even though for me some parts of the CS went badly wrong, I am glad. I think this is because I'd hate another EMCS as I found it very frightening, but the thought of a nice, calm ELCS is quite appealing.

gonerogue Mon 20-May-13 21:04:26

EMCS both times.

DD was for meconium, head was engaged. I was up and walking "very well" (according to MWs) the next day. Recovery was very good, took the 6 weeks but prob could have done with less.

DS was induced, by ARM and then syntocin drip. He was in distress from cord around his neck. That was less rushed than DD but the recovery was a lot slower, prob because I only had an 18 month gap. I did try for VBAC but 'twas not meant to be.

meglet Mon 20-May-13 21:00:16

1. 3 nights hospital with both. Although I had a private room with DC2 so recovery was better.

2. DS, EMCS at 37 weeks after overnight labour, he was engaged.
DD, planned CS at 39 weeks, presumably not enaged (can't remember).

3. EMCS recovery, awful. Was on the PN ward, too many visitors, wasn't able to rest, shattered after overnight labour, no help at home. Was on painkillers for weeks. BF a total balls up but struggled to 3 months with some bf.

Planned CS recovery, fine. Private room, peace and quiet, no bf problems. Off paracetamol by day 7. Didn't budge from the sofa for at least 2 weeks. Kept visitors at bay.

tourdefrance Mon 20-May-13 20:52:00

Had elective a week earlier than planned as went into labour.
Vbac 2nd time around.
4 days both times - feeding issues 2nd time around.
Recovery - no complications but post vbac still soooo much better.
Go for the Vbac - there's a great yahoo group with lots of support.

QTPie Mon 20-May-13 20:46:55

(oh and had no pain whatsoever... Some "discomfort" getting in and out of bed or shifting positions whilst breastfeeding, but any pain as completely managed by drugs)

QTPie Mon 20-May-13 20:45:15


1. 5 days (but 4 would have been enough and could have made it it in 3 if pushed - was at a private hospital and "making the most of it" wink )
2. No, he was footling breech (hence the ELCS).
3. Very good. Out of bed in less than 12 hours. Gently built up the walking around the maternity floor during the 5 days in hospital. Saw physio and started excercises day after section. Walked out with the pram (husband pushing it) two weeks after delivery. Walked out by myself with the pram at about 6 weeks (difficult thing was "up and down curbs", even drop curbs). Was driving again after 4 weeks (getting infant carrier in and out of the car and carrying it was a killer though... sad ). Back in the pool and gym - very gently - from 8 weeks. If you overdo it, your body tells you so. Yes, it did take a few months for total recovery (and would be harder if you are on a second child - would restrict what you could do with DC1), BUT I would say it was a good recovery smile

Rico08 Mon 20-May-13 20:32:54

DS was emcs, for failure to progress. In hospital for 1week after, as DS had jaundice and I had an infection in wound. Recovered fairly quickly after.

Had ELCS 11 days ago with DD, (opted for this after bad/traumatic time with Ds). Had DD Thursday morning was discharged the next day (was told could go home at 11am, finally got meds and left hospital at 6.30pm)
Have recovered quickly, apart from an infection in wound for which I'm taking antibiotics. Been out and about but have taken things steady.

RubyrooUK Mon 20-May-13 20:22:54


1. Stayed in hospital 24 hours.
2. Baby fully engaged.
3. Difficult recovery. At nine weeks post section, just starting to feel normal but still get twinges. Apparently section went well but midwives said I bruised very badly. Felt like total shit for first six weeks. Still can't really lift my heavy toddler without discomfort and swelling around my scar afterwards. Otherwise getting slowly back to normal.

NotSoNervous Mon 20-May-13 20:15:50

My DD was breech and I had her almost 3 weeks early by ELCS. I was in hospital for 3 days. The first few days after the pain was bad trying to move but once I got home I had a really good recovery. I was allowed to drive 16 days after my section but only drove once to mw. My recovery was straight forward took things easy had a couple of short walks a day or to after being home and just took my time and enjoyed lots of cuddles.

I have great family though who would come a cook dinner, get shopping and made their own tea ect... My mum took some time off work once DP went back to help do housework and stuff so all I had to focus on was DD which was lovely

MooseBeTimeForSpring Mon 20-May-13 20:15:29

I had an ELCS after a failed induction. My son was large and his head failed to engage properly. I had 3 lots of gel and my cervix didn't dilate enough to start the drip. My OB wanted to rupture my membranes but I wasn't keen. I was worried about not progressing further and the risk of infection and tiring myself out and needing an EMCS.

Was up and about within a few hours. In hospital for 3 nights. Cleared to drive after a couple of weeks.

Subsequently discovered my placenta was calcifying and the cord was round his neck twice.

dashoflime Mon 20-May-13 20:15:18

Not sure which mine was. I went in for a scan and they said "eek, everything's wrong better whip him out now"

1. I stayed in 5 days (DS stayed in 10)

2. DS definately not engaged!

3. Yes, I recovered really well

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