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Anyone had both a VB & ELCS - stories please

(7 Posts)
ilovechops Wed 05-Nov-14 09:26:36

I have been offered an ELCS after a third degree tear from VB with DD1. I am fully recovered but have a few slight issues remaining from it (nothing too serious).

I have been told that I have a 10% risk of another 3rd degree tear if I have another VB and therefore offered an ELCS no questions asked which I am pleased about but haven't made my decision. I also have an increaded risk of back to back labour after having one before which I found very long (52hrs) and painful.

Has anyone had a complicated VB birth and then gone on to have an ELCS, if so how did they compare? I have no major quarms about the surgery (have had other procedures before) but am most concerned about recovery times.

I am interested to hear how those recovering from a VB compare it to an ELCS (not an emergency CS as that is very different so the Docs are telling me).

After a ELCS when were you able to
- walk around
- pick up baby
- go to the loo easily
- exercise
- do light housework
- drive
- feel generally back to 'normal'

Thanks for your thoughts in advance!

Bexleymum Wed 05-Nov-14 11:42:07

I had an ELCS for breech 2.5 years ago and a straight forward VBAC with quite a few stitches 3 weeks ago. I have found the recovery from the VBAC quite hard going, not being able to sit comfortably or stand. The recovery from the ELCS easier, but that might have been due to stronger pain relief, not having a toddler to look after. I found the ELCS a very calm experience and would be easier to arrange childcare etc. I was up about and off the pain meds within a week, and could certainly have driven before the 6 weeks but my doctors wouldn't sign me off. I was running around the park at 9 weeks with no pain at all. But I was very lucky.

Molotov Wed 05-Nov-14 12:11:46

I had a long-lasting VB in 2009 and damaged my tailbone. I successfully requested an ELCS in 2012.

The ELCS was preferable for me. I fared better physically in terms of my pain being better managed. I found the wpund on my tummy more tolerable than the perineal wound caused by the episiotomy I had.

Walking - I could walk a little from thr day after the CS: out of bed, to the toilet, back to bed kind of thing. I walked out of the hospital on day 3, but that was too much. I managed a short walk to the bottom of our cul de sac on day 7: walking a bit more each day and by week 6, back to normal walking.

Pick up baby - immediate. Had no problems lifting or carrying my 6-and-a-half pound baby. I didn't lift her in her car seat mind until week 6.

Exercise - You can do gentle stretches from the next day: stretching your legs, rotating your ankles, progressing onto moving your knees from side to side. Bit don't think about any of the more serious exercise you can do until you've had your PN check (week 6).

Light housework - I made tea but that waa about it. You can bugger your stitches vacuuming, for example. Just leave that and get help if you can for those first important 6w.

Drive - week 5 for me.

Back to 'normal' - My tummy swelling really started to go down from week 8: I remember walking my dd in her pram at 5m feeling pretty good, but still wearing jeans in the next size up. I would say that I looked and felt totally back to normal 9m later ... but that's usually what HCPs say, isn't it? The '9 months on, 9 months off' mantra.

Good luck smile

ilovechops Wed 05-Nov-14 20:17:43

Thanks, really interesting to hear both of your experiences. Bexleymun your vb recovery seems similar to mine, it really shocked me how much pain I was in for weeks and I couldn't move / turn over in bed really for the first 24 hours (had a catheter) so think ELCS may be similar but possibly better. I still haven't decided but looked at the risks today for ELCS and did think they seem low. My biggest concern is looking after my three yr old afterwards but of course I can 'schedule' help for those weeks.

EyeoftheStorm Wed 05-Nov-14 20:26:02

Had 2 ELCS and 1 VB. Much preferred ELCS - calm, lovely experiences. Up and about the next day. Being careful for a week or two but basically back to normal after two weeks. No problems with having toddler and a baby but did have DH for a couple of weeks and some family help.

VB was a premature birth so my experience is clouded by that but I actually felt much worse in the few days after that birth physically than I did after the ELCS.

Missmidden Wed 05-Nov-14 21:35:20

I had a VB (instrumental with episiotomy) 4 years ago and an ELCS 3 mths ago.

Recovery wise I actually did very well physically after the VB (another story mentally!) but had stress incontinence issues and pain during sex for some months. I think I had too rosy a view of ELCS as I wouldn't say I found the recovery better, just hard in other ways. But to answer your questions:

- walking by the next morning. Had the section at 10am the previous day but had a lot of blood loss so kept lying down all of that day. Sitting up and getting out of bed were not easy for at least a week however. Walked out of hospital, but not comfortably, on day 3, walked around village a bit on day 6.
- picking up baby. Again the next morning. On first day and overnight I had to call a midwife to help with feeding and changing.
-toilet trips. Again the next morning. However I had some urinary retention and then very painful guts (due to morphine like drugs in my case- I advise refusing them!) so they were all a bit fraught.
-exercise. Was going out for short walks after a week, gentle jogging after 8 weeks. Went to a circuits class at 11 weeks, but that was too soon!
-light housework. Within a couple of weeks, I think.
-drive. Just over 2 weeks- convinced GP over phone that I felt fine and that's all my insurance company needed.
-generally feel normal. Probably about a month but it is all in degrees. The joy of a functioning perineum meaning I can run, sneeze and laugh without leaking and have sex without pain make me feel I made the right choice. But if you had asked me on day 2 or 3 when I was nigh on immobile in bed with hideous gut pain and totally non functioning abdominals I would have said otherwise!

Good luck with whatever you decide.

IamSlave Fri 07-Nov-14 13:15:32

Its a no brainer for you, go for it!
Google old threads I think one poster maybe two, has had bad recovery, but tons have had a far better time with it, including me.

After a ELCS when were you able to
- walk around - shuffled for a few days
- pick up baby yes no problems
- go to the loo easily yes, had catheter and no consitipation as prepared
- exercise - serveral weeks
- do light housework not for two weeks i took total rest
- drive - two /three weeks
- feel generally back to 'normal' that took longer, about two months.but compared to body after normal delivery i never ever felt normal again!!

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