After a bit of advice. We're not TTC yet but I would love to hear peoples opinions of my getting an ELCS for the following reasons
- I have massive fear of anyone medical, my blood pressure goes through the roof when I even walk past a dr's surgery so I want to retain as much control as possible
-If anyone, inc DP touches my bum I am going to hit them, I can't stand it, makes me feel physically sick
-When I was young I had an accident and ended up with stitches "down there", not entirely sure where but I do have vivid memories of screaming at the drs whilst they were being put in
- I also think that they put too many stitches in as guys have always struggled to, ahem, get themselves in. Not to say I've been with massive guys and obviously if thats a struggle and a little painful I know a babys head is FAR bigger.
- My bladder continence is not amazing, sneezing, laughing and sport are all done at risk!
I know no body can say for sure but I would love an opinion
It's certainly possible to get an ELCS for psychological reasons, and there are posters on here who have done so for first babies. How easy it is depends very much on your NHS trust's policies and the attitude of your consultant. The other gynae reasons you mention could be assessed during your pregnancy to see if they were issues (probably not, from your description) but this would involve examinations which you may not want to consent to.
I understand the need for control (I had an ELCS with DC2 for that very reason), but it is still a very medicalised procedure. Also, in case it bothers you, I think they put in some sort of pain relieving suppository during the op, you will also be catheterised. With your history both of these things may bother you so please don't think that because the baby is being surgically removed no one will be touching your under carriage.
I am currently trying to get an ELCS for psychological reasons however from what you have described below (apart from pelvic floor) I actually think a natural birth would be more appropriate.
If I was you I would read a lot more about a c section so you understand completely what is involved as you are not in control at all and it is incredibly medicalised (and you will be awake for it all)
Good luck j200 and congrats on your pregnancy. I think the issue of control during ELCS is an interesting one. I had one as it is (all being well) a very controlled and calm process, but you are of course very much the patient and are not in charge, so to speak. If that's important then vaginal delivery is possibly a better option.
Thanks for all your answers.
I know it is very medicalised but for some reason I'm ok with that, i think its because i know it will be like that and i would expect it. If i cant feel it or see it they can do/touch whatever/wherever medically necessary.
The immense amount of variables in a vaginal birth is terrifying to me. If I knew i could have a home water birth with no tearing then i don't doubt for a second that it would be better for me. But thats not controllable by any stretch of the imagination.
Your reasons for wanting an ELCS are actually fairly typical for a potential first time mother who wants an ELCS.
A couple of point here though, as previous posters have said, you should do your research. As VertdeTerre points out, you will need a catheter (and for it to be removed). A suppository is negotiable as alternatives are available. You will be touched in theatre, the only difference is you won't be fully aware of it (you do have some sensation). You are likely to be in hospital for two nights at least with an ELCS too.
I don't believe that an ELCS is right for everyone, as a result. An ELCS is really being pushed as a way to deal with certain anxieties but it is not the only solution. Counselling of some form in particular may be a way forward, especially given the fact that you aren't pregnant so have time to get more benefit from it.
Its clear you have a good idea of what your fears are. Exploring how you can deal with them is important. You may be set on an ELCS but I would say to break down your fears bit by bit and be realistic about how much an ELCS can help those anxieties. Think about what other forms of support you may need; do you need extra support after the birth? would you benefit from your husband being able to stay in hospital with you?
Some times they can have consequences for your life with a baby and you need to tackle the heart of the issue. If you suffer from severe white coats syndrome then this is going to be massively important as which ever way you give birth. You will need ongoing medical contact, throughout your pregnancy and after the baby's birth, not just for the birth. For example how are you going to cope when your baby needs vaccinations?
As you aren't already pregnant you do have time to deal with some of your issues in your own time scale and I'd encourage you do to this. It can be difficult to get the support you need, especially given that the people who can help you are the very thing you are afraid of. But actually having contact with HCP and building a level of trust with them is in some ways as important as the way you indeed to give birth, in terms of feeling in control. A good relationship with your care givers is empowering in its own right. For this reason, someone in your position, probably would benefit from extra antenatal appointments.
I would research your local hospitals and see what their attitudes to peri-natal mental health and ELCS in general are. Some hospitals are a lot more progressive than others. Many do not have a peri-natal mental health team, and this is what you need as they will be trained and be aware of your needs better than somewhere that does not have this facilities.
Be aware that the onus is on you to find help and make your case, as unfortunately there is a lack of understanding and awareness in some quarters about the entire subject. You may come up against some hostile or negative responses, but if this is what you really think is most appropriate for you, there are places and individuals out there that can help. Its just a question of finding them.
Just throwing in some ideas.
Is there a history of prolapse/incontinence in your family?
How old are you (above 35? You might come across more problems with VB after 35) and how many children do you think you'd like (difficult question as we can't predict the future but if you want more than one baby or maybe two, C-section might not be a good idea)
How were the first deliveries of women in your family (mum, maternal grand-mother and aunts, sisters?)? What age were they when they deliveried their first baby and did they experience "failure to progress"?
My mother was put under general anaesthetics for a forceps delivery (that was 38 years ago!). There may be some questions to ask how labour can be managed according to different scenarios (ie need for catheter, midwife manual checks).
Hope this is useful. All the best.
Thanks again for your response
I agree completely that its something i need to resolve. I would love to, as its bloody annoying.
I definitely don't get my moneys worth out of the nhs!
Was about to post and saw that RedToothBrush has said it all! I agree that counselling might be useful here, both to help you work out what your concerns are, and how you might address them. That may be through a vaginal delivery managed in a way you are happy with rather than ELCS.
I would agree with everything above re. the anxiety issues, but what strikes me is your description of the previous injuries you've had in the area. It would be worth finding out exactly how much scarring there is and whether it is somewhere where tear is likely, as certain kinds of pelvic scarring can greatly increase the chances of severe birth injuries (major tears, incontinence issues etc) with a vaginal delivery. It's worth getting a specialist opinion about this, as many HCPs are very dismissive of these risks in my experience.
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