Due to prior surgery for bowel issues, I have weakened muscle control. By no means disastrous, but still have slight issues related to bowel incontinence (think wind/fluid leakage issues but not at the pad wearing level - sorry if TMI).
The consultant has said that because of this, I can choose between ELCS or vaginal birth. If I go for vaginal birth, there's a 1 in 50 chance of a 3rd degree tear, which could cause further muscle weakness issues (this also however means there's a 49 in 50 chance of no 3rd degree tear). Should I take the risk and go for the vaginal birth anyway?
This is my first pregnancy and as with a lot of first time mums, I assumed I would just go into labour and see how nature took it's course. I have no issue with having a section if it is the best thing for the baby/me, but always thought the decision would be made for me (e.g. because of breech position or EMCS during labour).
Now that the decision is up to me, I'm not really sure what to choose, and I'm a bit worried I'd be missing out on something by choosing ELCS and not having a vaginal birth (I realise this is probably a stupid way to think, but it's in the back of my mind).
Would really appreciate any opinions, especially from people who have been in a similar position. Did you have the option of ELCS, what did you choose to do, and how did it turn out for you?
I've not been in the same position OP, but I have delivers one baby vaginally and one baby via ELCS. Dd1 was an assisted vaginal delivery and I had an episiotomy. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, but I was completely numb for a couple of weeks when having a poo, and My undercarriage didn't feel right for several months (all fine now almost 7y later).
ELCS with dd2 was preferable for me. By no means a walk in the park but the abdominal wound seemed more tolerable and healed quicker than the perineal one.
In your shoes, I would go with what I would consider to be the safer option (for you, in that you will not push/risk damage/prolapse, etc) of an ELCS.
The significant question is how many children are you planning to have? Risks of ELCS increase with each one, so this is a serious consideration for you.
Thanks so much for your advice, really useful. Also good to hear the opinion of someone who's experienced both vaginal delivery and ELCS.
I think I agree the sensible choice is probably to have the ELCS, to limit chances of any further damage, just something seems to be niggling, I guess it's the "what if" of a vaginal birth going smoothly. Really interesting to hear you found the abdominal wound easier to cope with than the perineal one, that gives me a bit of reassurance too!
No plans to have a large family, probably only one more (two at a push) and the consultant was really helpful and outlined that if I had been thinking of having 4 or more, then ELCS wouldn't be a good option for me.
I think that the risks are certainly more predictable in your case for ELCS and as you're planning perhaps just one more child, I think it's wise to go for an ELCS.
Wishing you the very best of luck
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