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2nd baby - terrible first birth - natural or ceasearean?

(22 Posts)
milkyman Fri 29-Jan-16 18:55:11

I've told that a natural birth should be ok but i have 5 weeks to decide. I was traumatised by first birth (baby resusitated, blood transfusion, forceps, tear etc... pnd). I thought i wanted a ceasearean but now unsure due to risk and length of recovery. I am 40. Do i try for natural birth? They said they will give me early epidural if possible.

didireallysaythat Fri 29-Jan-16 19:03:44

I had a similar first birth. ECS for my second - recovery was a walk in the park (I was 39), I was up and about a day or two afterwards and had no issues compared to the first time when I thought I'd been hit by a bus. I have no regrets at all, it was relaxed, I was in control and a really positive experience.

VagueIdeas Fri 29-Jan-16 19:09:59

I chose an ELCS after a third degree tear. I was terrified of giving birth again.

In terms of "risk", the way I saw it was this: I'd sooner take the known risks of a caesarean (although as the nice surgeon told me, yes there are risks, but the most common outcome is smooth sailing) over the unknown risks of a vaginal birth (which could range from perfectly fine to another third degree tear, something that might affect my continence for life).

One thing I find annoying is that everyone talks about the risks of c section but not of the risks of vaginal birth, which aren't just tears but prolapses too. I know so many women who've had a prolapse after just one child. I do feel the anti c section agenda (and yes, I know why it exists!) deliberately ignores that.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 29-Jan-16 19:13:40

I chose elcs after terrible first birth that ended in forceps and left me with a severe prolapse.

It was the best decision I've ever made. Such a better experience and of course better for my health. My memories of that birth are far fonder than for dd1.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 29-Jan-16 19:15:20

Vague ideas I agree about people not knowing about the risks. I'd never heard of a prolapse until I got one.

I've just had surgery to repair it and will be recovering for at least 6 weeks. There's a good chance I'll need more surgery.

VagueIdeas Fri 29-Jan-16 19:19:53

Should also add that my ELCS went brilliantly and I'd choose one again ten times over. Recovery was no worse than the year. I personally didn't need painkillers beyond the first week, although I obviously had to take it easy for a while longer.

VagueIdeas Fri 29-Jan-16 19:23:39

*than the tear. DYAC.

milkyman Fri 29-Jan-16 19:24:22

Very interesting - i like the idea of some control of when it will happen etc... just worried how to cope with a 3.5 yr old as well. I have dark memories of those first weeks... the consultant said it would be cathartic to have natural birth. In some ways i would have preferred being told i would have to have a c section.

VagueIdeas Fri 29-Jan-16 19:29:11

Cathartic my arse wink And the consultant is there to dissuade you, in the main.

Believe me, I had horrific anxiety and PND in the days and weeks after DC1's birth. I was so traumatised and so unwell. Second time around was like night and day. Finally I knew what it felt like to have a baby and feel happy instead of terrified.

You will need help for the first few weeks (DC1 was 3.8 when DC2 was born). Will your partner be taking paternity leave? Family?

VagueIdeas Fri 29-Jan-16 19:31:17

I should also add I know SOME women find a successful vaginal birth after a bad one very cathartic, but there are no guarantees it'll happen. Personally I found it much more therapeutic having a completely controlled procedure with no surprises. And yes, knowing exactly when it was happening was great in terms of making sure DC1 was happy and cared for on the day.

StrawberryRiceCake Fri 29-Jan-16 19:33:11

I have just made this decision after a very similar first birth. I have chose the ELCS and feel really good about it now it is arranged. As others have said I just prefer the known quantity that is a planned section and think I will feel safer. Good luck making your choice.

intheairthatnightfernando Fri 29-Jan-16 20:01:16

I sympathise so much. My bad birth was my second (and last), far harder for it to be your first.
I think have ELCS. It's the only possible way I could have coped. That way you know there is absolutely no way you could have any form of re-run of events.
I wish you the very very best.

didireallysaythat Fri 29-Jan-16 20:50:24

There's one thing you can probably guarantee. No two births are the same. Just as no two babies are the same. And there's no right decision. It's good to be able to choose how you at least start to deliver !

Onlyatoyspider Sat 30-Jan-16 07:31:06

I had 4th degree tear first time and a number of further medical complications which meant that a c-section was only option second time. The section was a wonderful experience in comparison and I found it really helped me overcome the trauma of first time to have such a calm experience. I held by baby as soon as they were born and so was happily distracted the rest of the surgery! It took me a few weeks to recover fully and I did have support (but mostly to assist with toddler!) No birth is without risk of complications and I was lucky in a way that the decision was medically made for me. Make the decision that is right for you, that you want, not that you think you should do and then try not to be swayed ! Good luck.

KatyN Sat 30-Jan-16 09:08:38

I had a bad birth first time round, emergency ventouse in the end and two weeks in nicu for my son. He didn't get properly signed off until he was two.
I was really worried about labour the second time and planned a very early epidural (Mw said at about 3 cm why not have it now?). To be fair the second time round wasn't a walk in the park and I ended up with forceps. Daughter is fine but I was bashed about for a couple of weeks

So from my experience a second vaginal birth wasn't cathartic at all... But then a c section wouldn't be for me either.
Good luck, k

fohamy12 Sat 30-Jan-16 09:14:06

I had an emergency section with my first after a horrendous labour and had to have a general anaesthetic for c/s this whole experience led to SPND. I chose to have c/s second time round and was a wonderful positive experience. In fact last year I had my fifth section at the age of 42! Fifth and last!!!

milkyman Sat 30-Jan-16 11:11:59

Thank you all - they tend to focus on risks of c section but natural can be equally risky. I am leaning towards c section so at least to some degree the risks are controlled?

Runningupthathill82 Sat 30-Jan-16 21:09:08

Just to give a slightly different perspective - I had a horrendous first birth and an amazing second one.

First birth was 24 hours of agony. DS was back to back, got stuck, ventouse failed twice, epidural failed too, and he was eventually pulled out with forceps. We were both in a very bad way afterwards and it took me a very long time to recover, both physically and mentally.

I was terrified of giving birth again and was fully intending on pushing for an ELCS. But then I changed my mind and I'm so glad I did.

By contrast, DD's birth was textbook. Four hours from start to finish and born in the water with just a bit of gas and air. Yes, it was sheer luck. I know that. But it left me on a high and has sort of reaffirmed my faith in my own body, which I'd completely lost.

It really is the luck of the draw and I completely understand your wanting a ELCS, but I just wanted to say that a nightmare first birth can be followed with a good experience second time around. Best of luck with whatever you decide.

turkeysandwishes Sun 31-Jan-16 14:26:20

I have had 3 natural births and an elcs almost 3 weeks ago.
If I ever had to make the choice again I would choose c sec in a heartbeat.
For me it was a choice between a set of know risks and the fear of the unknown, I chose the right option for me and I don't regret it at all, even though I had a pph of 1200ml and then developed celulitis the recovery hasn't been as bad as I thought and despite the problems I had it was one of the loveliest, calmest days of my life .
Good luck with whatever you choose flowers

d270r0 Sun 31-Jan-16 14:51:56

Definitely go with what you want. Dont let them make you feel you 'should' do one way or that its better to. At the end of the day, you are the one who has to do it, not them.

I had c section with my 1st baby as he was breech, I was terrified beforehand. Then my 2nd wasn't breech but I ended up choosing c section anyway. They do try to push you towards a natural birth. I am very glad I chose c section again. Yes it is hard at first, try to make sure you have constant help inc. In hospital for the first week or 2, but gets easier as it heals. Just take advantage of any help you can get.

milkyman Tue 02-Feb-16 17:40:11

Thanks all - beginning think a c section may be for me but what are the recovery side effects?

JizzyStradlin Thu 04-Feb-16 21:45:30

Having had a difficult first VB (nothing like as bad as yours) I was offered ELCS for the second and declined, reasoning that as a low risk second timer I was statistically very likely to have a straightforward VB. I felt that would be easier to recover from, especially with a toddler. It turned out I was in the small minority that need an EMCS in that scenario, but I still view it as a sensible choice I made because the odds were so overwhelmingly in my favour. But I was 10 years younger than you. At 40, with that obstetric history, I'd probably go straight to the ELCS.

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