To c-section or not to c-section - labour anxiety

(18 Posts)
strangerjo Sat 13-Feb-16 19:54:09

I'm 37 weeks and not sure if it's too late to pursue an elective c-section option.
I've been anxious about labour since I found out I'm pregnant. In particular I'm worried about pelvic girdle and back pain (pre-existed before pregnancy). I'm worried about instrumental delivery because of this as well as the slightly increased risk the baby will get hepatitis b (I have it) if he has any cuts through forcep use. Plus other worries about prolapse (I am hypermobile so have an increased risk) and tears etc. I'm worried about the lack of control, potential for emergency situations. As a former anorexic, I struggle with this lack of control anyway but having something done TO my body like forceps... it terrifies me.

I've spoken to my midwife and obstetrician and they've all tried to be reassuring ("if you do get a prolapse, you can always have an operation to repair it!"). They are promoting the benefits of a vaginal delivery which I understand...but I'm still very anxious.

However I know that asking for a c section is going against everyone's advice, and my partner is not very supportive of it.

If anyone has any advice, or experience with these issues, I'd really appreciate your input!

fastdaytears Sat 13-Feb-16 19:56:41

However I know that asking for a c section is going against everyone's advice

Not at all. There are much more balanced views around here. There are lots of good reasons for a c section and you obviously feel like you've been fobbed off a bit.

I don't know about the timing though, I hope someone will.

Oh and congratulations

SilverHoney Sat 13-Feb-16 20:06:23

Lots and lots of women have elective or emergency csections. Yes it can mean a longer recovery and restrictions around driving etc, but as long as you have a consistent support network around you for the 6 weeks+ it is a perfectly safe a viable option. It does not make you any less of a woman / mother! Keep raising the issue, ask the questions, and fight for what you know is the right choice for you. Which ever you decide.

TheCatsMeow Sat 13-Feb-16 20:07:27

I had a c section, I'm hypermobile, it was fine. Recovery was easy.

HariboFrenzy Sat 13-Feb-16 20:16:52

I was extremely anxious about labour and birth. It was actually diagnosed as a phobia. I had to push for it (pardon the pun!) but I had a csection. Are you consultant led? If not, get your midwife to get you an appointment with one, and discuss your fears with them. Good luck!

Oh and one last thing. When you're pregnant, and especially in the last few weeks you are naturally anxious about the birth and can become consumed by it. Ultimately though it's hopefully just one day, and then your whole being is overwhelmed by this perfect, tiny person that you have made, and how they arrived is kind of irrelevant xx

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sat 13-Feb-16 20:31:27

I was told to have a c-section - which I refused - I had to see two consultants who signed off me not having a section - but I had to agree to one in emergency situation - fine.

So as above poster said you need to speak to a consultant

TurquoiseDress Sun 14-Feb-16 00:14:12

I would say that it's not too late but you must move quickly!

For me, I was 35 weeks by the time I went to see my GP to talk about an elective section- he was brilliant, listened to me & was supportive.

He wrote a letter there and then to the lead consultant at the local hospital. I had to chase things up with the secretary, but once I got in front of the consultant she actually booked me in for the ELCS.

I still had to be seen by another obstetric consultant & a consultant psychiatrist (to check I was of 'sound mind' for opting for CS- yes thank you!).

But those appointments all seemed to be just a formality.

My advice is- go and see your GP/a GP you like at your local practice. Do it quickly.

I never bothered discussing it with any midwives; I found they just didn't address my concerns re a VB.

My fears were to do with long lasting damage & instrumental delivery. It was my first pregnancy so it wasn't based on a previous bad experience.

Every woman has the right to decide what is best for her when it comes to childbirth.

You sound like you're being fobbed off by all around you.

It will you, and you alone, who will deal with any 'birth aftermath'- even if you have supportive partner & family around, any birth tears/stitches/injuries will affect you directly & nobody else.

Good luck with everything, please do not feel that it is too late!

Junosmum Sun 14-Feb-16 06:51:31

Having had a forceps birth, personally I'll be going for an elective section if I ever bring myself to go through it again. I find that hcp are always keen to espouse the benefits of vaginal birth and the negatives of sections but never mention the negatives of vaginal births and the positives of sections. Do your own balanced research and make a decision they is right for you.

strangerjo Sun 14-Feb-16 10:59:34

Thank you everyone. I just left a message for my midwife. I'm seeing a gp on Monday so will speak to her. X

strangerjo Sun 14-Feb-16 11:01:08

TurquoiseDress - that's exactly how I feel. That it'll be me who has to deal with the aftermath. How was your c section?

fastdaytears Sun 14-Feb-16 11:03:54

Good luck flowers

strangerjo Sun 14-Feb-16 14:18:49

Junosmum - out of interest, what were the negatives of your forceps delivery?

TurquoiseDress Sun 14-Feb-16 15:34:22

I found my CS ok, yes it definitely was painful in the first day or two (main issue was trying to get midwives to give me the pain meds I was prescribed!).

We were home within 48 hours of the birth, from then on things just got better & better.

It was sore getting in/out of bed for a week or so. Took it easy, DH was very hands on before going back to work after a short paternity leave.

Overall, all went ok, me & baby were fine, I had no bleeding, infection or other issues.

I have no VB experience to compare it with. However, I do have close friends & acquaintances who had long & painful recoveries from instrumental VBs.

Get as informed as you can. I'm not saying that a CS is a walk in the park.

But it's true, the health professionals always focus on the negatives of a CS & totally (in my opinion) gloss over the potential complications of a VB.

I know that 'only' a small percentage of women end up with forceps/vontouse, but I wanted to know that it was a possibility & the possible complications.

In the end, I knew that for me, it was not a risk I was prepared to take.

I should add that I'm a doctor, during my O&G training as a student I saw a dozen or so births in a London teaching hospital, with varying amounts of intervention.

Unfortunately, for me, I could not un-see some of the stuff I witnessed so I think I always felt quietly terrified at the prospect of giving birth one day!

And so a ELCS always seemed to be an option that I vaguely thought about.
In the end, I don't think I could believe my luck in being able to get one relatively easily & never regretted my choice for a moment.

Ifiwasabadger Sun 14-Feb-16 15:55:22

op! I felt just the same as you. Once you hit 35 your chance of a vaginal birth with no intervention (forceps, episotemy etc) are one in 3. I was 38 when I gave birth and didn't like those odds. I also have numerous, yes numerous friends who had a natural birth and who are physically and mentally scarred years and years later. One friend has had two surgeries and hasn't yet had so with her husband. Her son is 3.

For this reason, I chose a section. A great book was recommended to me here which dispels a lot of myths about sections. Mine was fantastic. Yes, painful the day after but honestly it went quickly. I was up and about, driving, no big deal.....It was so calm, lovely, planned, I walked into the theatre happily and there was a team of people waiting for my baby. if I was to have another child I would do it again in a heart beat. I listen to my friends who had the most hideous natural births and I am just so glad I had my section.

Do read this book, you can download it to iPod or iPhone kindle app. I was terrified but honestly, it was the best experience....

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Choosing-Cesarean-Natural-Birth-Plan/dp/1616145110

Good luck. You'd be amazed the percentage of doctors who CHOOSE a section......

KatyN Sun 14-Feb-16 17:13:47

I had a forcepts delivery 6 weeks ago. Was totally fine (smarted a bit obviously but no lasting damage to me or my daughter). I had serious labour anxiety following a rough time with my son who ended up in nicu. Midwives were all very supportive, recommending an epidural rather than encouraging me to try without etc.
One massive advantage was I came home the next day.

Jisy wanted to give the other side of the story, sorry if that's not helpful!good luck. It will all be done very soon kxx

strangerjo Mon 15-Feb-16 20:15:03

Thanks everyone. My obstetrician has approved it but getting a date at this short notice might not be possible. I must say, I am concerned about taking the baby out before he's ready to come out... but then again, I am concerned about everything!

fastdaytears Mon 15-Feb-16 20:19:31

Well done! Half way there... cake

TurquoiseDress Mon 15-Feb-16 23:30:31

That's great to hear OP!

Don't worry too much about the baby not being ready to come, you're already 37 weeks- they usually book ELCS in from 39 weeks onwards to allow for as much maturation/development as possible (mainly of the lungs at this late stage).

That's half the battle getting a consultant to agree to one.
Good luck!

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