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Csection v vaginal

(25 Posts)
febmum2b Wed 04-Jan-17 07:40:37

I'm hoping for information from anyone who has had BOTH a planned section and a vaginal delivery. I had my daughter 2 years ago with a 'normal' vaginal delivery. I found the whole thing extremely traumatic to the point where I hadn't planned on having anymore children. I was induced 3 weeks early due to poor growth. It took around 20 hours to get to 4cm.... and I went to 10cm within 90 mins of that. I had planned on having epidural but as I went from 4-10 in such a short space of time it didn't have time to work properly. The anaesthetist was trying to convince me that it was all working fine - what I didn't know until after the birth was he was stood behind me shaking his head to my DH implying it was too late. I felt like I was going crazy and it caused a fair bit of distress. I had a 3rd tear which became infected so my recovery was actually quite lengthy. I am summing up where to opt for a csection this time round which my consultant has agreed to do if I do wish. This baby is also measuring small. I really would like to hear experiences from women who have had both. Thanks in advance x

Esspee Wed 04-Jan-17 09:03:07

I had an emergency csection first time around and a vaginal delivery second time. I recovered from the c-section far faster than the vaginal birth. Personally, given the choice I would opt for a c-section. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Esspee Wed 04-Jan-17 09:06:29

Should have added I think it is much kinder on the baby to save them the trauma of vaginal birth.

febmum2b Wed 04-Jan-17 09:11:59

Thanks for your comments. Out of interest, with the vaginal birth was there any reason your recovery took longer? Did you have infected stitches or something similar? My reason for asking is that with a toddler running round I'm worried about the 6 weeks they say it takes to recover from c section. Recovery time is actually the only thing swaying me towards vaginal again as worried ill struggle with a toddler and newborn. Although saying that recovery for me last time was months!

Gowgirl Wed 04-Jan-17 09:14:36

Traumatic induction and vaginal with no 1, complete dream of a birth with no 2, midwife led vaginal with just gas and air with no 2, planned c section due to extended breech with no 3.

C section great while your in there but horrendous recovery whereas 1 and 3 back to normal next day, no 2 I was in the hospital 6 hours and him in my bed with a cup of tea two hours after delivery.

Gowgirl Wed 04-Jan-17 09:16:06

Home even, but he was in the bed with me lol

CocktailQueen Wed 04-Jan-17 09:19:27

I had a planned CS with #1 (breech). I hated the CS - my BP was very low, I felt sick and dizzy and out of it.

It took me much longer to recover from the CS than it did from my second birth, which was vaginal. I had an episiotomy which healed easily and quickly - and best of all, I could pick up my toddler, drive, etc., which I couldn't do for ages after dd. So I'd recommend trying for a VB.

You could talk to your midwife and explain what happened last time and ask for an episiotomy if it looks like you will tear.

FoxesSitOnBoxes Wed 04-Jan-17 09:26:23

High forceps after induction. DD v distressed and had to get her out quickly leading to big episiotomy and third degree tear which all got infected and opened up completely. Had to just let it heal by itself. Couldn't sit down to wee for six weeks, painful for 6 months.
Had a planned section next time because I couldn't imagine managing two children if it happened again and my scar was quite thin so high chance of further tearing. Section was much better. I only had paracetamol for pain relief afterwards as I was worried about breastfeeding and day one was VERY painful when I moved but totally painfree when I stayed still. Day by day it got easier and I was driving after a couple of weeks and in town shopping after.... ten days or so. Overall so much better than my first
But I'd imagine a "normal" delivery would have been the absolute best. Good luck flowers

febmum2b Wed 04-Jan-17 09:35:08

Thank you all so much for your replies. I suppose it's hard because every birth is different im just absolutely dreading it. I know most people don't look forward to it but I'm literally sick with worry over it all. Thank you for sharing your own experiences. I have appointment with consultant on Monday so will talk to them some more. The last time I saw him he said in all honesty it's easier from there point of view for a planned section ... the midwife in the room gasped in horror at him which left me even more confused hmm

VeryPunny Wed 04-Jan-17 09:39:42

Had EMCS (but was v. straighforward) and VBAC - I would say the first week of section recovery was more difficult than VB but I recovered completely from the section well before I recovered from the VB - was months before I felt that things (continence, muscles etc) returned to normal after a VB. And I had a v. straightforward VB with only a few internal stitches. My section recover was very straightforward. If you have your DH at home for a fortnight's paternity leave it should be fine.

Goingtobeawesome Wed 04-Jan-17 09:43:05

I had an ECS with ds1 and then two VBACs. The first one I had a retained placenta and the second my scar nearly ruptured. We were advised not to have any more children as we both were in serious trouble. The section had a bigger impact than the second vaginal delivery.

user1471446433 Wed 04-Jan-17 09:48:19


Should have added I think it is much kinder on the baby to save them the trauma of vaginal birth.*

confused the 'trauma' of vaginal birth that we evolved so that baby has its lungs squeezed dry etc etc? confused

And c sections are easier for doctors because they happen to schedule that suits the doctor rather than birthing when the woman & baby are ready...

OP I hope you have a great birth whatever you decide, my first was similar to your first & my friend had worse but ending in c section - we both had fantastic second vaginal births.

Newbiecat Wed 04-Jan-17 09:59:17

Hi I replied to a thread somebody posted in November asking the same thing.
I'll try and find the link and see if that helps you. I've just copied my reply here.....

I've had 3 children - DD born by Emergency LSCS after 24 hrs labour and DD was stuck back to back. I was overnight in high dependency but home after 2 nights.
2 years 4 months later I had DS via VBAC. He also was stuck back to back and a normal ventouse failed but he was delivered after a metal rotational ventouse (& a wonderful epidural!). He was a little stressed but fine. It was amazing being able to experience him being delivered on to my tummy. I had quite a few internal sutures and while these and my episiotomy healed I was pretty uncomfortable for 2-3 weeks. Recovery was better than first time round by far but I didn't expect the sutures to be limiting me for so long with mobility. I could pick my 2 year old up though.

4 years later and after falling pregnant again we opted (after a lot of discussion) for an elective LSCS. I am now 6 weeks post section and have to say I totally disagree with your midwife. The 2 experiences of emergency vs elective could not be more different. As others have said you are well rested before an elective section and the theatre environment is so much calmer - radio playing and lots of jokes,! I even had DS2 delivered onto my chest. I apparently had some scar tissue to resect which took a while but was fine and very little blood milk came in quicker than my emergency section by far which I was worried about as it was about a week after my emergency section. I was pretty sore for 3 days using painkillers regularly for a week but I was mobile and in the shower after 6 hrs and only stayed 1 night. I was driving after 4 weeks and after 5 weeks managed a 5K walk with DS2 in his sling!

As you can see from my story there are pros and cons of each delivery method. I don't regret my elective section but remember it's still major surgery and with that comes risk. I would recommend discussing with an obstetrician who will individualise your success of VBAC and help you decide. Best of luck!

Newbiecat Wed 04-Jan-17 10:00:17

Newbiecat Wed 04-Jan-17 10:02:23

I also wonder whether what your consultant meant was from their point of view its easier to plan and book a theatre slot for elective section as it can always be cancelled, but it's harder to try and book a slot 2 weeks before delivery. Good luck!

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Wed 04-Jan-17 10:05:55

My first sons birth sounds very like yours - induced 5 weeks early, too ages to get to 3cms then went from 3-10 in just over an hour so no epidural. Then 90 minutes of pushing, and an episiotomy. The episiotomy then left me with scar tissue which had to be operated on 2 years later.

Ds2 was born by planned c-section 22 months after ds1. He ws a transverese lie so i couldnt deliver vaginally. C section itself was fine but recovery was awfully, especially as I also had a toddler. This was a few years ago so no paternal leave for dh and he worked an hour away, and my mum worked full time and lives 90 minutes away so no help there. It was horrible, and I felt so unwell. My scar got an abscess on it but when I went to the GP I was told I was imagining it until my scar burst open 4 months after the birth and what seemed like gallons of pus poured out, leaving me with an open wound. That took weeks to heal.

If I'd have had a third child (that was never in the equation!) I'd have definitely wanted another vaginal birth, even though I didn't have a great experience. However, if you have a bigger age gap between your children and lots of support at home then a c section might be ok.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Wed 04-Jan-17 10:40:07

My first was a vaginal birth and was very traumatic. 18.5 hour labour, sent home in middle because I didn't seem like I was in enough pain. hmm Went drug free and of course the pain was just awful. Dr decided forceps were necessary and went in with them before local anaesthetic took effect. I jumped and there was a massive tear resulting in a fistula. 3 operations, a colostomy bag for 4 months, and physical recovery took a full 6 months. The trauma of the whole thing took much longer to recover from and I've only just stopped crying about it after having such a superior birth experience second time around.

I was forbidden to have another vaginal birth due to the injuries the first time around so it had to be elective c section. Best. Thing. Ever. You turn up at set time and day and go set your room up so it will be nice for you when you get back. Relax and chat with partner about new baby (or in my case babies). Get dressed in hospital gear then taken through to surgery. Everyone is so happy and cheery and everything is explained. Spinal is just like a vaccination or one of the billions of blood tests you will have had. Lovely warm feeling when it starts to take effect.

My blood pressure did drop and it's not a nice feeling. It made me a bit panicky. The anaesthetist was right next to me, talking to me the whole time, and the second it happened she put in another drug to counteract the effect and made me count to 10. Within 10 seconds back to normal. This is so common it's really nothing to worry about.

I didn't like not being able to feel my feet but I think you get that with an epidural for vaginal birth anyway?

It was so funny when she said she'd already sliced me open and was just about to open the sac to get the babies out. I had no idea! Figured they must have been doing something down there...

Two perfect babies crying with no need for any abnormal medical intervention - all done in half an hour. Nice to not have forceps cuts on their little faces.

Breastfeeding in recovery room within 40 mins (though be very clear with drs if you want to breastfeed so they can make sure this happens), then back to my room for a lovely sleep. Light meal in the evening.

You know those first few hellish nights of waking to feed every few hours? The whole thing is SO much easier if you're not following a hugely long labour and exhausting birth.

The recovery was much easier for me with c-section, but obviously my circumstances were a bit unusual.

I had a toddler at home so he couldn't jump on me to cuddle and whatnot but he couldn't do that while I was pregnant anyway.

Within 3 days your maneuverability with drugs should be no different to a successful vaginal birth. You can't lift anything heavier than your baby for 6 weeks but you shouldn't be doing heavy lifting while pregnant either so just more of the same.

If you are distressed about going back for another vaginal birth maybe try c-section instead. So many things can go wrong with vaginal birth (as you know) but for a planned c-section the risks are so low - it's much safer for you and your baby.

Esspee Wed 04-Jan-17 12:01:11

OP, because you asked (I prefer not to think about it) the vaginal birth ended up high foreceps, no infection but was in pain for a long time afterwards. The emergency section after a long labour was uncomfortable for about a week or so but I didn't have to sit on it like I did with the "natural birth".
User 147, I think it kinder not to have my baby's head rammed repeatedly into my pelvis by contractions then pulled out of me by foreceps. The sooner we evolve with a zip fastener to allow baby a painless birth, the better.

febmum2b Wed 04-Jan-17 14:52:27

Really overwhelmed by all the responses. Thank you all for taking the time to write them. I'm really swinging towards c section now. Hubby will take 2 weeks off and mother lives close by but has offered to move in for the first week hubby is back to work. The pain in my down stairs area was excruciating for weeks / months last time and the fear of having that again is hard to contemplate. I understand that it would be better in some ways to have 'normal' delivery but the chances are with this baby being small again that I will be induced again and i just don't want to risk it. Xx

febmum2b Wed 04-Jan-17 14:55:07

Out of interest, those who have had c sections what was it like going for no. 2 after?! hmm sorry if tmi but I've heard horror stories about the first time. Although, I can't see how it could be worse than what I went through last time - suppositories were my best friend!

MyBalletShoes Wed 04-Jan-17 15:22:48

I've had two vaginal births (DS1 and DS2) and one ELCS (DD) the latter of which was just 5 months ago.

DS1 was induced, quite quick by all accounts but episiotomy and 2nd degree tear plus a post partum haemorrhage. Infected stitches, lots of pain and around 6 months recovery. Plus discomfort every day until DS2 came along 2 years later.

DS2 was a better labour but his poor head just could not get past the horrendous scar tissue created by DS1's birth so at the last push it all opened again resulting in a 3rd degree tear. The upside was that I was whipped into theatre and properly stitched up. No more pain and all is well!

So, when DC3 was coming along I had the choice of vaginal or caesarean. I really did umm and ahh for months and talked to everyone that I needed to but in the end decided on an ELCS.

I knew it wouldn't be easy as I had 2 aged 3 and under at home but it was a much better recovery for me than my first birth. Plus, because it was planned and we knew the date, DH managed to get 2 weeks paternity plus 2 weeks holiday by which point I was pretty much back to normal.

I just personally felt that I couldn't take the risk of more damage down there and certainly didn't want to risk another lot of scar tissue after everything had been repaired following DS2's birth. But it was a hard decision because no one really ever knows how a birth is going to go and there could have been just as many complications from the section. Fortunately there weren't.

At the end of the day you, like I, could/can only make the decision you believe to be right given the information you have at the time. Plus trust your instincts as much as you can. There are any number for what ifs so try not to drive yourself too crazy with them all! smile

Gowgirl Wed 04-Jan-17 15:50:26

Coughing was more of a worry than pooing to me grin I was pretty sure I was ok going to the toilet but terrified of splitting my stitches...

mimiholls Wed 04-Jan-17 20:59:51

The anaesthetic and codeine causes trapped wind and can cause a bit of constipation for the first day or two. The trapped wind is painful but was the only painful part of the whole thing for me. They will give you laxatives and once you've passed wind/gone to the loo it's so much better!!

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Thu 05-Jan-17 12:06:42

Well, against the advice of my midwife I ate huge meals very fast. I ate so much! I I didn't take any of the dried fruit people recommended. And I may have eaten the biggest Brie baguette you ever saw. I was just so excited to actually feel hungry and enjoy eating after having a belly full of twins for so long. So yeah I got constipated. Pretty bad. Had to have a suppository which got things moving. It wasn't the greatest moment but really nothing compared to labour. I very strongly suggest you snack on some dried figs and apricots and go as soon as you can. And stay away from Brie baguettes for a few days.

designonaut Thu 05-Jan-17 12:31:09

I've had vaginal births, one planned CS and one emergency CS, all back to back! The worst were first baby vaginal birth (ages ago - made to lay on back with minimal pain relief which was way beyond painful) and the elective CS (huge baby) There were problems with the operation and I needed multiple blood transfusions and also had scar infection a few weeks later. It took me about a year to fully recover.

The best was an active birth with my second baby. I insisted on walking throughout the labour. I was feeling great and back to normal within hours of the birth. Second best for me was my last - an emergency CS. I was back to normal and feeling great within about ten days.

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