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Vaginal birth or ELCS?

(21 Posts)
PeachPants Tue 18-Apr-17 16:04:26

Please help me decide!!

My first DC, I had a VB, which has led to me being high risk for this (second) pregnancy, and I now have the choice of another vaginal birth, or and elective caesarian.

It wasn't a particularly long labour, but complicated. I had placenta praevia, an epidural, forceps, episiostomy and a retained placenta with assisted removal - that's all i can remember at the moment thought there may be more!!

Anyway, this all resulted in a massive PPH, and blood transfusions. Recovery was long and awful.

My consultant has said that they will never know what actually caused the bleed, it could be any of the above reasons/a combination of them, and so they could not predict whether the same will happen/not happen again.

I have been asked whether I would like a vaginal birth or a caesarian this time....what would you do?

Has anyone experienced both and can give me any advice?

Thanks in advance, and apologies for the long post!!

PeachPants Wed 19-Apr-17 11:06:59

can anyone help?

TheRealCurlySue Wed 19-Apr-17 11:16:49

My first was an emergency c-section and for my second I had en ELCS. Although the recovery is hard, for me personally trying to organise childcare for my eldest and being able to know when baby was being born was helpful. Plus I could make sure I organised enough help for the next few weeks.

Do what you think is best for you. If you did decide to go for a vaginal birth, it is not to say you will experience the same problems again. However if you are being offered a choice I would definitely weigh up each option carefully and take advice from midwife etc. When are you due?

PeachPants Wed 19-Apr-17 11:23:02

TheRealCurlySue Thank you for your reply!

I am due in August, but my next consultant appointment is next month, so I was just hoping to gather some views/experiences to help me understand both options. I am swaying towards ELCS purely because last time was pretty horrific, but my worry is that ELCS may well be just as horrific!!

EdgarAllenPoe Wed 19-Apr-17 12:44:23

It's hard to know since you can never know exactly how birth will go either way.

I had an emergency CS with my first after 22 hours of failed induction, so am opting for an ELCS this time. Recovery-wise, I found the short-term very, very difficult as I could hardly move and the pain was hard to stay on top of. But I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it got better. 3 days post birth I was panicking about how I was going to cope on my own in a couple of weeks once DH went back to work. I had my mother to stay for the 3rd week, but actually by then I was ok. Still not myself, but able to manage a newborn. What I'm saying is while the recovery from a CS is hard, I'm having another one so it can't be that bad.

The pluses are I will know when I'll be having this baby, so can be a lot more organised than I was first time (especially since I'll have a toddler too). And I won't be exhausted from hours of fruitless labour so hopefully recovery will be a little bit easier. And I won't have had any reactions to the meds I had in labour, and that aspect was awful for me.

If I were you, the fact I'm being offered a CS when I hadn't had one previously would be important. Consultants don't suggest CS for no reason (ask anyone who's been pushed into a VBAC). Everyone is different though. It's a tough one. Good luck!

maisyanddaisy Wed 19-Apr-17 12:49:48

I had an elective cs for my second, it was fantastic- calm, predictable and pain-free. Recovery was much quicker too (had forceps, bad tear and botched stitches with DC1). I would highly recommend it! Talk to others that have had ECS so you know what to expect if you decide to choose that option. Good luck!

PeachPants Wed 19-Apr-17 13:20:09

This is exactly what I was hoping for, thank you!

I will keep fishing for information and will speak to more people who have experienced both.

My DM had an EMCS with her youngest, so although i can ask her, as you said Edgar, the exhaustion from labour will have had an effect also!

FeralBeryl Wed 19-Apr-17 13:45:28

Hi - do an advanced search for ELCS on here, there have been a few lately with lots of info on for you. Or scroll through childbirth as well as pregnancy subsections.
I've had 3 and they have honestly all been lovely - as long as you know what you're expecting. It was so great to arrange childcare etc as you had specifics.
Good luck flowers

LapinR0se Wed 19-Apr-17 13:49:41

Why on earth did you have a vaginal delivery with placenta previa??

bluediamonds Wed 19-Apr-17 14:04:58

Hiya. I've had 2 elcs and my middle child was a natural (other 2 were breach). Because I'd had a elcs I had to be hooked up to a monitor (which you too may need) and I couldn't move about! It was a nightmare .

Recovered really quickly too. Tbh, although I am glad to have had a vaginal delivery, now I've experienced both I'd go for an elcs every time. Plus u really don't want to go down as an emergency as I nearly did as the baby got in to trouble, I was struggling to push her out (was exhausted and hungry as I wasn't allowed to eat because I'd had an elcs beforehand). Forceps, tearing and stress later she was born! Bloody hard work!! Plus as pps have already said you know exactly when you're going in for the birth and can sort your childcare out. Bliss! Good luck.

PeachPants Wed 19-Apr-17 21:53:38

LapinR0se sorry I should have been clearer, the placenta moved in time for the birth but my consulrant said this still could have contributed to the bleed!

FeralBeryl thank you, I'll do what you've suggested to get more information!
bluediamonds your post is exactly what I was hoping for, very clear to me, thank you!!

FeralBeryl Thu 20-Apr-17 00:12:35

Peach if you can't find them - do shout me and I'll bore you to tears about mine winkI just don't want to repeat myself and have everyone eye rolling...

stealthbanana Thu 20-Apr-17 00:16:33

I haven't had an elcs, only a emcs (after a failed vb, failed ventouse and failed forceps) and I will definitely be having a elcs next time. The biggest issue I had post delivery was pelvic floor stuff - which has nothing to do with the cs. As a precious poster said the first 3 days were horrific but I recovered pretty quickly after that and I've been pleasantly surprised at how good recovery is - lots of scare stories about cs that are unjustified I think.

PeachPants Thu 20-Apr-17 08:51:28

Thank you Feral!

That's the problem I'm having, you only ever hear the bad side, the risks, the side effects, never the good stuff! As well as the fact that for some reason a lot of women want to prove how they had it harder than others, and their experience was worse than anyone elses! or is that just my family hmm

PeachPants Thu 20-Apr-17 08:52:23

Sorry Stealth, that last paragraph was meant to say thank you for sharing the good side!!

stealthbanana Thu 20-Apr-17 13:55:48

No I totally get it. So much scaremongering around elcs. In the run up to my birth I was contemplating having an elcs as DS was huge (I was private so no issues around just requesting one). My consultant told me that the recovery for an elcs was usually no worse than a vb- and that the risks of the two were different but statistically similar. And apart from being sensible with lifting (nothing heavier than the baby) there was really nothing else to separate the two.

In many ways I had the best recovery of all as my doctor had me out doing massive long walks every day as soon as I left hospital - I was far healthier at my 6 week check than any of my vb antenatal class friends!

Dildals123 Thu 20-Apr-17 14:09:30

I had an ELCS 20 months ago and I found the recovery surprisingly quick! (Maybe I had a gifted consultant ...) I only stayed in hospital for one night. In the early morning I was awake (staring at my beautiful child) and one of the HCAs had a chat with me. I was sitting on the edge of the bed cross legged, relaxed, and she was surprised I had a CS.

Can't remember exactly what I had for pain relief but got sent home with bog standard diclofenac and paracetamol or something similar. I took it easy, as you should, but all in all it was really fine! (I was NOT doing any long walks though ... )

I am over 40 as well, so it's not as if I had youth on my side.

With regards to monitoring with a VB it's worth asking your consultant what your VB would look like. They do mobile monitoring nowadays in some hospitals so you can move around more.

PeachPants Fri 21-Apr-17 10:17:27

Thank you for all your help everyone, I am a lot clearer now on ELCS, not so scared of the unknown now!!

Theknittinggorilla Fri 21-Apr-17 10:49:36

I've had an emcs, a failed vbac resulting in a sort of semi- elective section (was in labour but not particularly advanced) and had an elcs 3 days ago. So can't help with the vaginal birth side but am in the thick of c section recovery and have a 4 and 2 year old!

Elective itself was a very calm experience (lots of stress and panic with the other two). I also spent much of my second pregnancy stressing about whether to go vbac or section, this time I decided earlier on which made for a more relaxed pregnancy.

I pottered about all morning having a nice shower and washing my hair, went in at lunch time on to the ward, then down for the operation at 3pm. Back on the ward at 5pm with baby, who was happily breastfeeding. The operation itself very calm, the worst bit in my experience is in the anaesthetic room getting the spinal (not that it hurts, just a bit nerve racking) but once that was in I felt very relaxed.

The anaesthesiologist talked to me throughout about what was happening, everyone calm and happy. My husband next to me. They got baby out and my husband looked to find out sex (surprise girl after two boys!). Completely lovely moment. Stitching up took quite a while as it's my third section (maybe 45 minutes?) while Dh held the baby. I got baby once in recovery room for cuddle and feed. Amazing toast and coffee ☕️

Stayed in bed overnight, Midwife's helped me with baby in and out of cot for feeding. Up for a shower next morning, sore but not too bad. I actually stayed in a second night as a precaution as my section was late afternoon but could easily have gone home after 24 hours. Sleepless night feeding baby easier to handle as I'd had normal nights sleep the day before.

Came home yesterday lunch time. My stomach is stiff and sore but manageable if I keep on top of pain killers. It eases the more I move about/walk round. It's incredibly how quickly it improves.

Sorry for long post but want to reassure you elcs can be a good experience and I've found recovery to be fine with all three. Was driving after 3 weeks with ds1 and 2 weeks ds2.

Biggest challenge is going to be not lifting (or being jumped on by!) my 2 year old but have lined up lots of help over the next month.

There are definite advantages to a planned section and it's been my best birth experience of the three. Hope that helps.

PeachPants Mon 24-Apr-17 14:24:34

Thank you Theknittinggorilla, that's so helpful! I think I've made up my mind!!

CaipirinhasAllRound Tue 25-Apr-17 21:51:51

I had forceps, an episiotomy, a manual placenta removal and lost 3 litres of blood so had a transfusion too. I felt i healed realky quickly.
I had my 32 week consultant appt today and was asked what kind of birth I wanted. I'm going with whatever they recommend bearer the time but am not at all against a vaginal birth as long as they're on hand to try and stop any major blood loss.
I have a 3 year old and reckon I'll heal much quicker and will be able to play with the 3 year old much sooner after a vaginal birth rather than a c section

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