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VBAC or second c section?

(37 Posts)
ParsleyCake Wed 18-Oct-17 22:37:28

DS1 was breach and I ended up with an elective C section.

Now 2 years later only 4 weeks pregnant with my second child I have been asked whether I would like a C Section or VBAC. I was assured I have plenty of time to choose but to be honest I didn't realise this would be offered to me and I honestly don't know what to choose,

My C Section went like a dream. I was up and walking 12 hours after, and the three day stay in hospital it necessitated gave me enough time to master breast feeding , something I'm sure I wouldn't have managed without the midwives and nurses popping in to help whenever I needed. My baby was perfect and healthy. Being in hospital for so long also made parenthood start off a little easier , not that it didn't hit me like a speeding train though. I didn't have PND or anything but it was a big shock to my system.

I am so scared of tearing down there, or my baby getting stuck or something. I won't even begin to talk about the pain. Last time, I never even got to experience contractions or my water breaking, and while I do kind of wonder, I don't necessarily regret it. My mum gave me dire warnings about getting a section, she terrified me actually...but in the end, it was bloody brilliant and I'd do it again.

Except now that I'm being asked, I feel guilty. It's probably a very expensive operation which the NHS is paying for, and I also feel like choosing one when I don't medically need one is selfish as a mother too. Being all medicated and having a baby surgically removed...certain kinds of people would judge me for it, and I worry about whether their reasons are right or not.

I'm also worried about my sex life. I already experience pain during unprotected sex as I have a rare allergy to semen and I have heard of women, including my mother, who experience pain now after getting cut during childbirth and it would just kill sex altogether for me if sex itself hurt, not just my husbands semen...because then even condoms wouldn't stop the pain.

Has anyone made this choice? Specifically people who are like me and not fiercely for natural childbirth, no pain relief etc. I admire those people but this is a modern age and I don't see the harm in making use of available technology. But a C section is a big choice to make lightly.

ParsleyCake Wed 18-Oct-17 22:38:45

Ps, I will have family helping at home if I have a section so recovery isn't a worry.

DuggeeHugs Thu 19-Oct-17 00:23:14

My two-penneth-worth is that there are two ways to give birth. One has the potential to have minimal pain/intervention but this is entirely down to chance and impossible to predict. The other is a surgical procedure which is well understood and leaves very little to chance. You will have to recover afterwards but at least you know that up front and can plan accordingly.

DC1 was EMCS and DC2 ELCS. Both were amazing births and the only change I would make is for DC1 to have been ELCS (thus saving myself over 100 hours of failed induction)!

Also, I wouldn't be overly sure about CS always being the most expensive option either. Many natural births result in years of follow up procedures and support because things often go wrong - these costs mount up but are much harder to see.

Congratulations on your pregnancy smile

Bdog1 Thu 19-Oct-17 07:55:31

Like you I had an elective c section with my first due to breech position. She was breech early on and no chance of turning so I never even researched into vaginal birth techniques, signs of labour etc. the section went well and luckily no complications aside from the usual painful recovery and limitations that has. My daughter is now 19 months and I am 38+6 today with my second little girl. I was and still am being given the choice to a VBAC (with or without induction) or have an elective section. Like you there is no medical reason why I would need a section but I just feel that I would like to try for vaginal birth quite simply to increase my chances of a better recovery. My oldest is very independent but I still do a fair amount of lifting and carrying and with all my family 4 hours away I am concerned with how I will cope after surgery. Luckily all the consultants and midwives I have spoken to have been completely supportive of either. Please do not make your decision based on what others may think of you or perceived costs. It is your body and your choice and it sounds like the idea of a vaginal birth is causing you alot of anxiety already. Remember your mental health is as important as your physical health. Good luck with whatever you decide. smile

Alyosha Thu 19-Oct-17 13:34:13

Don't feel guilty about costing the NHS money. All things considered (the lower cost of ELCS vs. EMCS, the cost of repairing tears etc. etc) elective c-sections aren't a huge cost difference from vaginal birth.

Go with the option that makes you feel most comfortable - sounds like that will be ELCS.

eeanne Thu 19-Oct-17 13:39:14

I'm in a similar situation, first was ELCS for breech 2 years ago and I'm 33 weeks with my second. I'm not in the UK so slightly different protocol but we've agreed to book a section for my due date and if I go into labor naturally beforehand I will try for VBAC.

My understanding is that the threshold for moving to EMCS during a VBAC is lower than for a normal vaginal birth - so if anything seems wrong they will go for the CS sooner rather than later to avoid risk of rupture.

LumpySpaceCow Thu 19-Oct-17 16:44:29

From my experience just don't plan anything until nearer the time! My first was traumatic vaginal, 2nd I was determined for a home birth but baby was breech so had ELCS, 3rd I was having a waterbirth but that baby was also breech so another ELCS.....currently 33 weeks pregnant with 4th and do have the option of VBA2C but seeing as this one has been breech all the way through I'm guessing another section - seeing the consultant at 36 weeks to see what position baby in and decide from there.
FWIW, 2nd section for me was straightforward but the recovery was more painful....not that it's put me off doing it again!

Swan8 Thu 19-Oct-17 18:01:46

I am having an ELCS and don't feel remotely guilty about it (although haven't told many people because I know I would be judged). I am going private in the UK and my consultant (who shall remain nameless, also so they are not judged) told me that if they were giving birth they would have an ELCS. They have many, many years of experience including in the NHS. Their other speciality is gynaecology, and dealing with injuries after birth. I admire and respect people who want a vaginal birth but I would prefer to take the known risks of an ELCS (which are pretty small) than the potential risk of prolapses, severe pelvic injuries etc. I think there is far too much pressure on women to have a "natural" birth. You already know what the recovery is like and say you have help and support. So I wouldn't feel guilty if I were you if you do choose an ELCS.

chocchocpop Thu 19-Oct-17 19:08:43

I am the same.

My first was elcs due to breech and being told he was going to be 10lbs odd. I had a fairly rough time with it tbh.

I am currently 37 weeks and I was given the option of vbac or elcs.

I have opted to book an elcs for my due date as I do not want to be induced but if I go into labour before my due date I will try for vbac.

I am scared of tearing and also ending up with an emcs but likewise not looking forward to the recovery of a cs

Mummyme87 Fri 20-Oct-17 09:32:48

I had an EMCS at 9cm with DS and now 28/40
And planning a VBAC. For me ELcS is Just not an option I am willing to take up without good medical need. I would like more children in future and don’t fancy a 3rd CS plus the risks of multiple sections such as placenta acreta/percreta which I see a lot at work due to working in a referral unit for that. I am planning on induction at around 40+4 if no spontaneous labour.
It’s a personal choice and you do what is right for you, no one else.

Kentnurse2015 Fri 20-Oct-17 09:37:45

I had an ELCS for my first due to breech position and a VBAC for my second. I was concerned about the recovery while dealing with my toddler. The birth was fine and I had a really quick and easy recovery. 2nd degree tear so stitches but it was totally fine. I was glad I had given it a go!

Gladstone123 Fri 20-Oct-17 09:41:49

Hi, I had ELCS with DS1 as he was breech. I had DS2 two years later, and had a VBAC. I wanted a VBAC as although I recovered very quickly from the first C section, I did not want to be laid up with a second and not be able to pick up DS 1, cuddle him as I wanted, and generally be as 'normal' with him as I could when he would already be feeling left out with the arrival of a new baby. Its a personal thing, no one can tell you what is right or wrong, but I strongly felt I wanted to be able to move about and carry on as normal once new baby had arrived. I fought for this, as during labour I was whisked down to theatre for a section as DS2 was taking his sweet time arriving, but I managed to push him out via a forceps delivery and I am SO glad I did. Even though it was a hard delivery, I remember it only with an amazing feeling of awe and smile whenever I think about it. But hey, thats just me. Whatever you decide, hope it all goes well!

Rockandrollwithit Fri 20-Oct-17 12:45:52

I had a vaginal birth with DS1 and ELCS with DS2. The ELCS would have been much cheaper and also required a much shorter hospital stay.

I had an ELCS the second time because I wanted one. Don't feel guilty.

superking Fri 20-Oct-17 12:48:39

In very similar circumstances I had an ELCS with DS2. No regrets at all.

LapinR0se Fri 20-Oct-17 12:50:57

My private obstetrician told me he would opt for an ELCS every time. That was enough for me and am booked in for ELCS #2 in December

ThatsWotSheSaid Fri 20-Oct-17 12:54:51

I had an ELC for my first because she was breech. For my second I had another ELC it was the right decision for me and no regrets.

Fragglewump Fri 20-Oct-17 13:00:05

I had an elcs with my first due to breech position and a vbac with my 2nd as I wanted to recover faster and drive faster due to having no help from friends or family after delivery. I'm really pleased I did.

LeavesinAutumn Fri 20-Oct-17 13:32:30

Many natural births result in years of follow up procedures and support because things often go wrong - these costs mount up but are much harder to see

Several Billion actually.

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/negligence-by-maternity-staff-has-cost-nhs-31bn-over-10-years-8228832.html

Botched care in pregnancy and childbirth has led to more than 5,000 successful negligence claims against the maternity services over the last decade – costing the NHS £3.1bn.

The sums paid out would be enough to build a dozen new obstetric units and hire thousands of extra consultants and midwives which could make childbirth safer.

The scandal of the maternity care payouts is revealed today in figures from the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) which show the current system is unfair, inefficient and a gross waste of NHS resources. It reflects the growing burden of medical negligence on the NHS which is diverting scarce resources from patient care.

"In 2014/15 the NHS Litigation Authority paid out £325m in obstetric claims on behalf of 146 trusts nationally."

op in my NCT group one lady was the same as you, had elc it was fine no problems but her MW friend got her all psyched up about doing it properly second time round. She was bouncing off walls in every nct meeting talking about fighting so she could move during labour, not being hooked up, candles - her dh was lined up to massage her.

But when it came to it - baby got stuck, she was cut, had tons of stitches, bladder damage and had to have catheter for weeks, then do it herself at home, couldn't exercise for months...She said it wasnt the right choice for her and obv she wised with her heart she had just takenthe ELC
But how do you know its the right or wrong choice until after when it too late? So I would say dont take the massive "risk" you have been handed a gift on a plate, take it.

Kentnurse2015 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:37:28

An ELCS isn't a 'gift' hmm

LeavesinAutumn Fri 20-Oct-17 13:38:19

Swan8 Thu 19-Oct-17 18:01:46

Speak out swan, I try too! If we dont speak out then no one ever will smile let them judge away but one day I hope its a choice all women can make without judging.
Their other speciality is gynaecology, and dealing with injuries after birth

^^ This is the hidden side of CB because not many women share these stories or let others know they are incontinent, have severe damage below but there are thousands and thousands of them. sad

we all need to be more honest and talk more about it all.

Kentnurse2015 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:42:59

So no one should have a vaginal birth ever then? hmm

LeavesinAutumn Fri 20-Oct-17 13:46:32

of course they should kent hmm but with the background of choice not rapid ideology ramming natural birth and candles down our necks presenting elc as the worst possible thing that can happen to you.

Its not at all. I enjoyed mine once we got going grin. When there is balance, truth and equal information on all of it - then there is true choice, there simply isn't that choice right now.

Every single friend of mine except me conversely had a life threatening first labour, they would have died a hundred years ago. Every single lady in my NCT group had a harrowing birth except me when I had my ELC.
Its luck, how it happens is purely luck.

BadgerFace Fri 20-Oct-17 13:47:25

I had an ELCS with DD2 after an EMCS with DD1 three years before. For me the thing that swung it was that I hadn't really laboured with DD1 (got to 2 cm dilated during a placental abruption) and so my second birth would have been like a first birth. Most of the VBAC research I did suggested that the successful percentage of VBACs was much higher for those who had got further through their labour and then ended up with a EMCS.

I didn't want to risk a long labour and then EMCS at the end. As it was we ended up with a "semi" ELCS as DD2 started to come under her own steam the night before my elective date. The whole thing was very calm and straight forward and I was out of hospital the next day (which I pushed for as it was DD1's birthday). If you've got help at home then definitely go for an ELCS!

But also, don't worry about it too much now. You can state your preference and change your mind 100 times before your due date if you want to. I wasn't booked in until 37 weeks even though I'd said I wanted a ELCS at my 24 week consultant's appointment. Even on the day they checked if I still wanted it and I could have changed my mind to a natural labour at the last second.

Wetwashing00 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:48:59

I had an ELCS due to breech with my first and chose ELCS for my second.
I had the same kind of feelings that you did about it, but I also said if I went into labour before my scheduled c-sec then I would give VBAC a try. But labour never happened.
I don’t feel guilty about it at all, and I had great c-sections both times. I had a larger gap in between my children (5yrs) so 1st born didn’t need quite as much looking after whilst I was recovering.

Mummyme87 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:51:20

That is very short sighted. ELCS are far from risk free.
So I’m China right now they have slackened their 1 child policy. When women were having babies in previous years over there the CS rate was huge because women weren’t planning on having 2nd children. Now women are coming back with scarred uterus’ and major complications which are life threatening. Doctors are not trained to deal with this so hysterectomies or at their highest ever.

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