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1st birth traumatic - what’s best choice for DC2?

(24 Posts)
ThatPlanWorked Mon 22-Oct-18 16:26:48

Just found I am pregnant and after my last birth my thoughts are straight on delivering this one.

DC1 had planned a homebirth. We transferred in as things were not progressing normally, 9cm on arrival and find an anterior lip. DC finally born, but whisked off to SCBU where he was monitored for brain damage and ventilated. 10lb8oz. I had a PPH, an hours worth of ‘repair’ to do, retained placenta that was manually removed. I then had a blood transfusion a week later. I am so grateful DS is safe, healthy and doing well but the post natal depression/PTSD I suffered afterwards was crippling and took a really long time to overcome. I feel much better now, mentally stronger.

I won’t try for another homebirth, I have decided on that (though still think they’re wonderful and so wish I’d had a standard delivery at home!). I am tempted to go for an elective c section in the hope it’s a bit more calm, controlled and less risk of trauma? Maybe I’m naive? I didn’t recover well from a vaginal delivery, couldn’t stand for weeks and have a prolapsed uterus and bladder to live with.

Any advice gratefully received, on both a second vaginal delivery after trauma, or a ELCS. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
IrishMamaMia Mon 22-Oct-18 16:37:27

I had a difficult birth almost two years ago(forceps and a whole range of complications) . Not pregnant again yet, hope to try soon bit I am going to insist on an elective c section this time. I decided this would be the case as I was being wheeled into the theatre 😂 some of the examinations and tests I've had since to check everything OK (luckily it is) have been really awful and there's no way I want to go through any of that again.
I've done a lot of research on it and I definitely think this is the best option for me as statistically I would be more at risk to tear again. There was also no way to detect the problems I had during birth (baby in wrong position undiagnosed and got badly stuck. No one had any idea there was a problem).
I had good support from the women's health department of my hospital and a midwife reflection appointment so this might be something for you to look into. They gave me good advice on future births. They told me that if you have a PPH its likely that you will be under consultant care for another pregnancy so that is also reassuring in terms of asking for advice next time.
Really hope you and your baby are doing OK. All the best with whatever you decide, xx

CottonSock Mon 22-Oct-18 16:40:36

I had traumatic first labour by induction that failed. It ended in c section, and I opted for elective section second time. It hurt for a few days, but my vagina was unharmed. Right decision for me. There was doubt my large headed kids were ever going to fit. I'm tiny and my husband is large build

ThatPlanWorked Mon 22-Oct-18 16:41:38

Thank you @IrishMamaMia. I want to enjoy this pregnancy, and also have a positive birth experience this time. Coming from my homebirth first birth I’m definitely getting the tilted head look when I say I’m considering ELCS. I think the risk of another traumatic birth is just too high sad I pretty much mourned the ‘loss’ of not having my holistic homebirth!

OP’s posts: |
Fairylea Mon 22-Oct-18 16:44:47

I had a really difficult first birth - 60 hour labour, ventouse delivery. I struggled to bond with dd and really hated the whole experience.

I opted for an elective c section with ds (ten years later) and it was an amazing experience. Yes recovery was sore and of course it has its risks - as does any birth vaginal or section- but I really enjoyed the whole experience and bonded with ds immediately. I could sit down without pain and recovered much more quickly than I had thought I would.

antipodeanjo Wed 24-Oct-18 04:07:51

I am 34 weeks pregnant and had a traumatic first delivery. I have a section booked for 39 weeks and am so grateful. Yes, I have had lots of judgmental looks and some (often well meaning) comments that made me feel shit, but I am at peace with my decision as it is what is best for the baby and my mental health. Birth is such a personal experience and don't let anyone judge you for your decision.

thewinehasgonetomyhead Wed 24-Oct-18 04:10:40

Have a look into The Positive Birth Company. Good luck and congratulations 😀

JosellaPlayton Wed 24-Oct-18 04:22:31

I don’t know that we’re necessarily on the same page as I went straight down the ELCS by maternal request route with my first and would never have wanted a VB, least of all a homebirth. But if it helps at all, it was a lovely calm delivery and I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same again. I imagine you’ll be under consultant care with this pregnancy so I’d encourage you to take their advice about what’s safest for you and the baby but if you do end up opting for an ELCS it can be a really positive experience.

Good luck with your pregnancy and with making your decision.

Rebecca36 Wed 24-Oct-18 04:32:23

I don't blame you for electing to have a C section after such a traumatic first birth. You don't have to tell everyone do you? You can just have a c section for 'medical reasons', plenty do.

Good luck, hope all goes well. flowers

Whiskeyjar Wed 24-Oct-18 04:43:18

I did this. Traumatic first birth involving forceps and a LOT of damage. Elective section for my second. My only regret is not knowing how wonderful an elective section was sooner as I would have chosen this for my first in a heartbeat and avoided a lifetime of problems down below! My section was amazing

blackcat86 Wed 24-Oct-18 05:09:49

I'll be looking to go ELC all the way from now on. I was due to be induced at 38 weeks due high blood pressure and DDs low birth weight. Fortunately she flipped to breach at the last minute and I had a c section. It was calm, very well supported, quick and I've healed well. The first week is probably physically harder but I'd trade that for all the support in theatre any day.

Tadda Wed 24-Oct-18 05:29:12

My last birth was incredibly traumatic too - really bad inducement, allergic reaction to propess, MDRO infection, then discovered Dd had Ectopic beats during labour, which developed into a serious SVT after birth, emergency transfer to Childrens hospital...Luckly DD is now off her medication and (looks like) a full correction - been normal holter results since she was 5 months.

I didn't and wasn't expecting to be so utterly terrified of giving birth again (due in 9 weeks ish), we discussed C-section and I also have a low lying placenta this time - have a scan next week to check it's position and if it's still covering the cervix it's a C-section anyway -which frightens me also!

I'm just hoping she's okay at this stage - and trying to keep calm about it all -

LadyGAgain Wed 24-Oct-18 06:12:08

I had an elective after my first traumatic birth. Best decision ever. A calm and happy experience with minimal post op pain and no complications. It was wonderful! Good luck!

wingingatlife Wed 24-Oct-18 06:30:56

Dd1 was a 28hr induction, 3a tear, manual placenta removal, pph and full rectocele repair when she was 12 weeks.

Dd2 was born nearly four years later as elcs. It was serene.

LouiseHumphreys81 Wed 24-Oct-18 06:39:36

Traumatic first birth, DS was fine but I needed surgery etc to repair a lot of damage. Second pregnancy I was consultant led and he strongly recommended elcs, and it was lovely. So calm, we had our own music playing, still got skin to skin with ds and recovery was much quicker and easier than my first.

Tadda Wed 24-Oct-18 08:26:29

Thanks for this thread OP.

Just a quick thank you also to all sharing your positive experience of elcs - you've really put my mind at ease around it

Believeitornot Wed 24-Oct-18 08:31:32

My first Labour was tough. Took four weeks to be able to walk to the end of the road after blood loss, a big tear and ds was in SCBU but didn’t actually need to be (which upset me a lot). This was a homebirth.

I went for a hospital vaginal birth second time around. I felt that the consultant tried to scare me into a c-section (her language was very very dramatic and over the top) whereas the midwives were more measured.

My second Labour was so much better. I recovered incredibly quickly, my tear was smaller, I was up and about straight away. I also made sure I kept my iron levels up by taking spatone religiously and I think this helped immensely (I also lost a lot of blood with a miscarriage inbetween - I think I get anemic really easily).

Good luck. Either way try and address the demons of the first Labour and then decide.

ThatPlanWorked Wed 24-Oct-18 09:14:35

Thanks all for your replies. It’s really really playing on my mind. To top it off I am absolutely terrified of hospitals hence the homebirth plan last time. My fear levels seriously ramped up arriving in the labour ward sad.

Someone suggested a c section under general anaesthetic, whilst this might ‘help’ me as I wouldn’t have to cope with being in theatre, I don’t think I could miss the birth of this baby, and not even have the chance to hold them. I didn’t hold DS until 24hrs later, spent the first night alone on the postnatal ward and I’m sure this has had quite a profound impact on me. On the other hand, I just don’t know how I’d cope with a spinal block. Last surgery I had to have I was a quivering frantic mess going in for GA! Decisions decisions, i feel as though there’s so many factors. Definitely don’t want to be induced and I suspect if this baby is large too they’ll push for that. I’m 5”2, I firmly believe most of the issues I had were due to my sons size.

OP’s posts: |
Believeitornot Wed 24-Oct-18 09:21:49

Speak to someone knowledgable about your first experience and work through it before you make any decisions.

You should be able to get a debrief - ask your midwife about it at your first booking in.

ThatPlanWorked Wed 24-Oct-18 09:23:29

@believeitornot you’re so right about addressing demons. I still don’t understand everything from my first labour.

How did you feel going into labour again? I
Completely lost control first time after my waters were broken for me. Think it took 7hrs to get from 7cm to delivery.

OP’s posts: |
ShowOfHands Wed 24-Oct-18 09:23:59

I had a v long labour with dc1. Attempted homebirth and ended up with an 8hr second stage, blue light transfer, attempted ventouse, manual rotation, forceps, crash cs, pph. I had PTSD and pnd.

I had no idea what to do with dc2. I'd had a lot of help and time coming up terms with dc1 but the problem was that I didn't want either option. Didn't want another vaginal attempt just to have another emcs but didn't want an elcs if there was a chance I could have an uncomplicated normal delivery. How do you choose when it's all so unknown?

I went for an attempted vbac with a consultant I liked and clear parameters for intervention. Everybody in the room knew I suffered from birth trauma and PTSD and they were brilliant.

I ended up with another emcs but not a rush really. It was calm, positive, joyous, wonderful and I smiled and laughed throughout.

I won't have another but if I did, I'd choose elcs as the calm, safe known quantity.

PenApple Wed 24-Oct-18 09:30:20

My 1st was bad, bad tear, cuts, forceps, blood transfusion etc. Poor DS came out very purple but was fine thankfully.

I was convinced I wanted elcs with DD 2 years later but consultant reassured me and I went for vaginal. So pleased it did as I only had a graze that didn’t need stitched and was out of hospital a few hours later.

They were both over 9lb and I’m a tiny bit taller than you & was small framed. Dc3 was the same weight as your dc & not so much as a graze.

Subsequent births are usually easier but of course not always, it’s a hard decision. Good luck with your pregnancy, at least you have some time to talk things through smile

Believeitornot Wed 24-Oct-18 09:39:07

I felt worried in the run up to labour but made the decision on the birth after doing a lot of research and discussing with midwives and consultants. Once I made that decision about where and how, then I was less worried about labour.

I made peace with the fact that I’d have a second vaginal birth and if it went wrong I would be in hospital and have the necessary care. That was what worried me the most - what would I do if it didn’t go according to plan?

In the end, the labour was different second time around - I could handle the contractions, I was calm and confident in what I wanted (eg the midwife tried to get me to move and I refused because baby was imminent) and it was much quicker.

Believeitornot Wed 24-Oct-18 09:40:49

Also deep down I didn’t want an ELCS as that scared me more than labour did. That made a difference.

So that’s why it’s a good idea to discuss and process the first labour.

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