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First time LARGE mum, LARGE baby, C section likely - terrified!

(85 Posts)
DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 13-Dec-04 12:47:07

Another thread with no initial post!

aloha Mon 13-Dec-04 12:51:02

Oh, I just tried to post here too - but no post!
Post again whoever you are.
I didn't find my section terrifying at all - very civilised really.

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 13-Dec-04 15:26:16

And I had a large baby with no c-section and dire threats of a c-section for DS2 as he was supposedly large too.

Come back mystery poster!

aloha Mon 13-Dec-04 15:44:02

Agreed you should take predictions of giant babies with a large pinch of salt.

artyjoe Mon 13-Dec-04 18:39:17

What a shame, that message took me ages to write! I'll try again...

I'm currently 35 weeks pregnant and measuring 41 weeks. I have been told I will need a c section but they are going to do another growth scan on 22nd December when I'll be 36 weeks, although when I was scanned at 30 weeks she was already 6.5 pounds!

I am a size 20 and, since the pregnancy, weigh 19 stones, and although I've read lots about emergency sections I can't decipher between these and pre-planned and first time sections, and no mention at all of bigger mums in terms of recovery.

My main concerns are recovery, wound, pain, healing, complications due to being overweight, being able to hold my baby....

Any advice, tips or stories would be a godsend as I really can't seem to find any information solely on planned first time c sections for those of us who aren't slim...or am I the only one who has had sex when fat, as it certainly felt that way when looking for maternity clothes

lets hope this message actually prints! Thanks - Joe

aloha Mon 13-Dec-04 18:47:15

Are they suggesting a section just on grounds of the baby's size? That seems quite odd to me as they are so often totally wrong. Lots of Mumsnetters will testify to that. I had to have a glucose test as they though ds was so big for dates. He was 8lb8oz at 37+5, but I didn't think that was SO huge (esp as I think the weighing was slightly out anyway). And aren't you tall as well as big? If so the baby might well be a good fit with you.
Anyway, I had an elective - I wasn't as big as you - though I fitted a size 16-18 after the birth, subsiding to a 14ish - but found it all quite easy. No problems holding my baby or breastfeeding him. I had a couple of days of walking like Quasimodo and finding it a bit tricky to sit up and move around, but you get plenty of effective pain relief . I felt recovered very quickly and had no problems healing - no infection or anything.
But if you really don't want a section, I think you have to make that clear to the people caring for you and talk about all options.

winnie1 Mon 13-Dec-04 19:04:03

Hi artyjoe,
At 34 weeks a scan informed the medical profession that I too was carrying a big baby. The estimate was that he was around 5lbs at this time. I was a size 22 at the time and as I am only 5 ft 5 I was considered very overweight and 'high risk'. I also had high blood pressure (which I controlled with reflexology). I went to 40weeks + 11 days and there were threats of a c-section throughout my labour especially as it was very drawn out but I gave birth vaginally (despite the bullying - long story) and it was fine. Ds was 9lbs 10 lb at birth.

I sympathise greatly. I felt my pregnancy was needlessly medicalised because of my size and I had to fight every inch of the way to keep control over what was done to me. I dreaded a c-section.

So don't really have any advice beyond don't simply accept what you are told as gospel and make sure you are prepared to fight your corner & keep yourself well informed of the choices you have.

Best wishes Winnie

Awenamanger Mon 13-Dec-04 19:17:50

Artyjoe, ds was born via sunroof. I didnt want section but after 48 hours agreed. Baby was fine, recovery time for mum obviously longer. DOnt agree that you should be pressurised into agreeing on the type of delivery prior to onset of labour unless baby is in distress or your body is. Would only suggest not to make a birth plan, go with the flow of it all. Whatever way your little darling wants to make its entrance, so be it hth

pupuce Mon 13-Dec-04 19:20:58

Hi Artyjoe - for any doc who will tell you they'd prefer a section "for you" you will find one that says that a vaginal birth is fine ! So you can ask for a 2nd opinion.
I have supported a woman who was measuring 40 weeks at 32 weeks.... she had the glucose test done and it showed she was absolutely fine, they went on to say she had too much amniotic fluid which can be a sign of down syndrome (she hadn't had the tests so didn't know)....... they tried their best to make the last 8 weeks difficult..... she went into sponatenous labour at 39 weeks with an 9lbs 4oz baby - 6hour labour once it really started (she had 20 hours to wait from her waters breaking - big splash - and the first real contraction).
At 38 weeks they said the baby was already 9lbs, a week later it had "gained" 4oz. They say scans are accurate by + or - 10% from my professional experience I'd say that's true in most cases but I have seen it off by 20% too! so for a 10lbs that would mean possibly 8lbs only! (which I have seen once).

mishiclaus Mon 13-Dec-04 19:24:58

hi hun i too am a larger mum...
i had my ds who weighred 9lb 1 and i was around 20 stone when he was born...still am around that and am now pg with my second ds is 14 mths now and it was suggested i have a csection but i glad now as he was quite a quick labour...prob his size helped hope all goes well hun..when they say babe is measuring big have they given u a weight?
take care

Kittypickle Mon 13-Dec-04 19:50:01

Hi Artyjoe ! I'm size 20 and have had 2 emergency c/sections. I was obviously classed as high risk because of my weight for both and my bp did go a little on the high side but . I recovered pretty quickly from both sections, comparable to my smaller friends I think. DS took longer to get out as I had adhesions from the first section and his shoulders got stuck apparently, but that was just because he's like a mini rugby player and the Senior Reg underestimated - I was totally unaware of that anyway, was having a chat with the Anaethestist about cricket or something (must have been the pethedine before !!) The mistake I made with my first one was to refuse the pain relief offered at first - they give you a hefty dose of something when they stitch you up that lasts for about 12 hours. After that I took what was on offer when offered and was fine and made sure I did with the second one. You do have to be careful to make sure the wound is dry when you're bigger as there's more tummy overhang (!) and I did get a very slight infection both times and had antibiotics, despite being very careful, but it wasn't too bad and didn't really hurt. Thinking about it, I did recover slightly faster after the second one, but that was probably due to only having a few hours of contractions rather than a few days.

I needed help getting both of them out of the crib for the first day or so, but after that it was fine. I had to deal with DD as well second time round, who admittedly was older so no lifting, but I managed to get back to the school run when he was a week old. I also was back driving after 4 weeks (with my doctors agreement) as I was fine. I agree with the others though, don't be pushed into a section if that's not what you want. But if you do end up having, please don't be too scared, it honestly isn't awful.

artyjoe Mon 13-Dec-04 19:52:18

Hi guys, probably should have made it clear that although terrified of a c section i'm even more terrified of a vaginal birth and then emergency section if the baby gets stuck.

I've had three different opinions, one private consultant says c section at 38 weeks, one NHS consultant says induce at 38 weeks and the MW says c section. All three have said about babies shoulders getting stuck, including the one who wants to induce and 'try' for a vaginal birth first.

They are anticipating the baby being 12 pounds at 36 weeks and my last growth scan confirmed (however much it can) that it's not fluid but baby. Both myself and my partner are 5.4 in height and the baby is measuring as having little legs and torso, so taking after us in that respect...poor thing.

I have resigned myself to the c section as the image of baby getting stuck in my pelvis is horrifying and I can't shift that thought now...but it doesn't make the reality of an operation at my size any easier to bear really.

Any advice on how I can make this a positive experience?

Thanks - Joe

Amanda3266 Mon 13-Dec-04 19:56:49

Hi Joe,

My experience was very similar to yours. I was obviously carrying a large baby from around 34 weeks. Consultant didn't scan me as he said the only true test was labour. My baby's head did not engage and at two weeks overdue I went in for induction. I had three pessaries - all to no avail and ended up with a sort of semi-elective caesarean section. Planned on the day I had it.

I was pain free all the way through. The muscles and skin were so numb after surgery that I felt very little pain. In fact I was able to get in the bath the next day. (not advisable though).

I* did get a wound infectiuon due to a big tummy on the wound, however, this cleared quickly with antibiotics. It's now 2 years on and I am absolutely fine.

Hope it all goes well for you. If you end up with a section you'll be fine. The staff really did everything they could to make it special for us with our precious, much wanted and awaited first baby. It was honestly fine and I'm sure it'll be the same for you.


tweetyfish Mon 13-Dec-04 20:03:54

hi there... i haven't really had any experience of large babies but i am a size 28 and 3 weeks ago had my second c-section... The first was an emergency (induction did not work) but the second was elective, and i have to say that weight was only a small issue, not a problem at all for the first c-section and only minor details with the second - the epidural took longer to put in, mainly because my spine is not as deep as they'd thought!!!! as for recuperation, i was up and about just as soon, if not sooner than other mums and 2 weeks on felt better than i had during my whole pregnancy.... now i barely remember it! My only 2 pieces of advice if you do have a c'section is to take Arnica, and to support tummy when lying down on your side. Best of luck to you which ever way your lovevly baby comes, i'm sure when you lock eyes on each other it'll all be forgotten!

eidsvold Mon 13-Dec-04 21:40:30

Was probably about your size the first time I had a c-section just over two years ago. I had no problems in terms of recovery. I was up and walking the next day, able to do certain things - had no more restriction than any other woman who had had a c-section.

Second time( 4 weeks ago) was smaller but had an elective c-section due to baby size and other issues. Babe weighed 9lb 7oz at birth. Took arnica this time and am sure it helped me recover even quicker than last time. Had very little pain relief - did not feel I needed it although had quite strong pain relief the first 24 hours after c-section. Was up and about the next day - able to lift babe etc. Again only restrictions were those given to anyone having a c-section. This time however I was driving ( within moderation) in 3 1/2 weeks. Still taking care relifting heavy objects/toddlers etc.

In terms of making sure wound is fine - just bathed it every day with tea tree oil in warm water and dried it with paper towels to make sure it was dried properly.

Both pregnancies - in terms of my health were straight forward - although I did have to have a Glucose tolerance test both times which came back fine. BP was always fine etc.

For me - especially the second time I wanted a VBAC for reasons that I have a toddler with sn who is not walking and so needs carrying sometimes etc. However in reality I just wanted to meet my babe and how they were born wasn't that important. I felt what mattered was the rest of their life rather than that one day. I ended up with two beautiful dd's and that was the main priority.

artyjoe Tue 14-Dec-04 10:33:20

Thanks for all your messages, it's made me feel much more positive towards the possibility of the c section.

My mum funnily enough has been the one suggesting that being big will cause me problems, so good to hear that this isn't necessarily the case. I also keep hearing that I'll be ill for at least 5 days, good to know I may be up and about within 24 hours...especially so close to Christmas!

A few of you have mentioned Arnica, at what point should I be taking this, before the section?

Thanks - Joe

bigbananaflambe Tue 14-Dec-04 10:45:51

I was up and walking the following day after a c-section - it's uncomfortable but it's not too terrible. At least with a c-section it's planned, calm, you know exactly when you will have your baby and you can prepare yourself mentally for that. Good luck - you'll be absolutely fine.

eidsvold Tue 14-Dec-04 11:32:05

i think you can take it before the section - not sure for how long. I think I said that I just took it the minute I got back to my room. I was kept in for 5 days - dd2 had jaundice. Could have been home earlier. Just let your body be the guide as to what you can do but do be careful with lifting heavy items and take it easy.

pupuce Tue 14-Dec-04 20:47:14

Arnica 200 (in that potency available via to take at least 3 days before the section (twive a day) and then right after the section every day twice a day for at least a week.
Many people swear by this.

artyjoe Tue 14-Dec-04 23:16:16

Thanks for the Arnica tips, I'll make sure I pack them tomorrow!

Am off to hospital again in the morning as I'm now measuring 44cms, another 6 cms gained in only 7 days, so c section it is...far too frightened for a normal delivery now...I'm only 35 weeks!

Cinderellascarrieg Tue 14-Dec-04 23:28:23

I'm normally a size 18 & ended up wearing Evans size 26 trousers by the end of my pregnancy. Ds was 10lb 3oz.

No one suggested I should have anything but a normal delivery until after I'd been in active labour for 9 hours! In the event ds was born by ventouse - his ears had got jammed, poor little beggar - but I remember being distinctly p*ssed off at being asked to sign a consent form for a C-Section after those 9 hours...

If the advice you've been given is to go for an elective C-Section, I definitely would. I'm glad ds was born vaginally in the end as I was up & about by next day - but if I'd known how much of a drama the whole thing would be I'd definitely have ben tempted by a nice quick sunroof job!

Ags Wed 15-Dec-04 21:03:11

Hi. My ds is 15 months old now. I was scanned at 35 weeks and told he was 40 weeks old in size which scared the life out of me. I was admitted to hospital at 40 weeks cos my bp was high but was due to be discharged when had an internal which showed I was ripe so they broke my waters, nothing and then induced. Progress was extremely slow, only 5cm after 8 hours of agony. Had epidural at that point and not much more progress after another 10 hours. Had emergency cs after 20 hours and still only 6cm dilated. However miraculously bp perfect all through labour. Cs was fine and had no problems holding baby afterwards. After returning to my bed I sat up and picked up the baby from his crib for which I got strongly told off. Said that I shouldnt have been ABLE to do it. But I felt absolutely fine and next morning toddled off to the nursery to get my baby with nurses pointing and whispering at me in amazement. Really felt like I had an easier pregnancy and recovery from birth than all of my normal weight friends who found the extra weight so hard to deal with. I also had amazing support from the midwives who made me feel very comfortable about my body and the whole labour process. So good luck and even though it is pointless to say it, try not to worry.

janeyjinglebops Wed 15-Dec-04 21:25:02

also a size 18-20 and had a big baby last year. No one suggested a c section to me, nor did they feel I needed to be induced. I too was big from about 34 weeks and had scan which confirmed it was a big baby.

Had a normal vaginal delivery and ds was 11 lb 4 oz. Is there another reason why they are suggesting a c-section? Agree though at the end of the day it doesn't matter too much how they get out - it is just one day - it is the rest of their life that is important!

suzanneme Wed 15-Dec-04 23:05:38

Hello there. I'm about the same size as you, and have had two c-sections (both elective, both for breech babies) with no problems at all and pretty easy recovery. I don't think size made that much difference to recovery or ease of surgery, though I think they find it slightly harder to site the spinal anaesthetic sometimes (I was fine). Honestly, try hard not to worry - it's pointless and the likelihood is that you'll be completely fine.

mullgedwine Wed 15-Dec-04 23:30:05

hi, i am a size 20 and had an elective CS with twins, and as far as i recall my size wasn't even mentioned/hinted at as causing any problems. I would reiterate the slightly tmi point about tummy overhang - make sure it is washed and dried thoroughly all the time or you may get a rash, i had one nearly 12m after my section. I was scared witless too, but realised it was the only option as dd was breech and ds was transverse with his foot stuck in my pelvic bone. no way were they coming out naturally!
Really easy, safe way of delivering. I think the only medical risk of being overweight is when it comes to the possiblity of a GA, if you are very big( much bigger than you and I), there are concerns about coming round/strain on heart etc. I'm sure a medic will come on here and tell you the facts though. Good luck and enjoy your baby, however s/he is born.

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