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For mums who have had a C section

(44 Posts)
Janos Thu 06-Jan-05 11:09:24

My first baby (DS, now aged 9 weeks) was born by emergency C-section, and three women (out of five couples) in my NCT class have had a C section, three were emergencies(!) and one was elective.

This has just set me thinking about what the experience of having a C section was like for other mums, how they have found it etc. Thinking about it more than two months on I feel on the whole quite happy about giving birth this way but I'd love to hear how other MNetters who've given birth this way feel about it.

who knows, maybe there will be some reassurance for anyone worried about giving birth this way.

For anyone who wants to read my birth story it can be found in 'Birth Announcements' - I know I'm being lazy but it's a long story and can't be ars*d to type it again

jampots Thu 06-Jan-05 11:15:16

Hi Janos - congrats by the way

My dd was born by em c/s after a long, and in my belief, mismanaged labour so the whole experience for me was traumatic.

I had my ds by elective c/s as consultant thought he would be too big to come out via the birth canal. At 29/30 weeks it was decided that I would have him at 37 weeks to prevent the onset of labour and possible rupture so had a few weeks to get used to the idea. Yes I was disappointed but it was an entirely different experience. I met the medical team the Friday prior to my Tuesday delivery and had a good chat with the anaesthetist which set my mind at rest. I felt much more in control [confused emoticon] not sure why and would definitely recommend it

karenanne Thu 06-Jan-05 11:17:59

hi janos ..
i too had a emergency c section with my dd (4) ,i was so exhausted after labouring for hours that it was a relief.lol.on the whole the experience was good for me although throwing up whilst lying flat on the operating table wasnt so good(id thrown up all day lol).
recovery was very good too,my best advice is get up as soon as you can it really helps.
my 2nd c-section was elective with my son(1) wasnt as good an experience i had to have a general in the end but was home 24 hours afterwards .
recovery again after was good,just the actal birth that wasnt so good.

Nutcracker Thu 06-Jan-05 11:19:14

I have had 3 section and thankfully they were all wonderful.
My first one was due to a breech baby. The second was due to the baby being in distress, and then the 3rd had to be a section.

With my first section i was terrified but the whole thing was done very well, i was informed of what was happening throughout the whole thing and never felt bad about having one.

My second was an emergency one and so i was more concerned with what was going to happen to my DD as i was only 35 weeks. Again though the whole thing went smoothely and i found my recovery from the second one alot quicker.

My 3rd section was done at a much larger hospital due to other complications, but again i felt very relaxed and not nervous at all, more excited. Only thing i didn't like about it was that i had a drain in the wound that time, but that was out with 2 days i think.

I have no real problem with having had 3 sections but if i could have had normal deliveries i would have rathered that, only really because decisions on how many kids i have was taken out of my control.

All in all, i am really pleased with how all 3 went and don't think it is something which people need to be scared about or feel guilty about.

P.s - When the baby is being delivered, the best way i can describe the feeling is that it is as though someone is washing up in your tummy

Janos Thu 06-Jan-05 11:19:45

Thank you Jampots

I can well imagine how horrendous it would be to have a C section after a long labour. I was only in labour for about 5 hours before my C Section and that was exhausting enough.

I have Group B Strep and my waters broke prematurely so the whole thing was very managed. I remember thinking when they said that a C section was recommended - Yes Please, I want this baby out NOW!!!!!!! had to sign a form to give consent, g*d knows what my signature looked like

suzywong Thu 06-Jan-05 11:21:52

I've had 2 em Cs
First one was good, positive experience, second one left me feeling like I'd been mown down by an articulated lorry and been sexually assaulted

Fimbo Thu 06-Jan-05 11:22:55

I have had 2 c-sections - one because dd was breech and ds elective for personal reasons. First time op was fine and scar healed and faded away nicely. Second time was bl**dy awful - I wont go into to much detail as I don't want to put anyone off - I felt like I had been butchered, kept throwing up all the time (despite anti-nauseau pills) and they put the epidural in at the wrong place and I was left with a spinal headache which had to be corrected twice with a blood patch.

Merlin Thu 06-Jan-05 11:23:00

Hi Janos - just read your other thread - sounds like you had a bit of a shock but little Adam sounds gorgeous! My DS (now 4) was an emergency section, cos he was footling breech. Waters broke about 9am, off to hospital, scanned to see what his position was, *NO contractions* at all and he was born at 4.30pm. All absolutely fine, lovely theatre staff, consultant etc. Recovery good, bit shocked by the pain first time tried to get out of bed though!! Now my dilemma is what to do for no2 (due early April). Waiting for appointment with consultant to discuss options. I am a bit of a coward when it comes to pain and am thinking at least I know what to expect with a section, whereas contractions etc, and all the other things involved in a 'normal' labour are completely alien to me!!! Don't know what to do .......

Janos Thu 06-Jan-05 11:24:53

Karenanne - your description of washing up being done in your stomach is so true. I had heard people say that before but didn't believe it! I also remember feeling my abdomen 'collapsing' as DS was lifted out.

The actual C section itself was very well managed and I didn't find it traumatic at all. In fact I almost enjoyed it - DP was there with me and looked rather gorgoeus in his hospital scrubs. Mind you I was drugged up to my eyeballs

Angeliz Thu 06-Jan-05 11:25:26

Was reassured till i got to you Suzy.
Sexually assualted? How?

I'm getting a bit scared as baby is breech, (has plenty of time to turn, am 33 weeks), now but still i'm fretting as cesearian has been mentioned.

tweetyfish Thu 06-Jan-05 11:25:44

I've had both and emergency (DS, now 2.5) and elective (DD, now 7weeks) have found both to be good experiences. Obviously the emergency c section was very scary, as DS's heartbeat was slowing down, but the c section itself was fine, felt fine quite soon after and back to normal a month or so after the birth.
The elective was a much more joyous occasion, i had a lovely anaethetist who took on board my comments about what i had not enjoyed about my first c section and did everything in his power to make sure it was better that time round - it was! And as soon as they removed the stitching bead (was meant to remive stitches but that never happened long story!) i felt wonderful and couldn't wait to do everything that i had put off since being 6 months pregnant - namely shopping!
I must say that it was me who opted for the elective, and did get some stick for it, but as far as i was concerned, i had no idea what a vaginal birth was like, i knew that a c section suited my body in that i could recover well, and had no idea wether i'd only end up with another emergency section anyway. I do think that the way c sections are protrayed only makes them seem so much more scary if you're faced with an emergency one and that hopefully this tread will make people faced with c sections not quite so worried.

tweetyfish Thu 06-Jan-05 11:26:45

blimey when I started typing my bit there was only Janos's original post!!! I'm sucha slow typer!!!!

jampots Thu 06-Jan-05 11:29:06

Merlin - I am really grateful to have experienced labour [mad woman emoticon] contractions, pushing etc as I probably would have spent my whole life wondering about it - let us know what you decide

suzywong Thu 06-Jan-05 11:30:20

well ds2 thought he was coming out vaginally and so they had to push him back up .....get the picture. It wasn't handled very well at all, I did complain to the hospital and they told me they used my "case" as a teaching example. They should have called the registrar to cut throught the keloid scarring left by my first one rather than let the seemingly Guatnanamo Bay trained young woman doctor hack away at me for 6 six minutes. And I lost 1.5litres of blood and got the epidural shakes


BUT it doesn't necesarrily mean that you will have any difficulties whatsoever, if you read the majority of these posting you will see that they can be very positive experiences, my first one was

suzywong Thu 06-Jan-05 11:31:30

yes that is a very good point about experiencing labout jampot, I went in to labour spontaneously both times and got to 9 cms before they took me in to the theatre.

Uwila Thu 06-Jan-05 11:31:54

Hi Janos. My dd (now 21 months old) was born by emergency c. I was overdue and went in to be induced. My mother had four children with no complications. And my two sisters each had one child with no complications. So, I just thought that genetics would prevails and all would be perfectly normal. I never even considered that I might have a c-section. But, a day and a half after being checked into the hospital to be induced, it all went wrong. Basically dd was wrapped up in the unbilical cord that when the induced contractions pushed her down the cord tightened around her neck so tightly that her heart rate dropped. So, when the word foetal distressed was mentioed to me, I tool no hesitation in agreeing to a caesarean. In the end, that caesarean saved her life, and possibly mine too.

I am now 19 weeks pregnant, and looking back on that experience, I requested an elective at my booking appointment. I now believe that caesareans get an undue bad wrap, and that a planned caesarean is probably the safest and least stressful way to bring a child into this world.

Also, my recovery wasn't all that bad. Yes, I couldn't sit up on my own for days, and it was a while before I was back to normal. But, it was probably a couple of weeks. Certainly not a couple of months. It will be a bit more difficult this time with a toddler. But, it's better than foetal distress.

Angeliz Thu 06-Jan-05 11:32:54

suzy.....
sorry to hear about that experience!
(hope i wasn't tactless straight away asking how )+

Janos Thu 06-Jan-05 11:36:02

Thank you Merlin, I think so but then I am biased. He is starting to do real little smiles! About time I think with all the sleepless nights I've had

I healed very quickly from my C section but I do remember the pain from the scar, and being hooked up to a catheter. I was eally shocked at the amount that came out the first time I did a wee.

Fimbo Thu 06-Jan-05 11:37:27

Janos congratulations by the way. Love the name (because that's my ds's too!!).

I hope people are not put off C-sections as I think on the day it is down to the anethetist (sp is crap) and whoever is performing the operation, how smoothly things go. I had my first in a smallish hospital where they only did two sections a day (unless an emergency arose of course) but with my second which was in a big new teaching hospital it felt like being on a conveyor belt - as one woman was wheeled out I was wheeled in (so much for cleaning!!). My operation was fine in the smaller hosp but the aftercare was crap whereas my op in the bigger hospital was "an experience" but the aftercare from the midwives was fab. Also first time round I had clamps which yes, were slightly sore when taken out but had the bead thing second time round which took much longer to heal up. Sorry I'm stopping now before I completely take over.

Janos Thu 06-Jan-05 11:38:56

OMG suzywong how awful for you. It sounds barbaric.

Marina Thu 06-Jan-05 11:41:52

Despite being otherwise fit and well I had two nasty post elective c-section experiences, neither of which could have been predicted or probably prevented. I was just very unlucky.
I'm very glad to have my babies safe and sound. But I'm still traumatised by the experience - then again, I know people who delivered vaginally who had a rotten time - and lots of people who had positive experiences of both methods of birth

Janos Thu 06-Jan-05 11:44:14

Uwila , from what I can remember my section was due to foetal distress, was also only 1cm dilated. I do remember feeling exhausted and frightened during labour but so relieved when a C section was recommended.

Janos Thu 06-Jan-05 11:44:43

Thank you Fimbo, great minds think alike!

Uwila Thu 06-Jan-05 11:48:20

My favourite part was when they offered to give me a general and I just though "oh, yes please. I don't want to be here anymore anyway" So, there were no washing up sensations for me. I don't think I'd like that bit.

I wonder if I can request a general with an elective?

beansprout Thu 06-Jan-05 11:51:03

Congratulations Janos - smiles are amazing aren't they? (DS is10 weeks so I'm in the early stages too!)

I had an emergency c-s (so much for my water birth!!!) after being induced at 14 days overdue. due to foetal distress. The main reason was foetal distress but labour just never became established anyway, so one way or another, it was on the cards.

I have been pretty pragmatic about it, and, to be honest, once I had the epidural, I felt such relief that the pain had stopped, I was actually quite relieved and of course, very, very excited that I was about to meet my baby. That was the main feeling - I had waited so long to meet him and he was about to appear. I'm filling up just thinking about it now! How he came into the world was very secondary indeed.

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