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What helped to make your c-section experience positive?

(12 Posts)
Twiga Tue 16-Sep-08 14:14:41

Have had two reasonably negative c-section experiences; dd was an emergency after a failed induction/54 hour labour at 42 weeks and ds was delivered by elective section at 40+5 having concluded he was never going to make an appearance off his own back. Recently found out that there was suspected pelvic disproportion with dd which was missed in my notes when they were looking into my options for ds delivery. I suffered with pnd following ds's delivery and feel it was partly down to being so disappointed/angry at not managing to VBAC - now knowing that I'm really not able to deliver myself anyway has helped sort out some of the upset/anger/wandering about my decision with ds.

I'm now facing section no3 in December and want to do all I can to feel that I've got some choice/control in how things happen eg would love to get to hold this baby before it's all cleaned and wrapped up. What can I realistically ask for and what about your sections helped make things positive/nice? Also does arnica really make a diff - aware that my recovery is going to be harder with two toddlers?! Thanks

JuneBugJen Tue 16-Sep-08 14:26:07

Had one really horrendous emerg cs and one elective cs (needed and wanted!)

All I can say is that both were incredibly positive and fantastic despite the haemorrhaging in cs1 and having to have the cs under general so didnt get to hold dd for 2 hours after she was born and being in hospital FOREVER for the 2nd (unstable lie beforehand)
I think part of it is that I was just grateful that they were both born alive after such an unexpected haemorrhage that it overruled any other emotion of disappointment etc.

Just wondering if Cognative Behaviour Therepy would help before hand. Perhaps you need reassurance knowing you havent failed in not managing VBAC, I had this a while ago and really helped to put negatives into positives.

Otherwise, I dont think i had any tricks that would have particularly helped, took arnica, it may have helped.

gladders Tue 16-Sep-08 14:32:32

not sure about being given the baby straight away - ours were both whisked off to be checked over, but were then only given a quick rub before being wrapped up and handed back... i know some hospitals are working to make a CS more like a VB - I guess hospital policy is important here?

we were offered the chance to see her being born - they wold have lowered the screen - didn't fancy it at the time but now regret not doing it!

i think things like music are helpful? and also - making sure dh was within easy reach - hand holding/hair stroking really helps take your mind off it!

LeonieD Tue 16-Sep-08 14:37:17

Message withdrawn

Sycamoretree Tue 16-Sep-08 14:43:11

twiga - you should get onto LeonieD's thread in childbirth [ here]and get her linked to yours - you are in a similar siuation. Tell her I sent you!

I had horrific emergency csection after a week of induction with DD. Pushed and pushed for a VBAC with DS but was thwarted by pelvic disproprotion and abnormally high volume of amniotic fluid. I was devastated, but extremely luckily for me, the complications meant that my healthcare provider ponied up the cash for a private c-section, so I can't even begin to compare the two experiences. One mangled, frought, terrifying and exhausting. One calm, relaxed and with a lot of attention on me and my needs.

From a practical point of view, second time around I chose the music, I was extremely bossy about how quickly I got DS to the boob, I had packed a better bag (first time I didn't even have a bag with me - i'd only gone in for a BP check so DH had to go home and put it all together). So mine was all about knowing more second time round, and it being elective rather than emergency. Sorry -it's probably not much help given you've experienced both but felt neither were very good experiences. As for the toddler issue - hmmm - I found an abundance of biscuit and liberal dosings of cbeebies where my lifeline through those first 4 weeks.

Good luck - I really hope you feel better about things this time around.

Twiga Tue 16-Sep-08 20:45:15

Thanks for the replies so far. Think a lot of my upset surrounding the last two deliveries has been largely sorted but I think really the thing I hated was just a feeling of a lack of choice/being listened to - particularly with ds's delivery which was all decided very last minute thanks to a rubbish community midwife who failed to refer me to the hospital properly which meant that by the time we made it to the consultant I was already overdue and had not a lot of option over how long they were prepared to leave me given I'd already had one section etc.

I feel that despite having had two sections I'm relatively ignorant about what my options are - someone mentions being able to have the screen lowered which was never offered either time. I still have huge memorary gaps from dd's delivery - combination of sleep deprivation and morphine etc and in a funny way found it less scarey than my "planned" section because I knew it was needed and was fuzzy headed - found going to thearte with a clear head and knowing in advance daunting.

Are there more specific things to pack in my hospital bag in prep for a section? One thing I want to include this time is a really cosey pair of socks for after as I found the spinal messed with my temperature perception which meant my feet felt like ice and I needed loads of blankets despite feeling hot to the touch - guessing there may be other useful things too?

LeonieD, not followed your story but will have a look across at your thread. Can understand your mixed feelings and hope things go well whatevet the outcome is for you.

janephilips Tue 16-Sep-08 21:17:48


my sister used the Natal Hypnotherapy CD "prepare for a ceasarean" when she had to have a section due to a low lyining placenta. She was gutted when she found out but said that the CD was brilliant as it helped her feel so much more positive about the whole thing and she was able to feel really calm and relaxed during the c-section. she had asked for her baby to be passed to her and to stay with her which they did so she felt she was able to bond really well as well. Her recovery was amazing and again she thought the Cd had a lot to do with that.

IAteDavinaForDinner Tue 16-Sep-08 21:32:42

I've only had one and it was elective, but I was totally devastated when I realised a VB wasn't going to happen for me, and I would still say looking back that the section was overall a positive experience. Having said that my strongest memory is of fear before the op, the baby bit is just a factual memory, not an emotional one IYSWIM.

The things which definitely helped were locating and quizzing the midwife I was assigned on the morning of the op - she gave us a chance to ask questions but I also listed things that were important to me - in my case I was determined to BF and therefore wanted skin-to-skin ASAP, and early BF opportunities, and whatever happened we'd agreed DP would go with DS if he was taken elsewhere. I think just feeling that you've made your wishes clear to someone who will be present at the delivery makes you feel in control, so make sure you find and talk to someone beforehand. Stuff like holding him before he was cleaned would have been nice but he needed whisked off and given oxygen quickly so I am glad I didn't have anything set in my mind or I would have been frightened and disappointed.

I think you need to list things that would be important at any birth (eg holding baby before/after cleaned up, skin-to-skin, feeding method, dad's involvement) is a good start point, but try to be as open-minded as possible.

I popped arnica like a mad thing, but I think the biggest help with recovery was the morphine in the spinal which allowed me to get up and going really quickly. I was stiff more than sore, and the midwives said this was the same for lots of women who'd had morphine in the spinal.

I'm rambling now (too much wine blush) but if I could go through having DS again I wouldn't be arsed about the details of the section, I would just be way bolshier about how things were after he was born. But that's because I have the power and wisdom of Mumsnet grin

MrsJoshLyman Tue 16-Sep-08 21:47:03

I had an elective cs for my DD who was breech. I was very anxious and upset about it beforehand but had a very helpful and informative - as well as tearful! - meeting with a theatre midwife beforehand about a week before the op was scheduled. She was fantastic - explained what would happen 'technically' as it were but also what they could do (music, lowering the screen etc) to help make it a good experience for me and DH.

It might be worth finding out if your hospital does or would do something similar?

angrypixie Tue 16-Sep-08 21:52:13

Had a wonderful c section for dc 3 things that helped me included;
choosing my own consultant and midwife (v expensive and not an option for everyone but knowing the people who were about to share such a special moment with us made a massive difference to me)

Not knowing the sex of my baby (I had known for 1 and 2 and they were 'natural' births, as a c-section is so planned I wanted one surprise)

Having immediate skin to skin contact - yes it's possible if the birth goes according to plan and baby appears healthy.

Watching the birth and having my mid wife take photos for me to marvel over afterwards.

LOTS of post natal support for breast feeding.

Insisting the catheter was taken out the same day - I couldn't feel human with it in.

It can be a truly wonderful experience. I hope you enjoy it.

cthea Tue 16-Sep-08 21:53:56

Hi Twiga - have you read about "natural" CSs? Try searching about Dr Fisk (I think).

Twiga Thu 18-Sep-08 11:52:35

Thanks again for the replies on here, got some stuff to think about/chat through with dh. Just bumping to see if anyone else has any chat - would really like to be as well informed as I can be when I see the consultant this time round so I actually get the chance to express my concerns/wants clearly.

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