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I feel like I'm being coerced into a c/s by hospital

(26 Posts)
Roskva Mon 22-Sep-08 14:00:58

At my last antenatal appointment, my baby was breech. I persuaded the consultant to give me another 2 weeks for it to turn, and have an appointment this Friday to see which way round baby is and decide what to do, with a view to c/s next week if it hasn't turned. He also told me that elective c/s (actually that's the wrong word because I don't want a c/s if I can avoid it) are on Tuesdays. Today I get an appointment for c/s through the post for c/s this Thursday. Cynical me thinks the hospital has a quiet day pending and just wants to get a baby delivered when it suits them.

Have rung to query it, and am waiting for them to call back.

This has made me all panicky and tearful. I've got childcare sorted for dd for next week, but not for this week (wasn't planning on it). The idea of surgery terrifies me. I'm taking antibiotics for a chest infection anyway, and have been feeling lousy for the last couple of days.

AnarchyAunt Mon 22-Sep-08 14:05:25

How many weeks are you, or rather will you be on the date you've been given? Can you just refuse to go in on the day they have given you?

belgo Mon 22-Sep-08 14:08:50

It sounds like thay've sent the wrong date. Just speak to them on the phone, and explain that you have an appointment thiw friday with a c-section next week if necessary. And it's not a good idea to have the operation when you are ill anyway.

Try not to stress, it does sound like they've sent the wrong date, and ultimately it's your decision how you give birth.

MrsMattie Mon 22-Sep-08 14:09:50

They can't force you into anything you don't want to do. Have a good old wobbly cry to get it all out of your system, then take a deep breath and compose yourself ready for when they call back. Tell them firmly but politely you aren't having the section on Thursday for the reasons you have stated here- too short notice, you have no childcare, this wasn't what was agreed with the consultant, and you aren't clear on why it needs to be performed so soon - and ask to see the consultant or at least speak to him/her again urgently to discuss the matter.

At the very least he/she should be available to put your mind at rest and give you good time to prepare for a section should that be the best option - not just summon you with an appointment letter!

TheUNITUBER Mon 22-Sep-08 14:12:52

Just tell them you can't go in then and that, if a section is necessary, you will be in next week as agreed with your consultant. I am sure they will give you a later slot if needed.

If you do end up with a c-section, it really isn't as bad as you might imagine. Of course it isn't ideal but there are many worse things in the world.

Take care

aquababe Mon 22-Sep-08 14:17:29

agree with MrsMattie
No one can force you to go to hospital on Thursday.
It'll be better after the phone call I'm sure.

AuntieMaggie Mon 22-Sep-08 14:26:30

I expect they had a slot available on Thursday and without reading your notes properly someone booked you in for this week instead of waiting til after your consultant appointment on Friday. Things like this have happened to me with hospitals getting mixed messages, though not for giving birth, but expect its the same thing.

As for the CS - your consultant wouldn't be suggesting it if he didn't think it was necessary. I think they may be concerned that natural labour is close and what the consequences may be of you giving birth naturally if the baby hasn't turned.

I think you need to ask more questions on Friday to put your mind at ease. I don't know much about breech births but for them to suggest CS it can't be pleasant or risk free.

Also, an elective CS is much better than an emergency from what i've heard from several people I know that have had them as it causes you and the baby less stress and less damage to your body.

Hope you manage to get things cleared up.

tiggerlovestobounce Mon 22-Sep-08 14:39:31

Hopefully they call you back soon. Probably just a mistake, if they agreed a different plan at your appointment.

Roskva Mon 22-Sep-08 15:21:16

I hope you are all right, and it is a mistake. The appointment letter is from a different consultant (head of department, no less, should I be flattered?). I'm still waiting for them to get back to me.

AuntieMaggie Mon 22-Sep-08 15:32:21

Consultants don't send letters themselves, they have admin people for that so i expect that they have received some sort of form to say you may need to be booked in for a CS but not seen that you have an appointment on Friday.

what time did you call them?

Tangle Mon 22-Sep-08 15:39:35

Rosvka - I'm so sorry you're having so much grief about this .

My DD was born at home as a breech baby, and DH and I did a lot of reading and thinking before making that decision. If you're OK with having a CS that's fine - it's your decision to make - but if you'd like more info on vaginal breech birth let me know.

Fingers crossed you hear back from them soon and work out what's going on.

vbacqueen1 Mon 22-Sep-08 16:53:59

Have you tried moxabustion to get your baby to turn? It sounds bizarre, but it works in around 75% of cases (my last baby turned at 37 weeks with it after being steadfastly breech for weeks).
Have a look in the Yellow Pages for Chinese Herbalists/Acupuncturists.
I KNOW it sounds like a really hippy thing to do but I was desperate at the time, and given the choice between spending about £20 on something that had a really high success rate but might not have worked, or the alternative of just going for another CS, there really was no contest. What have you got to lose?

AuntieMaggie Mon 22-Sep-08 17:34:06

Aren't there different types of breech too? I think that might play a part in the advice you're being given by the hospital.

Roskva Tue 23-Sep-08 09:41:44

Thanks for your support ladies, I appreciate it. I'm seeing my midwife today, who's going to help me sort out what's happening.

vbacqueen1 - I am trying moxibustion, and have had accupuncture, too, but I think my baby is swinging around between breech and transverse, and doesn't seem to be able to move all the way round.

On my last scan my baby had one leg up by his tummy and one leg down underneath him, which apparently makes it more likely for him to get stuck than if he had both legs nicely curled up towards his head.

BlueJellie Tue 23-Sep-08 11:35:56

Hi roskva! I'm in a similar situation to you myself, have a thread going on the pregnancy boards '36 week scan found baby to be breech', don't know how to do a link! I've had lots of great advice off other posters in regards to the being coerced into a csection. I actually have a 38 week scan tomorrow to see if baby is still breech then if so the hospital will be looking into booking my csection. Notice they haven't acknowledged any other options for me at all, so know how you feel! Good luck with your appointment Friday and whatever decision you make xx

hweb Tue 23-Sep-08 12:06:32

Hi Roskva
If it helps, my son was breech too and I ended up having an elective C/S. I had acupuncture, did exercises / yoga and had an external version, none of which worked and really agonised about it for ages as I really wanted a natural birth. In the end I decided because he was my first child I had no idea about how I would react in labour and I thought it was probably the safest option for him.

They wanted to do the C/S at 38 weeks and I refused (I was really hoping he would turn but no such luck) and they eventually did it at 39 + 4, so it is possible to have some choice. However, I agree with Auntie Maggie, an elective is definitely preferable to an emergency if you have the choice.

The C/S was a very weird, but not a dreadful experience (not as scary as I thought), and you do end up with a lovely baby! If you do decide to go with the C/S I would try and get lots of help in afterwards as I felt very sore for 2 weeks after and not completely back to normal for about 7 weeks.

On a positive note, I am 29 weeks and so far on course for a VBAC so a C/S is not the end of natural labour in the future......

Pushpinia Tue 23-Sep-08 12:10:30

Oh he is a footling! smile

I think Lulumama would kill to deliver a footling breech!

Good luck and stick to your guns. There's no reason he shouldn't come out by himself, it might be a little trickier but you can always have an em-c if he does run into difficulties.

Pushpinia Tue 23-Sep-08 12:13:53

read this!

Links on there, you don't need to panic just yet smile

AuntieMaggie Tue 23-Sep-08 12:36:14

"one leg up by his tummy and one leg down underneath him" sounds like a difficult and painful position to try to get him out of in natural labour to me.

get lots of info about the risks and stuff when you see the consultant on Friday, but if it were me based on what you know so far I would be swaying towards CS, but then I'm used to putting my life in the hands of doctors

Tangle Tue 23-Sep-08 13:02:19

My DD came out R foot, R leg, R buttock, L knee, L hip and foot, and then got a bit more conventional! It wasn't particularly hard and it wasn't particularly painful. She was 9lb 12.

For a normaly developed, term baby presenting breech, the biggest risk in a spontaneous, progressive hands-off vaginal birth is cord prolapse. That risk increases as the presentation goes from frank to full to footling breech. I don't know of any research that quantifies it, but experienced midwives are still happy to take footling breeches as home births.

If you talk to midwives experienced in breech birth, there are NO known cases of the head getting stuck under those circumstances - the bum and head of a term baby are pretty similar in size, so if the bum comes out the head tends to follow. Breech mums that go into spontaneous labour that then progresses naturally tend to birth their babies without too many problems. Problems tend to occur when medics try to "help" the baby be born, especially when those medics have little experience of breech birth (which is one of the criticisms pointed at the Term Breech Trial).

How you birth your breech baby is a very personal decision, that has to take into consideration your circumstances and the experience of the medics you have access to. There is no right or wrong answer - just one you are more or less happy with.

Hope you get some more information out of the midwife appointment today

gladders Tue 23-Sep-08 13:23:19

remember feeling pretty much like this - tried everything but ds would not turn! the difference is they made my appt for when i was 39+5 and i was cross it wasn't sooner!

stick to your guns and do not be bullied on dates - get someone else to accompany you/speak for you if emotions are high (as they will be with all those hormones...)

ECS is not the nightmaer you may think though? My ds was also footling and this is the trickiest to deliver vaginally. Frank breech babies present a nice big bum first so everything is warmed up by the time the head gets there, but footling is a long strip of nothing until the head (at least that is how it was explained to me...)

Roskva Wed 24-Sep-08 10:05:25

It seems like the head of obstetrics not only manages the c/s lists, he actually reviews files as well - he rang my MW about me, which sent her into a spin because, as she put it, the consultants usually only contact the community MWs if they have don/not done something serious!

My appointment is now back to next Tues, which was the date originally discussed with me.

Am I happy about it? I still don't know. Dd turned up by emergency c/s after 8 hours of labour and 3 hours of pushing to no avail, despite being the right way round, with her chin tucked in and generally in the optimum position. Possible cephalo-pelvic disproportion was mentionned at the time (dd was only 6lb 13) but I have not had any further investigation about that. Because of the position in which the cord and placenta are attached, and my previous c/s, my original consultant deemed ecv too risky to attempt.

Dh is not supportive of the idea of trial labour (my Mum will be my birth partner anyway), and my MW is not supportive of the idea of trial breech labour (neither is the maternity unit generally), especially as I had a c/s last time and am nearly 40.

We're not planning any more babies after this one, so part of me feels that this is my last attempt at doing things the way nature intended, but now I know that a second consultant has reviewed my file who is fully aware that I would rather avoid a c/s but is recommending it anyway, that it's probably for the best.

AuntieMaggie Wed 24-Sep-08 22:31:05

At the end of the day the birth of your child is kind of a means to an end (sorry to sound harsh) so if going with what you are being advised means that you and your baby will be in the best of health then I think you should do it.

You've pretty much summed up yourself that the head only gets involved if he feels he needs to, so I would put my trust in those that know best and concentrate on what you can help.

I know it's disappointing, but try to focus on the positive and what you can do rather than what you can't. At the end of the day you're going to have a beautiful baby.

Good luck. xx

Roskva Thu 25-Sep-08 09:23:48

Thanks for your kind words AuntieMaggie. That's the conclusion my rational brain has reached, but my emotional brain is struggling to catch up smile

Tangle Thu 25-Sep-08 21:17:23

Its always tough when things don't pan out as you had expected or hoped. It does sound as though this may be the best way forward for you and your baby at this time.

If it would help you, you could always ask for an appointment with one of the consultants (your choice) to go through why they think a CS is the best way forward - just so that you can be completely clear in why you're doing things this way. I know and do agree that "healthy mum and healthy baby" are very important, but that includes your mental health in coming to terms with having a CS.

Have you seen any of the options on "personalising" your CS? As you know, I didn't have to have a CS - but I was very aware that if anything didn't go according to plan that was what would happen. One thing that helped me accept that possibility was talking about options with DH before the event. There are some good ideas on here.

Fingers crossed things go smoothly for you on Tuesday

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