Advanced search

Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

VB vs CSection - advice please.

(36 Posts)
Gardengirl1 Mon 20-Oct-08 00:45:02

Dear All,

First post on MN, have always read your posts with great interest and thought I'd get good advice here!

I have to decide whether I want to have a normal birth or a c-section (first pg, all well so far, DH said he would pay to go private if I wanted an elective c-section). I'm well aware of all the pro's and con's medically, am a nurse, trained as a midwife but never went on to work there, opted for A&E instead smile. My question is this, to all the been-there-before mums out there: if you could do it all over again, with the benefit of hindsight and with a choice, considering all the goods and all the bads, would you opt for a VB or go for an Elective CS? I have always leaned strongly towards a c-section but, as decision time approaches, I'm not so sure anymore, am worried that I will miss out on a life experience so unique and special... and that I'll regret my decision later in life. What would you choose? Thanks so much for your advice.

PS not too posh to push etc., not what this is about.

mumnosbest Mon 20-Oct-08 01:00:12

VB definately! I laboured for 24 hours with ds but had to have an emergency section. I was relieved (end to pain) but disappointed that I had gone so far and not actually experienced giving birth. Recovery was painful and felt useless and sore for 6 weeks. Hated not driving.

2nd Dc I tried again and same problem.

3rd dd I went for an elective CS. Still really wanted VB but tried to be realistic. The pain after was terrible and recovery was much longer but with more than 1 dc to care for. Pain relief made me miserable and drowsy for days.

If you can have VB try it, have any pain relief available but hold off the epidural, it does slow laour down.

Just think VB several hours of pain (but it's strange you do get used to it) or CS several weeks of recovery!

ElviraInanEcup Mon 20-Oct-08 01:36:41

Message withdrawn

eandz Mon 20-Oct-08 01:42:03

i had a c section. it was an emergency because i developed p.e. (i had private care throughout)

it was fabulous. i originally didn't want a c section at all, but it's now been just over 6 weeks and to be honest I didn't have any major pain, not much soreness. I was able to have sex right away, started exercising (light walking) two days after and my scar is virtually non existent to the naked eye.

my experience is not at all what I expected at all. I think if I ever have children again I'm only ever going to have c-sections.

MadamDeathstare Mon 20-Oct-08 01:56:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gardengirl1 Mon 20-Oct-08 02:01:56

Wow, this is amazing, shouldn't you been asleep? (says I while frantically typing up an overdue assignmentwink)?

Thanks so much for the replies. I am worried that I will not be able to give birth normally (for lots of reasons) and will end up with a emCS anyway. In my honest expeience, recovery time from a elecCS is not worse than a VB, allthough I know that there is exeptions. I think for a emeCS recovery can be soooo much worse, as you go into it already tired and stressed. I just don't want to regret missing out on the birthing experience a few years down the line, do you think you will eandz? Not worried about pain either way (I have a ridiculously high pain threshold for some weird reason), but know I cannot have my bread buttered both sides!

ghosty Mon 20-Oct-08 02:46:06

I had 2 c-sections. First was Emergency after a 55 hour labour shock and was horrible and traumatic and scary - DS was ill afterwards too so I ended up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sad
Second was lovely and calm and fantastic and wonderful (there's a birth announcement on here somewhere from nearly 5 years ago and you can see the fuzzy hormones dripping out of my post grin) and no problems AT ALL.

I can not give birth naturally (I tried both times and did everything in my power to avoid the c-section the second time round so if anyone says that I could have given birth naturally I will tell them to fxxk off go away) and if I had a third child I would have an elective caesar.
BUT if I could go back in time and change my body and change all the factors that make me have a small pelvis and HUGE babies that insist on lying in the posterior position despite doing everything possible to move them, I WOULD dearly love to experience natural childbirth ... In fact, I would give my right arm to experience it sad

If there is no real medical reason for you to have a c-section I don't know WHY on earth you would WANT to choose it ... IMHO.

PS a little note to eandz - my first c-section scar was fabulous ... no pain, hardly visible etc etc quick physical recovery (although not emotional). My scar after my second baby, however, is horrific and although I had a fantastic emotional recovery I had a slow physical recovery. Your c-section scar is only as good as the the surgeon who sews you up, unfortunately.

Squitten Mon 20-Oct-08 06:50:01

Baby turned breech and back-to-back so I had an elective section planned but went into labour before I got there! I got to 7cms dialated with absolutely no pain relief (I was asking for G&A but it never arrived!) before I was taken to theatre. I felt pretty terrible at the time, particularly as the contractions got closer together and more painful but, with hindsight, I'm pretty impressed with myself for managing to get that far on my own

I generally had a good experience of c-section. Spinal block didn't hurt when they injected it, I was up and moving pretty much as soon as it wore off, catheter wasn't too bad, wound and scar have healed quickly and with no problems and, 4-weeks later, I feel great and totally normal. The only problem I did have was that the operation ruined my BF - my milk arrived so late we had to get Joe on FF and I was so stressed and anxious about it by the end, I never went back to BF.

I will have the choice of birth option next time around and I'm currently leaning towards VB. I feel a bit nervous at the thought of it, with all the things that can go wrong, but I'm not afraid of spinal injections anymore so I know pain relief will be at hand if needed. I would like to have the natural experience just once, if possible

Lib76 Mon 20-Oct-08 07:05:10


congrat on pg! im a nurse too and had a DS 19wks ago by emc i managed to get to 8cms but baby was back to back and distressed, i was unable to have an interventions as they had discovered during pregnancy i had low platelets. ended up under GA! very scary! having knowledge makes it so much worse. i had been warned towards end of pregnancy if it went to section it would be GA. i would had loved to have had VB and will try next time IF they can raise my platelets (currently seeing heamotoligist). CS recovery IS NOT easy, perhaps because it was emergency too and i was so tired! i would NEVER choose to have major abdominal surgery but at end of day you are well aware of risks etc but for me it was a fairly long recovery. However the most important thing for me was that DS was safe. smile

trixibelle Mon 20-Oct-08 09:01:39

Just picking up on a point that has been in a couple of the posts...Does having an elective section mean that breast milk won't come in normally?
I'm also faced with VB or elective section. Breastfed first DD for over a year and would be really upset if not able to BF this baby bec of elective section.

NellyTheElephant Mon 20-Oct-08 09:15:35

Hi I had an emergency section with DD1 after a long (30 hrs) and traumatic labour. I was v relieved when I finally had the section. 2nd time I was told the same complications were likely to arise and had an elective, which was truly wonderful. My milk came in totally normally both times (actually v quickly - within 48 hrs) and I established bf with no problems.

From talking to my friends, comparing recovery times etc, I think that the best option would of course be an uncomplicated natural birth. I don't think that there is any doubt in anyone's mind that that's the best birth and easiest recovery. The problem is you have no idea in advance if that's what you are going to get. My c-section recovery (both times, although even better with the elective) was way quicker and less complicated than friends of mine who had bad tears or unpleasant instrumental births. Certainly my elective section, bizarrely, seemed way less of an intervention than a horrendous forceps delivery that a friend of mine had. I know it's major abdominal surgery, but the weird thing is that it just doen't seem that way, it doesn't seem like a big deal (although I know it is).

So I'm not sure what to say really - surely it's worth giving a natural birth a go as if you are lucky enough to have an uncomplicated birth then you're a winner!

monkeymonkeymonkey Mon 20-Oct-08 09:44:17

I've had 2 sections and a VB. TBH i wouldnt have a section if I didnt have to.
Depending on how many children you want, you might find that limited if you have CS instead of VB. After 2 CS i've been told that my uterus is not in a good state. As it happens I dont want any more children anyway, but even if I did, I wouldnt now, IYSWIM.
The other things to mention is the C Section overhang that will never go away, and the adhesions following the surgery.

For me the decision to have a CS isnt a source of regret, as i had no choice. I would have much rather been able to push the babies out myself, but that wasnt to be.

Obviously you may end up having an emergency CS, but equally you might be someone who has a few hours of labour, pushes the baby out and then wonders what all the fuss was about grin.

notsoslimnow Mon 20-Oct-08 09:53:58

hi, i too was considering a private section when i first found out i was pg.was so scared of giving birth and heard so many horror stories! BUT i did give birth vaginally and can honestly say it was the best experience of my life! yes it hurts at times but ive never felt such a feeling of achievement and the best thing was i gave birth at 4.20 am and at 5.20 was jumping in the shower and feeling great,went home at 10am.everything went totally back to normal within a week no soreness at all.not sure i would have had this recovery with a section.

Poledra Mon 20-Oct-08 09:58:21

It's kind of hard to comment when we don't know why you think you might end up with an emergency section anyway. However, never being one to let a small matter like that stand in the way of giving my opinion....
I have had one emergency c-s (under GA) and 2 VBs, and I would go for VBs all the way. It took me a long time to recover from my c-s both physically and emotionally (though I'm guessing an elective c-s would be different). My second VB was 13 weeks ago, I was induced, had an epidural as I was straight onto syntocinon and you know what? It was the most wonderful experience of my life. If you do decide to go for a VB, can't you spend the money on a fabulous midwife you can guarantee will be there at your birth? IMHO, your midwife makes a huge difference to your birth experience.

Congratulations, and hope all goes well whichever way your LO comes into the world smile

brokenrecord Mon 20-Oct-08 09:59:17

I had an emcs first time due to failure to progress - baby over two weeks late and even though I was getting contractions they still couldn't feel the head. I really wanted natural birth so they tried everything and were very patient, but in the end DD was getting into distress and I had CS.

Second time around I went for elcs - partly because I thought I might have similar problems, and because I didn't 100% trust my understaffed hospital to deal well with any dangerous situations (based on friends' experiences and comments from the midwives!)

I also found a CS a reasonably ok experience - again, unlike some of my friends' births.

I occasionally have a twinge of wondering what it would have been like to give birth naturally, but it is just that - a momentary thing. I am not prone to regretting past decisions, and if you are not there is no reason to think that you would feel bad about it later IMO.

mumnosbest Mon 20-Oct-08 10:17:54

I'd agree tha actual CS isn't a bad experience, just strange feeling and a bit scary to think about (but then so is labour - fear of not knowing what to expect). As I said before the recovery was the worst part. Also having to stay in hospital fo 3-5 days was quite lonely and I just wanted to take baby home with dh. I also found that my milk took afew days to 'come in'.

brokenrecord Mon 20-Oct-08 10:26:11

PS. I am not advising for or against CS, as I don't think that's what you're asking. I think you just want to know how people felt afterwards so that you can get an idea of how you might feel about any decision later?

asdmumandteacher Mon 20-Oct-08 10:29:33

Loved loved my elective c section - wonderful wonderful things (with DS2). Had emergency c section after 18 hours labour (back presentation)with DS1. Labour wasn't nice - c sections were wonderous each time.

Bubbaluv Mon 20-Oct-08 10:44:43

I had an em cs and it was wonderful. Such a peaceful process after the stress and pain of labour. I was up and in the shower 7 hours later and my milk came in after a day or 2 with no problems at all. I was pain free before many of my friends who had vbs.
I am booked in for an elcs in March. Private care makes a big difference though, especially as you will be in the hospital for a few days. Dh was able to stay with me the whole time, the food was pretty decent and I got dissolvable stiches which I wouldn't have got on the NHS (not that that was the main selling point! wink )

MrsMattie Mon 20-Oct-08 10:46:18

I had a c-section last time. Am going for a VBAC this time.

Personally, I wouldn't willingly have major surgery - not even after fairly straightforward 'sort-of-elective' last time - ie. it was pre-planned and very calm, no emergency, although I would have preferred not to have it.

I felt like I had been hit by a truck after my c-section. I felt (honestly) in some sort of deep, deep body shock. I wasn't prepared for what it would feel like to be cut open and stitched back up, and then to have to deal with a new baby post-surgery. Not the pain, but the way it made me feel about my body and the recovery afterwards. I found the whole experience very disturbing and unsettling. Everyone is different, though, I guess.

Cosette Mon 20-Oct-08 10:55:32

Have 3 DCs all VB - none were particularly small - ranging from 7lb 13oz to 10lb 4oz. It was certainly painful, but not totally unbearable - and I was very fortunate in that they were all pretty quick. Stayed at hospital 2 nights with DD1, went home same day with DD2 and DS - which was great.

Hated the thought of a c-section, and was very glad to be able to avoid one.

Having said that, everyone is different - and you should do what you think is right for you, and any particular circumstances that apply. I think you tend to hear more about the problems people have in childbirth, and it's worth remembering that lots of people do have a relatively easy time of it. (although it doesn't feel like it at the time!)

Hope it goes well for you.

charleymouse Mon 20-Oct-08 11:01:45

I have had a VB and an emergency section so can not comment about how an elective section goes but I would definitely go for a VB from my experience.

The thing is we are all different and have different tolerances and thresholds. I was so frightened of giving birth I waited until my mid 30s to even try to conceive.

When I looked into the options for giving birth I decided I wanted to steer clear from being in hospital as I was terrified of an epidural and am mardy so I knew I would ask for one at the first sign of pain. I thought if I am not in hospital I can not have one so stay at home. My MW was brilliant and really supportive of me and a home birth. She even swapped shifts to ensure she was working when I went into labour. This really helped and if I had a choice and the money I would ensure I had a supportive MW or doula and aim for a VB at home. My first birth experience was wonderful and my DD was happy/contented much in part I think due to her gentle welcome into the world.

I still have dead patches which feel numb across the top/middle of my back which I think is from the epidural. Also my milk was a few days coming in after CS and was threatened with formula if I did not get cracking, cue manic pumping. I did have people tell me though that an elective is a totally differnet animal from an emergency.

Obviously not sure why you think you might end up with CS so that might inform your decision a bit more.

HTH and congratulations

wait68 Mon 20-Oct-08 11:15:00

Hi, I had 2 c-sections.1st one coz I didn't go into labour even tho I was induced and was too weeks late,2nd one was also two weeks late. I would have liked a VB but had no option.I would have liked not to have had the surgery because it puts a limit on the number of pregnancies you can have. However if its planned things go kind of smoothly.

elkiedee Mon 20-Oct-08 11:25:17

I hope to have a vaginal birth again. Ideally I'd prefer not to have to go through induction this time and especially not to be put on a syntocin drip and therefore on continuous monitoring and on my back for what was a very long labour.

However, instrumental intervention doesn't have to be a terrible thing, any more than those who need or choose CS should feel it's somehoe wrong. I had to have ventouse with ds1 and it went quite smoothly. Generally, I feel I still had many of the advantages of VB in terms of safety and recovery time - though I was in hospital and no chance of a waterbirth given drip/monitoring.

Cosette Mon 20-Oct-08 11:32:05

elkiedee - depending on the circs, you might be able to avoid syntocin. 2 of my 3 DCs were induced, and I didn't have anything other than gas and air with them. DS (the biggest) was delivered into water (although that wasn't the plan!). I would definitely recommend it.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: