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PLEASE help ladies!! (longish post - sorry!)

(29 Posts)
clouiseg Tue 06-Jan-09 18:40:50

Hello ladies. I have been reading up on this site and all the advice seems so practical and helpful so I'm hoping you can help!!

I am 31 weeks pg with number 3 and have some concerns re the birth. After DD #1 was born-(1998) assisted vaginal, I had a HUGE haematoma down below (externally) and was in great discomfort. Same after DD #2(2002). In 2006 I had surgery for an odd 'lump' in my outer labia (sorry ladies - too much detail!) Anyway, in recovery something went wrong inside and i ended up in a HORRIFIC state, i was bleeding internally and had to be taken straight back to theatre for another op to repair. They found the cause was an AVM (basically I was born with an arterial vein "down there") and it had ruptured post surgery! Also explains the previous haematomas post birth with DD's.

Anyhow......! I have been in an enourmous degree of pain recently with the AVM swelling again (no doubt the weight of babba!) and it has become impossible to make love or even hit the shops as I am on the verge of tears(!) I showed my MW who instantly suggested a c-section & referred me back to my Consultant. I saw someone different instead (hospital short staffed!)who firstly, did not know what I'd had (kept saying a cyst!!!!) and then said they will not perform a c section for this reason!!! I explained that I was in hospital spaced out on morphine etc for 10 days after the AVM & I will have a baby & 2 olders to care for -and she was insistant that it would be ok! I also ought to mention that my ORIGINAL consultant refused me a Home Birth PURELY based upon my history with the AVM! So, my question is.....can I insist on a c section for med reasons (I think I have good reason) and if its going to be 'ok' as she said, why have I been refused my homebirth???

Sorry to go on ladies, but I see my MW again tomorrow and I feel kinda frustrated at the dismissive and contradictory manner of the hospital and would love some practical advice! The prospect of the AVM terrifies me more than the CS! Many thanks - and Happy New Year!!

RaspberryBlower Tue 06-Jan-09 18:53:36

I think it would be a good idea to put this in writing to your Consultant. Can the MW help in any way - by writing to the consultant herself, for instance? It sounds as if you know more about your condition than whoever you saw at the hospital.

DorisIsAPinkDragon Tue 06-Jan-09 18:59:38

Second the idea of a letter to the consiultant and follow up with an appointment with the consultant ( not a junior). Reading your history I think you've got a reasonable request and it needs to be discussed properly -not refered to as a cyst!!!shock which would suggest a considerable l;ack of understanding.

If you get no joy from the letter go straight ( and quickly given your time frame)to PALS for more support with the hospital management although I think things are unlikely to get that far ( I would hope).

Good luck I hope you get the birth you want.

clouiseg Tue 06-Jan-09 20:55:40

Thanks so much ladies. TBH it didnt cross my mind to compile a letter to my Consultant so will get on it straight away! Also I'll see if I can appeal to the community midwife to help, she can but refuse!hmm You are spot on regarding the lack of understanding! I know that AVMs are extremely rare but they are nasty too & I do feel there is a lack of knowledge on the part of the hospital. I would defy anyone who has never even heard of it to claim any idea of how it actually FEELS (medical professional or not!)My midwife hasn't even heard of it - reassuring eh? Lol. Hopefully I'll have some joy. I have always been adverse to the idea of a CS as I prefer natural vaginal births, but it shows how things can change when the medical need arises! Will cross my fingers for the midwife tomorrow! Thanks again!smile

tryingtobemarypoppins Tue 06-Jan-09 21:03:44

Read the NICE guidance on c-sections. Basically you have a right to have your baby in the way thats right for you and you must be given a second opinion.

purplemyrtle Tue 06-Jan-09 22:06:49

Hi, I agree too, poor you having the hassle.
I reckon you need to insist on seeing a consultant, perhaps the midwife can set it up for you? For a start you need to be helped to make decisions by someone who knows about what you've experienced. Is there a consultant there you feel particularly positive about you can ask to see, or would your previous consultant be any help? Good luck with appt tomorrow.

clouiseg Tue 06-Jan-09 23:17:03

Thanks tryingtobemarypoppins, I'll have a good look at NICE and arm myself with info. I had heard that they don't give you the impression that its your right in some areas, and now I agree! angry

purplemyrtle you are absolutely right, they should be in the know (especially when it comes to womens health in this day and if we don't all go through enough anyway lol). I do have a consultant (the one who originally said a big NO to a homebirth due to this prob). Sadly, although I was booked to see him it appeared he was busy and there was someone else instead. Hence the awful outcome. I have taken the advice of the other ladies and done a letter this eve. I have given a FULL history of the previous complications in the hope that there is no doubt! The next step is to get my midwife to help.......hmm

I will post back on here tomorrow with an update, although I don't expect it to be sorted immediately! However, like DorisIsAPinkDragon rightly said, my timeframe is not too great with 9 weeks to go! shock

Your advice and kind words have cheered me up tonight ladies....thank you! XX

clouiseg Thu 08-Jan-09 10:03:15

Just a quick update...thanks to you ladies boosting my confidence I saw my midwives (2 together actually!) and they were both appalled by what had happened. They immediately referred me to a different (local) consultant and got me an appointment next week. Also, one of them insisted on booking my appt for when she is in Clinic so she can join me to offer some back up! They are horrified that I haven't already been advised to have a C-section as further investigation into my notes showed a much higher risk with vaginal birth than with C section. But they agreed with the opinion that a lack of knowledge of my condition is to blame. Soooooo.....I'll see how it goes with the Consultant next Thursday. Just one more thing, I was browsing last night (obviously swotting up on C section so I'm informed) and I was quite upset by the opinion of some people out there over women having C Sections! I suppose I feel that it is personal choice and the debate rages on over whether women should be able to decide. But I did end up feeling strangely guilty even though in my case there is a genuine medical need! (To other ladies who have had ECS) is this reaction common? shock

purplemyrtle Thu 08-Jan-09 13:00:11

Great news, glad they're getting their act together! I know what you mean about attitudes, it's one of those things it's all very well having an opinion on unless you actually experience serious difficulties! There's at atmosphere sometimes that there's something heroic about facing risks to do it 'naturally' but frankly it's hardly unheroic to put yourself through major surgery on the grounds of protecting your and your child's health! Particularly in your kind of circumstances, there's no way you should feel guilty, anyone who feels they have a right to make a judgement about that hasn't a clue! I've been having the whole vbac csection quandary, and am veering towards the section idea now. One of my concerns is that yes I might recover quicker from a vbac if it goes perfectly, but chances are in our circumstances it won't, and if I have a planned section that's better and safer than going through labour etc with complications, perhaps ending in an emergency section anyway.

I think it's personal choice, but informed personal choice, with the understanding that there are circumstances where it's sensible to take the safest option. There's a thread in the pregnancy section where someone's asked for positive c section stories if that's any help. As I said there (sorry to repeat myself) it's all very well supporting natural birth to a degree, and yes people used to birth at home with less intervention etc, but the mortality rate was also much higher. You can be over careful but that doesn't mean we always are being over careful.

In answer to whether this reaction's common, I've seen it more online than face to face with people, sometimes maybe people use this kind of context to explore what they think?

Sorry to bang on!
And again, great that appt went so well.

clouiseg Thu 08-Jan-09 14:03:20

You know purplemyrtle, you're right. I E mailed an old friend earlier who had 2 c sections, as I thought I'd ask her about her experience. She had a c section with no 1, and was so pressured to try a VBAC with no 2 so she did (despite leaning towards the c section). She ended up attempting the VBAC and wound up with an emergency c section! She said the experience was so much more stressful in the emergency context and wished she stuck to her guns. So maybe thats food for thought? I'm not sure how common her situation is but it would be enough to sway me lol! Thankfully DH is having the snip after this one so even if I have the C section I dont need to worry about VBAC! I won't be celebrating just yet (not until my new Consultant makes his choice!) but will keep updating. I really hope you do what is best for you. At the end of the day, if you opt for the section you are doing it with plenty of knowledge of the recovery (which is what most people point out to deter you lol!) So go for whatever feels right for YOU and YOUR body! And thanks.x

clouiseg Thu 08-Jan-09 15:24:32

Sorry, I forgot to ask before, are you normally allowed to get to term before c section? Or do they do it earlier if VB is a potential health risk fo mum?

The only reason I ask is because both my girls were overdue (42w / 41w) and I'd like to keep this one in as long as possible to avoid probs with baby! It sounds like a daft question, I know, but I'm not sure how it all works!! smile

ThePregnantHedgeWitch Thu 08-Jan-09 15:58:16

Message withdrawn

purplemyrtle Thu 08-Jan-09 17:30:25

Not a daft question, I think their advice might depend on what they think the risks might be if you go into labour? I'm told lung function is pretty much sorted by 38/39 weeks if that's one of your concerns.

purplemyrtle Thu 08-Jan-09 19:10:12

...and yes you're so right about going for what feels right, I think for a while I've been feeling a bit of unnoticed pressure, maybe feeling another section's a cop out, but it's so not what's important! I'm also encouraged by a few posts that say planned sections have been a lot more positive experiences than emergencies, and recovery often easier. Thank you too, and all the best for next week

clouiseg Fri 09-Jan-09 15:02:45

I must admit I am a bit clueless over lung function in terms of C section but all the horror stories I've heard or read have been of TERRIBLE infant respiratory difficulties after birth (cue bad dreams - flippin hormones! lol).
But if it is generally sorted by 39 weeks perhaps i'll ask to hang on til then.
I had a read about positive C Sections and I really felt reassured. There does certainly seem to be more of a tranquil feel around Elective CS. So maybe thats a good argument against VBAC if its relevant (i.e. purplemyrtle).
Like I said before, the general argument SEEMS to be over the lack of consideration of recovery with Electives. However, if you have already had one then who better to decide? lol. I have also noted that there is the odd person out there who still thinks an Elective C Section is where the woman ASKS for one to avoid VB! Which possibly doesn't help the negative opinion of others against it!
Am I wrong in thinking that it represents a PRE planned section (as opposed to emergency), regardless of the reason? Cor the whole things a wee bit confusing when you have pregnancy brain third time round hahaaaaa! blush

DorisIsAPinkDragon Fri 09-Jan-09 15:47:41

Glad to hear a positive outcome clouiseg hope it all goes well at the appt.

purplemyrtle Fri 09-Jan-09 17:06:55

My son had apgar scores of 9 then 10 after he was born by csection, no trouble breathing at all, although it was at 42 weeks.

I think the whole "too posh to push" thing is a bit of a problem, and possibly why some people call them planned rather than elective? I also think if you plan a section because it's safer how on earth can that be a negative thing? Planning to be healthy and safe is surely doing the best for your children as well as yourself!

I'm also sure my recovery last time was longer due to the induction/labour etc beforehand, so fingers crossed would be easier with a planned one. And if you have a medical reason on top of that to avoid VB that's going to affect recovery time that way. Long term I'm not sure I'll mind a few weeks extra recovery when I weigh it all up.

Handy the threads have been around recently about positive sections as I do think sometimes it's all a bit skewed the other way, which is a bit sad for the quarter or one in 5 or whatever it is that have sections. If it's what I do this time I'm determined to go into it feeling positive (although I do have a fantasy about going into labour naturally at around 37 weeks and baby popping out easily!)

Hope your consultant can answer lots of things for you next week.

PolarMummy Fri 09-Jan-09 20:15:18

Clouiseg, just wanted to post to say that some people are very opinionated when it comes to c-sections, I had to have an emergency section to save my daughters life and I have still had to endure some peoples stupid comments about it. But that is their problem not yours, you are requesting a section for a very legitimate reason and I wouldn't let the opinions of a few make you doubt yourself or think you should change your mind.

Good luck for next Thursday and I hope you get a more positive response this time.

clouiseg Sat 10-Jan-09 23:57:33

Awwwww thanks all. The support offered on here is second to none! I agree that the most important thing is to consider all of the pros & cons, but certainly medical reasons are top of the agenda. And you are absolutely right regarding the attitudes of others at times. But then I suppose human nature is that there is always someone out there willing to offer up an unwelcome opinion or two, no matter what the subject. So......what the hell! LOL (coming over all feminist/wonderwoman/independant lol!) @ popping out at 37 weeks! I swear I used to fantasize about hunky celebs...and now all I fantasize about is keeping my tuppence in one piece and maintaining my pelvic floor hahaaa. Oh how things change! Will cross my swollen fingers for you lol. grin

KatB Sun 11-Jan-09 00:13:28

Just wanted to add that this is what my mother had (in 1983 lol) and it flared up when she was pregnant with her 3rd child. She was offered a C section as she was told it would be dangerous to have a vaginal delivery. You definitely have grounds for a section and don't let anyone put you off. C sections exist for a reason and I don't think anyone (Drs or Mums) take the decision lightly.

Good luck - am jealous at you being 31 weeks, I'm only on TTC

clouiseg Sun 11-Jan-09 00:30:19

Awwww bless you KatB, sending you lots of positive baby vibes (& hope to see you on here soon!)

We TTC this little one for ages after losing 4 angels following DD2's birth (totally different subject - I know!) so I know that old feeling of itching to be 30 plus weeks again! lol.

I remember my mum marching my dad down for a vasectomy after being refused a C section in 1982 - even though my little bro was breech and she had to deliver with gas & air. I guess its appalling to think that in this day and age things probably havent moved on too much in the sense that its still considered a touch taboo to be a CS advocate. Oh well, you can't please all the people all the time eh?

All the best with TTC. X

clouiseg Thu 15-Jan-09 17:05:54


I've had my appointment with the new Consultant this afternoon, and as promised my midwife was on hand to offer support. Not that we needed it! Our Consultant was LOVELY! He was really disgusted that our last appointment was handled so badly. He took one look at me (down there) and said there is no way I can deliver vaginally as the risk is far too high. So I've been booked for a planned C Section. grin I didn't need to argue my case as he is very well informed about my condition and has also pre organised follow up care with a specialist. He feels I may need another op to guarantee this doesn't affect me for the rest of my life. Sooooo, all in all a good day. It just shows how one uneducated 'professional' can be so far off the mark. And to think, I could have listened and gone ahead with a natural birth with disastrous consequences! So now all we have to do is hope babba stays put til 39 weeks and we're sorted! The moral of the story is ALWAYS ask a second opinion lol. Thanks so much to you all for your encouragment!

purplemyrtle Thu 15-Jan-09 20:43:13

Brilliant news, glad it all went so well!

FaeriePrincess Mon 19-Jan-09 15:42:32

It sounds as though you have a great consultant! Wonderful.

You know, there is no need to tell people about having a caesarian. People are just too nosy for their own good, and a lot of these things are just none of their business.

If they ask if you had a vaginal birth or a caesarian - just tell them you have a healthy baby boy/girl and anything else is private.

clouiseg Mon 19-Jan-09 18:46:48

Thats such a good point actually! Why do we tell people about it? I think I may adopt that attitude from now on! It'll certainly make life easier not having to deal with the likes of Mr & Mrs Opinionated out there lol.

I do feel that I'm lucky with my new Consultant, but the sad thing is we should ALL expect the same courtesy from our antenatal care I think. Is it that there are that many not so nice Consultants out there (so we notice the good 'uns more?) lol

If I'm honest, the weight that has been lifted off my shoulders since I saw him is immense! I hadn't realised how much it was bothering me! lol. And it is quite nice to have been able to pre plan the child care, and aftercare. After 2 V births its different (!) but not in a bad way.

Lets just hope babba stays put til D day (or B day in this case haha). Purple, hows the flu? Have you managed to shift it yet? grin

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