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unexpected but elective c section - reassurance please?

(34 Posts)
mcflumpy Sun 07-Jun-09 17:12:26

Thought evreything was going according to plan until scan last week as baby was still breech. Discovered that placenta has matured early (I don't smoke!) as a result, baby is small for dates, weight predcited around 5.5 pounds, liquor is low and baby is definitely breech. First pregnancy so it's all a bit of a shock.

Baby will be delivered at 37+1 and I'm absolutelty convinced there is something really wrong with baby, bump feels smaller but may be psychological? DH says its the same size. Being monitored every day (CTG) and baby still active, I actaully haven't noticed any marked difference in movements, it's been active from very early in pregnancy. Also concerned about section, breastfeeding, all manner of things. Baby's health is biggest concern.

Not sure what I'm after here, just a bit of reassurance really that section is not too horrific an experience. Always thought I'd have natural labour, so finding it hard to get my head round all of this.

At 37 weeks, assume lungs etc should be suitably developed?

Sorry for the ramble, irrational fear is taking over!.....

Beccabump Sun 07-Jun-09 17:59:57

37 weeks is considered full term so don't panic!

It must be a shock for you having baby come so unexpectedly soon but just think you don't have to go through the last 3/5 weeks of when will it happen and you get to meet your lovely little baby soon!

Hope someone with bf/cs advice is one here soon for you!

Good Luck

spicemonster Sun 07-Jun-09 18:06:39

Will be fine, honest

Be prepared for a long wait, if there are emergencies coming in you'll get bumped. So entertainment is a must. I was nil by mouth from the night before for various reasons and if that's the case for you, insist that no one brings food into your room while you're waiting and that there is a big stash of your favourite foods for when you come out of theatre when you will be ravenous.

I held my baby while they stitched me, the MW put him straight to my boob while I was in recovery and my milk came in about 15 hours later so it's perfectly possible to bf successfully. It's worth writing a birth plan though to ensure that your wishes on that score are followed as you will probably be a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing to be assertive.

Get your partner to shave the top of your pubes off to avoid a dry shave with a bic. And buy some HUGE size 20 granny knickers that go up to your armpits and won't irritate your scar. Get them from Primark or Matalan or something then you can chuck them after.

To put a positive spin on it, remember that the upside is that you get to see your LO quicker. Good luck

Wheelybug Sun 07-Jun-09 18:10:46


I always wanted normal deliveries, no pain relief, active etc.

My first dd was delivered at 37+4 due to IUGR. I was induced at 37 weeks and the induction failed and I had an emergency c-sec at 37+4.

I had a second c-sec 12 weeks ago, this time I had planned a VBAC but waters broke and I didn't go into labour so I had to go in for a c-sec so was in practice like an elective.

It is a shock when things don't go according to plan. However, I would say this - having a c-sec isn't horrendous and having an elective is much better than having an emergency as it'll be during the day, you won't be knackered from attempted delivery, it will be calmer. You will be able to specify certain things (we wanted the screen lowered and to see what sex the baby was before anyone else).

The worst things about a c-sec:
-getting your head around the idea of not having a normal delivery
-the weird feeling of the spinal block (the actual spinal block is fine, the thought of it is worse than the actuality)
-the recovery if you're inpatient. I found it harder second time round mainly because I wanted to be up doing things. As it was, both times I was fine by about 4 weeks.

At 37 weeks your baby will be fine. Being small, s/he will need more checking over but shouldn't need any further help. DD1 (4lbs 9oz) did need to go to SCBU for a few hours just to get her body temperature up but that was it.

DD1 I didn't manage to breastfeed but dd2 did no problem so wasn't an effect of the c-sec.

Um, can't think of anything else but happy to answer any questions you may have.

Good luck !

elvislives Sun 07-Jun-09 18:24:58

My 5th was an elective CS after discovering she was breech at 38 weeks. After 4 normal deliveries I was petrified of a CS (also needle phobic, which didn't help). But what a fabulous experience. No pain and I wasn't worn out by an exhausting labour. The staff in the delivery room were fantastic and talked to us all the way through.

mcflumpy Sun 07-Jun-09 20:20:29

Thanks so much for all the positive responses. I think the news is just quite recent and a bit overwhelming to be honest. We are so excited about seeing our baby but feel too nervous to be excited in case it all goes horribly wrong. I feel like a bit of a nutter to be honest for having such irrational thoughts!

I do feel reassured by your experiences and hope that we have as good an experience.

i have been asked to fast from midnight before and have been warned that should an emergency come in, we will be bumped, but that's a good tip about the food.

Granny pants, don't have any of those, will go get some tomorrow.

Anyhing else I'd need specifically for a CS?

Thanks again everyone.

spicemonster Sun 07-Jun-09 20:30:30

Umm ... let's think. I don't think I was mentally prepared for the fact that I had to stay in for 3 nights after I'd had my CS. I think if I had expected it, I wouldn't have felt so frustrated at not being able to go home. Light mags that you can flick through are good - I didn't have the concentration for books but I was bored. An ipod or something if you like that kind of thing is quite useful. Obviously it depends on your hospital but getting a decent cup of tea or coffee was impossible at mine and when my sister turned up with a massive skinny latte for me I nearly cried I was so happy. Snacks are quite important to have in the ward afterwards too (sorry am obsessed with food clearly!) because you get your 3 meals a day but if you're breastfeeding at night, you're ravenous. A flask of tea would have been marvellous.

Oh yes - camera in theatre. I wish I'd had some photos before the recovery room.

As someone else said, they are very very nice to you to keep you calm so it really wasn't anywhere near as bad as I'd expected. The weirdest thing for me was that I wasn't in any pain (too many drugs for that) but not having any stomach muscles is really peculiar. You do feel like a stranded beetle. But what is absolutely amazing is how fast your muscles knit back together and you can start using them again - just walking feels like a bit of a coup.

Oh on the granny knickers front, some tracksuit bottoms or similar to go home from hospital in are useful. Also you need a longish nightie because you have to wear horrid thrombosis stockings for a while and covering them up is no bad thing.

Louby3000 Sun 07-Jun-09 20:39:23

Dont get granny pants from primark as they are too short! Get them from good old marks and spencers! Get shoes you can slip on and off, as bending is a bit of a pain afterwards.

You will be in your maternity clothes for a bit longer too, as they come up and over your scar which is nice, and i am not being sarcastic, it is well comfy.

Dont fret about having a shower after the C-section or washing it in general once you are at home, just run the shower head over it.

I took arnica imm after birth as it was an emrgency c-section. But you can start taking it a couple of days before, and then for a couple of days afterwards. Helps the healing process.

My biggest piece of advice is *TAKE IT EASY* after surgery, you may feel you can push the push chair, or carry a bag of shopping in a couple of weeks, but you really should not. I was too quick to get back to being active and my scar did not heal well. It was all my fault as i didnt listen.
Good luck, all will be well.

maxbear Sun 07-Jun-09 20:49:22

If small for dates at 37 weeks, it is more likely to need to go to scbu although 37 weeks is classed as full term for a normal birth, if left to it your body might not go in to labour for another four or five weeks, so for your little one it might not have fully mature lungs as yet.

Prepare yourself for this possibility, and it is a bonus if it doesn't happen. Are you small yourself? If so 5.5 pounds might not be too small for the baby, it only has to put on another pound in 3 weeks to be a perfectly reasonable size at term. That said if the liquor is low that is also a concern. You could always ask for a second opinion if you do not feel happy with this possibly overly interventional decision. (difficult to say without knowing the full story of course)

Hope it works out well for you, and enjoy your baby smile

cory Sun 07-Jun-09 21:50:25

I was induced due to IUGR in both my pregnancies. With my first baby, I was still able to have a fairly natural labour (TENS and gas), dd was not quite as small as they had thought and did not need to go to scbu, and I was able to breastfeed though she had some problems there (due to a medical condition she has I think rather than to the IUGR).

With ds I ended up having an emergency caesarian, as his heartbeat went down. This is supposed to be more traumatic than a planned caesarian, but even so I have to say I found it totally untraumatic. They let me have skin to skin contact in recovery and I had no difficulty bonding. His lungs were fine and he did not need scbu (at 36 weeks, 5 pounds). I had no difficulty in establishing breastfeeding.

Meglet Sun 07-Jun-09 22:05:39

you really will be fine smile. I've had an em cs (not too bad really) and a lovely planned cs. Granny pants really are essential. I had these which were super comfy for the first couple of weeks... ers&supercategory=BRN00038&branch=&wcategory=CAT00229&catdesc=&super=0010BRN00038~0020BRN00040~0110C AT00229&treecode=TRE00009

Try not to scoff too much food after the cs as your digestion will probably have slowed down quite a bit and you might get badly gassy or constipated. I found herb tea and soups were the easiest things on my stomach. TMI alert, they will probably give you a morphine suppositry after the cs and i understand they are pretty constipating too.

mcflumpy Sun 07-Jun-09 22:59:54

Maxbear, not small just average height and weight, I'm 5 foot 5, husband 5 10, I was 7lb 5 baby husband about the same, my brother was a small baby. Having had two scans in the last week 1st scan liquor was measured at 4.8, second scan measured at 3.7 although I have to say 2nd scan was done by some doctor in training and his measurements were all over the place compared to the week before so I'm not too sure how much we can rely on the second scan.

All we want to do is the safest thing for the baby and given the presentation, placenta condition and liquor levels, we do feel that a section is the safest option. It wouldn't be my preferred choice, but to be honest, my feelings are secondary right now we just want baby to get here safely.

Thanks for the advice re SCBU, we have sort of resigned ourself to the fact that this will be the case and as you say anything else will be a bonus.

Big pant shopping tomorrow it is then!....

mags98 Mon 08-Jun-09 12:21:27

I had an elective C/S 4 weeks ago, and it was absolutely fine. I stayed in only 2 nights and would myself have been ready to go home after 1 night. They said they wanted me to stay a third night, but I absolutely hated being in hospital (especially my DH having to go home at 7 and not allowed back till 1 next afternoon, and the totally rubbish food) and didn't think they were actually doing anything for me at all, I was so much better at home. If they had continued to say they wanted a third night in I owuld have taken my own discharge.

I was walking normally around the ward after 24hrs, and pretty much pain free after the first 48 hrs, no painkillers at all after 4 days. I was happy walking round the block the day after I came home, although DH pushed the buggy for the first week, and was driving after 3 weeks (although it would actually have been OK after 2 weeks) and now, 4 weeks down the line wouldn't really say it has any effect on my activities at all.

I bought some Primark £2 for 6 pair granny panties, I would suggest something like that as it can rub on the scar a bit. The scar was a bit sore for a few days, but once the stich is out at 5 days it was fine. I work track pants and loose clothes for the first couple of weeks, but I'm now back in normal clothes and normal underwear after 4 weeks.

My C/S was at 38 weeks and he was 6lb6, he had apgars of 9 and 10, and has been absolutely fine. We have had a few issues with breast feeding but that was nothing to do with the way he arrived.

The spinal was a bit odd, sort of hot and heavy like being numbed at the dentist - be aware it gets very itchy and tingly as it wears off, but it only lasts a few hours. I was able to hold my baby in theatre, and DH was there with me the whole time.

You will be absolutely fine!

minko Mon 08-Jun-09 12:36:47

I had an emergency Cs the first time after a failed induction/ventouse etc. and it was horrendous.

Had an elective the 2nd time and it was great. Very calm and civilised! I remember lying there chatting to the anaethnatist (sp??) about house prices. Then they said 'your baby is about to be born now' and lo, there he was. Peeing on me from a great height!

Had no probs breast feeding either of them.

My only tip is to try and get yourself a private room, unless you are mega sociable. Visiting time was like Piccadilly circus for 2 hours every evening. I was v. glad to have my quiet room, my books and my baby for company! It might cost a bit but it was sooo worth it.

BlueKangerooWonders Mon 08-Jun-09 12:40:00

my first was elective c/s for breech - it was all a bit of a shock. Don't forget you still have options for the caesarean birth - there's aa great book called something like 'Caesarean - your questions answered' from NCT if you've still got time to read it! (if you phone, they can send it out to you fast)

As this baby is breech, it won't make a difference to how your next babies are born (If you'e thinking that far ahead!) I went on to have one by ventouse and then a home birth!

You won't be allowed to drive for up to 6 weeks, so you might need to put some plans in place for that.

The other thing to remember is that for you it's a major experience (and major surgery) but for the operating theatre staff, it's just another day in the office and all very routine and normal.

mags98 Mon 08-Jun-09 13:55:10

This not driving for 6 weeks thing is a myth.

It might possibly be that long, but for the vast majority of women it is no where near that long. I was driving after 3 and a bit weeks with no problems, and probably would have been fine a week or so before that but I had relatives staying who could drive me placees, so didn't bother.

I'm a GP and the vast majority of women I see drive well before 6 weeks, those that don't have invariably either had serious problems (rare) or have been told by someone incorrectly 'you must not drive for 6 weeks'. In fact, there is no fixed rule about when you can drive, the advice I give people is that if you are pain free and able to sit normally, able to turn to look over your shoulder easily and most importantly, do an emergency stop without thinking about it, then you are fine.

BlueKangerooWonders Mon 08-Jun-09 14:03:40

it's not a myth if your insurance co won't cover you because of major surgery! Each individual has to check with her insurer or she's driving without being insured.

mags98 Mon 08-Jun-09 14:12:13

Yes of course you do need to check. But in fact the insurance companies nearly all don't have fixed rules about it either. They don't have a list of how long it takes after each operation. They just say 'once fit to drive' or something like that, occasionally they might ask you to get cleared by your doctor before driving although to be honest I can't remember the last time I was asked to do this, and I have never in 12 years been asked to give any sort of certificate of fitness to drive.

Meglet Mon 08-Jun-09 19:14:22

The primark stomach control pants are really high. I got a 2 pack, one flesh coloured one black, think they were £4.

I had a private room after my planned cs and it was lovely. I could sleep and read the weekend papers when dd wasn't feeding. It was like a holiday grin.

LeninGrad Mon 08-Jun-09 19:59:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kiki123 Mon 08-Jun-09 20:06:29

You CAN have a fabulous birth with a c-section. The most important thing is to stay calm and positive - see it as the safest way for your baby to arrive so it's fantastic that you have this opportunity. A couple of hypnotherapy or hypnobirthing sessions would really help you feel good about it all. If you're in London then Kristin Hayward is the person to see. You can also get guided visualisations from These are lovely recordings for stress and fear release, positive c-section and quick recovery. Easy and affordable. Good luck with it all and enjoy meeting your baby for the first time!

EyeoftheStorm Mon 08-Jun-09 20:15:18

Congratulations on impending birth. I had c-section for breech with DS 1 and it was a lovely experience. Like you, I always thought I would have a natural birth, so it was important for me to let go of that and make the best of the birth I was going to have IYSWIM. (I played 'The First Cut is the Deepest' as my section music which made everyone laugh - it was a very calm, good experience). He was sleepy baby and my milk took a good couple of days to come in but had no trouble breast feeding.

DD1 was also section because I wasn't dilating at 36 weeks 5 days. She had to go to SCUBU for 5 nights for extra oxygen but was never in any danger. While there, she had formula and a dummy (all the things you're told not to do if you want to breastfeed) and we still breastfed for 14 months. I just kept trying as soon as we were both able and she was as willing as I was.

Also peppermint tea is wonderful for (TMI) gas pains. Can be really painful around your scar in first couple of days.

Other than that, just wanted to say I bounced back from my sections and was able to do everything I wanted to do with all my DCs. Hope it will be the same for you.

mcflumpy Mon 08-Jun-09 20:21:15

Thanks again for all the well wishes and inspiring stories.

Re the placenta, apprently it appears 'gritty' on the scan which is as a result of calcium deposits. It supposed to be very common amongst smokers thus the reason may babies of smokers are small and why the first thing they asked me was did I smoke. They couldn't really say why in my instance the placenta had matured early, just that it sometimes happens to otherwise generally healthy women.

I'll be sure to post of our experience and the outcome, and remain ever hopeful that it all goes well.

ribena123 Wed 10-Jun-09 11:57:44

Hello, I had 3 miscarriages before my daughter was born so I was watched very carefully, I have always been afraid of giving birth so when I learned my daughter was breech I was actually very happy. As I had several miscarriages I was given asprin per day so I always knew I wouldn,t go full term as they wanted to deliver baby early. My due date was 12th December, I was booked in for an elective c on 4th December but on 27th November I finished work at 5.00 pm. waters broke on loo at 6.30 p.m. I went to hospital for an emergency c, epidural later I had my daughter at 9.04 p.m. it was the most enjoyable experience ever, my husband was there and took photos immediately she was taken out of my tummy. After pain can be a little uncomfortable, I was in hospital for 5 days and I loved it. Good luck.

forkhandles Wed 10-Jun-09 12:12:25

The only other advice I would add is when the come round with the trolley giving out the painkillers, take them. You might feel fine when they are doing the rounds but it will catch up with you later on.

Good luck and I'm sure everything will go well, DD1 was small for dates with low liquor and she was fine.

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