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Elective section or natural delivery?

(13 Posts)
Benjy Sat 04-Jul-09 15:55:41

I am 33 weeks pregnant and at the moment have an elective section booked at 39 weeks.

My history is one previous vaginal birth that was assisted delivery. Had episiotomy, 2 external second degree tears and an internal third degree tear that wasn't picked up at the time and so wasn't repaired and minor multiple prolapse.

As a result I had a painful recovery, some bowel and bladder incontinence for a couple of months (bowel wasn't too bad: when I had the urge I had to get to a loo within seconds but not as bad as it might have been). Episiotomy healed badly with the result that I can only have sex if I'm taking the nerve painkiller, Gabapentin, and even then it is still painful. Am scheduled to have a Fenton's procedure a few months after delivery of DC2 to hopefully correct this.

I was adamant initially that I wanted a caesarean in case a natural delivery worsened my existing problems or created new ones but now I'm not sure. First labour was posterior and 40 hours and DC2 is in the same position so I imagine it would be another lengthy labour and difficult delivery but this will be my last child and I'm feeling regret that I won't have a happier birth experience that might lay to rest some of the issues from the first. Am I mad to consider a vaginal birth? I've been through my birth notes and it doesn't explain why I tore so badly so difficult to know what could be done differently.

Another huge consideration for me is that DD will be 12 or 13 months at the the time of delivery and I can't stand the thought of not being able to lift her. Am normally a very active, hands-on mum so am worried she will perceive this as a withdrawal at a time when she is bound to feel unsettled and vulnerable anyway.

cheesesarnie Sat 04-Jul-09 16:06:06

a friend of mine was in almost exactly the same situation as you 9 weeks ago.her first birth was same as your first birth plus she had to have blood transfusion and lots of other horrible put her off of having any more dc.9 years later shes just given birth naturally to a lovely ds!she had a lovely experience this time round and now wants more!!she was all ready to have cs-didnt want to try natural delivery again but now says shes so pleased she tried.

goodluck whatever happens!

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jul-09 16:25:04

Message withdrawn

LadyThompson Sat 04-Jul-09 17:08:56 c section was great, fwiw. I know you won't be able to lift her for a bit but you will be able to cuddle her smile

WesternBelle Sat 04-Jul-09 17:25:27

It's whatever you feel comfortable with but personally, after birth injuries like yours I would not risk a natural birth whatsoever.

Have you seen the sphincter thread? The ladies on there would help you decide as I think they have lots of different experience ie CS after tears, vaginal birth after tears etc.

I have had a CS (emerg) and again personally, it was absolutely fine. People go on about it being major surgery etc and yes that's true however I was up and about fine the next day, just a bit ginger which I expect you would be if you'd had a bad vaginal birth anyway.

From what I hear, planned CS are a positive birth experience because they are so calm and controlled.

LadyThompson Sat 04-Jul-09 17:52:40

Mine was an elective - I should have said. The first two or three days were rough, I cannot deny. But one week after the op I was trotting up the high street. Ok, I wasn't doing star jumps, but leading a pretty normal life.

WesternBelle Sat 04-Jul-09 18:03:27

Sphincter thread here

MrsMattie Sat 04-Jul-09 18:05:59

I would never tell another woman what to do in this situation, but if it was my decision, I would go for a section. I have two sections (an emergency and an elective) and although they weren't a walk in the park, I suffered no real pain or lasting damage.

NellyTheElephant Sat 04-Jul-09 22:01:55

That all sounds awful. Not sure what to say, except if it was me I'd have the c-section. I would say that, of course, as I have had 3 (first emergency after awful labour, then 2 electives). They have all been fantastic. I know it's major surgery etc etc, but it just doesn't feel that way. I was fine after all of mine and didn't have any trouble dealing with 2yr old and 4yr old after my last one. The lifting thing is a bit of a red herring - no, you can't lift them up into your arms from the floor, but you sit down on the floor and take them into your arms, I had no trouble getting mine in and out of the bath etc, and within a week I could lift anyway, provided I used my legs (i.e. squat down as you would lifting in the way you're supposed to to save back injury). As for happy birth experiences.... I think it would be hard to have a happier birth experience than my most recent section, it was wonderful. DS was tucked straight in under my gown so I could hold him skin to skin while they stitched me up and he stared into my eyes, then I started feeding him within 30 mins of birth once we were in the recovery room.

Gillyan Sun 05-Jul-09 01:18:18


I have just had an elect sectiom 23/06/09

M<y DD1 born 3 n half yrs ago left me with a 3rd degree tear - I have had no incontinece problems but my tear was unexplained - no big baby or forceps or epis etc, they thought I justhad friable tissue.

it took me all of 9 months to make up my mind but I amso glad I did.

I was out of hospital in 2 days ( 6 days with tear ) and I am much more mobile than I was with the tear, on the whole a much calmer and enjoyable experience and no worries about your bum tearing open!

IMO I would opt for section anyday!

jabberwocky Sun 05-Jul-09 01:28:51

Benjy, I had a traumatic labor and emergency section with ds1 so can sympathisize with wanting a happier birth experience. For me, this meant scheduling a section for ds2 so that I did not have any fears of the unknown. It was a great birth experience. Very pleasant and calm, no labor pains (went 36 hours with ds1), and I healed quickly and bfed with no problems.

Ds1 was 3 at the time and everyone who was lined up to help me post-birth came down with a terrible stomach flu shock so I had to get on with it pretty much alone when I got home from the hospital. It was really fine. I wouldn't hesitate to do the exact same thing again.

Benjy Tue 14-Jul-09 08:30:21

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I just wanted to say thank you to you all for sharing your experiences. It sounds like an elective has been a positive experience for you all. I'm meeting my consultant next week and will ask for more information about the likliehood of further damage if I have a vaginal delivery but I am coming round to the idea of a c-section now.

Chulita Wed 15-Jul-09 18:35:37

FWIW I had an em c-sec so it's different to an elective but I'm still not right after nearly 8 months. I still get stabbing pains, the first 14 weeks of DD's life were a nightmare pain-wise. I'd like to start ttc but tbh my stomach is no where near strong enough. C-secs can be trouble for some people!

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