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Wanted: birth experiences second time round after previous C Section due to fetal distress

(22 Posts)
DoodleAlley Wed 04-Nov-09 16:24:15

All around me people with children of a similar age to my DS are getting pregnant. Apart from not being ready to run that gauntlet again, the fear of a repeat C Section is really putting me off.

The C/S itself wasn't so bad it was the recovery time (wound opened up again) and I can't see how I could look after toddler as well as baby and myself!!

Understand my NHS trust encourages natural birth following C/S but I wondered people's experiences of the reality of this?

mummytopebs Wed 04-Nov-09 19:59:28

Hi Doodle i to had a c-section due to pre-eclampsia and fetal distress. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant. I felt ready around the middle of last year, dd is nearly 5 and has some learning difficulties due to scarring on brain from fetal distress. I think you have got to wait until you are ready.

My consultant has been excellent he told me that i could choose wether to have a section or normal delivery, i am not sure if you would get a consultant i think it would depend what caused the fetal distress. I have opted for another section as i have got gestational diabetes and suffer from panic attacks so would rather know what is going to happen.

It is a difficult decision when you have had a difficult birth, how old is your ds? I didnt feel anywhere near ready for another one till dd was over 3 x

DoodleAlley Thu 05-Nov-09 15:09:35

Hiya DS only 14 months and I've no idea why I feel pressured to get pg again. I guess people around me getting pg and then other people getting broody as a result.

We're still dealing with interrupted nights and currently under barrage of illnesses caught from DS's two days of nursery. Can't imagine being pg again and I guess I feel guilty for not being broody yet.

They never said what caused the distress. Felt woefully uninformed by the whole thing.

DS seems to be developing normally. When did you know DD had learning difficulties?

happyharry Thu 05-Nov-09 15:24:23

Hi. I had a csection for fetal distress with Ga when I had my dd. Fortunately physicaly the recovery was fine and most importantly so was my dd. We had been trying to conceive for 2 years. Due to this we tried to conceive again when my dd was 5 months old. Unfortunately we had a miscarriage. Within 3 months of the miscarriage i was pregnant again. I had very mixed feelings about the birth. I really wanted to give a vbac a go but i was so scared that I would end up with a Ga again. In the end I had another csection due to failure to progress with a spinal block. It was much better than the first as I was awake. I personally woud go for an elective section if I had another child. However, this probably doesn't help you as you had physical problems after section.

happyharry Thu 05-Nov-09 15:25:29

Forgot to say i coped fine with a 2 year old and newborn after section.

DoodleAlley Thu 05-Nov-09 15:36:33

thanks. heard that our trust encourages VBACs but won't allow them to continue if labouring slow or hard. so suspect you've got to be pretty prompt to pull off a VBAC.

maybe it's better to just go for a cs and know where you stand.

guess it makes me think i'd rather wait a bit longer. ds only 14 months and never planned to think about this so early. guess feel i'm weird for not being broody again yet. too tired to feel broody!

it took me seven years of marriage to decide i wanted a dc in first place, so shouldn't be surprised. i love ds dearly but have found it so physically tiring being a mum and can't face it again so soon. maybe the issue isn't cs but me and second child. maybe i need to accept i won't be a failure if i leave it another year!

thanks for your time x

BulletProofMum Thu 05-Nov-09 15:40:46

I had a VBAC - laboured for about 16 hours. They wasnted to go fro a CS but a was resistant so they took me to theatre for a 'trial of ventouse'.

They were successful but I found it an altogehter unpleasant experience. The alrge cut made was difficult to heal and I hadn't expected such a change in my ether regions.

To be honest - with hind sight - I wouldn't have been so insistent on a VBAC.

DoodleAlley Thu 05-Nov-09 15:47:53

ahh... hadn't considered the alternatives.

I never really had proper contractions, was induced but DS kept on engaging, not engaging, back to back then not. So lots of pain. And then epidural (after several failed attempts at epidural)

In my mind a VBAC would involve lots of time at home reading newspapers then a leisurely drive to hospital and a labour which just leaves me with a maternal glow.

Maybe been looking at this with rose tinted glasses!

LowLevelWhingeing Thu 05-Nov-09 15:50:16

I had CS due to fetal distress. Second time round I was so upset to be told I had to have another CS, but actually I think it was for the best. It was all very calm and I did seem to be able to get up and do stuff sooner than the first time round. I also know someone who had a horrendous and life-threatening VBAC so I'm just glad me and DS were safe and healthy.

My DS1 was 22 months when DS2 was born and it was hard work with two little ones. I can definitely see the benefits of having more of an age gap!

guyfawkesWILBURn Thu 05-Nov-09 15:55:04

Doodle - my 2nd birth (a vbac) was not far of that smile! 1st birth emcs due to ds1 getting stuck. Then talked vbac over v carefully with consultant (I asked for a referral to ask why it hadn't worked firt timeand they were v nice about giving me an appt and talking). Laboured mostly at home with dd, went to hosp and was quickly ready to push. Slight panic as staff hadn't realised how fast things were moving and they were not happy with the fetal monitor reading, so they did very short (about 5 mins in total) help with ventouse in delivery room to get dd out fast, but she was totally fine and they even said afterwards that I would have done it perfectly ok on my own. Even with panicky bits and ventouse, it was a far better experience that the c-section - there was definitely maternal glow! Undercarriage a bit damaged (not by episiotomy but by dd's huge shoulders) but stitching was ok and it healed eventually. I went on to have ds2 in a birth poll at home.

guyfawkesWILBURn Thu 05-Nov-09 15:56:30

Dear god, could I have made any more typos? Birth POOL not poll!

DoodleAlley Thu 05-Nov-09 15:56:56

Yeah I know in the end it would be just good to know me and any second dc would be safe.

But I'm always concerned about DS getting not as much attention if i had second child and had to recover from cs with second child. Was pretty upset after emcs but maybe would be less so if expected it.

Was a pretty big mess in first month and wonder whether i'd manage with second child at all. Hard to imagine another ankle biter around the house!

I though it would be an easier decision second time around, but then maybe it's not the right time if I'm so uncertain.

DoodleAlley Thu 05-Nov-09 16:01:07

Ahh so a VBAC can work out ok then guyfawkes?

good to hear another point of view thank you. And interesting that you progressed fine second time round even though didn't first.

I didn't realise they'd be able to talk thru the reasons for the last cs. Definately seems like there's options.

It's such a big thing and yet it feels like there's so little information out there.

BulletProofMum Thu 05-Nov-09 16:36:01

Doddle - the recovery either way is a short time in the overall scheme of things.

You really shouldn't that influence your decision as to have another child (if I have understood correctly)

guyfawkesWILBURn Thu 05-Nov-09 17:00:59

Doodle - I would certainly ask at your next appt if you can talk to a consultant as to why your first labour didn't progress. Mine went through my birth plan (a very basic set of wishes, not a step by step plan) and wrote on it that I was to be allowed extra time for the baby to descend once I had reached 10cm (although dd didn't need it, she was well on her way grin). I have a friend with a very long and almost failure to progress 1st labour although she did eventually deliver vaginally. Her 2nd baby was almost born in the lift at the hospital and the dad missed the actual birth as he was parking the car.

It's very hard to predict exactly what a 2nd labour would be like and tbh, you don't have to make the decision now - you have plenty of time to decied when to get pregnant and then you will still have months to decide what kind of birth to go for. As bulletproofmum says - the recovery is just a blip either way, and after you've been parenting a toddler while heavily pregnant, it won't seem like particularly hard work!

somethinganything Fri 06-Nov-09 10:34:01

Hi Doodle - was in v similar situation to you. I'm now 24 weeks preg with DC2. DD is 22 months and was EMCS after 2-day failed induction: pessaries, waters broken, eventually epidural and drip but still only reach 3cm and DD was in distress hence the section. I too took ages to heal and scar kept coming open plus there were complications with feeding and with DD's blood sugar so we were in hospital for a week after birth. I've done a lot of reading and thinking about this and have decided to go for an elective CS this time. I don't yet know if I'll be given one but I'm going to make a v strong case for it because I just don't feel my chances of a natural unassisted birth are very high. BTW as far as I can tell, statistically people who have VBACs have a higher than average risk of forceps delivery and frankly I've already been cut open in one place... Also if there's a substantial risk I'm going to have major surgery again, I'd rather have it after a good night's sleep instead of a 2 days ineffective labour.

I do have one friend who had a very successful, positive VBAC but several more who ended up with another EMCS and one friend of friend with permanent damage (to herself) after difficult forceps delivery.

It is a very personal decision though and I know that a natural birth is very important for some women and the feeling of achievement and pleasure they get from that is worth so much. A straightforward VBAC is I'm sure better than a CS but I just don't personally feel confident enough I'll have one.

MmeLindt Fri 06-Nov-09 10:37:43

I agree with other posters, see if you can get your consultant to talk you through what happened during the birth of your DS that made a Csection.

I had a CS under GA with DS (second child) after an induction. I truly believe that if the induction had been handled better that I woudl have had a VB as I did with DD.

mummytopebs Fri 06-Nov-09 21:01:53

Doodle i definitly didnt feel ready till dd was over 3, when she was around 2.5 i began to think about it again, i went to pals at the hospital and paid £10 to get my notes from my pregnancy cos like you i was unsure what had caused the distress and can just remember the whole scene being like a scene of holby city, so wanted to know what had happened before i fell pregnant again.

My dd has always had various health problems, the scarring on her brain came to light when she had a mri scan, she was a little bit behind on her milestones but have found the learning difficulties when she has went to school, she is well behind her peers and is getting a one to one. She is getting there just a couple of years behind her peers x

mamasunshine Sat 07-Nov-09 04:52:09

Hi Doodle, I think it's a very personal thing CS vs. VBAC. I too had horrendous experience with EMCS 1st time round, had v long and painful recovery (also LO was premature and in SCUBU for 4.5wks) I was petrified of having another section (but would have done whatever necesary for health of baby ultimately). I had DS2 19 wks ago by VBAC at home (which I planned), I have a 15month age gap between LO's. My VBAC experince was amazing, it was almost my therapy for the trauma I had previously. And ok it wasn't the 'perfect' labour, it was long, back labour etc but I found it just wonderful. I had no stitches. I would absolutely do it again!! During my pregnancy I did A LOT of research on VBACs and c sections and weighed up pros and cons for myself and baby, I was completely confident and positive about my final decision (very important). 'Vaginal Birth After Caesarean', by Helen Churchill and Wendy Savage is a very good handbook to read (all the latest research) also I read a lot of Ina May (a spiritual midwife), caesarean website, homebirth website (even if not wanting one v useful info/research on there), there's loads more to read as well. You will find that you just manage with a newborn and toddler as I suppose you HAVE to, it's of course not easy but it's worth every second! So basically you need to make yourself fully informed about your choices and be completely happy with your decision. If I had ended up with a c section during my VBAC I still would have been happy as I would have known that I had tried everything and if that would've been the best for the baby then so be it! I also know many women who say that there 2nd caesaean healing rate was much easier/better (but also the opposite). Hope that helps x

tostaky Mon 09-Nov-09 10:33:08

mama do you mind asking you which area you live in? because ive been refused homebirth or even birthcentre because i had a emcs and there will only be a 16 months gap b/w my twos? Im in north London (whittington)
I really want to go to the birth centre which is in the basement of my hospital and i dont understand whats the fuss about it. Surely if things go wrong, they can just put me in the lift to the 5th floor where the theatre is...

mamasunshine Mon 09-Nov-09 11:35:55

Hi Tostaky, I live in Herefordshire. As far as I am aware it is ultimately up to the mother where she gives birth in this country. You need to be fully informed of the risks. Having said that it was a long hard fight on my behalf to get my homebirth. I was practically bullied by the registrars towards the end, but it was a what I absolutely wanted/needed (if all was well with baby). Also I only live 5 mins away from hospital so figured they'd take 10 mins to get a crash team ready (worse case scenario). My original consultant would not have signed me off but i struck lucky one day he was on holiday so i got a consultant who was pro homebirth to sign my notes off (after i'd given him a speech!) Once you've had your green notes signed they're like gold! I was lucky also to have a community midwife who was very supportive of my decision. I would try and find out who in your area who would be the most likely and try and get an appointment with them if possible. Alternatively you could write a letter and your birth plan to the head of midwifery or even meet with her and she/he could sign your notes off. You can refuse consultant-led care. Yahoo have a really good VBAC support thread, would recommend u look at it!

DoodleAlley Tue 10-Nov-09 12:52:32

Thanks so much, I'm going to go away and have a good old think about it.

Right now DH has been redundant a month so it's not the right time for us anyway, and that might end up being the most defining factor in what we decide but I like to think these things through beforehand so I know what I think.

By the time I'm pg I'm far too hormonal for rational decision making!!!

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