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Anyone experienced vaginal birth and c section and can tell me which one is worse?

(13 Posts)
beatrice75 Tue 04-Oct-11 17:20:03

Apologies if this question has been asked before, like I'm sure it has, but I couldn't find a thread exactly on the point.
I'm 22 weeks pregnant and dreading another vaginal birth. For my second baby, 8 years ago, I almost did not make it to the hospital so I had zero pain relief, not even gas and air, and I ended up with 4 medium sized tears.
Well here I am already having nightmares about the pain of it all. I am absolutely terrified because I know what awaits and I'm trying to understand if having an elective c-section would involve less pain. I'm sure that c-sections are not pain free and the recovery is longer but I would like to ask someone who has tried both (VB with no pain relief and planned c section) which one was worse.
Thank you for your help girls!

beatrice75 Tue 04-Oct-11 20:46:03

Anyone, please?

chibi Tue 04-Oct-11 20:56:03

I had a emCS after a long labour- it wasn't scheduled but neither was it all frantic nurse! Scalpel! Stat! smile

My next birth was a vb sans pain relief as it was 6 weeks before my due date and no one believed i was in labour hmm

the vb labour was much better than.the first labour (once i put aside my worries about my baby being prem) because i had laboured before; somehow it was copeable whereas i really struggled the first time and ended up with an epidural. The pain wasn't worse as such, somehow i just coped better

my cs recovery was problem free, but one thing would make me hesitate - having to cope with another child and a newborn during recovery. I couldn't carry my baby in a carseat, never mind cope with a toddler.

one thing that helped me feel ok about my first birth and prepare for the second was a debrief at my hospital. Would you consider this?

PattySimcox Tue 04-Oct-11 21:03:13

For me the CS was much easier, although the HCPs would tell you differently.

DS was 9lb at 41 weeks and forceps delivery - gas and air wasn't enough so I had an epidural but they slowed it down to enable me to feel when to push but I just couldn't push him out (had been in labour for 20 hours) so had an episiotomy plus tears plus stitches.

Two weeks later I was still in agony from my stitches which the m/w told me had dissolved. Went to see GP to be told that they hadn't dissolved but were infected and the knots were embedded in my skin so had to have them snipped at the GP surgery with no pain relief.

For other medical reasons my consultant recommended an ELCS for DD at 38 weeks. It was a lovely positive experience. Ok my legs were numb and I was therefore confined to the bed for 6 hours but apart from that all went really well and when my Mum came to see me she said I looked so well as opposed to after DS when I looked really really ill. I couldn't drive for a few weeks after which was quite restrictive and had to have daily injections - maybe ABs or anti clotting drugs for a week, sorry can't remember.

spookshowangellovesit Tue 04-Oct-11 21:06:12

i think second labours are easier mentally because you know what to expect iyswim. i thought i was going to die with my first one and i had an epidural after 10 hrs. second one was better and much quicker though i did tear quite badly. havent had any csections yet sorry.

Spellcheck Tue 04-Oct-11 21:13:52

Have had both. I laboured with all three dc, all were back-to-back presentation which was bloody agony. First and third ended up as emergency cs, middle was a vbac ventouse. All traumatic, all were distressed, really horrid especially after blissful pregnancies.

As for afterwards, well I found going to the loo much better after a cs, obviously, but there was always the worry of the stitches, and picking up other dcs, housework, driving, etc. I still hanker after a 'proper' birth and feel that there was far too much intervention in all my birth experiences - being made to lie down was not good.

I have to have an elective cs in March (hopefully, currently in panic about m/c), and if things were different I would have a vbac. Definitely.

Good luck...!

jellybeans Tue 04-Oct-11 21:15:45

I've had 2 normal term births (1st degree tear, 2nd degree tear), 3 sections (1 crash, 1 emerg, 1 elective).

For me, normal birth is way better where safe. I was elated (but it was a VBAC) to have experienced birth itself. The actual birth part was very painful-I had a bad tear. It hurt for 2 weeks but not like a section scar/wind pain/being stuck in bed/unable to lift baby etc. I personally found an operation quite scary. My elective was great (compared with the awful crash one) but so clinical. I was in pain 3 weeks after and it just felt tougher to recover from mentally and physically.

WinnieMac Tue 04-Oct-11 21:20:35

Beatrice75, I had a horrendous back-to-back vaginal birth with DC1 (drug-free home birth that ended with forceps, as DC1 was too low down for EMCS; my mother, who was at the birth, was told to prepare herself for the worst sad), and an ELCS with DC2. The ELCS was by comparison - and I stress this is by comparison with the vaginal birth from hell - a complete dream. Yes, it hurt for a few weeks afterwards. But my vaginal birth hurt for months, and I'm still suffering some of the after-effects (including psychological trauma) nearly ten years on. sad

I insisted on ELCS the second time round, and I am so glad I did. It isn't necessarily right for you, but it was right for me.

Raven78 Tue 04-Oct-11 21:57:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Backinthebox Tue 04-Oct-11 22:05:13

OP, this is the kind of question that no matter how many times you ask and how many different ways you ask it, you will never get a consistent answer. Everyone's experiences are different.

My CS was awful and took a while to recover from. My VB was quick, easy and painless. Even my slightly hippy-ish IM said I was abnormally elated by the whole thing!

But if you ask enough people, you will find people who had horrific VBs and lovely CSs. Only in hindsight will you know if you made the right choice, I'm afraid.

beatrice75 Wed 05-Oct-11 11:33:06

I'm so grateful for all your replies. I know I'm not going to get consesus over this but just hearing real life experiences of both does help an awful lot. I've always wondered why HCPs say that a VB is always better and I've often thought that surely it can't be always better, or at least not for everyone.
I think if mentally I could be stronger then I wouldn't be all over the place like a was last time. I'm looking into hypnobirthing, anyone's tried and would recommend?

Raven78 Wed 05-Oct-11 18:26:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cassettetapeandpencil Wed 05-Oct-11 18:32:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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