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Possibly the most stupid question ever asked on MN

(34 Posts)
forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 10:43:24

Ok... Deep breath...

Writing my birth plan at the moment and I'm pretty much 'I will take things as they come and I feel informed enough to make decisions'...

With one exception. I really, really don't want to be under general anaesthetic as I don't want to miss baby being born (please don't think I'm judging anyone who has done this, it's personal preference and I know I would be really upset).

Feels to me that the only way I can be certain of avoiding this, even if an emcs were needed, is to have an epidural early enough on, so that I can have a section and be awake.

Is this the most stupid pregnant-lady logic ever? Can I make a case for this to avoid the one scenario that is making me a bit tearful? I've genuinely no idea... Help please!

forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 22:57:04

Thank you all (too many to namecheck now, but I appreciate every comment), from a state of genuine near-hysteria about something that may never happen/is rare/isn't an issue for the reason I think it is anyway, I'm not back to my relaxed, positive birth plan ideas. It really is great having reassurance like this from people who've been there and know better. You are all stars, thanks flowers

olivertheoctopus Sun 12-May-13 21:26:12

It is very very very rare to need a general for a section. Even if they have to rush you for a section they tend just to stick a spinal block in. And if you've been labouring for so long that they decide to section you then chances are you might have gone down the epidural route anyway.

If you get to the point of needing an emergency general then things will be so critical that not seeing the baby be born will be far preferable to one of you dying. Don't sweat it and don't let your concern about avoiding a general push you into an epidural too early. Frankly it's a pain in the ass not being able to use your legs after the baby is born if everything else is fine!

Good luck!

GibberTheMonkey Sun 12-May-13 21:25:33

I had a ga with a crash section
To be honest by that point it really was the least of my worries.
Yes I was scared as they wheeled me in why getting me to sign and yes I could feel them putting in the catheter as I went under they were in such a hurry but truly it was the best thing in the circumstances

BikeRunSki Sun 12-May-13 21:10:20

Please don't be afraid of a GA. I went in for an active VBAC birth. V keen as DS was an emcs. Things didn't go quite to plan, and I had another emcs, this time under GA. I also brought home a happy, healthy and live baby. You will only ever be given a GA if yours or the baby's life is under threat. In my case it was both. If the medical team feel that a GA is necessary you won't really get much choice.

FWIW, I have 2 DC, and as you can see above,both were emcs. I don't feel short-changed in.anyway for not having "pushed".

SauvignonBlanche Sun 12-May-13 21:02:06

I had an EMCS with DS, the anaesthetist came to discuss options options but I'm afraid I just snapped "what's going to be quickest?".
I woke up nose to nose with DS, it was lovely.
I ended up with another EMCS with DD, I went into the anaesthetist room for an epidural but changed my mind at the last second.
Your views will be respected.

HariboAndWine Sun 12-May-13 21:01:25

Try not to worry as the chances are you won't need one but if you do it really isn't the end of the world. I had a crash cesarean due to the cord being wrapped tightly around baby's neck. Without ga my baby wouldn't be here now. It's upsetting but nothing compared to the alternative which doesn't bear thinking about. Good luck smile

LunaticFringe Sun 12-May-13 20:58:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sleeplessinselondon Sun 12-May-13 20:55:45

I had the same experience as TheApprentice, GA as both epidural and spinal didn't take and there was no other choice. My husband had a lovely 30 minutes with DD while I came round and it has never caused any problems, she breast-fed with no problems straight away etc. Again I am the only person I know who had GA - it is rare as everyone says and is a last resort.

TheApprentice Sun 12-May-13 20:55:00

Glad to help!

forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 20:47:39

Thanks theapprentice - that's exactly why I was worried, again through talking to someone who hadn't had a good experience (coupled with lack of sleep and nerves). So pleased to hear that it didn't make any difference, that really does make me feel a lot better.

And thanks too fairimum - really really appreciate people taking the time to share their experiences to calm down my mad notions!

TheApprentice Sun 12-May-13 20:40:56

I had a ga because the epidural and spinal didnt work. But its very rare - don't know anyone else this has happened to. Also, let me assure you in the strongest possible terms that, in the very unlikely chance that it should happen to you, it does not matter. Of course it was my wish to see ds being born but I couldn't and didn't and it made not the slightest bit of difference to our bonding etc. He's now 6 and we are very close. There have been far more important things to be focussing on over the last few years than whether I saw him being born!

fairimum Sun 12-May-13 20:35:20

i have had 2 emergency sections and had spinals, i was awake and although emergency everything was calm (other than me!) and saw baby straight away. I ahve also had a crash (GA) section and they are only done if you or baby is in immediate danger, it is very rare and happens very very fast - think plugs pulled from wall and off down corridor, stripped off and cleaned before even asleep - was that or risk both baby and i not being here - we were both fine, but it is only ever done if they have to.

forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 12:34:04

Thanks snowflake pie, very kind smile and larrygrylls for sharing your experience... I think now it's getting closer the worries are coming out now! You've all made a paranoid waddling woman much calmer, thank you flowers

larrygrylls Sun 12-May-13 11:36:07

My wife had a GA due to a crash section and the block not taking. To be honest, at that point, she was so far beyond caring that the anaesthetic came as a huge relief. She was out for about 40 minutes and mother and baby were fine. The advantage was that I got about 40 mins of solo time with my first born (although I had no clue how to get a nappy on him!) so it was not all bad.

Generally they far prefer not to use GA unless absolutely necessary as it is costlier and adds some (tiny) additional risk.

Snowflakepie Sun 12-May-13 11:29:28

Don't fret love - and it's not a stupid question either. DD is now 3.5 yrs and with all the groups we have been to, I have never met anyone who had a GA. They really are for life and death situations when there is no other choice. The only one I even know about was on OBEM when the mum was hysterical about needles and they couldn't give her a spinal, so just had to knock her out.

There are many, many other options for birth that will be considered before GA. Listen to your mw, try to stay active and don't let the fear take over. Bet you manage with nothing but gas and air, only have the epidural if you honestly feel you need it as it can slow things and change the whole process. If a GA was required I don't think having already had an epi would avoid it.

Good luck, enjoy your nap!

forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 11:20:41

Thanks victoria - again I'm ill informed about crash/emcs differences - knew there was a gap in my understanding!!

Can kip now instead of fretting smile

squalorvictoria Sun 12-May-13 11:15:44

The likelihood if you needing a crash section (as opposed to an emergency section) is pretty low. And if you DID need a crash section, it's a life threatening situation and a GA is non-negotiable. Try not to worry about it smile

forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 11:07:01

You're spot on mrshende.

I wouldn't do anything I felt would risk me or baby. At all. But hearing that even in emergency there is time for other options is great - I think I have met a disproportionately high amount of people who've had GA and it's freaked me out a bit as I was genuinely thinking of it as a very last option (which seems to have been right!)

MrsHende Sun 12-May-13 11:05:07

Cross posts with lots of people!

Lots of luck xx

MrsHende Sun 12-May-13 11:04:05

I had an emergency section and had time for a spinal - I do think it's really rare to need a general.

And, like the others say, it's not silly to not want it but, if it came to it, then all you would want is to have both you and your baby as safe as possible and I'm certain that would overwhelm all other feelings about not seeing the birth.

forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 11:03:39

Thanks surfybridge for being very kind to the mad neurotic woman! smile I have the midwife during the week so I think I will talk to her about it then... But I'm so glad to hear it is much rarer than I thought (MN is great!)

forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 11:01:34

Thanks tigger, you are all calming me down a huge amount on this (may even be able to get a couple of hours sleep now...!) smile

Surfybridge Sun 12-May-13 11:01:29

Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy! smile

Hard as it is, try not to worry too much about having a general anaesthetic with a section. As far as I'm aware, that is quite rare nowadays. Could you ask your midwife/obstectrician what would lead to someone to have a general rather than an epidural. I'm sure they would only do it as a last resort where you didn't really have any other option anyway or with someone who couldn't have an epidural for some reason (some spinal deformities). That might reassure you?
You're not being stupid at all, just trying to give yourself as much control as you can over an unpredictable situation! Early epidural might well be an option but check with your care providers. Good luck smile

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Sun 12-May-13 11:00:14

I had an emergency section and was awake.
It's only very extreme cases that you'd have a general anaesthetic. In those cases a prior epidural won't make a difference I'd imagine.

Don't worry about something that might never happen.

forgetmenots Sun 12-May-13 10:59:18

Maybe this is what it is - I've met a few people who have had them and I've thought it's more common than it is (ie most c-sections that weren't elective far in advance). That is reassuring to know and means I can see it a lot more like lowlevel was suggesting.

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