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Second baby- induction or c section at 39 or 40 weeks?

(28 Posts)
PontypineNumber9 Mon 10-Nov-14 18:32:35

Hi - I posted this on the childbirth thread but hope I may have more luck with replies here...
I am 26 weeks pregnant with DC2. Due to complications with DD's birth and the fact she was very ill when she was born (possibly related to forceps delivery and /or being 13 days overdue) I am being advised to be induced or have a c section at 39 or 40 weeks if the baby hasn't arrived by then.
DD was a spontaneous labour, I went into labour at 41+5. As I was so late first time around I doubt I will go into labour before my due date so it looks like I will need to decide between an induction or a caesarean at 39 or 40 weeks. I know there are big downsides to both and I'm finding it really difficult to choose. Any advice/experiences you can share?
I'd be particularly keen to hear about experiences of inductions for second babies. I thought induction was meant to be slow and painful and require epidural/instrumental delivery but my midwife says they are generally faster if you have already had a baby. Given the drama surrounding my first labour I like the idea of a calm and clinical caesarean but am scared by the recovery time, especially with a toddler to look after.
Thanks in advance.

Bondy83 Mon 10-Nov-14 18:40:07

I had an induction with ds2 it was a really positive experience it cuts out all the slow labour I was 8.5hrs from having the gel to delivery. If it were Me I'd opt for induction over a section purely on the recovery time after, I can imagine it being quite hard to look after 2 children after major surgery that a section is.

PontypineNumber9 Mon 10-Nov-14 19:08:17

Thanks Bondy. That's helpful to hear and I'm glad you had a good experience. I think I am leaning towards induction at the moment just because there's at least a chance I can have a normal(ish) delivery and be back on my feet. Also my midwife has assured me that at the first hint of something not going right (eg meconium in the waters) I would be given a c section anyway, so I'm tempted to give it a try.

Tomkat79 Mon 10-Nov-14 19:57:31

Hi OP
I was induced at 42 weeks in may, 3 rounds unfortunately failed and I had a cat 3 section, so quite relaxed.
I cannot for the life of me understand why any woman would choose a section over a vaginal birth unless deemed absolutely necessary. I have a good pain threshold but nothing prepared me for it!
So I'd try the induction route first for sure.

PontypineNumber9 Mon 10-Nov-14 20:09:23

Oh Tomkat sorry to hear you were in so much pain. Can I please ask whether that was a first or subsequent labour?

Tomkat79 Mon 10-Nov-14 21:29:37

It was my 2nd child. Cocky 6 hour birth with my DS, now 7 so was very unexpected. I had a colposcopy about 4 years ago and no-one realised that the laser surgery I had then had scarred my cervix badly and no amount of induction was gonna dilate it..so a section was the only way. After 3 days of contracting and no dilation though I just wanted her here safely.
I came home the day after the ceaserean on a 'fast-trak' service offered by our hospital. Pain levels weren't too bad in hospital (except for when I rolled onto tummy in the night and got tangled in my catheter tube!) as I think they gave me a good dose of something good in theatre.
Looking back now though I do think I did too much too soon, trying to be a hero. It hurt to sneeze, hurt to stand after sitting for prolonged periods feeding and your first poo is like the head crowning! I lost an awful lot of blood due to a post partum heammorhage and ended up pretty anaemic. I also only have minimal feeling around the scar line 6 months on.
However, the staff were fab and all very relaxed in theatre welcoming my DD into the world.

PontypineNumber9 Mon 10-Nov-14 22:09:18

Oh gosh it sounds like quite a traumatic experience. I'm so glad both you and the little one were fine. Ultimately that's what it's all about. And I'm glad you feel like you had such good care. It does sound like the problems with your induction were quite specific to you though. I wonder if my midwife is right and second time round inductions dont generally have the same problems associated with the first.

Tomkat79 Mon 10-Nov-14 22:38:51

I think you're midwife is right. All 6 of us in my NCT group were induced for various reasons, ie pre-exclampsia/overdue etc and they were all straight forward with a natural birth apart from my section. I'm sure you'll make the right decision, you have a bit of time yet to consider all options x

junkfoodaddict Tue 11-Nov-14 08:34:06

I had an induction at 39 weeks due to low fluid, an inefficient placenta and growth retardation (the little bugger is fine now though!)
I found the induction horrendous. I was told afterwards that inductions are more painful than natural labour because you are going against nature to bring on labour and the drugs you have speed everything up so labour pains are more intense. I was told this was not the case before induction but afterwards it seems everyone came out of the woodwork to tell me it was worse!
My induction though was different to the 'norm'. A rare reaction to the peswari, given a drip to speed things up when the peswari hadn't been removed meant I ended up with violent contractions, a placenta abruption, 1500ml of blood lost, foetus heart rate down to <60a NC a uterine tear during my crash c section. I was in high dependency for 24 hours and DS was in SCBU for thee days and both in hospital for a week. Having said that, once the c section happened, everything went smoothly and I suffered no pains afterwards just the norm after a c section.
This time (21 weeks pregnant) my elective c section is booked. I went for the routine vac clinic but within 2 minutes the midwives could see a c section would be best as well as me opting for one. My consultant looked at my notes and booked me in on my chosen date there and then (16th March).
I feel much more in control going for an elective amid as I have been in labour as well as had a c section feel that a c section fits my needs perfectly and I am able to relax more and enjoy my pregnancy.
Only you can decide if an induction or c section is for you. C sections come with their risks and aren't entirely pain free. I found getting in and out of bed slow and tricky for five days and just a bit of a nuisance showering, toilet etc, etc. Ask why your baby needed forceps - was it because your baby didn't descend, got stuck was it maybe down to a small pelvis? If it was down to your anatomy, then I would suggest a c section but it could have been 'just one of those things' last time round and you may feel better having an induction as the recovery rate is quicker, but still comes with risks; higher risks of an EMCS if it goes wrong.
It isn't an easy decision and whatever you decide, don't allow others to make you f,eel guilty. I have had some raised eyebrows because I elected (as well as being advised) to have a c section by people who think they know best when as a matter of fact don't.

junkfoodaddict Tue 11-Nov-14 08:35:21

Bloody ipad!

wigfieldrocks Tue 11-Nov-14 09:53:20

Purely from personal experience (as I'm sure lots of people have had good experiences with induction) having had an induction with my first ds and an elective cs with my second I found the elective cs a much better experience. My induction ended in ventouse and forceps delivery with baby in distress, painful tears and episiotomy. Recovery was long and in was very uncomfortable. The delivery was stressful, had to have fetal and blood gas monitoring throughout. There was nothing about that first delivery that felt 'natural'. My section was calm, organised, quick and I was home the next day. Recovery was relatively quick, mild discomfort for a couple of weeks but nothing a couple of painkillers couldn't help. I am now 35 weeks with my third and booked in for elective cs again. I can honestly say I don't feel I missed out at all by not delivering the 'natural' way, but of course it is major surgery and once you have had one there will be limits on how many more sections you can have in the future. Good luck with whatever you decide.

PontypineNumber9 Tue 11-Nov-14 16:30:00

Thank you so much for your honest stories. I'm 26 weeks now so have some time to decide. I almost wish someone would just tell me what to do though. Each time I think I've decided I read something else and change my mind again! I'm leaning towards induction (I've been told I could do this and have a very low caesarean threshold) but will keep my options open for a while longer.

Hobby2014 Tue 11-Nov-14 16:44:34

I've only had one baby. Went in for an induction on Tuesday, eventually asked for a section and he arrived Friday night. Induction was awful. Worse than awful. Section was a great experience, recovery was fine too to be honest. If I was to fall pregnant again id have a section without hesitation.

Hobby2014 Tue 11-Nov-14 16:48:08

I should say that the induction did nothing to me, I wasn't contracting (well I couldn't feel them), wasn't dilating, nothing was happening. The awful parts were the internals. In the end I couldn't take it. However for all the other ladies in the ward they were having one internal, then in full blown labour within a few hours, but I was being continuously checked, prodded and poked but not progressing in any way.

PontypineNumber9 Tue 11-Nov-14 18:11:45

Some awful induction stories in here- sorry to hear sone of you have had such a tough time. But it seems like they're mainly first babies? My first labour was spontaneous and very quick. I've been told by my midwife and consultant that with that history they would expect an induction around my due date to work quickly- so hopefully I could avoid some of the downsides assiciated with inductions in first labour. Does anyone have any experience of that?

SeptemberBabies Tue 11-Nov-14 18:26:30

I've been told by my midwife and consultant that with that history they would expect an induction around my due date to work quickly

Hmmm. Be careful what you wish for.

I'm on DC4 (6 weeks old). All other three children were overdue and natural virginal deliveries. I refused induction for two DC, they came on their own and all was fine.

Not so patient with DC4. Induced at +12. My first induction. My first C-section (emergency).

Yes, induction was indeed quick with DC4. Contractions started straight after induction pessary. Within 2 hours they were 6 or 7 in ten minutes, lasting 1 minutes plus each time.

Que midwife suggesting a move down to delivery suit since I was clearly ready to deliver. Much excitement by me. Just needed the internal to check my dilation, as a formality.

Unfortunately my body was so good at contacting that it went too fast for my cervix. Because my body hadn't gone into labour naturally, my body was not ready to give birth even when forced.

Zero 0 cm and cm dilated, cervix still posterior, high and hard. Yet contacting almost solidly. Monitors then started showing baby's heartbeat dropping with every contraction.

When you think about it, as I have when reflecting, this is not surprising since her head was being bashed against a not-at-all-ready cervix so rapidly.

I was a type 1 emergency section (which means baby must be delivered within 20 minutes of decision being made). She was born with my cervix completely undiluted. All due to the induction rushing my body.

Sugarpiehoniebunch Tue 11-Nov-14 18:26:50

Hi ponty I had a planned c section which was cancelled long story any way i was induced nothing happened then I had a very serious bleed and they had to do an emergency c section and I will be very honest to you it wasn't the best experience I was discharged then re admitted on day 5 because pain wasn't going away even with morphine I was then put on antibiotics had had tests including MRI scan thankfully my baby was fine I would not encourage any one to choose a c section in less it's a medical reason it's a huge operation and has a massive effect on you

PrincessOfChina Tue 11-Nov-14 18:28:51

I don't know of anyone who has been induced post-dates and not had to have an EMCS or instrumental delivery after several days of slow labour.

However, anecdote does not equal data.

PontypineNumber9 Tue 11-Nov-14 19:37:36

September- just to be clear I'm not choosing an induction or a c section for fun. DD was born (spontaneous labour) at 41+6 and following a traumatic labour and forceps delivery she had serious issues (apgar of 2, hypoxia leading to organ failure and multiple strokes). I will not be allowed to go overdue this time as being so late may have been a factor in her condition at birth (although I am convinced it was trauma during labour). So I am being given the option of a c section or induction at 39 or 40 weeks. In trying to decide between the two but there are so many horror stories with both!

babyblabber Tue 11-Nov-14 21:41:21

I had an induction on my first and elective section on my second snd the section was way easier to recover from (due to the length of the induction & labour & forceps). My section pain was minimal compared to pain from episiotomy & bruising from forceps first time around and apart from not driving, which I found frustrating, recovery was fine.

But anyone I know who has been induced for second baby had a much better experience than I had so might be worth a shot. I'm open to correction but my understanding is that the pessary is to open/soften your cervix enough so that your waters can be manually broken. And I also think most women are often 1-2cm dilated on second & subsequent pregnancies weeks before due date. So induction would just be breaking your waters. This was defo what happened with one friend of mine. I think it's worth a chance given your first labour & you can always discuss in advance at what stage you could move to a section.

wigfieldrocks Wed 12-Nov-14 08:51:15

Always good to remember there is a world of difference between an emergency section and an elective one. They are not the same thing at all and recovery is entirely different.

SeptemberBabies Wed 12-Nov-14 17:06:26

My recommendation would be elected c-section over induction.

Trauma free and calm delivery

Pisghetti Wed 12-Nov-14 20:22:09

I was induced at 41+5 with my first. I had a straightforward labour and delivery with no assistance and no stitches needed afterwards. So it is possible...

I'm currently pregnant with my second. I would resist induction this time but only because I want to use the MLU (however that option wouldn't be available if I went too far over anyway)

didireallysaythat Wed 12-Nov-14 20:29:05

Like several others I had an induction the first time and asked for and got a c section the second time. If I was to do it again I'd choose a c section. It was great and recovery was much easier.

salonmeblowy Wed 12-Nov-14 22:23:35

Just to add a different experience - I was induced with my first at 42 weeks and it was fine. I laboured for several days, but it was slow and the pain was manageable. I was moved to a labour ward a couple of days after being admitted and was already 5cm dilated. I had some diamorphine a couple of hours before DS was born, but otherwise just managed the drip on gas and air. He was born with just a midwife and DH by my side with an Apgar score of 10 and landed straight on my chest. It was wonderful. I did need some stitches afterwards for a second degree tear, but my son was 9lbs2oz and his head circumference was on the 99th percentile, so I think I still got off lightly. The recovery was brilliant, I went for a shower once I was all fixed and left the ward a few hours later. It was not the water birth I dreamt of, but I'd much rather do that again than sign up for elective surgery for a breech baby I am currently cooking (34 weeks).

Obviously, labour can go wrong and there are always risks associated with different interventions, as indeed there are risks with just letting nature take its course, which I understand is not an option for you anyway. There are a few old threads on mumsnet about inductions for second babies after a previous successful vaginal delivery and the stories are generally quite positive - do have a search. Whatever you choose, good luck and I hope it all goes well!

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