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Really really stuck about ELCS

(19 Posts)
MummyPiggy87 Thu 16-Jul-15 12:58:32

I know there's another thread about ELCS after EMCS but this is slightly different.
I had my consultation today at the hospital to basically ask what I want to do, vbac or elcs.
I went in knowing what I wanted which was an ELCS.
The doctors face just dropped like he was so disappointed in me or something? He basically has scared the life out of me by telling me how dangerous it is compared to vbac, listed EVERYTHING that could happen, even down to losing the baby during operation. Clots, ruptures, damaged uterus, bowel and womb. Omg the list was endless.
The reason I wanted it, is because with dc1 I had intention of having natural birth, with as little pain relief as possible. That ended up being a 33 hour labour, all the painkillers going, failed forceps, and emcs. Baby came out not breathing and as taken away. Im petrified. I don't want that again, I don't want to potentially lose my baby like I nearly did. I don't want to risk another EMCS!!
And if I have the option here to have a straight forward ELCS booked, nice and stress free operation, then surely its best? Isn't it? What would you do? I literally am SO stuck, he's made another appointment for me to come back once I've decided. He didn't even book it because he is clearly so against it.

Chchchchangeabout Thu 16-Jul-15 13:05:40

It's your choice. There are risks with natural birth as well. And it is not a straight choice of section vs vaginal birth is it? It's elcs vs vbac with chance of emcs.

LastOneDancing Thu 16-Jul-15 13:13:04

I have no wise words OP but I absolutely understand your fear. My story is very similar to yours, although luckily DS was fine.

Consultants do, of course, have to outline the risks of a major op and can present a different option but ultimately should respect your choice, try to address your fears and not pull dismayed faces hmm

Could you ask to speak to a different consultant or even a senior midwife to discuss your reasons and get a second opinion?

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 16-Jul-15 13:55:49

Mine might be the other thread you mention. I'm the same as you, I don't want to be going into emergency surgery again and see ELCS as kind of the middle ground (probably not as nice as a straightforward vaginal birth but better than a complicated VB or emcs)
I hope you get what you want. And I know what you mean about people acting disappointed

crumble74 Thu 16-Jul-15 14:03:13

I would ask to see a different consultant OP. It is ultimately your choice and although I agree they have to state the risks they should do it objectively and definitely not question your choices.
I am always surprised how widely different the spectrum of acceptance is. I had an ELCS for number 1 (breech) and requested another one for DC2. They agreed immediately but said they needed to just state the risks "for the record". I'm sure another consultant would be more sympathetic especially given your previous birth history. Good luck!

Didiusfalco Thu 16-Jul-15 14:08:40

I think someone could equally outline all the risks of vaginal birth and scare the hell out of you too. I had a complicated vaginal birth that required a subsequent Op and then an Elcs that wasnt as stress free as I hoped and baby went to scbu. Giving birth is a risky business and having tried both ways Im not sure there is a nice way to do it. However i would choose my Elcs, performed in office hours with consultants and paediatricians on hand over my middle of the night Saturday vaginal birth. Ultimately i think you have to get as much info as possible and weigh up the risks for yourself.

MummyPiggy87 Thu 16-Jul-15 14:24:56

Thank you so much for the support, I think asking for a different consultant might be a good idea, he clearly was against my decision and made that very clear. I don't know if it's down to money or resources, either way it's so disappointing when you had already decided what you wanted then get left in limbo.
I kind of wish he did go through the dangers of having a vbac, he didn't. He just kept saying you have a 74-76% chance of having a successful birth. What about the other 25%?! Argh. Anyway, I'll speak to the midwife when she's free, I really didn't know who to talk to about this so thank you everyone.

Blazing88 Thu 16-Jul-15 14:30:54

Hmm. I've had both. Awful natural first birth. I was advised to have a c section for no 2 because of damage caused by no1.

Honestly? The c section was 100 times worse than my natural birth.

Sorry. I know that's not very helpful, but I would lose the 'nice stress free' operation approach - and maybe that's where he was coming from?

My section went wrong, the anaesthetic didn't work, I could feel everything. Ended up under GA. Awful recovery. Felt detached from the baby (unlike natural birth where I immediately felt a rush of love). It took well over 6 months to have a bond with my son, and 14 months later I am still completely numb in my stomach area and my scar is still sore.

Still got to have the damage from birth no1 sorted surgically and yet ironically, mentally, the damage from no 2 was much worse.

So please. You need to regard it as a major operation. It'd not guaranteed to be any more pleasant just because it's planned!

Fairylea Thu 16-Jul-15 14:33:33

I had a similar situation to you and a similar consultant who tried to scare the life out of me. I stuck to my guns and told him if they didn't grant me a c section I would sue them for maternal distress and for the pnd I would suffer as a result (I had terrible pnd after the birth of my first child because of a 3 day traumatic vaginal birth). That seemed to work and they got the book out then and there to book me in. For me it was the right decision and I found my elcs 100 times better than my vaginal birth and I'd have another in a heartbeat.

I think they have to tell you all the risks and try to put you off but at the end of the day it's your decision and lots of women choose to have them everyday with no complications at all.

I find it strange that they don't ever sit pregnant women down and tell them all the risks of a difficult vaginal birth....! Surely that would be more balanced.

MummyPiggy87 Thu 16-Jul-15 14:53:45

Blazing, thanks for sharing. Sorry you went through all that both times!

Fairy, I know, they should definitely balance it out, if they had I don't think making the decision would be so difficult.

BadgerFace Thu 16-Jul-15 17:09:31

Wow, I can't believe he was so one sided with you! Yes they have to tell you the risks of an operation but it's not very balanced to then not give you All the risks that come with a VBAC too! Did he talk about the VBAC risks of third degree tears? Potential double incontinence? Hundreds of internal stitches, which could be done badly (as in the case of a friend of mine) and have to be recut and restiched 3 months later... Terrible things can unfortunately happen however the baby is delivered!

I had an EMCS with DD (although I was fairly "lucky" in that it was needed 2 hours into labour rather than after hours and hours of labour) but I found out at my labour debrief that she needed a few resuscitation breaths on delivery. I am currently 14 weeks with No. 2 and am 98% certain I will have an ELCS for lots of reasons, one of which is I have read that on average a VBAC is marginally safer for the mother and an ELCS marginally safer for the baby. I would rather take the risk with me than the baby.

Stick to your guns if you feel an ELCS is best for you. I would ask to see a different consultant possibly. Ignore the consultant's attitude, very unprofessional of him IMO!

Blazing88 Thu 16-Jul-15 19:56:43

The consultant sounds like an arse.

As everyone has said, birth is risky. Doesn't really matter which way you do it.

Sorry, I was a bit harsh really re-reading mine, and I didn't mean to be. blush Clearly still have a lot of unresolved issues mentally!

I just think maybe the consultant felt you were thinking a planned c section was a breeze - consultant picked up on that and then decided to make it as hard as possible for you?

I'd ask to see someone else. Say you've weighed up all choices/options etc, you know the risks blah blah and this is what you'd like.

Good luck whichever route you choose and I'm sure things will be fine flowers

seaoflove Thu 16-Jul-15 20:00:36

I had a FANTASTIC, textbook, trouble free ELCS nine weeks ago.

The surgeon came to see me beforehand, and mentioned the risks: they have to. Then he said "and of course the vast majority of the time, there are no complications".

Doctors are duty bound to tell you the risks, but it sounds like this one went way OTT in an attempt to sway you towards a VBAC.

You certainly don't need to worry about disappointing him. You owe him nothing!

seaoflove Thu 16-Jul-15 20:05:10

My experience is the opposite of Blazing. I had a horrible vaginal birth and tore so badly I needed to be stitched in theatre, under epidural. No rush of love, felt very detached from baby. Subsequent postnatal depression.

ELCS brilliant, stress free, recovery a hundred times better than having a wrecked perineum. Instant rush of love for baby. No PND.

So, there you go. There are people at each end of the spectrum however you look at it.

WLondonMum Thu 16-Jul-15 20:08:44

This is a very good book (it's on Amazon) which I felt gave a very balanced view of the risks of a CS... and more importantly the risk of a natural birth.

Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan Paperback by Magnus Murphy

I found my consultants were very vocal on the dangers of a CS but silent on the risks of natural birth: prolapse, damage from instrumental birth etc.

I have had two natural births and one ELCS. I have to say I recovered better from the natural births... but the scary complications of the second natural birth (intervention etc.) meant I wasn't prepared to take those particular risks again. I wasn't planning on having any further children and am older so I felt the ELCS risks were the right choice for me. It's a difficult decision to make and I found it helped to educate myself on the risks rather than accept the NHS line.

MummyPiggy87 Thu 16-Jul-15 20:48:54

Thanks for the replies again, it really does help in making the decision.
My mum has a prolapse uterus due difficult births with me and my sister which I have to admit does also scare me! I think the main thing I'm worried about is having another EMCS, I didn't mention that my epidural leaked and I ended up feeling them during operation, just after they took the baby away they knocked me out! Luckily I didn't have any issues bonding with my son.
I think from reading a few stories here and having already previously decided what I wanted I'm going to go ahead have have the ELCS. Thank you everyone for your kind words and helpful comments x

seaoflove Thu 16-Jul-15 20:52:19

I found my consultants were very vocal on the dangers of a CS but silent on the risks of natural birth: prolapse, damage from instrumental birth etc

Totally agree. My main concern was causing further damage to my pelvic floor and tearing again. The consultant completely dismissed it - you're unlikely to tear again (oh really?) and vaginal births don't stress the pelvic floor at all, it's pregnancy alone that does it (OH REALLY?)

Sparky888 Fri 17-Jul-15 10:36:54

I've found exactly the same: literally not told of a single risk associated with vaginal birth, at all by the Nhs (midwives x8 or doctors x2). I think this is one of the reasons there are really surprised threads on here re: tearing, stitches, pelvic floor damage, forcep/ventouse complications infections, incontinence, on-going pain etc.

I agree with WLondonMum: I think it's best read up on risk ps of both, then choose which you 'prefer' for you/your baby. Neither is risk free.

I agree it can be hard to decide then not be supported in your decision, but you should ask them about risks of both, then tell them what you want.
Best of luck.

MummyPiggy87 Fri 17-Jul-15 13:36:45

Thanks sparky. I'll do that, I reckon they'll be reluctant in saying but I'll give it a go. I am 99% sure I want an elcs now anyway.

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