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Help to get my head around caesarian

(14 Posts)
mum27 Thu 28-May-09 04:35:26

This might sound strange but I'm on my 8th baby and still haven't got all the answers. My last pregnancy ended up in an emergency c section as the baby was trying to come out elbow first. It ended up being a horribly traumatic experience as they had to try 5 times to get the spinal block in, apparently I have a calcified spine and while they were trying the midwife was saying she couldn't hear the heartbeat. It took 5 doses of the drug for me to eventually lie and say I was numb, it seems I got a partial block on one side only and I could feel everything on the other. Then they cut an artery and all I could see was what looked like a massacre, bloody sheets and towels everywhere, the suction machine full and my blood pressure lowered to 80/20. Needless to say I want to avoid that this time so am opting for an elective section due to the more babies, the more room for them to move at the last minute the more chance of another emergency section. What I want to know is how can I get the past experience out of my head and what can I do to prepare for it this time if I don't know what a normal one is supposed to be like. Help please

tessofthedurbervilles Thu 28-May-09 04:57:49

How were the other 7? If Ok then you need to focus on the probability of that happening again, which is unlikely.
An elective c section is utterly different and will be 'right I'm off to have my baby now' as its all booked in advance the process will be more clinical and certainly less dramatic and traumatic than your last exp.

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 03-Jun-09 11:40:21

If it helps, mum:
While I was on the postnatal ward after having DS (by emergency section), a girl came in one morning for a planned section (I think the usual area was full so she came into the postnatal ward for the getting-ready part) so I could see/hear the doctors and midwives coming to help her get sorted.

The poor girl was obviously a bit upset/scared about the whole thing... but what struck me was the staff were all being SOOO nice to her, it almost made me cry (blame post-birth hormones perhaps grin). They were really calm and reassuring, managed to make some extra time for her to get calm and ready, they went through all the prep stuff with her and then she went off - and came back a while later with the new baby, all having gone well! The main thing I took from that is that there is SOOO much difference between an elective and emergency section, you can't really compare the two.

It might help you as well to do some reading up on what a normal CS is like, or speak to your MW (or even ask to speak to someone at the hospital if that's possible). I think there are also options for counselling in some areas to help you deal with traumatic birth experiences, your MW should know about that too. And it might also be worth writing a birth plan to share with the staff, it might help you feel more in control if you are able to specify things like how you find out the baby's gender, maybe even what music you would like played and so on, even if it sounds frivolous! Hopefully some of that will help you to feel more comfortable with the idea.

Meglet Wed 03-Jun-09 11:50:18

i had an em cs with my first child, ds, and a planned cs with dd. The planned cs was lovely. You will have had a pre-op a week before so they will have checked everything they need (blood, heart etc), so there shouldn't be any problems in theatre. Then you will probably turn up at hospital in the morning, meet the aneasthetist and get ready. The staff will have done it hundreds of times before so you just need to let them do it, I was very nervous before my planned cs and the midwife was holding my hand while they got me ready on the operating table (dp wasn't allowed in until they were ready to cut me open). You're bound to be nervous but you will be suprised at how calm it is smile. By lunchtime you will be in recovery and able to relax.

must go....dd is having a grump but will check back later.

haraslou Thu 04-Jun-09 08:30:18

hi there- i also have had both the emergency and elective and everything is better about the second. There were only 4 medical staff in the OT for a start, instead of the 15 odd when I had my emergency. The only tricky thing is that you are soooo aware when you go in -they do have to work abit harder to reassure you, but, like MNIIM says, this they do very well. Also the healing is a million times better, because there's no need to rush, no contractions to fight and obviously mum isn't knackered and hopelessly sleep deprived before even beginning major surgery. I hated the idea of a c-section and it took me along time to get my head around it afterwards but now I am comtemplating a third I feel totally calm about it all. Hope this helps and fingers crossed for a positive experience this time.

mum27 Fri 05-Jun-09 00:32:23

Thanks everyone for your replies. It's nice to know that it can be a lot less stressful when it's planned. Mynameisinigomontoya, I know your right about talking to other mothers that have had a normal cs, I guess I'm just frightened about feeling it all again. I'll have to ask some friends what it's supposed to feel like, it was just a rude shock that it was so much more painful than they show you on the maternity ward programmes :-)

Lovesdogsandcats Fri 05-Jun-09 01:10:25

Out of curiosity, if no.7 was so bad, why not stop there, why go for 8?

ninedragons Fri 05-Jun-09 04:33:48

Generally one of the big differences between planned and emergency c-sections is that with the latter, you can have your DP in the room with you. That should make a huge difference to your birth experience.

I had a planned c-section and it was lovely but strange. Wheeled in, prepped, wheeled out again with a baby. All very calm and I'm sure it's the pethadine but as I recall it, very very quick. I found myself back in my room thinking well, that's done and it's only 11am.

nooka Fri 05-Jun-09 05:03:56

My ds was an emergency section, but not because of any trauma and I wasn't having any contractions (he was a very odd lie and my waters had broken). The whole thing was slightly surreal, the theatre crew were incredibly relaxed, chatting about Chris Evans and listening to the Radio (ds came out to Every Little Thing She Does is Magic!) and it was all very straightforward. Took about 20 mins or so. Compared to dd who was also an emergency csection, but this time because things had gone wrong and it was all rushed and scary and chaotic, it really was quite a pleasant experience. The only thing to note is that for a second section the stitching up afterwards takes quite a bit longer because of the scar tissue from the first one.

cory Fri 05-Jun-09 08:14:37

I was also fortunate enough to have a relaxed emergency section, which I suspect is not too dissimilar from a planned section. Team were lovely, chatting away and joking.

MrsMattie Fri 05-Jun-09 08:19:04

My emergency section and planned c-section were nothing like each other - two totally different experiences.

Emergency - I was in total emotional and physical shock for ages afterwards and ended up with severe PND. It wasn't a 'crash' section _ I knew it was going to happen in good time, after a long failed induction - but it was still pretty hard going afterwards. I was so tired from the induction and then had to face a major op and looking after a baby when I was literally on my tail.

Elective - was euphoric, honestly. Best day of my life. I was absolutely shitting myself as we got into theatre, but once the op was under way it was fine and as soon as I saw my baby, I was oblivious to everything else. Recovered much better afterwards, too.

mum27 Sun 07-Jun-09 07:51:16

Thanks everyone I'm feeling much better about the planned section smile. Now if someone could tell me what it's meant to feel like normally that would be a help to my head too grin. As for why I went back for this last one... I love my kids and I figured I would have 9 months and MN to help me get my head around it :O

dottyaboutstripes Sun 07-Jun-09 10:11:01

Hi there

I just had my 6th baby 10 days ago and it was my first section - it was planned as in I found out the day before LOL! I have to say that it was SO relaxed......all the staff were absolutely fantastic, there was a lot of smiling and laughter during prep for the op, and they were all so kind to me. When my baby was born, I just couldn't stop crying, I was so relieved that he was here safe and sound (I'd never had any probs in previous pregnancies so it was all a bit of a shock to have things go a bit tits up!) and the anaesthetist actually wiped away my tears and stroked my hair just like my mum might have done

I think you'll find it so very very different from your last experience - it sounds as though that was all very traumatic for you, I think you are very brave doing it all over again! (I am feeling ridiculously broody considering I've only just had a baby and need to STOP IT RIGHT NOW wink)

Good luck!

MrsMattie Sun 07-Jun-09 10:18:12

mum27 -I felt NO pain at all. The epidural going in was weird. It felt like freezing cold and then boiling hot stuff going into my veins. But it worked very quickly once it was in and I was lying down. If you they know you have probs with the epidural/spinal, perhaps together you and the anesthetist can work out a plan beforehand as to how they can make that bit easier for you?

Once the op was under way, it felt like someone was rummaging around in my stomach for a bit and then a weird pulling/tugging sensation and lots of strange suction noises as my babies were delivered (God knows what they were doing down there!). No pain at all. Once my baby was here I didn't really notice what they were doing during the stitching up bit. I was just so relieved and overjoyed.

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