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I had an elective cesarean by my own request. AMA

80 replies

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:14

I chose to give birth by elective cesarean purely as a personal choice and my for any physical heath reasons. I know this is a bit controversial so happy to answer any genuine questions both from people who are curious, and anyone who wants any advice about doing this themselves.

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MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:14

Not for, that should say!

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Rebecca36 · 23/07/2018 15:22

I just wonder why.

Twickerhun · 23/07/2018 15:23

His did you find the process of requesting this? Was it on the nhs?

BabloHoney · 23/07/2018 15:25

Was it your first baby? Did you have to fight hard to get the elective approved by your hospital?

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:29

Rebecca I have never wanted to give birth vaginally. The entire thought of it fills me with dread and fear. I like to be in control of every aspect of my life, and the idea of leaving it up to chance (it could be fine, it could be awful) frightens me and makes me uncomfortable. Also statistically, most women require stitches, which I wanted to avoid, and I did not want an instrumental delivery. There are far too many different outcomes with a vaginal birth for me to account for. I also didn’t want to risk giving birth in the middle of the night or weekend when it’s understaffed.

A cesarean, on the other hand, is safe, reliable and routine. I researched the steps, watched YouTube videos, and knew exactly what would occur when. I was able to remain calm and converse with the surgeons, and I could plan for the date of surgery, and how long I would need to recover. I’m from a medical family and felt much safer having a team of doctors around me. I felt in control and cared for.

Twickerhun I didn’t have a problem. I went in expecting an argument, but they were very understanding. Yes it was NHS.

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MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:30

Bablo yes it was, and surprisingly no, the hospital were incredibly understanding.

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Caspiana · 23/07/2018 15:32

How was your recovery? Do you feel “back to normal”? If you had another child would you do the same again?

LemonBreeland · 23/07/2018 15:33

Clearly you requested it for psychological issues relating to vaginal birth, not just for no reason, which would be why doctors agreed to it.

I don't understand the need for avoiding stitches in you vaginal area, but happy to have stitches in your stomach. Can you explain why you think it is different?

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:35

Caspiana my recovery was fine. I found the first day painful but now awful, and by about four days I felt normal again.

Yes, I would. I’m currently pregnant and will be requesting another cesarean.

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MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:37


Yes it’s psychological but I view it the same way as any birth choice, like a pool or a certain setting.

Because I don’t pee from my stomach and I don’t have sex with it either. If it gets scarred or is never quite right, it has a cosmetic effect rather than having a stinging, burning incredibly painful vaginal area that may never recover.

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Bowlofbabelfish · 23/07/2018 15:39

lemon Damage to the perineal area, anal sphincter, and damage to the internal pelvic structures is not reparable in the same way as a straightforward abdominal incision/extension manually/muscle separation. If the levator anti muscle detaches from the internal anchoring structures for example, it can’t really be repaired.

mrspock do you know if they put you down as pure maternal choice or as tokophobia?

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:42

Bowl it was put down as request, but my notes mention tokophobia.

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LemonBreeland · 23/07/2018 15:43

bowelofbabelfish I get that, but those things are not going to happen to everyone.

I hope I don't come across as being against elective C sections, as I'm absolutely not. I couldn't have imagined anything worse than a c section for me, which goes to show we are all different. I do believe that it is good that we have the choice.

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:45

Lemon I know it’s not certain, but I’d rather take the certainty of abdominal stitches over the chance of any vaginal ones because to me, vaginal stitches are the worse outcome.

Not at all! I think it’s important every woman’s birth choice is listened to and respected, including those different to mine.

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Bowlofbabelfish · 23/07/2018 15:49

I get that, but those things are not going to happen to everyone.

Oh totally. I think the thinking is more that birth is really unpredictable. You opt for cs and you know what you’re getting. You opt for vb and you can have any outcome from fabulous to really, really dire.

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:54

I think the thinking is more that birth is really unpredictable. You opt for cs and you know what you’re getting. You opt for vb and you can have any outcome

This was it for me. I knew what to expect and could prepare far more. It was still unpredictable as my son was unwell, which wasn’t related to the method of birth, but the physical process felt methodical and logical to me, and I think I would’ve panicked far more in a natural birth scenario.

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LemonBreeland · 23/07/2018 15:56

Did it scare you becoming pregnant know how you felt about birth, and wondering of you would get the cs you wanted?

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 15:59

Lemon somewhat, as I had always worried about giving birth. I had researched it and did know elective cesareans existed and that I would probably be able to get one on anxiety grounds but I worried I would face some very strong opposition.

Both my midwife and the dr agreed that a cesarean was the right choice and fully supported me. I made it clear from my booking appointment that I wanted one, and was reassured it would be fine. I did relax at 34 weeks when it was finally official though!

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Rebecca36 · 23/07/2018 16:23

Sounds to me as though you made the right choice for you Lemon. Well done.

Mentounasc · 23/07/2018 19:18

How do you think you'd have coped if you'd gone into spontaneous Labour before the planned CS date? And in circumstances which would have precluded a section (eg fast Labour too far from your hospital). Would you have panicked because it felt like a loss of control?

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 20:01

Mentounasc I did actually go into labour, but I didn’t dialate very much and so they just started the cesarean. I had regular contractions for about a week before the cesarean, but as I said, no actual dilation so there was no rush.

I live twenty minutes from the hospital and had it written that if I went into labour beforehand, I would have a cesarean on arrival.

If I’d have had a fast labour, and hadn’t been able to get to the hospital I’d have been very distressed. I have a fear of losing control in general so I think I would have had a panic attack.

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bobsandvagene · 23/07/2018 22:28

What were be attitudes and reactions of others in real life like? Were family/friends understanding of your decision or did you sometimes feel judged?
What about all of the medical staff you came across (e.g. Midwives on the postnatal wards etc) were there any raised eyebrows or were they all generally supportive?

MrSpock · 23/07/2018 22:40


My mother was very supportive. She had a horrible birth with me that involved third degree tearing and retained placenta, and she insists she should’ve been given a cesarean before as I was back to back. So she was all for it, as was my nana who had had two breech babies with cords around their necks. My partner was supportive and feels safer with cesareans than vaginas births too.

I don’t have a wide circle of female friends, so I didn’t face any judgement from them.

Two midwives stand out as being unsupportive. One was when I went into the labour ward with contractions, but hadn’t dialated. She initially told me I was being silly and they were very busy, and that it was in my head. She didn’t say anything about cesareans but she made it clear she thought my anxiety wasn’t a serious concern and that every physical complaint was related to that. She treated me like a child.

The second was after my cesarean. I had a very unsympathetic nurse who told me I had only had a cesarean and to stop moaning when I asked for more pain relief. I don’t know if that was to do with me choosing it or if she was just a bit of an arsehole though.

Everyone else was lovely!

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howrudeforme · 23/07/2018 23:03


I was on ivf list but conceived naturally at nth hour. Inspite or yearning to be a parent I’m terrified of all things medical and although wanted a section am needle phobic.

After nct I felt I could do natural but wanted section if needed. In the meantime I was fainting at blood tests etc. I was basically terrified.

In the end it was all a cock up being induced just over 2 weeks late and although they offered me an epidural to break my waters I refused and asked them to get on with it. I was fine. Oxytocin gave big contractions but baby couldn’t cope. After 9 hours of getting nowhere and baby in distress it was obvious baby could only be birthed live by section and I went for it, obviously.

MrSpock · 24/07/2018 07:27

Howrude I used to be afraid of needles. I still get blood taken with a butterfly needle!

How did your cesarean go? I hope you were both okay! That was another reason I opted for one - there’s a very real risk of needing an emergency one

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