To C-section or not to C-section??

[deleted account] ( 27 moms have responded )

My last pregnancy ended in an emergency c-section, which was a huge disappointment to me because I was pretty sure it was unnecessary - I think I was "pitted to distress" - but I thought at least I didn't have to deal with the possibility of tearing or being cut down there. Now I'm having #2, and I know that usually the ob will let you choose to have a second c-section if you had one already. I also know that VBACs are much safer these days, I had the right kind of incision for a VBAC. On the one hand, I was disappointed that I didn't get to "give birth" as much as they "took" her from me the first time, on the other, I figure if I'm already "intact" down there, and dodged the stretching and tearing, maybe I should consider doing another c-section...

Has anyone else had to make this choice, or is about to make it? What do you think (please don't yell at me for even considering a c-section)?

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Melaina - posted on 01/03/2010

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I'm one of those people who had a terrible vaginal delivery experience, so I have to point out that it's simply not true that the recovery from a vaginal delivery is ALWAYS easier. In my case, after being in 11 days of prolonged latent labour (literally contracting every 5-6 minutes for the entire 11 days, but not strongly enough for them to be effective, or, thankfully, really painful) my very large-headed son got stuck behind my pelvis and his heart rate dropped dangerously low. Getting him out resulted in terrible third degree tearing, and my recovery was just as "bad" as if I'd had a c-section. In fact, my doctor admitted afterwards that I probably would have been better off with a c-section, but it wasn't considered medically necessary at the time (it would have been had they not been able to get him out within those few minutes of course). Honestly, I didn't find the recovery that bad, and may have to have a c-section this time as baby is footling breech, and I'm not at all worried about it (but hoping she'll turn!). That being said, I know my case is more rare and I wouldn't advise that anyone get a c-section unless it really is necessary. Even with all of my tearing and trauma, the only difference down there is a bit of scar tissue that I can't see anyway! It's made absolutely zero difference to my sex life, etc. If you and your doctor are both comfortable with a Vbac, I'd say go for it!

Dani - posted on 11/14/2009

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My first was also an unplanned C because my son was in distress also. (One of those iffy calls, I think, but didn't want to challenge the doctor. Ultimately, a healthy baby is what I wanted!) Had gestational diabetes with both children and my daughter, born 5 weeks ago, was a VBAC. The recovery was WAY better, there is no comparison. There are risks either way, but if you plan on having more children, you should avoid multiple C sections, according to my doctor. The best benefit of a VBAC, once you've pushed on the first birth, your body is more ready for vaginal delivery the second time. And the BEST part was having my little girl handed to me immediately so that I could hold her in my arms right away. I felt really robbed of that the first time when after the C section, my son was taken to the nursery for 3 hours the first time.

Good luck to you! I'd be happy to answer any more questions if I can help in any way.
Dani
Want to work from home?
http://www.mommiescanworkathome.com

Corrie - posted on 11/03/2009

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My first baby was delievered vaginally and I had a 2nd degree tear. It took time to heal and it hurt for awhile, but it did get better. My second baby was an unplanned c-section. I had some complication with my recovery thanks to an infection that developed under my skin. However, I think that without that, the recovery would have been about equal to my vaginal recovery.



I have done a lot of research about birth and I become familiar with the pro's and con's of each delivery option. There is no way in heck that I would ever choose a c-section unless my life (or the babies) depended on it. I am a good candidate for a VBAC and that is how I will go next time. Try to remember that a c-section is considered major surgery and the rate of infection for the mom is much higher than the c-section. Also, a vaginal birth is much better for the baby for several reasons (God made birth that way for a reason).



I would suggest doing a little research and watching the documentary by Ricki Lake (yeah, I know... but she did do a good job) "The Business of Being Born."



I would strongly urge you to choose a vaginal delivery. You will heal "down there." Besides, there is a good chance you won't tear at all and won't have to heal from any sort of cut or stitch. With a c-section, a cut and stich can't be avoided.

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Rebecca - posted on 11/04/2011

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Good Luck! I'd love to hear how your next baby arrives. Keep us posted. I'm so excited for you. I almost got wheeled in for a second c-section because of mis-communication between the Dr. and nurse. I was somewhat okay with it because I was a bit scared about natural childbirth but I'm so glad I spoke up and was able to go natural (I did use some stadol in an IV (I was required to have for vbac)). It helped me relax and dialate. I only took it because they thought I would labor all night and told me to rest. I thought they were crazy asking me to sleep while in labor. I took the stadol because it only works for 45 min. and then you can decide to have more or not. It takes the edge off and allows you to rest up between contractions. I dialated from a 3-9 in an hour and was ready to push. If you haven't taken a lamaze class I would. I took a one day crash course 2 wks before my baby came. It made a world of difference. I knew what to expect and understood how labor progresses and also was taught about a lot of other options out there besides c-sections and epidurals.

Aniesha - posted on 11/04/2011

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Thanks so much for sharing Rebecca, it's really heartening to hear success stories like yours!

Rebecca - posted on 11/04/2011

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Aniesha, my 1st was a c-section @ 6wks early because of a placenta disruption (bleeding). I was completely unprepared for birth and had been up for 34hrs (so I was kind of relieved actually). I remember how painful healing was and I healed very well. In Feb. I successfully delivered my son vaginally. I had him within 5 hrs of contractions starting (my water broke 5 wks early this time). Vaginal was not as bad as I was expecting. I only pushed for about 15 min and I tore in the front inner labia even though the doctor gave me a small episiotomy to help him out. So I had lots of stitches down there. Healing was different but I could get up and about so much faster... I was amazed. I wouldn't go for c-section w/ another child at home... it would have been really difficult to heal. The stitches didn't bother me after a week or so. I thought I really messed everything up down there... I felt bad for my hubby... Within 6 wks it was okay and after 3 months I'm certain everything was fine. (Sure the opening is a little bigger but the vaginal muscle contracts back down and it really is not any different sometimes I think it feels more comfortable) The great thing is that for baby #3 they should come even easier because, according to my doc. I've already 'paved the way'. Only thing I'd do different is lots of Perineal Massage like the gal said above to prevent tearing. I was just about to start doing that but the baby came early.

Aniesha - posted on 10/29/2011

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I went through the same experience as you first time around. I'm 30 weeks pregnant with #2 now, & I was seriously considering a c section for awhile, but I think I'm gonna give the vbac a shot now.

For some reason though, I'm absolutely terrified of "wrecking" my vagina this time, whereas I didn't really think of it the first time. Weird huh. My Mum has assured me though that while things feel "different" down there, it all goes back in place good as long you do the pelvic floor exercises etc. She had an episiotomy the first time round.

Cara - posted on 09/17/2011

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My frst daughter was 8.5lbs at birth. I had a hard labor but never tore. Not even a little. My 2nd was 8lbs and also did not tear that time. I was still sore after my first even though i didn't tear but after the 2nd i was barely even sore. I was told to do what they called Perineal Massage before the birth of my first and i really think it helped me a lot. My husband has had no complaints what-so-ever about it being stretched or anything and sex feels the same as it did before having either of my kids. I also did kegals all the time before and after both kids. I have no c-section experience but my "down time" after baby number 1 was 3 weeks and after baby 2 was 1 week.

Karen - posted on 09/04/2011

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C-section or VBAC makes no difference, the pains are different and just as lengthy to heal. I have lived throught both. My first child was c-section. She was breech (head not pointed down). At first I was devistated I wasn't going to give birth as nature intended, but I got over it. The most important aspect of having children is that they come out healthy as a firend pointed out. And so the date was set in the future to have the operation, however she came 2.5 weeks early and I was totally not mentally prepared for the operation when it did happen. I cried tears of joy however when I remembered what my mental state was supposed to be focused on (healthy baby) my baby girl scored 9/10 on the APGAR test for healthy responses - I did my duty as carrier, now comes the life time role of love and health provider. Recovery was a gruling 6 weeks (we lived in a 3 level townhouse), not to mention the nurses making you walk around the day after the surgery and that uber sticky bandage they tear off the incison area. As for my second (another girl) she turned in the womb early and my doctor supoorted my decision to attemp a VBAC since my C section scar had healed for more that 2 years. However when I went into labour, the baby decended so quickly that a major vessel broke inside and caused substancial bleeding. While all this was going on, the baby's heart rate dropped at which point the nurses swarmed around me prepping me for another C-section. Lucky for me the hand of God was on me and I felt a peace like I never felt before. I wasn't panicking, I let the nurses do their thing and like a calm before the storm, the room felt silent as the heart rate picked right back up and the doctor arrived with forcepts to pluck the baby out. I as able to have a VBAC but a sustained a 3rd degree tear that took 6 weeks to heal. I could not sit down without a hemeroid donut, and Lord have mercy when I had to go #2 on the toilet. All in all, there is no 2 ways around it, there will be lots of pain regardless. The only piece of advice I can offer is be preparedboth mentally and physically (DO your Kegals!) Also, never say no to ANYONE offering help. better yet if they say "What can I do to help?" tell them exactly: make a dinner for the freezer, grocery shopping, load of laundry, etc...)

Julie - posted on 01/16/2010

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I had a c section with my first bc my dr induce me at 38 weeks, he claimed I had high blood pressure adn such but it turns out I DIDNT! The induction failed and I ended up with a c section after 24 hours! I am now pregnant with numb. 2 due in feb, I am 36 wks 5 days and 2 cm dilated, I am going for the vbac bc I am delivering at a highly qualified hospital, my dr rated me with a 51 - 57% success rate based on MY pregnancy, I have had a wonderful complication free pregnancy so I am hoping all goes well with the vbac. I second the other mothers who say a c-section is for emergencys only or mothers who dont have a very high success rate for vbacs due to the prior csection! How did your birth go? what did u end up doing?

Mandy - posted on 01/11/2010

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Although vaginal delivery can have complications, I wonder what the statistics are

Laurie - posted on 01/04/2010

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Go for the Vbac! You can do it, they always use fear to get people to opt for the c-section, but I think it works out more often then not and the recovery time is almost always shorter...except for in extreme circumstances (like above).

Carrie - posted on 01/03/2010

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I also had an emergency c-section with my first, but I wasn't set on a vaginal delivery. I can't say which one is better. One because I haven't experienced them both. But doctors use c-sections for a reason. I would say, talk to your doctor. Each person is different. A lot of the time, one labor may be very similar to the next, or not. The problem you had may have a greater likelihood of reoccuring this second time. Talking to the doctor would be the best way to make your decision.



The reason I had to have an emergency c-section is very likely to happen again this time. I don't want to put my child in danger. I've been thinking about maybe scheduling my c-section, but if I go into labor beforehand to try to have the baby vaginally unless the doctor advises otherwise. But that's only my opinion. I would talk to your doctor, he/she is the only person that knows your pregnancy almost as well as you. Your doctor can give the best advice than any of us. Good luck!

Christina - posted on 12/07/2009

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my GF struggled with this herself just a few months ago. She opted for the Vbac and it turned out fine. She says that it was a much better recovery.

I had a vaginal birth with my son. I am hoping to go that way again this time. I know several women that have gone both ways and all say you heal faster with a vaginal delivery. I had a 9lb 9oz baby and so I had the epesiotomy and a tear from one side to the other. It was painful, but it did heal in like a week or so. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Good luck with your decision!!!
Take care,..

Katie - posted on 12/07/2009

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My first child was a planned c-section because he was breech. When I got pregnant with #2, my doctor said I would be having a c-section for her, too. I didn't question him because he's a good doctor and knows what he's doing. I'm so glad I went with the doctor and got a second c-section. Let's face it, having a baby is scary! Since I had a c-section the first time, I knew what to expect. I knew I would get a catheter, an enema, that I needed to try harder to relax for the spinal block, the gas pains, the pain in walking... I knew what to expect, so I was better prepared. I felt the second time went so much better than the first. If I had tried to give birth vaginally, I wouldn't have known what to expect, I never felt contractions with either child. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving birth vaginally, but for me, I wanted to be prepared and know what to expect.

Keli - posted on 12/01/2009

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i had a home birth because i wanted to avoid all possible chances of having a c-section if i were u i would try to have a v-back u can hold ur baby right after not an hour later and u can leave that day if not that night... its all a bout the bond u get to have with ur baby as soon as it gets out... its much harder when u have a c-section... plus the number one reason why there is such high maternal death rate is due to un necessary interventions... remember one thing will lead to another... women there been giving birth for thousands of year we've got it pretty down packed ... now im not saying that c-sections aren't necessary because they are but only when something is truly wrong .if your having a healthy pregnancy chances are u will succeed in a v-back. if i were u i would look up videos of home births so the u can see the difference between the two ... im not say to have your baby a home but try to recreate the atmosphere and comfort at the hospital and the bond u get at home in the hospital...

Medic - posted on 11/30/2009

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let me tell you im not the one to judge and i give major kudos to those who A; deliver without drugs and B; have c sections....i had my son vaginally but was giventh all the meds they could give(due to my blood pressure) and i feel that it was the best for us...i held my son right away and really didnt feel bad after the meds wore off.....and with this one i plan to go the same route seeing as my blood pressure is already high....i think its a matter of preference and comfort level....i would panic at the thought of being cut open....but i have friends who like the predictability of it all....i know this doesnt help either way but you should just go with what makes you happy and comforitable

Amy - posted on 11/27/2009

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I had to make the same choice when I found out I was pregnant this time. I thought about a VBAC but have seen a lot of the problems my friends have had with vaginal deliveries. A lot of the DR's in our area are letting the girls go over their due dates and don't induce until 2 weeks after the due date. Not fun. I had some complications with my first baby and I am pretty sure I am not having the same complications with this one, but I have oppted for a c-section. For one, I know what the recovery is like. For two, I feel that it will be safer for my baby. For three, I won't have to worry about things "down there" being messed up. I am actually scheduled for 2 weeks before my due date and my DR has been very supportive.

Janna - posted on 11/27/2009

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i had an emerg c sec for my first as well. 9 mths later when we found out #2 was on the way it didn't take much for us to decide what to do. we planned our next c sec. it was great becouse we had a plan for my older child, we didn't have to call a relative at 3 in the morning becouse it "was time". so my older chid handled it much easier, it was a little less confusion for him than it could have been otherwise. also i felt like my healing went much faster the second time. i was holding both chidren at once as soon as i came home. i also had my tubes tied while everything was open for business so i never have to worry about another procedure or contraception! i highly recomend the c sec since u already have had one. it is so much easier with an older child at home to have a set date and schedule ect. i loved my experience!!!

Rachel - posted on 11/27/2009

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Based on the research, I would never consider a c-section unless absolutely medically necessary. Try watching "The Business of Being Born" for a lot of good information. The US is second to last of all industrialized nations for loss of both mother and child. Our c-section rate is around 30%. Whereas, the World Health Organization recognizes the dangers of c-section and recommends a rate no more than 15%.

Regarding the "stretching" issue, I gave birth to a large 9 lb baby boy vaginally and all "plumbing' returned to normal and never negatively impacted my sex life or satisfaction.

Tearing isn't a given, depending on how you and your doctor/midwife prepares you for childbirth. There are exercises you can do before and during labor that will help prevent tearing and make the birth easier. And your doctor/midwife should be working the area to stretch it while you are in labor to help prevent tearing. Some women, because of the preparation and being able to move around while in labor and the position they give birth (NOT on their back, which is the WORST position), don't tear at all or tear very little.

A natural vaginal birth is how our bodies were made to give birth. It is an amazing, empowering experience. The pain is less and shorter lived. Many women can walk right after giving birth (amazing, compared to the information we are usually fed). Because they don't have lots of drugs, the natural-birther isn't as exhausted and is more alert and able to bond and breastfeed with baby.

Yes, it is a personal decision. But, once someone knows all the facts surrounding birth, how amazing natural birth can be, and how dangerous interventions can be, few make the choice for optional measures that can cause damage to both mother and child.

Regards,
Rachel

Amy - posted on 11/24/2009

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i had to have a c-section and this time i wont to give birth it seem to take so long for my daughter and i to bond i would no do it again

Amy - posted on 11/23/2009

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I haven't, however my friend has had 2 c-sections and wouldn't go any other way. I think that if I had to have a c-section the first time it would be hard for me to decide. Have you talked about the dangers of a vbac with your ob? I know there safer, but I'm not sure what kind of things can go wrong either. I know several mom's are able to have vbacks with no issue, however I've also read more dr's are deciding to not do them.

Has your OB/dr done many VBACs? You may want to see what her thoughts are on it too. If she hasn't done many you may want to either go with a c-section or opt to find a dr that has done lots of them.

[deleted account]

I am having my third. I had an emergency C-Section with the 1st, elective C-section with the 2nd, and im having another elective C-Section with the third.
Firstly...a C-Section is NOT considered a major surgery. And considering im going through with it for the 3rd time (in the next 6 days to be exact) I think im a good candidate to tell you. I would never consider a vaginal delivery but only because my kids are HUGE 10lbs...and labor and contractions would most likely cause me to rupture. And THAT is just about the worst thing that can happen. I have seen it, and it is life threatening.

It all boils down to this: It is a PERSONAL decision. So no ones advice matters. Do what you feel most comfortable with and dont let peoples pre-concieved notions deter you. Think hard, discuss it with your significant other, and your doctor. The risks of elective or repeat c-sections arent always what you think and arent even that bad. Your doctor can fill you in. But really, dont let people fill your head with things that are not true. I have NEVER had a vaginal delivery and I feel no regrets about it whatsoever and would never attempt one. But I know plenty who feel the same way about C-sections and would never atempt them unless it was an emergency. I know mothers who have successfully have VBACs and were 100% pleased. It is different for everyone. But the decision does not reflect on the kind of person you are or the kind of mother you are. EVERY mother no matter what form of birth they consider wants a healthy happy child to be born. We are ALL the same in that sense.

So I hope you make the right decision for YOU. Congratz and good luck girl!!

Anna - posted on 11/11/2009

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I had to make this choice and it isnt an easy one. My 1st child I had to have a c-section originally due to him being breech, but I went into labor early and he had a prolapse cord so it turned into am emergency c-section. The worst part of that was that I could not see him for a good while because I had to be completely out for the surgery. So I was determined to do the all natural thing this time around.
My doctor gave me the choice of what I wanted to do with this pregnancy since I too was cut the right way. After our ultrasound at 33 weeks we discovered that our daughter was on the larger side. I then did a lot of research and my husband and I together made the decision to have another c-section due to the chance of complications with a large baby. My doctor feels as though we made the right choice and are scheduled for our c-section on the 1st.
We know that this time will be different because I will be awake and as long as our daughter is healthy we will be able to hold her right away. I already know how the recovery will go and the possible complications as well since I have had one already. As a mother I am putting my comfort aside and doing what is best for our daughter. I am 36 weeks pregnant now and we cant wait for the 1st!
My suggestion is to do some research and talk it over with your doctor so you can be sure to make a well informed decision that is right for you and your family.

Liz - posted on 11/10/2009

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I am in the same boat as you. I too am expecting my second child, due Feb. 2010. I had a c-section with my first baby because she was breach and i went into labor at 36 weeks so there was no chance they were going to be able to turn the baby. I had gestational diabetes with both of these babies so I am unsure of whether to go for another c-section with this one or to try for a VBAC due to the chance that the baby could be on the large size. I am just hoping that whatever way is best it will just happen on it's own. I know there are a lot less risk with a vaginal birth, and the recovery would be a heck of a lot easier with a toddler at home to have a vaginal delivery. Best of luck to you :)

Tanya - posted on 11/03/2009

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i had a vaginal delivery with ist baby it was exhausting, had forcep delivery and cut took me bout 3/4 weeks to recover but all was worth it. would diffenately go vaginal again the only time c/section would come into play is an emergency.

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