When I found out I was pregnant with Sadie I was so scared about birth. I joined a Yoga class in order to help me keep calm and towards the end I was so looking forward to a nice, calm water birth. My plan was to try and use just paracetamol and gas and air and breathe the baby out in the water but I wasn’t opposed to using heavier medications if I needed them. Give me the drugs! I’m no hero! I was actually quite looking forward to the birth in the end. I am such a wimp when it comes to pain but I really wanted to see if I could actually do it. So at 37 weeks when I was told that she was breech I was a bit gutted.
They offered to try and turn her but I refused. I knew 4 people that had tried it and it didn’t work and there was a risk of placental abruption which would result in an emergency section anyway. Plus its supposed to bloody hurt. So that was a no and we went straight for a planned section. Of course she couldn’t wait just one more day and I ended up having an emergency section anyway (see My Birth Story for the full dramas!)
When we found out we were pregnant again, I started doing research into VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) and 2nd time C-sections. I looked at reputable websites (NHS, BabyCentre etc) and talked to several doctor and midwife friends, plus friends who have tried VBAC’s and 2nd time sections. I found that I could be classed as high risk (something that I would have to discuss with my Consultant) and that means being monitored all through out labour which also can mean laying down on a bed the whole time with monitors. This can slow down your labour and some hospitals only let you go for so long in labour before resulting in an emergency section anyway.
When I met with my consultant she actually said that I was low risk because the only reason I had a section first time was because Sadie was breech. If there were other issues with regards to health, complications etc then i would be counted as high risk. However, she said I still only had a 60% chance of a successful VBAC which also weren’t good enough odds for me.
I never found my section too horrific and it was actually quite a pleasant experience. The healing is a bit crap afterwards but not awful. I have friends who have had natural births and they were suffering just as much as I was after they had their babies. Don’t get me wrong, you cant do much but that’s also a great excuse to just sit down and enjoy newborn snuggles. My plan is to breastfeed and so I think that having a section will also help me to just focus on sitting down and getting feeding established. I’m lucky enough to have Phil off work for a whole 4 weeks (his work are amazing!) so he can focus on Sadie and I can focus on Number 2.
Other obvious bonuses for a planned section are:
- no painful labour
- no tearing
- everything remains the same ‘down there’
- I know when baby is coming so can make plans for Sadie to be cared for
We had our pre-op to discuss what was involved and a planned section really does sound amazing. Like I said my emergency section wasn’t awful by any means but there are a few things that change with a planned section.
- Phil can be with me while I have my spinal administered, something that there isn’t time for in an emergency.
- I can have the screen lowered to see the baby immediately after s/he’s born
- we can have skin to skin almost immediately once the baby has been checked over (breathing etc)
- because planned sections are scheduled in the day, Phil can stay with me on the post-op bay for the 6 hours after the surgery
- we can have our own music playing in the theatre while the baby is being delivered
When we met with the midwife at pre-op she was absolutely lovely and you could tell she really does love working on the planned side. She said the surgeons will be very chilled, they take guesses on the gender and the names of the babies and the songs that we would choose. It all sounds very fun and relaxed. I really cant wait! 🙂
Note: all the above is my own research and my own opinion. I highly, highly recommend doing your own research, talking to your own consultant and making a decision based on your own circumstances. Everyone is different. Every hospital is different. Do your own research to your own circumstances. 🙂
My 2nd Birth Story is up on the blog now – click the link 🙂