(Closed) Any one opted for a c section purely on preference?

posted 4 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 46
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3003 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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MissEloise :  Yeah, I think this is spot on. Of course there will be nightmare horror stories about vaginal births….and C-sections. Some people will rave about how easy and painless their C-section was….and others claim their vaginal birth was. It really just depends, but I would definitely advise anyone to educate themselves on how labor and birth (and C-sections) actually work (not just reading anecdotes online). 

I mean, the only people really “qualified” to comment on this thread are ones who have had both easy and difficult vaginal births, as well as both easy and difficult elective C-sections so they can truly compare….so at least four kids….

Post # 47
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Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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habibtee :  I had a pretty horrific birth in terms of it being fast,  furious,  no time for pain meds,  and some permanent, unusal damage to my vagina.  The odds of you having a birth like mine are so low that I won’t share all of the details, but will leave it as his hand was over his face which meant I had to tear my cervix to get him out and tore my labia for good measure.  It sounds horrible,  but it was 2 hours of pain and honestly I was talking about baby #2 in the recovery room. Despite major tearing with no pain meds and pooping all over, I’d do it that way in a heartbeat again.  I was nursing my baby right away,  he had no side effects from anesthesia, and I could be up walking an hour after birth.  I felt great!  

C-sections have their place,  but there’s no question that a vaginal birth is preferable. Taking care of a newborn is so tough,  I can’t imagine doing it while recovering from a major surgery. 

Post # 48
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1703 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

My SIL has had 4 kids, first two via C-section, second two natural births at home in water. 

She will tell any and everyone that natural is much, much easier – faster recovery (think able to walk right away vs. weeks of pain, swelling, and inability to lift, yet you have to take care of a baby), many benefits for baby, and while her labor is always 2-3 days at 42 weeks give or take a day, she’d do natural again given the chance. 

Post # 49
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1410 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I’m going to request an elective caesarian for my first. In the UK this is allowed now due to a fairly recent change in guidelines, but in practice you have to push very hard for this and be willing to go from doctor to doctor. The two women I know who wanted one gave up in the face of massive resistence from midwifes (although actually both ended up with traumatic labours and emergency sections). As I’m over 40 I may have an easier time convincing them, especially as I’m consultant-led (unusual here) due to my age. 

Almost every women I know has given birth (pluses of being so old as a first timer) and I’ve heard every story from every friend, sister, cousin and workmate. There is only one thing that seems to be true- that women are happiest when they do their own research and get the birth THEY wanted.

A couple of examples that show how true this is- neither of them had an ‘ideal’ experience with their chosen method of giving birth but they remained happy because they got what they wanted :

1. I know a woman who desperately wanted a vaginal birth. She got one- with trauma to the baby, forceps, huge cutting and ended up with fecal incontinence for a few years. Her 2nd had to be by election section because a VBAC would have ripped her poor damaged body apart. The section was straightforward, zero complications, perfect baby, not overly painful but she found the recovery slow. But she remains anti-section and rants against the evils of sections to everyone in sight…because she just doesn’t like the idea, she’s disappointed she didn’t get a natural birth and it’s not what she ideally wanted. To her sections are ‘horrible’, ‘scary’ and ‘weird’.

2. Another friend begged for an elective, was terrified of natural birth but was talked into it. She describes her attempted vaginal birth as hell on earth, ‘shocking’ and beyond the limits of human endurance (although it was probably pretty average and she’s usually a non-complaing type in amazing physical shape who’s run marathons) and says she actually thanks God it ended up in an emergency section, even though she was knocked out by a general anaesthetic and never saw her baby being born. She had more sections with her next children (she considers them wonderful despite the painkillers she had to take afterwards) and tells everyone she meets to request an elective.

These are both very educated women who researched the subject obsessively beforehand and came to completely and utterly different conclusions. Noone has any right to judge either of them.

Post # 50
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197 posts
Blushing bee

I would question any doctor who would give you a c section just because you are scared of birth. If you go into a vaginal birth apprehensive you will deprive your body of the focus it needs to do its job.

There are times for c sections, totally.

Post # 51
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9841 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Most doctors will not perform an elective c-section. And absolutely check your insurance benefits as well, because some will not cover it since it wasn’t a medically necessary procedure.

I had an induced vaginal birth and would do it again.

The thought of being strapped down while my baby is cut out of me is so incredibly unpleasant. Obviously I would do it if needed, but I would never choose it. I also think it’s probably a lot easier to care for a newborn without recovering from major surgery at the same time.

Being pregnant alone is probably going to cause major changes to your body.

Post # 52
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5457 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

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leonatigra :  

There’s a reason WHY you have to push hard for an elective csection. as pp said, doctor jumping to get one who is willing to perform major surgery just because (I don’t want to risk a vbac so I will be scheduling a section, because I’ve had one before, that’s a valid medical reason) having to dr jump should be your sign that you might want to do more research on this.

Post # 53
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1410 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

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araebo5585 :  I’ve spent maybe 100-200 odd hours researcing all kinds of medical papers, so I feel I’m all researched out, thanks! I won’t suggest you do more research because I completely respect your right to hold a different opinion to me.

There’s also a reason the NICE guidelines here in the UK have been changed with a slight shift towards being in favour of c-sections. I think mainly due to acknowledging that the true comparison of risk needs to be between option 1 :planned vaginal birth (which includes forceps, ventouse, epoidurals, emergency sections and crash sections as well as perfect intervention free-births and water/hypnobirths) versus option 2: planned section. I think the old idea of comparing vaginal births with ALL sections (which is where so many of the quoted stats come from) is a false one and they realised that. Also, once they took into account the costs of long-term repair and long term birth defects from planned v-births they realised actually elective sections were quite cost effective when you looked at the budgets of the NHS as a whole rather than just what it cost the maternity department.

Most ways of giving birth are horrendous. Birth is inherently dangerous, however it happens. It is a case of weighing which risks you personally prefer. Knowledge is key. As I said in my reply, women seem to have the best outcomes (physically and mentally) when they get they birth they chose, not one that was pushed on them.

That’s why I also support women who want a VBAC!

Post # 54
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230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Interesting read, thanks everyone. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately as I plan on ttc next year, I’ve always been terrified of the thought of childbirth to the point I had decided not to have kids, but have changed my mind since meeting my Fiance. I live in an Asian country where planned c-sections are the norm. I know a couple of other western women here who tried to have natural births but ended up having emergency c-sections and have told me they would choose c-section next time.. Maybe because the hospitals here don’t do natural births so often.

Post # 55
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2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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habibtee :  I would recommend reading Childbirth without fear by Grantly Dick-Read although the language is a bit old and flowery. I also really liked Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Basically the premise is the more fear a birthing mother has the more unpleasant her experience because anxiety makes us physically more tense. Causing birth to be more difficult and more likely to experience complications. Your body was made to give birth just like a female dog, cat, horse, what have you. I would read that and maybe watch the movie The Business of Being Born and then go from there. What is most important is your feelings and that your birth is based as much as possible on you being in control and making your own choices. That is what will lead to the most pleasant experience possible.  

Post # 56
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2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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hikingbride :  Yasss loved that book. I responded before reading other responses lol She’s a boss. 

Post # 57
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2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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HelloBlondie :  To piggy back on that my step mom had a c section and they did not sew her muscles back correctly. She had absolutely no abdominal strength after that. Like she physically could not do a sit up if she wanted to. So years later she finally had to have a surgery to correct it. It was weeks of healing and she had to have drains etc. She was in so much pain. 

Also mom’s to be should look into using laughing gas to  help with contraction pain. That is what I hope to do. Apparently, it is in and out of your blood stream very quickly and so you just take a few breaths before a contraction and it takes the edge off and then you are right back to normal. 

Post # 58
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1657 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

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habibtee :  Hey OP, this is going to be VERY long so sorry. I’m like you and have been for over a decade already. I think part of what makes being a woman today so great is that we have the power to make informed decisions for ourselves.

I’m toying with having a c-section by choice when my time comes. My mom and my fiance’s moms both had 3 c-sections each back in the early 90s and have both nothing but good to say. My mom was driving and up and about like normal after 2 weeks. 

At the end of the day it’s a very personal choice and I think you need to be prepared for a ‘bad’ recovery regardless of which one you choose.

– You need to separate elective c-sections from those who labor all day and then have a c-section. About 40% of women who have a c-section after a day of labor have infection in their uterus and other areas. If you do an elective c-section, before labor even begins, there’s only a 1% rate of complication. Obviously the woman who pushed all day and then underwent a cesarean is not going to have any protection from bladder problems.

– I know many people who opted for them & in my home country the vast majority are ‘too posh to push’ so it’s kinda just the norm and I’ve never heard of anyone having a terrible time with a planned c-section, it’s EMERGENCY c-sections that are much more difficult. Not the same thing at all. Even ones that were pre-planned due to medical issues are not the same. Try talking to someone who planned it purely by choice and I bet the discussion would be very different.

– We both have crazy jobs and are type A personalities. Knowing exactly when it’s happening would be awesome in terms of being able to mentally prepare, have the right amount of time off work and be completely ready for when baby comes home. Also, here, if your birth plan is to have a c-section and you go into labour earlier you still get a c-section. 

– Longer hospital stay is ideal to me especially as a brand new mom, I’d want as much help as possible in those first days. In the place I’m considering having my baby, you can rent a suite for a few days and your husband stays the whole time. A good friend of ours did that in August and spoke very highly of the experience.

– I’d rather know that I’m in for a tough recovery right from the start and be pleasantly surprised if it’s better than expected, than go and have natural birth and for some unexpected shit to happen that ruins me downstairs. I think I’d be distraught and have a lot of regret over it. Also, my mom’s c scar is not visible. I actually have a burn scar on my stomach already, right across the middle of it so haven’t worn a bikini in 10+ years so that scar is no issue at all to me.

– I’d way way waaaay rather have a stomach scar than anything go wrong with my vagina. People also seem to love to skim over issues like incontenence and anal incontence. My best friend is only 26 and has it, she’s on a waiting list to get recontructive surgery down there 🙁

– The benefits from c-section are all long term — say, 20 years later, when you don’t need bladder suspension. Sure, the short-term benefits of vaginal delivery look better, with a faster recovery. But you’re making a trade and people need to be aware of that.

– In the 1950s, mortality from c-section approached 3 to 4%, so anything vaginally was a win. But things have changed. Anesthesia is much better, and post-op care and surgery techniques have improved. Now, there’s a mortality rate of about zero. Death after c-section is caused more often by underlying conditions like preeclampsia, liver failure or toxioplasty — circumstances where the woman has a chance of dying because she’s really sick, not because the of the c-section itself.

– C-section benefits include decrease in stress incontinence, leaky urine and stool and uterine prolapse. One in five hysterectomies are done for prolapse or incontinence, and 90% of incontinence can be traced back to vaginal delivery. So, one out of every five hysterectomies could most likely be avoided by elective c-section. You might recover for a time, but as you get older, it will get worse. And expect your bladder and vagina to do the same. Spit a cantaloupe out of your mouth and then try to whistle — obviously, you’re going to do some damage.

– The question is, how much resilience does a woman’s tissue have? Around the turn of the century, average baby weight was five or six pounds. Today, it’s around eight pounds. The benefits of this are lower infant mortality rates and better nourished babies, but this also makes it harder to deliver, and brings about the episiotomies and tears and then the nerve damage that shows up later. So really, this isn’t such a “natural” thing… at least, natural labor isn’t like it used to be.

* Wanted to also add that if I do go with my planned c-section, we will be paying out of pocket for it so it truly is 100% my choice. 

OP, at this stage I am about 70/30 split for csect or vaginal with epi. It’s a very tough choice to make but it’s YOURS to make either way. 

Thanks for reading 🙂

Post # 59
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1657 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

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hollyemma :  Read my post 🙂

Post # 60
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949 posts
Busy bee

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tillymac :  Not all women need bladder suspension after vaginal childbirth. For one, I don’t know anyone who would have needed the procedure, and that includes a number of women who’ve had 3 or more children many years ago.

I’ve spoken to a number of women about their birthing experiences and that includes vaginal births, planned c-sections and emergency c-sections (including those which were directly preceded by attempted vaginal births) and I would still prefer to deliver vaginally, unless there was a clear medical need for a c-section.

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