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 🙂