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Repeat Csection Experiences

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#1 Elle2k17

Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:33 PM

So since I saw those two lines I’ve been stressing myself over the fact that I do have the option of a VBAC - though the thought terrifies me due to the experience of my first labour. I feel bad that I don’t want to attempt it, but I’m not even 7 weeks along and the thought of a VBAC sends my anxiety skyrocketing.

So I’m going to try and approach this from a different angle - looking at peoples experiences with repeat csections (as opposed to seeing everyone’s VBAC stories).

How was your repeat csection? Was your planned csection better than your emergency one?

ETA- by emergency I don’t mean went into labour prior to a planned csection, I mean mother or baby in distress or complications. My SIL loves to tell me how amazing her emergency csection was because she went into labour for half an hour before her emergency csection where both her and bub were completely ok but bub was breech so they chose the csection. I can’t seem to explain to her that there are different levels of emergency and hers and mine were at opposite ends of the spectrum 😒 I’m not saying this to disvalue her experience, but I think most people can acknowledge the difference between that VS “we don’t know if your baby is alive” which was our experience.

Edited by Elle2k17, 11 June 2018 - 09:35 PM.

#2 KwaziiCat

Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:47 PM

DS1 labour ended in emergency c-section which was quite a stressful experience all round.  Second pregnancy my obs told me I could try VBAC but I decided early on I would have a c-sec.

Two completely different experiences.  I had quite a few issues post emergency c-sec and struggled to walk for quite a few days afterwards.  

Second time around everything went smoothly and pretty much went exactly as planned.  The hospital had changed their policy at this point so I stayed with bub in recovery (first time around I didn't see my baby for an hour and a half while I was in recovery but I did get some skin to skin immediately after he was born).  

I was up walking the next day with minimal pain (thanks to meds) and didn't really have to call the nurses for much at all other than helping with feeds the first night when I couldn't get up post op.  

I have no regrets about my decision and if I was to have another I wouldn't hesitate in having a third c-sec.  I also discharged at day 4 second time around where as I was scared to leave the hospital after my first and left on the 5th day!

All the best and congratulations on your pregnancy!

#3 Chaotic Pogo

Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:58 PM

^^What Kwazzicat said.  I had an emergency c-s for the first (not dire but after a long labour, heartbeat fluctuations etc) and scheduled c-s for 2nd and 3rd.

Its the difference between running a marathon (labour) that uses muscles you've never used before (no training)  then having surgery in a frightening rush, not being able to recall events etc


slow sedate, planned, chatting and joking with the obs (yes, both times). They asked me what music I liked (mother got to choose). Baby in recovery with me - when you are scheduled, they had a midwife on duty in recovery so you can have baby with you. After hours, there is 'only' the nurse in recovery so baby has to go to nursery while you are in recovery.

I agonised over VBAC vs c-s for no.2 until almost 37 weeks.  For no.3 I just said 'I'll have a c-s thanks'.  Wish I had done that for no.2, would have saved lots of stresshead days.

#4 itsallnew

Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:00 PM

I had a general anaesthetic cat 1 Caesar first time round & it was a horrible experience. Had a planned Caesar second time but went into labour 6 days before. Still a hugely different experience. Nobody was rushing around, it was very calm, all the staff in theatre were excited and it was really lovely to experience the ‘it’s a boy’ moment with my husband. Much better recovery too.
Best of luck with your decision!

#5 MrsLexiK

Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:05 PM

DS1 was a bad csection with distress for both FS1 and I, I had a PPH as well after it and they knocked me out to fix that. (They topped up my epi and I was warned if DS1’s heart rate didn’t stabilise him once they pushed him back up they would be knocking me out). All pretty scary.

I ended up with a repeat csection. I was happy to try again for a vbac however as it went further along it was more and more out of reach.  DS1 was booked into surgery 2 - 3 weeks after my due date. He would be in overnight and a 2 week recover. DS2 has an unstable lie (would flip from head down to transverse). Due to the fact my DS1 and the forcep was stuck inside me the OB’s thought it was likely my pelvis was too narrow, but couldn’t be sure and wouldn’t know unless I had a vbac. My DS1 was slightly under average. DS2 was showing bigger on the growth scans (and his were spot on). I had HELLP with DS1 so was being monitored.

My OB was very fine for me to go 40 plus 10 before doing a repeat csection. (With lots of monitoring). What I was most worried about was needing a repeat cesection after a long labour when I was 40 or 41 weeks and then having my DS1 in hospital. Had DS2 been on the smaller side, had he had a stable lie and been head down and engaged I would have gone to 40 weeks easily. With the combo of “issues” (which may have turned out fine), and DS1’s surgery we opted for the repeat. (At 38/39 weeks)

It was in the same operating room as my first one. When I was with the anthesist I kinda lost it. Probably a bit PTSS but as was pointed out to me I was about to become a mother again and plenty of women are crying in labour at that stage. My second csection was really healing, the whole experience helped with issues I had still left over from DS1 (ie having that chest to chest and first breast feed was massive for our breast feeding relationship).

Even if I had gone through with the vbac I don’t think it would be as traumatic as we would make different decisions.

Recovery was easy. It was more painful for the first 3 days which is apparently normal for a repeat, after those 3 days it was great. I was done around 8 am so when visitors came at 2pm and that night I was already showered and walking around.

ETA: even though I was out of it in recovery DH and DS1 were in their with a midwife, at 10.30pm on a sat night. I was also doing skin to skin contact when I went into shock. A lot of those things are hospital related.

Edited by MrsLexiK, 11 June 2018 - 10:09 PM.

#6 JK4

Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:11 PM

My first c section was emergency due to baby distress/cord issue during labour. I hoped to VBAC for our second but a placenta that was breaking down changed the plan & led to a second emergency c section.

I then had 2 more planned c sections, completely different, stress free and positive experiences with very quick recoveries. Having a known date and time (even just a few days out as my ob would not book a date in advance, he went based on how I progressed) took the emergency stress out and knowing how to help myself heal (SRC recovery shorts, movement ASAP with all tubes/drains out) made my 3rd & 4th c sections relaxed and my healing times reduced. I was able to spend immediate time with my baby as they did not need the pediatric care so I felt better as I could cuddle & hold them straight away.

Definitely think a planned c section is a very different experience to an emergency one where you or your baby’s life is at risk.

#7 bikingbubs

Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:11 PM

My elective cs was amazing and totally different to my emergency cs first time around  (failed induction)

#8 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:24 PM

First was an emergency with DD in distress. It was actually a really good birth and I had no issues afterwards. It probably helped that my labouring was minimal - every time they turned the drip up DD got distressed.

Second I had no hesitation choosing a repeat rather than a vbac. It was a good call as he was a bigger baby with a very big head! Again it was a good birth and easy recovery.

#9 rosie28

Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:00 PM

I’ve had one “proper” emergency, scary, baby’s heart rate plummeting c section after which I haemorrhaged badly and didn’t see DS for hours, and one where I’d call it rescheduled- technically an emergency because I went into labour, but really just a few days earlier than planned. I did not have the option of a VBAC because of complications arising from my first birth. My second was a walk in the park. Calm, happy, exciting and lovely and because there were no complications I had DD with me the entire time.

Edited by rosie28, 11 June 2018 - 11:05 PM.

#10 Thalidae

Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:15 PM

My first emergency wasn’t too “emergency” Bub heart rate drop, my temp up etc. it was the hospital experience that was c**p.

Planned cs was aaaaammmmaaazing! So relaxed - other that new parent nerves - better hospital experience, and suited me well for planning (I’m a planner!). I was up and moving the next morning - not too much pain, the nurses kept commenting that I was on the lowest dose of pain relief compared to others.

I had a spinal block - feels like you are one of those air hockey tables, or the feeling of numbness you have right before the pins and needles start (that doesn’t happen!).

Only one side effect for me was that six hours later I threw up coming off the numb meds - was told that’s normal.... they kept a sick bag beside me in anticipation!

#11 c.sanders

Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:20 PM

As others have said. My first emergency c-section was so traumatic I still get upset thinking about it. My planned 2 were absolutely amazing. The most painful part was the canula. They were beautiful and peaceful and just amazing. And the most important part is that I was rested. I just could not have handled more than one child if I was as exhausted as I was with my first because of the long labour

#12 c.sanders

Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:48 PM

Multiple c-section pro tip

1. Take all the pain relief on time so it starts to work before the last dose fully wears off

2. Take lots of snacks/foods because being hungry at 3am sucks!!

#13 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 12 June 2018 - 12:23 AM

I had a vaginal delivery for my first which was very traumatic and as a result my obstetrician insisted on c-sections for my other 2 children. Both of my c-sections were much more positive experience than my first birth and I had no complications with either.

Good luck OP, whatever choice you make, I hope you have a healthy, easy pregnancy and the birth is positive and uncomplicated.

Edited by Gruffalo's Child, 12 June 2018 - 12:26 AM.

#14 Caribou

Posted 12 June 2018 - 03:32 AM

Had an emergency Caesar with both kids, and recovered much better with #2!

ETA: #2 was a failed VBAC but honestly, glad I did it anyway, the expirence was a lot more positive than my first!

Edited by Caribou, 12 June 2018 - 03:33 AM.

#15 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:37 AM

Baby 1: emergency c/s after 12 hours labour due to non-dilation of cervix and baby's heart rate fluctuating insanely. Had already had epidural so apart from suddenly being rushed to theatre with lots of commotion it was fairly straightforward.

Baby 2: last minute planned c/s as he showed no signs of wanting to emerge 12 days after due date. The two things I wish had gone differently were that I arrived at hospital at 7.00 am but due to several other real emergencies didn't go to theatre until 5.00 pm. It was a long day! The other thing was that the epidural needle hurt. Dr said with my first c/s the epi was done while I was labouring so it is a relief but second time it was done without being masked by labour pains. Baby was 11lb 12oz, long and skinny with a boof head.

Result: two healthy babies and a healthy mother.

#16 Mollycoddle

Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:13 AM

First was emergency due to drastically dropping baby heart rate, was scary and recovery was longer.

Second was technically elective, I had the option of a VBAC and chose this but as they're reluctant to induce after a previous c-section they booked in a caesar for a week after the due date.  I didn't go into labour before that date so unfortunately it was another c-section.  The second one went much better, I think it was down to knowing exactly what I was in for after having had one before.

#17 4kids mostlysane

Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:45 AM

1st c section (my second pregnancy) was an emergency but not major emergency - had laboured for 16 hours and go to about 6cms dilated and then nothing.  Baby was on my spine so every time I contracted she pressed on my spine and I screamed.  Was after hours so the only anaesthetist was the on call one.  He gave me a general (and no choice).  I don't remember being told I'd had a baby - I do remember waking up in recovery wondering what the hell just happened.  DH was in my room waiting for me with the baby - DD1.  I was really sored and blah the next day (she was born at 9.11pm) mostly due to the labour beforehand rather than the C-section.  I recovered from the csection well.

With baby no3 I decided on a csection.  I did discuss a VBAC with the OB but baby no 1 was only 6lbs11 and he had to be yanked out with forceps, baby no2 was 8lbs plus and I never fully dilated and baby no3 was looking bigger (and she was!) so I went with elective c section.  It was by far my best birth.  Planned csection with epidural, I was awake and they handed her to me and DH.  DH then took her as I ended up being knocked out as the epi wasn't working properly.  Recovery after this one was a piece of cake.  Took the pain meds but honestly didn't need that many etc.

Baby no 4 was also elective c section but they had probs getting epi in (apparently my spine is very close together -they couldn't get into space or something - they tried 8 times and I had a MASSIVE bruise on my back with individual pin pricks visible!).  So I wasn't awake when DD3 was born.  I did recover quite quickly initially from that one as well but about a week later I got an infection in my wound and OMG that hurt.  But other than that it was fine.

Despite my child bearing hips figure it would appear I don't do birth well.  DS1 ended up with a collapse lung during birth (forceps) and ended up in a humidicrib.  Wouldn't know it know aged 18!!!

#18 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:13 AM

My first and 3rd were “emergency” because they wanted to choose their own birthdates. Like you SIL my first was breech.

I will say that even though my “emergency” cs were a walk in the park, the scheduled one which stayed put for the date/time was even better.

My 3rd I was asked if I wanted to try VBA2C but my response was “no”. OB later on said I had made a good choice as my scar would not have held up for another 6hrs.

#19 tiggy2

Posted 12 June 2018 - 04:32 PM

I’ve had 4, first one was elective and the other three emergency (not very, but babies wanting out before the scheduled date).
The elective one was fantastic - so calm and easy.
Recoveries from all we’re fine but the elective was definitely the most positive experience.

Good luck!

#20 Elle2k17

Posted 12 June 2018 - 05:06 PM

Thank you so so much for all sharing your experiences! It’s really helping me to see the other side of this xx

#21 AmicusCuriae

Posted 12 June 2018 - 05:13 PM

My elective was an easier recovery, my first was an emergency - induced at 36 weeks with severe pre eclampsia, baby going into distress whenever they turned up the drip, failure to dilate, and recovery complicated by ongoing blood pressure issues.

My scheduled Caesarian was lovely and calm, even if I did have to be at the hospital at 5.30am.  DS stayed with me in recovery, before going to special care, which we expected due to my gestational diabetes.  The day after I was a bit uncomfortable but by day 3 I was up and about (slowly but not in pain) and the recovery was uneventful.

#22 SuperMombie3

Posted 12 June 2018 - 05:24 PM

My first was an emergency csection, plummeting heart rate, didn't know if DD would make it.  Straight afterwards I really wanted to vbac when we hopefully had another, but 18 months later when I was I was about 2 months pregnant I started to think about the birth and by my first antenatal appointment I knew there was no way I could face a vbac.  The idea just made me too anxious abd scared.  My repeat CS didn't quite go to plan, DS decided to come 2 days before my booked in date, but it was an amazingly different experience, so much calmer and gentler and not traumatic at all, so unlike my first birth.  With my 3rd I got them to book me in a bit earlier so I didn't have to go through labour again and DS2 was actually born on the date he was booked in for.

#23 Chelara

Posted 12 June 2018 - 05:24 PM

I was pretty nervous for my planned one. I didn’t want another c section, wanted a VBAC but positioning made that impossible.

Other than the nerves prior, it was a great experience. I am just someone who doesn’t do anticipation well. I am so glad it worked out that way. Zero regrets about missing out on ever having a vaginal birth. I now couldn’t care less.

#24 zeldazonk

Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:16 PM

I have had 2 planned c-sections - one for placenta previa and one for a breach baby+bicornuate uterus.

My last planned c-section actually went even better than the first. It was a very calm and happy atmosphere in the operating room. I had plenty of time to prepare and plan for the birth. My baby and husband were in recovery with me the whole time with plenty of cuddles and photos.

I am hoping to have a third baby in the not too distant future and have already decided I won't try for a VBAC.  I know exactly what to expect with a c-section now and I no longer care at all if I don't have a vaginal birth.

Edited by zeldazonk, 12 June 2018 - 08:25 PM.

#25 HolierThanCow

Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:43 PM

I know it's not an answer to the question you're asking, but why do you feel bad for not wanting to attempt a VBAC? It's fine not to want to (it's fine not to want a vaginal delivery at all - lots of women choose never to attempt one, previous CS or not).

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