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Has anyone here had a forceps or vacuum delivery?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Here's the deal... my first 2 kids were both OP during labor and delivery. My first was an induction gone wrong (mostly due to him being OP and having had AROM way too early). After pushing for over 3 hours my OB said I should either have a c/s or use forceps- I ended up choosing a c/s as I was terrified that my baby would end up with brain damage or something from the use of forceps. Baby #2 was a HBAC, I pushed for 6 PAINFUL hours. MW thinks he was OP and had to turn. This time around I am planning a hospital VBAC (for various reasons I won't go into right now) and I am pretty sure babe is OP (I feel kicks and punches in my sides and front of tummy, tummy at times feels "squishy"). I know this means possibly another difficult birth. I really want to do anything to avoid a c/s but am terrified of forceps and the vacuum... which one is "worst" (I know neither are ideal, but I want to prepare for worst case scenario). I sometimes wonder if I made the wrong decision the first time around and should have told my doc to go ahead and use the forceps. Are forceps as dangerous as they seem? Is it better to use them than have another c/s? Has anyone here used them and baby was okay?
post #2 of 24
I had a vacuum delivery with my first. I pushed for five hours, but he was just *not* moving past my pubic bone. The doc was very careful to explain that she felt that, if vacuum worked, it would work right away, and if it didn't, we would go for the c/s. She had a lot of experience with that kind of delivery and felt comfortable giving it a try in my case. And in the end, that's what happened - one quick tug with the vacuum and all was well.

Well, I hurt like crazy and tore a bunch, but I healed up great and the baby was fine.

Forceps are really hard to learn to use. Before consenting to a forceps delivery, I would want to know how much experience the OB had with forceps, and what his limits with them were. I found my OBs explanation that she would try *once*, and then if it didn't work, she'd drop it, very reassuring, and I would try to get that same assurance from any doctor who wanted to do an assisted delivery of any kind.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I had a vacuum delivery with my first. I pushed for five hours, but he was just *not* moving past my pubic bone. The doc was very careful to explain that she felt that, if vacuum worked, it would work right away, and if it didn't, we would go for the c/s. She had a lot of experience with that kind of delivery and felt comfortable giving it a try in my case. And in the end, that's what happened - one quick tug with the vacuum and all was well.
I could have written this myself. Both methods have risks but if the vacuum extraction didn't work for me, I would have picked the c-section over the forceps.
post #4 of 24
I was a big baby (almost 9 lbs) born to a petite, barely 5 ft tall mother in 1971. When she got married she was 93 lbs. She had 2 stillbirths, one 6 lb baby, and then me. The 6 pounder came out fast, no forceps. With me, they used forceps.

I was bruised pretty badly on my head/face in my newborn pictures. They isolated me in the nursery because they said I had an "eye infection". This is probably unrelated, but I went on to have an eye condition that can be hereditary (50/50 chance of passing it on to kids) or can be caused by injuries, as during birth. Neither of my parents (nor any grandparents) have it, so I am guessing I may have had a birth injury. It's called accomodative esotropia, and basically it is a lazy eye muscle. My eye crosses a lot, when trying to focus, or when tired, or under the influence of alcohol. Other than that, I seem fine, and glasses keep it under control.

I definitely have my quirky habits, but I think a lot of it is hereditary, or due to toxic exposures as a child. I was never very coordinated or athletic and always had a slightly awkward walk and poor posture. I had "out of body" like experiences as a child...researched it on line, and think it may have been seizures. I also walked on toes, which is associated with CP and other issues and I still walk on my toes when I am at home. Interestingly, toe walking runs in my family. My son still walks on his toes a bit at age 7.

I also think, back in the day, doctors probably had a lot more experience with forceps. I don't hear about them as much these days (probably for fear of lawsuits). Maybe do some research, and get a second and third opinion on forceps vs. vacuum if possible.
post #5 of 24
I had a forceps delivery with ds.I had a 3rd degree tear from it which healed up great. Ds was seemingly unaffected - not even a slight bruise.

I'd do it again over a c-section but I might have an unreasonable fear of them.
post #6 of 24
During my 1st DD's birth my Dr used the vacuum twice and eventually was successful with the forceps. (She was born with the cord tight around her neck 4 times which was preventing her from descending any further on her own). Neither I nor my daughter had any complications from her assisted birth (I didn't even tear) and I attribute this to the skill of my Dr. Based on my personal experience (I also delivered by c/s two years later) I would choose to have my Dr attempt to aid delivery with the vacuum/forceps before rushing to c/s.
post #7 of 24

I had vaccum with my first. It sucked. I was only pushing for 2 hours which my OBGYN said is a normal time in the hospital. If I weren't laying it would have been better, but he was impatient. The baby was already crowning before my OBGYN even showed up. But he decided to stick it on his head and pull. I ended up with a 2nd degree tear that formed a blood clot the size of an egg and had to be rushed to the OR. It hurt like hell.

post #8 of 24

All three of mine were posterior.  First was c-section, second was vbac, 2 hours pushing, third degree tear.  The third was a 10lb'er, forceps after 2 hours of pushing with no descent and showing distress, third degree tear.

 

I had an epidural in already and they topped it up for the forceps.  Didn't hurt but it did feel weird.  All they did with the forceps was turn him.  As soon as he turned, he shot right out, shocking the ob.  Although the recovery was much more painful then the last birth, it lasted only 3 weeks in comparison to the months of pain from the previous tear.  Baby had no injuries from the forceps and it kept me from a c-section. 

post #9 of 24

I had a vacuum delivery with my first birth (adoption.) I was induced at 39 weeks, and it hurt beyond anything I had any frame of reference for. So, cue epidural. The epidural was (as I have since learned) too strong- I could feel nothing below my ribcage. I could not feel to push... I could see people holding my legs back in McRoberts, but could literally not feel the contact on my skin. I got two stitches after delivery, couldn't feel that AT ALL, either.

 

Anyway, the OB used the vacuum and apparently the baby was born easily after that.

 

I have since learned that I can push effectively when not under flipping surgical level anesthesia.

post #10 of 24

I haven't BTDT (so I hope you don't mind my posting), but I believe Henci Goer says in the Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
that forceps are preferable to the vacuum as an intervention, and both are preferable to c/s in terms of risk (especially risk to mom). I can't be absolutely sure b/c it's been a while since I've read it, but I remember being really surprised at forceps v. vacuum since forceps look a lot scarier. But as pps have said, lots of newer OBs haven't been trained in forceps so they may not be an option...

i

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies, I really appreciate all the replies! So I think based on most of the replies, it would be better to try an assisted delivery before agreeing to a c/s? I pray it doesn't come down to that this time, but I just have this feeling that this is going to be yet another difficult birth. I am going to start writing my birth plan soon and just want to have it solidified in my mind as to what I'll want to do, should it come down to that.

post #12 of 24

I had 2 vacuum assisted vaginal births and 1 c-section.  With the first birth (53 hour induction, over 3 hours of pushing, baby still wasn't moving down and was starting to go into distress), DS ended up with a huge bruise on his head and trouble nursing for a long time after that because he couldn't move his neck.  He also had a LOT of sensory issues and eventually was diagnosed with autism and SPD (we don't know if it was related, but since we don't know that it WASN'T, I'm putting it in there.)

 

The 2nd delivery (vacuum needed after baby's heartrate crashed and wouldn't recover) resulted in the passing of our son...not related to the use of the vacuum.  But, I don't really have any way to know if there would have been long term implications.  It got him out quick, but it didn't save his life.

 

In both cases, I would have rather had a c-section.  Less trauma on the baby (suction and pulling on a baby's head is not really a traumaless occurance to the baby obviously.  With my c-section, there was no real trauma to the baby at all.  She has some sensory issues, but they are very mild compared with DS)...with me, I was cut either way--for my vacuum extractions, I ended up with decent sized episiotomies to make the vacuum fit. greensad.gif

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post

I had 2 vacuum assisted vaginal births and 1 c-section.  With the first birth (53 hour induction, over 3 hours of pushing, baby still wasn't moving down and was starting to go into distress), DS ended up with a huge bruise on his head and trouble nursing for a long time after that because he couldn't move his neck.  He also had a LOT of sensory issues and eventually was diagnosed with autism and SPD (we don't know if it was related, but since we don't know that it WASN'T, I'm putting it in there.)

 

The 2nd delivery (vacuum needed after baby's heartrate crashed and wouldn't recover) resulted in the passing of our son...not related to the use of the vacuum.  But, I don't really have any way to know if there would have been long term implications.  It got him out quick, but it didn't save his life.

 

In both cases, I would have rather had a c-section.  Less trauma on the baby (suction and pulling on a baby's head is not really a traumaless occurance to the baby obviously.  With my c-section, there was no real trauma to the baby at all.  She has some sensory issues, but they are very mild compared with DS)...with me, I was cut either way--for my vacuum extractions, I ended up with decent sized episiotomies to make the vacuum fit. greensad.gif


Wow, this is really something to think about. I am so so sorry about your son, I can't even imagine losing a baby like that. I am so sorry (((hugs))).
 

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBEmomma View Post

I had vaccum with my first. It sucked. I was only pushing for 2 hours which my OBGYN said is a normal time in the hospital. If I weren't laying it would have been better, but he was impatient. The baby was already crowning before my OBGYN even showed up. But he decided to stick it on his head and pull. I ended up with a 2nd degree tear that formed a blood clot the size of an egg and had to be rushed to the OR. It hurt like hell.


Similar story to me only I was pushing less than 2 hours and it was a midwife who couldn't be bothered to wait any longer. Didn't develop a blood clot but my second degree tear was stitched badly and I developed a nasty infection.

 

baby was fine except for a wee bit of bruising on her head (funnily enough, I had two home births after and those two have sensory issues where as DD1, while being mad as a hatter is pretty much ok).

 

I would rather a vacuum than a forceps just because from what I have heard, a lot of docs these days are rubbish with the forceps.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFTB1177 View Post

Thanks ladies, I really appreciate all the replies! So I think based on most of the replies, it would be better to try an assisted delivery before agreeing to a c/s? I pray it doesn't come down to that this time, but I just have this feeling that this is going to be yet another difficult birth. I am going to start writing my birth plan soon and just want to have it solidified in my mind as to what I'll want to do, should it come down to that.



I don't know whether assisted delivery is always better than surgery - I would say that it depends on the doctor's level of experience.  I would a million times rather have a c-section than be some new doc's first experience with a real baby and forceps.  One of the reasons that the c-section rate is higher than it used to be is that it's much easier to train someone to do a c-section than it is to train them to do instrumental deliveries.  With a c-section, the supervising doc can *see* everything that's going on, and comment and give instructions.

 

The OB who delivered my son had done a lot of vacuum-assisted deliveries and was very comfortable with them.  She'd been in practice for more than 25 years, and I was confident in her skill.  Had some other doctor attended my labor, I do not know that I would feel the same, or make the same decisions.

post #16 of 24


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFTB1177 View Post

Thanks ladies, I really appreciate all the replies! So I think based on most of the replies, it would be better to try an assisted delivery before agreeing to a c/s? I pray it doesn't come down to that this time, but I just have this feeling that this is going to be yet another difficult birth. I am going to start writing my birth plan soon and just want to have it solidified in my mind as to what I'll want to do, should it come down to that.



Yes, I think having an assisted delivery is absolutely preferable to a c/s.   I haven't done both (just had the c/s, then a VBAC) but the experience of recovering from a c/s if you get so far into it that you're pushing, is rough.  C/s is associated with its own set of risks to both you and the baby.  With vacuum, as others have said, it either goes or it doesnt.  My sister had a vacuum assist on her first birth after pushing for 6 hours.  The doctor who came in to do it said she'd give it 3 tries and if his head didn't come around she was going for a c/s.  Happily, his head did come around and she was able to birth him vaginally.  Another case of major tearing (though I'm not sure it was from the vacuum - I think it was just as likely from his awkward positioning - apparently he was ear first?) and no epidural on her part.  She was a trooper.  In any case, it seems worth giving a vacuum the ole college try before going for a c/s.  *especially* if you're considering another child after this one.

post #17 of 24

I too have read that outcomes with forceps depend GREATLY on the skill, training & experience of the OB - AND - they're not so popular in the US anymore, so there are fewer & fewer docs with experience.

Also, forceps increase the circumference of the presenting part (since they go AROUND baby's head), whereas vacuum does not (since it rests ON TOP OF baby's head.) So I have the impression tears might be worse with forceps, but I'm not sure about that. I do believe episiotomy isn't necessary to accompany vacuum, even though it may done frequently.

 

My SIL had a vaccum assisted delivery with my DN in 1997. She tore badly, but I'm sure that's more due to having had an episiotomy than the vacuum itself. DN is great - no issues from it, although he did have a bruise at the crown of his head.

 

No one has yet mentioned - although you probably know - have you looked into www.spinningbabies.com & doing optimal fetal positioning exercises? You probably have, but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case.

post #18 of 24

I woud use forcep s again any day over having another c/s. My odest was a fail ed forcep s birth that ended in a c/s and a 2nd degree tear. He was bruised from the forcep s b/c he was asyncl itic. My first VBAC was a forcep s del ivery b/c of p l acental  abrup tion and he was p erfect. No bruising or anything.

post #19 of 24

My first and second where birthed with a vacuum (intervention happy OB).  I would choose a vacuum over a c-section, but a c-section over forceps.  Like a PP said, an OB needs to be HIGHLY skilled to use forceps.

 

Have you visited the website www.spinningbabies.com?  They have a LOT of great info and techniques for helping to move baby into an optimal position for labor and birth.

post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks again everyone for all of the replies! It looks like I need to talk with my doc to find out if he feels comfortable with vacuum/forceps in the event it comes down to that or a c/s. Hopefully I won't need any of the above, but knowing my labors and deliveries...<sigh>

 

Thanks for suggesting Spinning Babies- I did use that site last time (as well as did a ton of chiro work with a guy who specialized in Websters) and baby was still OP until the very end. My stomach muscles got VERY stretched out last pregnancy (separated/torn abdominal muscles- I forget what it's called but my MW was concerned last time about them going back to normal). Do you think this also contributes to repeated OP positions? One more thing I'll mention is that my last baby was transverse and breech up until the very end too (turned on his own). Guess I just can't win! lol

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