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I want a cesearian!!

2432 Views 34 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Megs Mom
Okay, I'm only about 4 weeks pregnant, so it's not an issue yet, but I'm already having nightmares about labor. My labor with Eli was exceptionally long (about 4.5 days, depending on where you count from) and painful, and I don't want to do that again. I read a lot of stories about traumatic deliveries that end in a c-section, but I want a scheduled c-section to avoid the trauma that was my labor and delivery last time. I love my son, and the new baby was very much planned for and desired, it's just labor that I don't want to deal with *at all*!! I can't believe I'm already worrying about this, but I am. How can I convince my doctor that a c-section is the way to go? Or is everyone around here dead set against it?
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Wow, reading about your first labor, I can *SO* understand not wanting to go through that again!
No advice here, just hugs and support to you, whatever you choose.
usually first labors are longer but the seconds ones are easier..

We relive our last delivery when we get pg again. I had a long (36 hour) labor with my first that ended in a proably unneccesary c-sec. I cried every day of my first trimester of my 2nd pregnancy. I had to heal and cleanse. I thought I was over the truama, but I wasn't.

( I do not rec a c-sec as a comfortable option to vag delivery. My healing took a year. With my vag births I was ready to do a jig right after.)

In my case I went to a lay midwife for my 2nd pg pre-natal exams. I intended to use her as a doula for my 2nd hosp birth. She really taught me a lot, empowered me, and helped me to trust my body again, and overcome my fears for the next birth. So much so, I actually ended up with a home VBAC.

Good midwives are so wise and can give you so many great ideas for a smoother labor and birth. They have tons of comfort techniques OBs don't bother to learn.

My second birth was only 12 hours. 45 mins of pushing.

My third birth was 4 hours start to finish, 45 mins of pushing again.

This was all 12-18 yrs ago. We didn't have waterbirth options back then, but I understand water labor and birth can really add comfort. Good luck as you heal and grow and overcome your fears.
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if you somehow do figure out a way to convince your doc to do an elective c/s, remember a few things. The hormones that labor sends through your body help the baby's respritory system and babies (even those born through c/s) whose mom's labor have fewer breathing problems. You should labor a while to get those hormones. Also, you have a child to care for as well. If you have a c/s, you are looking at weeks of recovery time. This is major abdominal surgery. You won't be able to lift anything, including the newborn if you want him/her in the carseat dealy, and your older child.

A couple I am a doula for told me that they decided to have a doula because they would do anything to avoid the experience of their last birth, which ended in a c/s.

Find a doula, talk to her about what you can do to make this experience one you look back on with joy, not dread. There are other options than avoiding labor altogether and getting cut open. Talk to your doctor about this as well.

Good luck with your decision. Try to remember that second births are almost always faster and easier than firsts.
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I'm sorry you are having to worry about this. If it helps any, my first labor was 2 1/2 days long (with some breaks), posterior baby, very painful back labor. WIth my second baby, I was in active labor about 17 hours and I kept asking myself when it was going to start hurting. Sure, there was some discomfort, and transition was somewhat painful - but nothing like my first labor. Part of it was that my second birth was a homebirth, I was able to eat, drink, go on walks, sleep, take showers, basically do what I needed to do. Much different than my hospital birth.

Have you read Birthing From Within? That is an excellent book for working through birth trauma and facing fears about future births.

I wish you a peaceful and gentle pregnancy and birth, whichever kind of birth you choose.
Let me just ditto that 2d births are faster and easier. It turned out that all of my fears and anxiety about my 2d (based on my first) were unsubstantiated. Try to remember the fact that 2d births are generally much easier.
I'm really, really sorry for you.
I know other women who were traumatized by their births (both v and c), and it sucks.

I had a (necessary) c-birth, and while I don't feel traumatized by it, I don't recommend it if you can avoid it because of the recovery time. (Although some of my friends with bad v births had longer physical recovery times than the average c birth, that's unusual.)

I'm not sure how to say this properly, so please know that I mean this with the gentlest of intentions... maybe you can do everything you can during your pregnancy to deal with the trauma of the last birth, and make your final decision after you've done more grieving and researching?

A lot of don't wind up with the birth we want (that is probably an understatement for you)... there's a lot of understanding women, and classes, and books, etc. that can help you express your feelings.

Hang in there. Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have a question, though:

Who wrote Birthing From Within, and where can I find it?

It took me about 10 weeks to fully recover (physically) from my vaginal delivery with Eli, so 3-6 weeks for a c-section recovery really sounds good to me! I thought I had fully recovered mentally/emotionally, but I guess not. *sigh*

And I have a question about midwives: if you're at high risk for complications, will they even see you? And how do they determine risk? I was under the impression that you had to be low risk for a midwife assisted delivery, or a home birth. There is no birthing center anywhere near me, and from what I understand there are only a few midwives anyway.
. I am terrified of delivering at home, mostly because I fear having to clean up. (Silly, perhaps, but there you have it!)

I also don't want Eli to have to see me in so much pain. He's very attuned to my emotional state and bursts into hysterical tears if I sneeze or if I make a face when I'm passing a bm.
. He gets upset if I'm annoyed that I can't find something, and throws a fit before I raise my voice when I'm angry. (He's been known to wake out of a sound sleep when I'm unhappy.) I don't think he'll be able to handle mommy in labor. (At least, not without an epidural. :LOL)
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I am terrified of delivering at home, mostly because I fear having to clean up. (Silly, perhaps, but there you have it!)
I've never heard of a midwife assisted homebirth where the mama was expected to clean up. All the homebirths I know of, including my own, the mw's and assistants did all the cleanup, including throwing in a load of laundry and taking out the trash. When they left, my house looked just as it had before they arrived.

also don't want Eli to have to see me in so much pain.
It's generally recommended that you have a special support person for your older child at a homebirth. This person could make sure Eli was comfortable with the situation and take him out of the house if necessary. Generally, you would make the same arrangements for an older child at a homebirth as you would if you were going to the hospital.

I'm truely not trying to coerce you into a homebirth, just trying to clear up some misconceptions you might have.
Take care and good luck in whatever you decide to do!

peace, Beth
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Beth-TX, good response. I always joke that the point of midwives is to protect the furniture and clean up afterwards! (Implying that the birthing part is so natural & do-able by the laboring woman, the midwives will focus on other things!)

Eilonwy, your fear and concern and desire for a c-section are all wonderful things, in my opinion--because they are powerful motivators to inspire you to learn and discover what kind of birth you want to create this time. You are not destined to suffer again, your choices are not limited to an epidural or a scheduled c-section.

Time to think hard, over the next few weeks and months, about exploring the WHYS for your current thoughts.

WHY do you want a scheduled c-section? A bigger, deeper, more profound question than it may at first seem. There are lots of practical bits of advice and information to gather from the replies on this thread (i.e., 2nd labors are faster, midwives will clean up your homebirth, etc.) but those might not be the only answers you're looking for.

Indeed, the book
Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz is a fantastic tool for all pregnant women, espeically gals in your situation.

With my first baby, I watched every episode of A Baby Story, Birth Day, Maternity Ward, and Labor & Delivery. I read evey OB textbook I could check out of my University of Minnesota's Biomedical Library. When my OB suggested a scheduled inductin of labor for convience I jumped at it. I had just what I wanted, I got my epidural, my baby came out fine, etc, etc.

But now I know what I really wanted: control over my own body and my own labor. By choosing the elective induction, I bypassed ALL SORTS of nonsense that is so typical of the hospital birth, like, am I dialated enough to be admitted to the hospital, will the give me Pit, will my OB be there, will I get my drugs in time? etc, etc. I was a little more in control of whhat would happen to me. Scheduled c/sec moms DO get to help pick the day, there's some control in that.

Birth in American hospitals is painful, agonizing, barbaric, unnatural, and unholy. All the crap done to a woman in the name of a vaginal birth DOES make a scheduled c-section look like a complete and total pleasant idea. (Of course, the stats about the complications that arise from c/sec births would make anyone think quite seriously about choosing such drastic surgery.)

However, you are not limited by the limitations of your local hospital's maternity ward. As you learn more and post here and address your concerns, you will discover a WIDE array of choices and options that empower you, and with that empowerment I guarantee you a much less painful labor, birth, & recovory.

There are many things--homebirth, a doula, a certified nurse-midwife, a different hospital in your area you don't yet know about, and your own perspective--that will yield a happy 'n' fun labor and birth for you.

What I wanted for my births was the same for my first hospital birth and my second birth at home. I wanted respect from my birth attendants, control over my own body, and a birth that is the least painful. Within the confining choices available to my at the hospital, I made my first birth choices out of fear. Within the broad array of options available to me when I took charge (instead of giving the power to my OB) I had a wonderful birth in every way, and fear was no longer my birthing companion.

Remember, people pick homebirth because they know it is the safest choice! Not 'cause they think endangering their newborn baby is fun, or because they have a death wish, or because all that organic granola has gone to their masochistic heads.

Blessings and good luck to you.
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Originally posted by eilonwy
so 3-6 weeks for a c-section recovery really sounds good to me!
Just so you know...that is probably only the healing of the incision, and that may only be without infection or problems with the incision. It takes months to get your full energy back. Remember it is MAJOR abdominal surgery. All of the muscles that support your viscera, help you sit up, cough, walk and more have been cut in half. That is a lot of layers of muscles to repair. In actuality they say it takes a full year to recover fully from the surgery.

It was very hard to care for a newborn when I could hadly sit up from laying down without help. Sitting on the toilet and standing up was even a challenge
I cannot imagine doing it with a newborn plus a toddler that wants to be held, cuddled, and played with.

I have started to heal emotionally from my c/b but I cannot imagine why anyone would want one if it weren't a needed labor with ds was 9 days rough prodomal labor, 14 hours on pitocin, bordering on uterine rupture and a c/b after a 90 minute contraction because of the pitocin! I'd do it all again and more if it meant not having a c/b....
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I just want to second it's_our_family 's last post. 3-6 weeks for a c/s is just a sweet dream.
(in most cases). Like she said, it's MAJOR abdominal surgery! Will is six months, and I'm not recovered yet. I was just thinking about this last night - I'm still so weak (all over, but particularly abdominally) compared to pre-pregnancy. I can't say for sure how much is due to the c/s, and how much is from the pregnancy, but I think I'd be farther down the road to recovery had I not had the c/s. I sometimes still have to have DH help me to a sitting position, when my abs are tired. I also will have an ugly flap of skin over the scar for the rest of my life (I know the last thing on your mind is physical appearance, but since my c/s was unwanted, every time I see it, I want to CRY!! It really bothers me much more than I had expected)

I think I had a fairly easy recovery (we went to Wal-Mart two days after I came home from the hospital, and I started going on walks again at the same time). I would pretty much go about my normal life, but rest more. The c/s is still taking it's toll, though. I can't imagine how women deal w/a longer or slower recovery than mine. Especially w/a toddler as well!! But I know they do, b/c like I said, my recovery seems to have been an easy one, compared to lots of women I've spoken with.

Another thing to consider is the immediate recovery. Will was taken away from me, up to the newborn nursery. I had to stay in recovery for an hour (their estimate). I woke up and REPEATEDLY asked to be taken out of recovery to my room, so I could see my baby. They refused until I could pass certain physical tests, but wouldn't administer the tests until a certain amount of time had passed! I was all alone in the recovery room, listening to the nurse gab on the phone to her friend about her weekend plans!!!

Also, DH wasn't allowed to be w/Will until I was back in my room. Will "had" to be kept in the newborn nursery, under warming lights. I have seen the pictures my mom took while I was "recovering", and my heart just breaks. Will was in there, screaming - his entire face was purple! And the nurse wouldn't pick him up and wouldn't allow DH to come get him and hold him.

While you're making your decision, you should probably get in contact w/your hospital and find out what their rules are for recovery/baby care after a c/s. Some hospitals will bend the rules a bit for a scheduled c/s w/a mom who feels strongly about certain things. Others won't. If, for some reason, I'm not able to have a VBAC, I will definitely be shopping around for a hospital that will accomodate MY wishes. There's no reason why you can't have your baby and husband w/you as you're being sewed up. And with a little extra effort on the hospital/nurse's part, they could stay w/you as you "recover". I know that I will NOT allow my baby to be screaming in a nursery, EVER again.

Good luck in your decision.
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I'm not pregnant (yet) but I wanted to tell you that my last labor was 36 hours and ended in c-section. C-sections suck, at least mine did. REALLY sucked. Continues to suck...I'm still numb in a place where you don't really want to be numb. I lost so much blood they wanted to do a transfusion but I begged them not to (I was scared). I hemorhaged and almost went into shock. Didn't get to hold my baby girl for almost 12 hours. Took me months to recover. All that because I was tired of being in labor after 3 days and was begging for a c-section. No matter how bad my labor was (back labor for 3 days with an epi that didn't work), the c-section was worse. NEVER AGAIN!! Now I'm going to leave I'm Pregnant until I'm really pregnant! :LOL
I'm so sorry that you are so deeply scared. I know that w/my second pregnancy, I still worried a bit about labor, birth and nursing.

Have you ever spoken w/your doctor/midwife who attended your first birth to find out why it was so long? Was the baby posterior? Lots of babies in that position can take longer to come. Also, maybe consider taking a "Birthing From Within" childbirth class. The book is wonderful in dealing with your fears and feelings surrounding labor and birth and with my 2nd preg., I took this class and it really helped in what I was going through emotionally. They have a website: that might be helpful in finding the book and a class near you.

I think everyone here has had some wonderful suggestions. I wish you luck on this journey and hope you can find peace
within yourself on whatever choice you make.


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First I want to say that I fully support natural childbirth and homebirth. I planned a Bradley birth for my first child. But now this is the other side of the coin on csections. The elective ones.

I had to have a csection with my first child. This wasn't what I planned and it wasn't unnecessary. It was traumatic, nightmareish and I felt the entire proceedure. Imagine 75 minutes of major abdominal surgery without a spinal working. I swore hours later I would never do it again. It took me 3 months to recover from the ECV and the csection I had, it took me years to recover from the trauma of what happened in that operating room.
My next child, we adopted and nine months laterI found out I was pregnant. I considered VBAC even though I have a higher risk of rupturing and knew that it probably would not even be an option. I can dream right?
Well in the beginning I had nightmares about being cut again. I really explored my fears, my options and emotions. I made peace with my past birth experience and prepared for the next one.

*I* prepared and had the perfect csection. I know some of the Mothering bunch here are flipping out because there is probably no such thing as a perfect csectoin but I HAD ONE!
I chose a day. I didn't wait for labor. I *know that is ideally best for baby --but it wasn't ideal for my sanity. I discussed every detail with my doctor. I had no preop drugs that are normally given to women before surgery. I chose a walking epidural for pain relief. I could still move my legs going into the operating room. I chose the time of day for my csection and spoke to the nursing staff early in the day about my wants and needs. I wasn't strapped to a table, I had my husband and a support person. I saw my baby immediately and he was placed on my chest by my face. 15 minutes later I was in a recovery room sitting up, still with the walking epidural in with my baby laying on my breast and talking on the phone. I had no post op drugs either. Five hours later I was eating a four course meal and sitting on the side of the bed. I felt great.
I had my walking epidural removed at 17 hours post op and I probably could have gone home but I stayed until the next morning. Most of the staff thought I had a vaginal delivery because of the way I was running around the place.
I think your mental state has a lot to do with it. I wouldn't change a thing. If you are terrifeid of natural childbirth then explore that and look into your options, if you just cant do it again, some OBs will do elective csections. My sister in law had a traumatic natural vaginal childbirth. When she got pregnant again she told the doctor she could not do it again, he let her have an elective csection and she wouldn't have had it any other way.


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As a mother who has happily had four babies at home, my advice to you is become very educated about ALL of your options and make the decision that you and your dear partner can live with.


Good Luck to you!
nak... personally, i wouldn't want another c/s, (bet you're tired of hearing that! :LOL ) but i'm not you so i can't claim to know what you should do, either. here's what i hated about my c/s:

1. how part of my belly is STILL numb -- i'm told it may always be.
2. how weak i was after -- & afraid to overstrain myself.
3. that skin flap over the scar.
4. the cathetar.
5. not supposed to drive for 6 weeks after.
6. more dangerous than vaginal birth.
7. may make vbac difficult -- or may be limited in # of children if i have repeat c/s's.

good stuff:
1. i admit it, i didnt have to worry about stuff "down there" not becoming *ahem* snug, again.

2. less worry about surprise & midnight labor beginnings.

i'm sure there are more... i just am dreaming of a vbac & can't come up with any! good luck in whatever you decide!
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Originally posted by OnTheFence
I know some of the Mothering bunch here are flipping out because there is probably no such thing as a perfect csectoin but I HAD ONE!
Sounds like you had the perfect c/b to me! This actually sounds a lot like mine...except picking the day and such. But my c/b was not traumatic at all except in that I wasn't anticipating it at all! But I was shown Tracy and had the option of holding him on my chest but I was shaking severely from the epidural (I ehar it is normal
: ) but he was right by my head and I could see him at all times.

I'd say that if you are uncomfortable with the idea of laboring again like your first time then there should be steps to make sure it is better. Have an epi the whole time, dope yourself up (you probably would be after a c/b anyway...I wasn't right after but the next 2 days are a blur!)...whatever...just don't take this surgery lightly...please!
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I have to admit, having had a child vaginally with a very easy labour, and then having had two c-sections, I'm not sure which way I'm going to go this time.


To reiterate what others have said:

A c-section is major surgery. I was afraid to cough, laugh, sneeze, etc. for weeks after. I still have no feeling around the incision area. I did not have a very good experience with the last c-section I had (I've had 2).


If you are terrified of labour, talk with your doctor or midwife and explore those issues and other possible options. Find out what you have available and do what you need to do to make the delivery of your second wonderful child a memorable (for all the good reasons) event. If it is a c-section, so be it.

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