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  1. #1
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    Default Your experiences please? Vaginal birth and CS stories!

    Hi everyone!

    I have a question regarding a slightly TMI issue (but I guess there's not much that is TMI in pregnancy, huh!)....I would like to know about the effects of birth on your...shall we say, toilet habits? Please stay with me!

    Basically, I have a severe fear of bodily functions including bowel movements and urination. As you can imagine, this doesn't make life easy for me. I have constant anxiety about needing to go to the bathroom, even when I've just been to a bathroom, or even when I'm IN a bathroom. I am mostly housebound because of this fear. It came about after a traumatic experience and since then, my life has revolved around this anxiety and it certainly affects me every single day, as you would expect considering bodily functions are a normal part of everyday life. My pregnancy has been difficult so far but a particular part I've struggled with was the feeling of needing to urinate more - this has really set me back in the progress I was making prior to becoming pregnant.

    Anyway, due to this I had been discussing the option of a C-section with my ob. He supports me with either decision, understanding that I am not simply a little bit scared; I have a completely irrational all-consuming fear that stops me from leaving the house.
    However, as I progress further in my pregnancy I'm starting to lean more towards giving birth vaginally. (if possible when the time comes, of course!)
    My fear with giving birth vaginally is not just limited to the idea of tearing (which I understand does cause some toilet-trouble afterward, even just with the pain of urinating over stitches, etc?) but that I may experience incontinence afterward, which I feel would most definitely send me backwards in terms of my anxiety/phobia. Obviously this is a really undesirable outcome as it will likely affect how I care for my newborn/my mental state/may result in birth being extremely traumatising for me, etc.
    Of course, I would hope that it would go the other way - that I would feel so amazed and in awe of my body after giving birth that my fear lessens.

    I also understand that after a C-Section, the recovery can be slower and you can still experience problems with bladder and bowels.

    So I would like to know about your experiences with either vaginal/cs birth, did you experience any incontinence afterwards, did you have any kind of lasting bowel/bladder discomfort, etc.
    Sorry to ask such a personal question, but I really am struggling with the decision, and I would just like to hear some stories from both sides!
    (I also realise this probably sounds like a really stupid and unbelievable fear, but no judgement please!)

  2. #2
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    I'm completely normal down there after the vb of my son (now 9 months). My pelvic floor seems to be the same as before pregnancy. Urinating didnt hurt my stitches either ( i had an episiotomy). My bub's head was 98th percentile too (37cm)! So a big bub.

    Any weakness to your pelvic floor is usually pregnancy related not from what your birth experience was like.

    Eta: I think the best thing after the birth of my bub was staying home a lot and limiting visitors. It takes a while to adjust to life with a baby so having time and space to bond as a family is great imo. This may make you less anxious. For most vbs, most women are back to normal within this time (recovery-wise).

    Fyi I had a spontaneous & drug free labour and birth (at home actually). Having an episiotomy was a big concern of mine when pregnant but was a lot better than expected and I didnt even feel like I had had one after the birth. Swelling and pp bleeding were the biggest thing I had to deal with down there in the 1-2 weeks after birth.

    Sent from my GT-I9305 using The Bub Hub mobile app
    Last edited by AdornedWithCats; 04-11-2014 at 19:56.

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    francesca1  (04-11-2014)

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    I have had two natural vaginal births and have had no ill effects on my pelvic floor. I have recovered 100% after each birth. I actually find I'm worse when I'm pregnant - the weight of the baby makes me a little incontinent (when I sneeze etc!) but it always resolves after birth. Good luck with your decision

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    francesca1  (04-11-2014)

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    Hi francesca,

    I share some of your fears. Someone I know had a very traumatic birth with 4th degree tears & fecal incontinence. I know this is not common, but it does happen & was something I wanted to ensure did NOT happen to me. I could not have dealt with that. Pain I wasn't so worried about, but permanent damage of rear end was on my phobia list (odd, yes?!).

    I had some other health issues, and my Ob gave me the choice. I opted for CS. It was the most wonderful experience, so relaxed, pain free & my recovery was not the ordeal many experience (planned is an easier recovery than emergency generally). I don't regret my decision.

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    francesca1  (04-11-2014)

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    I've had 2 vaginal births and will need surgery to fix a bladder prolapse and rectocele.

    I had an episiotomy with #1, gave birth at 42 weeks and he was 4.4kg.

    I tore (2nd degree) with #2, had her at 41 weeks and she was 4.2kg.

    If I ever have another it will be caesarean as I'm scared of further damage. If I could go back in time I would opt for cesarean both times. Really NOT happy with the way my pelvic region has been affected

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    francesca1  (04-11-2014)

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    During third trimester I had some issues with bladder leakage because of all the weight on my bladder but it was nothing a liner couldn't handle. I had a straightforward birth with 2nd degree tears. While it was uncomfortable in the first week I didn't have that much pain. My pelvic floor isn't as great as it was but I wasn't expecting it to be after carrying bub! DS is only 7 weeks so I'm not expecting it to go back to normal just yet, I'm keeping up with my pelvic floor exercises and it's getting better every week. I don't think there'll be any lasting differences in the long run.

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    francesca1  (04-11-2014)

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    Oh I really feel for you
    2 vaginal births here, no issues after the first, everything changed post the second who is nearly 2. Was incontinent post birth and spent months with a physio. I've had prolapses fixed via surgery 4 months ago but still wear a pad daily as urine incontinence has returned, so I'll probably require further surgery to fix it, although I'm seeing a new women's health physio doing bladder training and all I can to avoid further ops BUT summer for me is a write off again this year
    As Hollywood mentioned I wish id had a csection.
    I'd recommend seeing a physio post birth of this bub in the first instance and go from there. x

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    (sorry, wasn't sure how to reply- this was in response to Hollywood's post) this is mainly what I'm afraid of!
    My sister had a similar experience to you, and while she says she would go vaginal birth again any day, she also doesn't have my phobia!

    I'm sorry you've had that experience!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdornedWithCats View Post
    I'm completely normal down there after the vb of my son (now 9 months). My pelvic floor seems to be the same as before pregnancy. Urinating didnt hurt my stitches either ( i had an episiotomy). My bub's head was 98th percentile too (37cm)! So a big bub.

    Any weakness to your pelvic floor is usually pregnancy related not from what your birth experience was like.

    Eta: I think the best thing after the birth of my bub was staying home a lot and limiting visitors. It takes a while to adjust to life with a baby so having time and space to bond as a family is great imo. This may make you less anxious. For most vbs, most women are back to normal within this time (recovery-wise).

    Fyi I had a spontaneous & drug free labour and birth (at home actually). Having an episiotomy was a big concern of mine when pregnant but was a lot better than expected and I didnt even feel like I had had one after the birth. Swelling and pp bleeding were the biggest thing I had to deal with down there in the 1-2 weeks after birth.

    Sent from my GT-I9305 using The Bub Hub mobile app
    Adorned, thank you for your response! I think limiting visitors is very good advice, I do tend to experience more anxiety with the more people I have around, and I'm sure I will take a while to adjust to life with a newborn regardless of which birth option I choose.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falkor View Post
    Hi francesca,

    I share some of your fears. Someone I know had a very traumatic birth with 4th degree tears & fecal incontinence. I know this is not common, but it does happen & was something I wanted to ensure did NOT happen to me. I could not have dealt with that. Pain I wasn't so worried about, but permanent damage of rear end was on my phobia list (odd, yes?!).

    I had some other health issues, and my Ob gave me the choice. I opted for CS. It was the most wonderful experience, so relaxed, pain free & my recovery was not the ordeal many experience (planned is an easier recovery than emergency generally). I don't regret my decision.
    Yep, I'm exactly the same! I really have no issues with anticipating the pain side of things either!
    Do you mind me asking more about your recovery from the CS? Someone was of the opinion that they were in bed for a week afterward with their OH having to do everything for them down there (ie changing pads, wiping their bottom...etc...) and this also plays into my fear a bit. Did you experience this problem? Or were you up and about relatively quick?


 

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