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  1. #1
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    Default To elective c-section or not

    Bub is due in 6 weeks, my next appointment is on Monday and I still can't decide what to do!

    DS was born Nov 2014. It was quite a traumatic birth, vacuum assisted. I ended up with a fractured coccyx (probably because I had to give birth on my back), 3rd degree tear, and also quite a lot of anxiety around his birth (and evidently around giving birth again). Because of this, the obstetrician has suggested that perhaps an elective c-section is the way to go this time. Recovering from a c-section is likely to be less painful and much shorter than recovering from a fractured coccyx. I never want to experience the fractured coccyx again. Ever. It would also be helpful for arranging care for my son, because we have almost zero support network here.

    However, I also have a needle/blood phobia. During my last labour even though the midwife was pushing me to have an epidural I still couldn't make myself consent. And I didn't use the hand with the canular in it the whole time. It's a pretty solid phobia. So, not sure how I will cope with the whole needle in spine, and canular, and being cut open thing. Then there are the added risks. Plus I have an active 2yo who is still breastfed and none too gentle with jumping on mum, who will obviously need looking after as well. My 2yo has never spent a night away from me and still needs his milk and lots of assistance to sleep.

    I was leaning towards trying to have a v.aginal birth, but go straight to c-section (skip assisted delivery) if it looked like things were going badly. But I am also really scared that my coccyx may re-fracture no matter what position I birth in.

    If you've made it this far, I'd really appreciate your thoughts, opinions and advice on my situation . I'm hoping it will help me figure out what to do!

  2. #2
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    I think if I was in your situation, the main things I'd be trying to assesss are:
    1) Why did I end up with an assisted deliver last time and what could I do to minimise my chances (eg mine was because my DD was in an odd position so i wanted to make sure I was super active and tried to encourage into a good position for birth).

    2) What is the likelihood of reinjuring your coccyx .

    I'd lean towarda a vaginal birth but an emergency caesarean if necessary over an assisted delivery. but if the likelihood of reinjury or needing another assisted delivery was high I'd opt the c section

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    Tiny Dancer  (05-01-2017)

  4. #3
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    Given you have a 2year old I would be aiming for a vaginal birth then if things aren't going to plan csection.

    Could you do a hypno birthing course or debrief to help work through/overcome some
    Of your anxiety and needle phobia. To gain techniques to refocus yourself in the moments of higher stress/anxiety.

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    Tiny Dancer  (05-01-2017)

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    @smallpotatoes - assisted delivery was because DS's head wasn't in the best position, I was told I could push and did so for 3 hours then checked at 8 cm dilated had to stop for 2 hours and then start again and DS went into distress and I was too tired to push properly after all of that. Plan to mitigate that is to request a dilation check at my first urge to push to avoid the fatigue and reduce chance of bub going in to distress.
    Coccyx question - they can't fully answer. It's most likely that it was because there wasn't room for it to move as DS came down. But the position of my coccyx is unknown, and figuring out an appropriate birthing position may be difficult. @Bel0v3d, I've got quite a few management techniques for anxiety. I'm pretty good at most of them. It's those moments when it hits really quickly that I struggle with.

    Are there any others who would care to offer their advice?

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    @Tiny Dancer as someone with an ongoing chronic back injury (not related to but exacerbated by pregnancy) and facing coccyx surgery this year (I cannot sit at all without severe pain) I am going against the grain here and saying without question I'd have the section
    I had an emergency section due to preeclampsia but I was always having a planned section due to my back injury and the fear of further damaging it through childbirth and questions about my ability to push. Even though my section was emergency and I was very unwell the actual recovery was much easier than I expected. But I didn't have a toddler needing me and jumping on me. If you have good family/partner support that should help with the toddler issue just those first 1-2 weeks that you're most tender.
    Regarding the needle issue I don't want to diminish your fear but it is over quickly and the spinal block you can't see. You will need the cannula but you may need that anyway. I'm not sure what else to say but the section was not as bad as I thought it would be, the anxiety before it was worse.
    All the best with your decision.

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    Tiny Dancer  (05-01-2017)

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    Default To elective c-section or not

    Re c-section with a 2 year old. My ds was 18months when I had dd (both c-sections). He had never been away from me for more than a few hours and it was really hard for me (I cried a lot the first night I was in hospital, had dd the next day) but he was absolutely fine, he only came to visit us once while I was in hospital (we were staying with my in laws at the time). I was in hospital for 3 nights after dd was born and still had dh home for another week and a half after we were discharged. I did need help with lifting, changing ds's nappy, putting him in/out his cot/highchair so really did need to have someone there with me for a majority of the time. We did lots of cuddles/stories on the couch (he would just climb up to me). After the 2nd week I was more mobile and able to pretty much go back to doing things normally (except for lifting).

    Happy to answer any questions you might have.
    Last edited by Happymum2; 05-01-2017 at 11:23.

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    I think as long as you have support to look after your 2 year old I would go the c-section.

    It sounds like you're going to have anxiety with either decision. Personally, if it was me, I wouldn't risk the coccyx fracture on what may be a weakened bone again, especially if they can't give you any real clear answers about the risks there.

    I don't have a needle phobia so obviously it's difficult to put myself directly in your shoes, but as gingermillie said, the spinal block you won't see at all, and one of the nurses told me they can give you a special glove to put over the cannula which would prevent you from having to look at it? (They suggested one for me because I had to leave mine in for days due to requiring antibiotics and kept knocking it all the time). I had a fantastic anesthesist, he was a real chatterbox who distracted DH and I so well through the setting up procedure. If you were to have an elective section rather than emergency, you might be able to have a chat to the anesthesist assigned to you about your phobia prior to the day. That way, with the right person, they might be able to do everything they can to make it a better experience for you?

    I recovered really well from my c-section, by the time I got home from hospital I didn't even need pain killers and I was up and active the whole time I was in hospital (except when I was tied to the bed with a drip off and on for a few days). From what I've heard and friend's experiences, elective c-sections are often easier recoveries than emergency (I say often, because that's been the case for everyone I know, but of course there's always some people it's the opposite for).

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    Tiny Dancer  (05-01-2017)

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    I've had 2 c-sections. An emergency one with DS and an elective with DD. Much preferred the elective! It's weird going to bed knowing you will have a baby tomorrow, but the whole thing was so calm. Which after DS's birth, was very much welcome.

    I have a needle phobia too, but not as bad as yours. I can have needles, cannulas and blood tests, but cannot look at the needle beforehand or while they are doing it. I just can't. I can't even look when the kids get theirs LOL.

    I found the epi worse for the emergency. They were having to put it in between contractions, I couldn't move when a contraction hit and it felt like it took forever and hurt like hell. But the elective Epi was a breeze. I don't even remember it going in! Just the freezing cold antiseptic they put on my back first and sitting still in the operating room while he did it and it was very quick. I was numb up to my boobs so you don't feel any cutting, just pressure and a bit of tugging. It feels very weird, but you can't see anything over the sheet and shouldn't feel pain at all.

    I healed well after both. Was only on panadol by day 2 or 3, got up as soon as I could which hurt, but you find ways to move to minimise the pain. (Raise the bed up and roll up and off rather than standing up is my best tip!). By week 2, I was pretty much back to normal apart from lifting, reaching, vaccuming/sweeping etc. I just tried to do a bit more every day, but stopped if it hurt. DH had a couple of weeks off both times, so he did all the things I couldn't (or didn't want to )

    With the elective, I had a 2.5yo at home. When an elective was looking likely a few weeks before, I started "training" DS to sit down to hop on my lap for a cuddle rather than picking him up and things like that to make it easier for me afterwards, and make him feel he wasn't suddenly less important. So you can try things like that now to minimise the risk of pain to you after.

    Good luck with your decision and birth. I hope things go well for you whichever way you decide to go xx

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    Tiny Dancer  (05-01-2017)

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    I'm sorry this is causing you so much stress. With all those things considered I would plan for a vaginal birth but I would move heaven and earth to get the best support team I could find. A private midwife or doula would be an absolute must. That way I could debrief my previous birth and have them all on board to help me during labour to prevent the complications you are most concerned about.
    Good luck. X

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    Having had both a vaginal and a c-sec 6 months ago I would try for a natural delivery first but with plans in place for a c-sec. I'd discuss this with your ob/midwife so that they know exactly what your thoughts and plans are.

    As you've said you have a very active 2 yr old that likes jumping on mummy and is still breastfeed you need to think about how you will feed him on demand and that of a new born and the demands that they to have. Recovering from a c-sec isn't just 6 wks as they say it can take a good 6-12months to get your body back to feeling 100% healthy and some don't even recover from it completely.

    I was very lucky that I had a lot of support to help at home at dp could only take a few days off work as he is self employed my older ds was also in school so I didn't have to worry them during the day and my dad did all the driving back and forth to school for me

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