Thursday, 1 August 2013

To C or Not To C, THAT is the Question.

Hello! I had a bit o’good news yesterday at my one millionth scan, the arrhythmia has gone! She has a NORMAL heartbeat. Double Whoop Whoop! Great news. She’s also growing well and has a lovely big head, just like her brother. Apparently his measured off the percentile scale with 6 weeks to go in my last pregnancy….although he’s not exactly a Mr Tefal-head now, thank god (ref for those born before the 1980’s). So I am not too worried she’s gonna be a freak. Not just yet anyway. She seems to have the Palmer nose again tho….hooray! I do like to impart my genes to my children. It gives me a sense of achievement unparalled by degrees and other such accolades. (I have no other accolades btw. And my degree is in Art so some intellectual snobs may even disregard THIS as an accolade. Therefore to some, I am accolade less).

But another issue I have been having with my consultant and her band of merry men/women, is whether or not I will be allowed a C-section. I’ve a list of reasons why I want one, but until recently I was still umming and aahing. One thing I loved about the first week or so after my last birth was that I felt so well and energetic afterwards. Once I was home and all the horrid drugs had worn off I mean. Even my second degree episiotomy stitches didn’t bother me too much. I just rammed my face with co-codomol when they did. BUT. The birth, the 2 days on the recovery ward on 2 drips with a catheter up me bits and the induction week of hell leading up to said birth were not so grand.

My last birth went something like this: The cholestasis I had developed at 25 weeks had started to get to a point where it wasn’t responding to treatment anymore, my bile acids were increasing at an alarming rate (sending me almost insane with the itches) and I had unsurprisingly started to develop pre-eclamptic symptoms, despite having had low blood pressure for the entire pregnancy. So they decided to induce me at 37 weeks which meant a week in hospital whilst they shoved gels and pessarys and pokey fingers up my foof trying to “stimulate” my cervix to get it moving, ending in nothing. Not a sausage. During which time, I became increasingly more sleep deprived as I cannot sleep in hospital, especially given that I was made to share a room with several women for which the induction process DID work. (Nothing like rubbing my nose in it). Even with a sleep mask, ear plugs and temazepan (yes they did give me sleeping pills which didn’t work) you are still woken every few hours for your stats to be checked.

Eventually they decided they were going to just go for it and break my waters and if THAT didn’t work then they give me the dreaded syntocin drip. Hooray, we’re finally gonna get this thing started! Except, oh wait there’s no midwives?! Oh ok, yeah we’ll wait. Til the next day. Oh and hang on, so now we have a midwife but no rooms? Yeah I am FINE to hang around for a few more hours/days/weeks/months!!!

This was where i was, on that bloody machine for a week.
So anyway, it happened. They broke my waters. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything and a few hours later when nothing happened, they strapped me to the trace monitor on the bed and stuck the drip in my arm. Which bought on a wall of contractions within half an hour. Contractions ON TOP of other contractions. I opted for the epidural, like any sane person would. Right?! I’ve since heard that people endure that drip without pain relief and I am amazed. It was hell. And little did I know at that point it was going to be another 18 hours of it. I think this maybe because I am a big fatty, but my epidural wore off every 45 mins but they couldn’t top it up until an hour to an hour and half, so I had at least 15 mins of pain each hour.

When it was eventually time to push, she let the epidural wear off a bit so I could have more sensation to be able to help me push. I also had severe back pain which the epidural wasn’t touching at the end and I was in agony. And after an hour and half of pushing, the consultant overseeing pulled the plug and said it was time to drag me (writhing and moaning in agony) off to theatre for a forceps delivery. Once in there, they gave me a top of epidural, this did nothing. So they gave me morphine. Wow. That was delicious. But so much so, I felt like I was on a flipping game show, I was so happy. At the time I thought I was just mega-relieved that the pain had stopped. I wasn’t in least bit concerned that when my baby was pulled out, he didn’t make a sound. And that he was on the new baby station with ALL the medical staff huddled around him for 10 minutes whilst they tried to stimulate him to breathe on his own (which he didn’t for 7 minutes). No I was too busy flirting with the South African Anaesthetist, to notice that my husband had gone white as a sheet with tears in his eyes. And when they bought my son over to me for skin to skin, I tried to pull my top down and pull off the heart monitor pads dotted across my chest but I couldn’t do it so I just handed him back, unbonded.

Then I was wheeled back to the recovery ward, where the come down from the morphine started, the dehydration and starvation from nothing passing my lips for 24 hours and the days and days of no sleep hit me like a wall. I had the horrible disassociation thing you get when you’re severely anxious. I felt like I was looking at the world thru a bubble. It was horrible. I wasn’t interested in my boy. I desperately wanted something to eat and drink (but I kept throwing up) and sleeeeeeep. But I couldn’t. I wasn’t allowed to even shut the cubicle curtain to puke and cry in privacy. My mother, who had been one of my birthing partners, unable to come into theatre, had been sat waiting for 3 hours in a corridor (because they’d kicked her out of the room) was allowed a 2 minute visit before being shunted out by the midwives. It was horrible. I was convinced I was too dehydrated to produce any milk so refused to try and latch him straight on, a mistake I now bitterly regret given my subsequent problems with feeding. I was an absolute, total mess, emotionally and physically. Oh and to top it all, I was told by the Consultant paediatrician that there was a chance that my son could be brain damaged from not having breathed on his own for so long!

I don't have mumps. I have water in my FACE.
After begging and pleading with one of the midwives I was allowed to go to a private room to sleep for 2 hours whilst Emlyn did a fantastic job of giving our bub his first bath and his first feed. Things I should have been doing or having some part in. When I came around, my entire body had swollen up like a balloon with severe oedema (water retention). I didn’t pass urine for 24 hours because I was so de-hydrated and I was kept on the recovery ward (with no visitors) with 2 drips and a catheter for company for 2 days instead of the standard 4 hours. When Emlyn left me on that first night (also severely dehydrated and exhausted having not slept either), I was almost catatonic with fear. I had no idea what I was doing.

TMI warning: And the downstairs aftermath, well to be fair, there doesn’t seem to be too much damage in terms of sensation (!). I still have a healthy sex life! And was able to get back on it within 6 weeks of giving birth with minimal discomfort….which I’ve since discovered is pretty good going, especially considering I had stitches. But I do have a bladder problem. I think it’s slightly prolapsed and it’s embarrassing to say the least.

So, in light of the horrific birth, the damaged wee bag, the baby that could have been brain damaged, the week of no sleep, and the onset of cholestasis meaning intervention will be inevitable AGAIN this time, I thought this might stand me in good stead of being allowed a C-section with minimal fuss. Apparently not.

No, my Consultant has written almost in CAPS that I am apparently a GOOD candidate for a vaginal delivery. And she spent half an hour trying to convince me that I might end up feeling exactly the same way even with a section. But one of the biggest things for me was the week of sleep deprivation BEFORE anything got started. That’s not a healthy basis to start a medical procedure on, surely? And yes of course there are loads of risks associated with any form of surgery, especially for the chubba’s, but they are risks and not definite. And she reminded me that I maybe sleep deprived after the procedure because of the pain. But excuse me for pointing out the obvious but isn’t sleep deprivation with a new-born a given?! I think I’ll be in a damn sight better shape if I haven’t endured a week of sleepless hell beforehand though!

I meet with the consultant midwife on Monday morning to decide my fate. Given my consultant’s recommendation, it seems to me like a done deal. I’m not allowed one, and that’s final. But I guess we’ll see.

Anyone with any thoughts on this, please tell me. Everyone’s birth experience is different and all pretty harrowing in their own way I’m sure. But if you think I am being completely na├»ve about hoping a C-section will be a better choice for me then please let me know, all advice appreciated!

Thank you guys!


  1. I hope you get your C section - I cannot believe they do not think it a good idea - so many people seem to have one at the drop of a hat! XXX

  2. Oh, I feel for you. My son's birth was very similar to yours (although it was 6 months before I could have sex - very jealous!) and 4 years on I'm still so traumatised and scared of birth that I can't bear the thought of having another baby. he will always be an only child, because even if I was given the option of a C-Section, my memories of his first year as a baby are all coloured by how horrendous I felt after the birth because of all the blood I lost and the prolapses and everything else. If I was in your shoes, I would be begging for that section. I often wonder if I accidentally fell pregnant (because, for me, that's the only way it would ever happen again), I would actually raise the money somehow to pay for a private c-section to avoid the anxiety and stress of trying to convince the NHS that I need one.

    I really hope you get yours and that everything goes as smoothly as possible. much love.

    Lisa @

    1. Oh Lisa I am so sad to hear that you can't face another birth. How awful. That's almost how i felt about the pregnancy, because my first pregnancy was horrific. And i had very dark thoughts at the beginning of this one when morning sickness kicked in, so i too considered that Gus maybe an only child. But there are lots of positive things to support the fact that only children can thrive and actually be happier than those with siblings as they don't have to share attention. They tend to be very successful, well adjusted people! I would comfort myself with this fact when thinking it was a possibility for us. Thank you for commenting, I will check out your blog now. :)

  3. Oh bless you. I had an emergency csection and it is certainly nothing to take lightly but I can see where you are coming from. I suffered for a few weeks being unable to connect my Ted as the baby I had in my stomach, it was all down to the shock but was heartbreaking and at times felt like I had lost the baby in my belly, for me that little man just appeared from nowhere and then my bump was gone. I was 9cm dilated before I insisted upon an epidural and from then on everything slowed down. Ted was wedged sideways and refused to turn, hence the emergency csection. I was luckily able to get some rest before starting to push as my epidural was fantastic.

    Here is my post after little man was born.

    I hope you make the decision that is best for you, nobody can make it any easier but only you know what is best for you and baby xx

    1. Hi Jade, thank you for the comment. I will check out your blog post now. Yes i know it's a big decision, and i could just as easily feel as ill after the section. It's so hard to know what to do! Thanks again! :)

  4. I'm one of those annoying people who had a drip with nothing more than a bit of back ache (after my waters broke naturally with meconium in) for 13 hours before they realised we'd not got past 3cm and decided nothing was going to happen so had a c-section. Mine was a great experience, and because I'd been fairly fit all the way through pregnancy I think it really helped as I had no complications afterwards, came off the painkillers after leaving hospital. The only issue was breast feeding just didn't happen - not really pushed or supported by midwives, told he had a good latch but just wouldn't suck (turns out 2 1/2 years down the line, he's got a slight tongue tie!). But you can solve BF issues whether you have a cs or not if you really try hard and get other support so that shouldn't put you off.

    Personally, after going through all that hassle, I'd definitely be pushing for one - especially if you've got someone at home to help you afterwards to stop you doing too much (my OH's a farmer, so back to work straight after, but my mum came and helped a lot).

    Good luck with whatever you decide, and end up with. Every birth is different even with the same mum, so you might have a really easy delivery with no issues naturally.

    1. Thanks for your input Emma. It's nice to hear a positive section story. Wow so you did the drip painkiller free?! You are hardcore! were you contracting all that time? How bloody depressing that 13 hours only got you to 3cm! I am hoping this time, C section or not, i will get the oppotunity to try and latch her straight on. I always feel that was a fundamental error last time. But then if it doesn't happen again this time, i won't be putting myself through the 6 weeks of hell i did last time, desperately trying. Gus has thrived on formula and has no allergies so i am not overly concerned about the health benefits. It's more the bonding experience i suppose. Thanks again. Will check your blog out too. Love reading new blogs! :)


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