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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 11:25 AM   1
Fish&Chips
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Coming to Terms with my C Section and Epidural


I really wanted to write a little something about my two labour experiences in the hope that it helps others come to terms with their C Sections and choice of pain relief.

In September 2009 I ended up having a C Section and despite knowing deep down that it couldn't have been avoided, I still felt I was to blame. It has taken me until now, after the birth of my second son, to understand and appreciate what I went through.

My waters ruptured spontaneously with my first born and it didn't take long before my contractions were unbearable. I never felt they were 'painful' but from the off I had this unbearable urge to empty my bowels / push and was unable to resist.

At only 2cms dilated I realised I wasn't going to cope and after an hour when I was 4cms, I asked for an epidural.

Pushing was a relief as I was finally allowed to do what my body had been telling me to do all along, however my son never descended. It was discovered he was transverse (so his ear was facing the exit as opposed to the crown of his head). I was taken to theatre where they tried turning him but after a couple of attempts they decided that a c section was the only option.

I felt that I failed at coping with the pain, that I failed to push and that I didn't experience a 'proper labour'.

When I fell pregnant again, I did everything possible to allow me to have a vbac (vaginal birth after c section). I joined a pregnancy yoga class, bounced religiously on my ball, attended vbac classes and battled with the hospital to not be continuously monitored etc.

At 12 days overdue I was scheduled to be induced. At that point I finally agreed that I would be monitored and have a canula as the risks of rupture / other complications would increase. Thankfully, although I was livid at the time, there was no room on the labour ward so after waiting all day I ended staying overnight. At 4am I started contracting and soon after was confirmed to be in labour thereby beating the induction.

The contractions were like period pains and not dissimilar to what I felt last time but this time there was no urge to go to the loo making them so much more bearable. I breathed through them and just concentrated on relaxing instead of tensing up.

Even when I accepted Gas and Air, I don't think I particularly needed it. In fact, when it came to pushing the gas and air just got in the way and messed up my breathing so I stopped using it.

My waters burst right at the end this time and I immediately got the urge to push - it was exactly the same sensation I had from 2cms with my last labour but this time I must have been 10cms as soon after my 2nd son was born vaginally.

I now know that what they say is true, every labour is different. I couldn't have coped without an epidural last time but this time I didn't even need Gas and Air. I also know my body can birth vaginally and due to factors outside of my control, I had to have a c section last time.

My body didn't fail me and I'm not a wimp. I got unlucky last time and for 2 years I punished myself for no reason.

If people can labour without drugs - good for them. If they can labour vaginally - good for them. But at the end of the day, you do what you have to do to get that baby out safely.

xx



 
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 17:46 PM   2
shinona
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Very well said! My birth plan both times was "do what needs to be done to get the baby out safely". Like you, I wouldn't have coped without an epidural the first time as he too would not descend and was back to back and a big boy at 10lbs 14oz. My daughter on the other hand was in exactly the right position and a bit smaller, 9lbs 3.5oz so a bit of gas and air and good old yoga breathing was all it took.

If I had to choose, I would choose my daughter's birth every time: natural and could feel everything. Do I regret my son's birth and the epidural etc? Absolutely not, it brought me my gorgeous boy and was the only way for me to cope at the time.

xx



 
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 19:37 PM   3
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Absolutely, couldn't agree more! Thanks for sharing x



 
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 11:22 AM   4
Dawnlouise30
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Thanks for your post.
I was induced at 40 + 5 due to high blood pressure, they broke my waters and used syntocin to speed up things and within two hours intense and regular contractions were happening. I had gas and air (great stuff), but he was back to back so painful labour and i needed constant monitoring due to blood pressure so had to be on my back, so uncomfy. After 2 hours i asked for pethadine (something i said i would not have), it made me sleepy. I pushed for ages and he was stuck, big baby at 10.7 i then asked for an epidural as i was so tired and pain intense. I had the epidural and in the end needed forceps in theatre..... I felt like i had cheated labour as i did not feel him come out. I felt bad for weeks. I now reason with myself that he is healthy and arrived safely which is really all that matters. I also am less harsh on myself now as i felt (and still do feel) a fair amount of pain from episiotomy and birthing a big baby. I would like to think that when we have another baby i can do i without the epidural.



 
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 14:21 PM   5
Fish&Chips
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Wow that's a large baby. I didn't manage my 9lb boy who they suspected was back to back so I think you did incredibly well! My youngest was smaller so it can definitely happen! Fx your next one is in a better position giving you a much easier birthing experience xxx



 
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Old Dec 13th, 2012, 00:08 AM   6
keyahopes
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Well said. I had to be induced since I was overdue and had low fluids. My daughter's heart rate dropped a number of times during labor and I was told that I may have to have an emergency c section. I was very sad and upset at the idea. Ultimately they did not do the c section and I gave birth vaginally. But my daughter was born with severe breathing difficulties due to al the stress of dropping heart rate and a botched up epidural. She almost died, but thanks to wonders of medicine, recovered after being in the NICU for over a month.
Sometimes I wonder if she would have been born perfectly healthy if they had indeed taken her out at the first sign of distress using c section. I feel guilty that I wanted a natural delivery so badly.
Always trust the doctor and let them do what they think is best for the baby. I would take a c section scar any day to all that my poor child was put through.



 
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Old Dec 13th, 2012, 01:52 AM   7
Fish&Chips
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I'm so pleased she recovered even though I'm sure that must have been a long, hard month.

I agree. Although I desperately wanted a vbac, I was prepared to have another c section if needed. I strongly believe my son would have died if I didn't have one first time round but I guess you still punish yourself and blame your body.

Xx



 
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Old Dec 13th, 2012, 09:58 AM   8
christina1612
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I'd like to share my birth story too if that's ok. I went in for a sweep when I was 9 days overdue after a failed sweep at 5 days over. She was able to do the sweep in the morning and my contractions started that evening/ early morning. I was having regular contractions and midwife checked me at home but I was only 2cm so told me to stay there.
We decided it would be a good idea to stay at my OH's parents house as they are closer to the hospital. I was still having contractions all day and night and the following day and night. I was due to go in the day after this to be induced so I went in anyway but I was already in labour. She examined me and was able to break my waters, which made the contractions more intense. I took the gas and air but by the afternoon it was much worse so I asked for something else and she gave me diamorphine. This stopped the contractions which allowed me to sleep but when I woke I couldn't breathe and had a panic attack.
As I wasn't progressing very well she was going to give me the hormone drip to speed it up, but as I was in too much pain, I wanted an epidural. Unfortunately I had to wait 2 and a half hours as the anaesthetist was in theatre. When I eventually had it, the pain block was too high, so they had to turn it off but I also ended up with a high pulse and by this point the baby's pulse was playing up, so they monitored it for a while. They came back a few hours later with a doctor who wanted to do a scalp scratch on the baby to check his oxygen levels, which came back fine. As his heart rate was still playing up, they did the scalp test another three times, all came back fine but still his heart rate wasn't right. At 2.30am, after being there since 9am, they decided the best thing to do would be a c section. He was born at 3.15am and all was fine in the end apart from us both being exhausted after being in labour for



 
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Old Dec 13th, 2012, 09:59 AM   9
christina1612
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I'd like to share my birth story too if that's ok. I went in for a sweep when I was 9 days overdue after a failed sweep at 5 days over. She was able to do the sweep in the morning and my contractions started that evening/ early morning. I was having regular contractions and midwife checked me at home but I was only 2cm so told me to stay there.
We decided it would be a good idea to stay at my OH's parents house as they are closer to the hospital. I was still having contractions all day and night and the following day and night. I was due to go in the day after this to be induced so I went in anyway but I was already in labour. She examined me and was able to break my waters, which made the contractions more intense. I took the gas and air but by the afternoon it was much worse so I asked for something else and she gave me diamorphine. This stopped the contractions which allowed me to sleep but when I woke I couldn't breathe and had a panic attack.
As I wasn't progressing very well she was going to give me the hormone drip to speed it up, but as I was in too much pain, I wanted an epidural. Unfortunately I had to wait 2 and a half hours as the anaesthetist was in theatre. When I eventually had it, the pain block was too high, so they had to turn it off but I also ended up with a high pulse and by this point the baby's pulse was playing up, so they monitored it for a while. They came back a few hours later with a doctor who wanted to do a scalp scratch on the baby to check his oxygen levels, which came back fine. As his heart rate was still playing up, they did the scalp test another three times, all came back fine but still his heart rate wasn't right. At 2.30am, after being there since 9am, they decided the best thing to do would be a c section. He was born at 3.15am and all was fine in the end apart from us both being exhausted after being in labour for all that time!

I was not upset that I couldn't have a natural birth, at the end of the day all I wanted was him out safely.



 
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Old Dec 13th, 2012, 13:20 PM   10
socitycourty
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I felt bad after my EMCS too, but am now realizing it's not necessary. My LO was in a transverse position as well, I got to 10 cm after 31 hours of labor and even tried pushing but she just wasnt budging.

I think women place too high of a value on the method of birth, rather than a healthy baby. I don't care that she didn't come out of my vag, she's here and alive, in centuries past we would have both likely died, I had a high fever due to infection.....

a healthy baby is the most important. not how they are born.



 
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