{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Moms, would you or have you elected for c section over vaginal birth? I am not sure I want to go through the labor pains :(", "post_id": "60464f4a040f00002a9edd20", "reply_count": 85, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "58f81646ae9f610010f869be", "bowl_name": "Consulting Moms", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Moms, would you or have you elected for c section over vaginal birth? I am not sure I want to go through the labor pains :(

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I had a vaginal birth with an epidural for my first and I’m praying for the same with my second - the contractions did get pretty intense before I got the epidural (it took me a while to get admitted from triage) but for me personally, the idea of surgery is much scarier than feeling those labor pains again. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never had major surgery, but the idea of being awake while they deliver the baby and then having to heal from major abdominal surgery while taking care of a newborn is very intimidating to me. At the end of the day, I’ll do whatever it takes to get my baby here safely, but would prefer the vaginal birth!

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Are you me? That’s the exact same experience and opinion that I have!

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I had an unplanned c section after >48 hrs of labor, and was extremely disappointed and upset about it. However, I went on to have an amazingly seamless recovery, which led me to opt for an elective c-section for my 2nd.

For elective C, they give you a version of an epidural (it’s not an epidural) so you can feel touch but no pain. More tugging. You’re not as worn out afterwards, although v- and c- births both have recovery time associated. You have to roll out of bed as can’t use stomach as example. But I had no issues holding or breastfeeding baby. I couldn’t crouch down so if I needed to pick something up, I stood a foot away and tipped over to get it. I went for walks daily to get strong again.

As a mark of how great my recovery was, I left hospital on a Thursday. On the Friday I went to a 2-hr new mother’s circle (siting on the floor with baby) and on the Saturday my partner and I went to my favorite restaurant to celebrate becoming parents. My only pain was at one point I was laughing so much my stitches were hurting so I needed my partner to change the subject.

My doctor characterized the choice as follows: a great vaginal birth is safer than a planned csection birth recovery. However there are few “great” vaginal births - which I understood to mean risks of a bad tear etc. And an emergency c-section is high risk.

There is a huge amount of fear and what I’d call negative marketing around c-sections. I had an instance where a bank teller asked me had I had a v- birth or c- birth, and I was so shocked that I answered, and the teller said “oh I’m so sorry for you...”. It was so incredibly rude and patronizing.

Birth is birth.

I think women who have and can do vaginal births are amazing, brave strong women. And as a c-section mom I’m proud of my physical recoveries and emotional resilience in the face of stigma.

As a doula once said to me: Life’s great secret is not that childbirth is hard, it’s that women are powerful!!

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@capco, unfortunately there definitely is stigma among some groups. There shouldn’t be, I agree

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Absolutely not. I had an unscheduled c-section, I labored and made it to full dilation but my baby wouldn’t come down/failure to progress. My recovery was easy and I don’t think physically having a c-section is that bad - just a few weeks of pain meds/taking it easy. However, mentally I do not feel like I really “gave birth”. Everyone is supportive and says I did what I needed to do - I get it. But if I am being honest I feel robbed of that moment. I’m happy as a mom, no-PPD but just being real!

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Same D8. Fully dilated, pushed for 2 hours, failure to progress. The disappointment was real. Less intense now that she is 1yr old but I’m still heartbroken over not seeing her right away, having her separated for hours while I recovered from c section procedure, and grieving the birth experience I envisioned and mentally prepared for

I was terrified of the pain and tearing and i was very nervous about birth. I ended up having a csection (non elective) and I veryyyy much underestimated the recovery pain and time. My friends with vaginal births were able to move around and lift their babies much easier than I could. I couldn’t get on and off the toilet by self for a week. If I have another, I’m def gonna try for a vbac bc recovery was rough and I had no major complications.

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I've had two friends deliver with emergency c-sections in the past week and they are really struggling.

They didn't actually know each other before but I just connected the two of them so they could support each other -- both have had significant trouble sleeping due to pain and discomfort on top of the newborn.

All of this to say, I'm really hoping for a vaginal delivery, although I honestly really appreciate their honesty so I know how challenging the recovery could be if I end up needing a c-section.

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I was induced and had a quick labor and pushed for 3 hours - that part I didn’t mind and had a great epidural....then due to complications had to have an emergency c section. I wouldn’t wish the recovery on my own worst enemy. I had complications post op and was in the hospital for a week. I don’t think my body handled all the drugs from surgery and stress (emotional and physical) well at all. I know people have different experiences but it is really hard to have major abdominal surgery and try to take care of a newborn (nursing, lifting, etc). Never fully appreciate the use of my core until AFTER having surgery. Trying for a VBAC for number two coming up!!

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A3 - have you taken any birthing courses like hypnobirthing or Bradley? These may help assuage a lot of fears. Also while it sounds hippie dippie, practicing the relaxations every day really did help me (2 unmedicated vaginal births)

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I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant. I'm also very scared of V-delivery as my first baby was vacuumed out after pushing for almost an hour and ended up with a pelvis pain for 8 months. I'm serious considering a C-section this time around because I don't want to push and end up having a C-section if pushing didn't work or for any health reasons. I talked to my OB about my consideration of having a C-section. We concluded to revisit that discussion at 37 weeks.
Another part of me is telling me to just trust God and plan for V-delivey...He has never failed me. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

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I’ve not had a c section but have recovered from vaginal birth well twice. I tore each time, and had very short (3 hour) labors, which meant very very intense and rapid contractions. First time I didn’t get pain medication but second time got epidural. Would not choose major surgery over giving birth vaginally. Obviously would do c section if needed.

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Well I wanted to do it without drugs, but by the time I was 30 min I to my first labor I thought “yup pain meds would be good” but it was too late anyway given my rapid labor. Honestly it was such a horrible pain / experience that I mentally was not in the room for the birth. It was like an out of body experience and it took me days to exit the fog. I think it was my body’s way of trying to protect me from the pain, but I honestly still remember it very vividly.
For the second, I was induced and with the expectation of a 12 hour labor since inducing and epidural slow down labor, I chose epidural. I was able to be mentally “there” for the birth of my child and it still hurt as I kept the pain meds as low as possible as long as possible. What I regret a little is that once the pain got unbearable I turned up the meds, expecting to still be in labor for hours .... but then the nurse came in and checked me and I was 10 CM. So I wish I had asked them to check me first so I could’ve kept the meds lower and been able to feel the need to push. It made it more difficult to push and I felt a bit disconnected / unsure of what to do (but doctors helped of course). I recovered mentally a lot faster and it was nice to not be in a fog for days. To be honest the first birth scarred me a bit and I was very scared of the pain of labor for the second, but was also very scared of the epidural.

Anyway all that said - I’d recommend epidural. :)

I had two vaginal unmedicated. Recovery for me was super easy; had some stitches but otherwise was up and walking around even an hour after birth. Would not sign up for a surgical recovery willingly.

Depending on your personality, getting educated about the biological birth process may make you more comfortable and confident. I recommend the book Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. Even if you choose medication, the information about the physical birth process is still very useful. I understood where I was and what my body was doing at all stages of labor and that helped keep me calm and not overwhelmed.

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I think a little bit of knowledge when it comes to labour and your choices go a LONG way. Our society loves to share birth horror stories when in reality, most are very uneventful (medically speaking). The media often portrays birth as a scary process when it’s something your body was meant to do!

In addition to the Bradley method, I recommend looking into hypnobirthing (similar to Bradley, doesn’t require birth partner). Both are great at making you feel calm and confident even if you choose an elective c-section.

As for me, I had two physiological births. First one took 8 hours and second one took, depending on how you count, 90 minutes or 3 hours. In the second one I had no time to get to the hospital, let alone an epidural. But because of hypnobirthing, my spouse and I just embraced it instead of freaking out. :)

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Read the disclaimer and all the risks that you are accepting when you get a c section, epidural, or any type of mayor surgery for that matter. That will speak loader that whatever we can tell you here.
C-section important and necessary sometimes, yes, Is it acceptable to do them just because? It shouldn't, in several markets they are driven by convenience and profit.
If you don't want the pain there are less risky choices:)

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100%. IMO they are there for when necessary for mom or baby’s health or safety. Reading about trends of pushing them for convenience (especially for provider) or profit make me so sad / angry. I ask myself the same question in re: why / when it’s become acceptable to do them just bc or electively — is it bc society has largely normalized other elective / cosmetic surgery, that people forget the gravity of having your stomach opened up to birth your child before attempting to do so the way your body *was made to* (disclaimer, I realize some ppl cannot/could not or did not have a choice - and as this thread shows, have struggled bc of it. This is generally to those with normal conditions, electing before labor).

To each their own. Personally not something I considered an option - I viewed as a perk of modern medicine / hospital delivery, along with other interventions, should something go south.

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Recently had a c section due to medical complications for me, never went in to labor. My recovery has been incredibly easy - pain under control within two days, able to do basic household things, able to shower and use toilet alone, able to care for baby. I am not driving, only lift baby, and let others do all household chores and cooking. It is awkward and uncomfortable to get up and down but I have found tricks for that. After listening to women in labor moaning in triage, I’m happy with my results.

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I second this. My body refused to go into labor 12 hours after being induced. I decided to opt for a C section and had very similar experience to what mck1 states.

Recovery is hard/easy however you term it, what activities you can do/find tricky will differ based on the type of delivery, with minor difference. A friend and I delivered on the same day, 2 different countries, 2 different waywe shared the same issues for the most part and recovered alike, I have an incision to show for it, she has some stiches in her V that likely won't see daylight.

Birthed is best. Fed is best. How - there's no best.

I’m probably an outlier but I’ve had two c sections and would do it again as my recovery was super quick and easy. I was up faster than several (not all though) of my friends who did vaginal births. I’ve also had 2 friends who did c section (unplanned) and then vaginal and they said their csections were easier. None of my friends with vaginal birth mentioned complications but I didn’t probe. End of the day do what feels comfortable or you and baby. Congratulations Mommy!

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Vaginal birth!!! Faster recovery time!

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Not all vaginal are fast recoveries, and not all c’s are slow. There are so many factors influencing recovery that are outside of birthing moms control in both scenarios. On one hand, (v) tearing or incontinence, on other, (c) quality of stitching, whether it was emergency/unplanned or elective.

2 vaginal unmedicated births. I would never choose a c, but would have one if my child’s or my life were in danger. They were hard work, painful, but well worth it, I literally was standing within minutes of each. I could run a marathon after my babies were born, I felt amazing.

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I had 48 hours of labor and the option to go to vacuum or csection. We had some complications with the vacuum and it was scary but I would do ANYTHING to avoid the c section. We took a 30 minute walk the day after birth when we got home from the hospital and I was able to move and be active in a way a c section would not have allowed.
For my mental health being able to be active and less dependent on others was essential. I may have to have a c section for number two and I am terrified.

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I had both. C section and vaginal. Both recoveries were tough but I’d still pick vaginal - intense first 10 days but quicker recovery thereafter.

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Ended up having an unplanned c section and recovery was super easy

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Vaginally with drugs is the way to go lol! I was soooo nervous for labor but that wasn't the worst part.... not even close... maybe one of the easiest parts of the whole pregnancy.

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I just had 49 hours of labor and a vacuum assisted vaginal delivery with an episiotomy. I’m still team vaginal delivery. My stomach looks a little flabby but I won’t have scars and still have semi-intact abdominal muscles, which is a huge win for daily living and return to an active lifestyle.

(To be fair, we haven’t tried sex yet - will report back if that changes my views!)

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Sex was a lot harder than I imagined after Csection also... safe to say that any birth takes some adjustment to feel “normal” though I’m now 9 months pp and it’s still not the same as it was prebaby. I feel like it’ll get there eventually!

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Personally, I’m terrified by the thought of a c-section. I had two induced babies, one emergency and one scheduled. I had an explicit birth plan. Priority 1: health baby, healthy mom. Priority 2: keep me out of the OR. I had epidurals for both.

Can I tell you a secret? I literally had a Charlie horse in my leg during pushing that hurt more than the actual childbirth part. Modern drugs are ah-mazing and I refuse to be ashamed of choosing to use them.

Also, c-section recovery is no joke. The fourth trimester is hard enough on a mom without adding in recovering from major abdominal surgery.

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I was in labor (not active) for almost 30 hours before it was determined that I needed an emergency c-section. So I had to recover from them trying to induce labor; enema, misoprostol, foley bulb, manual water breaking, contractions, epidural, ECV, hemorrhoids, etc. - as well as from a c-section.
I did not think the c-section recovery was that bad. They give you pretty good drugs and I was up and walking around within a few hours. I almost wish I would have opted for a c-section right away. Now that I’ve had one, my next baby will definitely be a scheduled c-section.

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However, I do have some comfort knowing that I at least tried to have a vaginal delivery. I would say make the attempt to have a vaginal delivery and see how it plays out.

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