A few questions regarding elective c-sections!

Hi everyone, I am currently 10 weeks pregnant with my first, although this will be my fourth pregnancy; I'm 20. Anyway I wanted some advice from ladies on here who've had c sections, preferably those who have had an elective but any advice would be great. I've always known that whenever I have children that I would be having a c section out of choice; mainly to protect my pelvic wall from being damaged and to keep my downstairs tidy, but I also have an incredible fear of giving birth naturally, ever since I was very young I was adamant I wasn't going to do it...every time I think about it my hands start to sweat and I feel all giddy and numb! Please don't construe this in the wrong way if you are someone who's reading this and has had a natural birth but it's really not for me... I say power to you and well done but I'm not as brave as some of you! I appreciate that some people are totally against it (although I still struggle to see why) but that's not what this forum is for, right? I'm not looking to start a debate or people to start tearing each other down, I'm just looking for good, honest advice...we're all adults here after all :) I've managed to get some info off my Mum as she also had electives with some muscle repair but obviously I'd like a wider range of experiences! Okay now I've got that out the way please get in touch if you:

Had general anaesthetic when you had your c section (I won't be having a spinal block I'm far too scared of potential paralysis)

Had any re constructive surgery in conjuncture with your c section such as a mini tummy tuck or muscle repair and a reputable surgeon who does this (I did find one but he's retired now; I live in London but I'm willing to travel anywhere but abroad to get this done if I need it)

What was recovery like?

How bad is the scar? When I say 'bad' I mean how long does it take to look relatively normal again?

When were you able to be intimate with your partner again?

and finally....private or NHS?

Any response with regard to your experiences would be great

Thankyou,

Porscha xx

Oh PS, if anyone on here has breast implants I'd like to know if your boobs changed significantly during or after pregnancy and if you chose to breastfeed and what effect that had on them too, thanks again x

12 Replies

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  • I had an emergency c-sec with spinal, not an elective so can't comment on all aspects...

    I found the recovery difficult because I am an active person and couldn't just rest and let others do stuff for me, which meant I prolonged my recovery as I kept restarting my bleeding by doing too much even though I felt up to it. Took about 9 weeks instead of the normal 6, but entirely my doing!

    My scar is still visible now (20 months on) although using aloe vera products has greatly reduced it's appearance (I used an aloe vera and vitamin oil similar to bio oil but natural, I started using it as soon as my scar had all healed over. I found I had a reaction to bio oil!). Some areas have faded back to be barely visible whilst other areas haven't - the stitching didn't seem terribly even when done though and it is the thicker areas that have remained more visible. The incision is very low so doesn't show even in quite a low cut skimpy bikini so the appearance doesn't bother me too much. I would say though that my scar has become visible again recently with my skin stretching again for my 2nd pregnancy, this is also making it itch!

    On a good day I was able to intimate again with my partner from 8 weeks but often felt some pain/discomfort around my scar area up till about 4 months.

    A couple of my friends had elective c-sections and they said the recovery wasn't easy because there are certain things you want to do and can't but they thought it was easier for them than me because they knew and so had been able to but some measures in place before to ensure they had enough help etc.

    Hope that helps, the procedure wasn't anything like as bad as I had been lead to believe. It is definitely a major surgery so not a decision to take lightly although it sounds like you have good reason :-)

    Good luck with everything

  • Hiya I'm quite active as well, I go to the gym a lot and I plan to carry on doing so for as long as I can! But I've also had 3 cosmetic procedures and I was very patient with the healing and resting even though it was annoying being shut inside. I'm quite self conscious so I wouldn't want the scar to be like huuugee but the key seems to be taking your time which I'll definitely keep in mind.... I understand to a certain degree about the pains in the following months as I got my breasts done 2 years ago and I felt pains for about a year afterwards in the incisions so I imagine that's going to be 10 times worse :( but I'm willing to go through that rather than be traumatised by a natural birth. I'll have lots of help from my family, fiancé and I'll also be getting some live in help.

    Thank you for your input x

  • I also had an emergency section so again can't comment on everything. I had a spinal block and it was fine and was really nice for my husband to be able to sit with me during the delivery and we both got to see our gorgeous girl as soon as she was born. Personally I found the bonding slightly difficult at first as I couldn't get my head around her being in my tummy one minute then out the next with no warning! I think if I had general anesthetic as well this would have been harder, but everyone's different.

    The recovery is difficult and you shouldn't forget you have had a major operation which makes looking after a newborn pretty tricky...but my husband was amazing, changed all the nappies, got her dressed, washed and got up and passed her to me for night feeds! We were able to be intimate again in just over 2 weeks but I certainly didn't feel back to my normal self for a few months and got the odd twinge up to about 9 months if I did any heavy lifting or stretched funny.

    I don't ever really notice my scar, it's so low down you can only see it when you are naked and to be honest it reminds me of how lucky we are to have our daughter!

    I am currently in the first trimester and cannot decide whether to have an elective or vbac this time around, I would love to experience labour (as I had none the first time around), but due to the complications last time it might be better for the baby to have another section.

    Good luck with your pregnancy and whatever birthing choices you make!

  • I'm too scared to have the spinal block though, what if they mess up and paralyse me :/ Yeah I can imagine that would be a bit strange especially as I've had general anaesthetic a few times before when I've gone under the knife and every time I've woken up I've felt high as a kite and not really known where I was! Lol. I'm sure I'll love him or her just the same :) I can't be a good mother to my baby if I'm freaking out; I feel like if I'm sedated it'll be a bit easier as far as my nerves are concerned, like I said to gingerbaby before I get panicked quite easily so being awake while its going on could be a potentially problematic....ohh I just don't know this whole pregnancy has just been a bit mad; I've only known for 3 weeks, completely unplanned as well so still trying to get my head around everything! I admit it I am a little unsure at the moment but at the same time I'm hoping everything will be okay as this is the longest pregnancy I've had to date; I had an abortion at a very young age and after that I had 2 babies die in utero 4 and 6 weeks respectively which was hard but for now so far so good!

    Sounds like yours went reasonably well? I'll have my fiancé for 2 weeks straight; we live together but he works long hours and thats the only time off he's been given off work; I know he'll be great though...he's more excited about the baby than I am haha! I'll have my mum for a month, my dads office isn't too far from where I live so he'll be dropping in every now and then when he can, I'm also going to have some live in help which I'm currently researching...

    I've seen some Frankenstein c section scars on the net which rattled me a bit! I know I need to calm down about everything but I'm such a fuss pot I can't help it :(

    Wow you're very brave, I don't know why I'm not like that? The idea of labour to me is so scary, that's another reason why I'm having a c section, I don't want any painful contractions! Is that not something that scares you? But if its something you feel confident about and it's safe to do so then I say go for it and the best of luck! I will definitely be having a c section, also good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and thank you for your input xx

  • Good luck with this pregnancy. You have a lot of questions and areas you seem to focus on with your surgeries. I would recommend to focus on speaking with your midwife of your concerns, she will ve able to help you, and you will not be the first person they will have spoken to that are afraid of a natural birth and she will help answer all your questions. My sister had two c-sections, she has lost stomach muscle tone and has no feeling around the scar due to nerve damage, both my nephews were over 11lbs. She also could not walk for 1 week. I know you are worried about a natural birth, but a c-section is major abdominal surgery and be prepared for the healing time, e.g. family to help around the house, with the baby, etc

  • Thankyou, I appreciate your input but natural birth is simply not an option for me....I can't and won't do it. I know it's not going to be easy recovery wise but I would rather that than tear or face any permanent changes downstairs especially at my age....muscle tone is a concern as I have very tight abs at the moment so I don't know if that's going to work for or against me but hopefully I can find someone who's willing to do muscle repair alongside the c section should the worst happen as I'll be under general anaesthetic. I live in a flat so I don't have any stairs or anything, plus my mum will be coming to stay for a few weeks but after that I'm going to arrange to have some live in help as my fiancé works long hours so like you said I'll need all the help I can get. I think another thing that makes a c section a better option for me is that there's more consistency; when I book ill definitely know what day and time ill be getting my baby rather than running back and forth to the hospital at god knows what times of the day or night because I've had a false alarm....the idea of that really frightens me; I'm a real worrier and if things start to get out of control I start to panic. I also think there'll be less chance of my baby being stuck and deprived of oxygen which is another concern of mine....watched an awful episode of one born every minute where this woman's baby got stuck and if I was in that situation I don't think I could keep it together without having a breakdown; I'm just not strong like that but I admire people who are. Thanks again for your input and although I'm 100% sure what I want it's always nice to hear other people's views,

    P xx

  • they would only be able to do a small tuck, if u don't get that big u should be fine and as its you're first ur stomach muscles should bounce back pretty good, think ur worrying too much, you have to see how your carry first, my section was emergency with my second daughter I was 23, and I was pretty fit used to do classes before I got pregnant, my scar u can hardly see and my muscle tone was pretty good after, when I started exercising again that ...if they done a major tuck then your next baby wouldn't have much room..I wish they had given me a tuck! if I have to have a section this time I'll def be having a word with the surgeon! some just do it anyway...but your young ur fit , in the prime of you're life you see all these women in magazines who's bodies have gone back they say the average to put on is 2 stone of u don't go over 3 u should be ok!

  • Even if it was a mini tummy tuck I would still be happy as long as there's something done if I'm unfortunate to have extra skin there :/ Hopefully it'll be fine though as I have very tight abs as I've trained very seriously for about 5 years now but you never know?? I'm going to eat right but I don't think I can stay away from the gym...spoke with my trainer and he said its fine to do up until near the end; massive weight gain is a real worry but your right I do worry far too much but I can't help it! I'll try and focus on other things

    Thank you for your contribution, good luck with your pregnancy x

  • Hi there,

    I had an elective section due to being type 1 diabetic. I could have been induced but a medical error at 20 weeks with my insulin by a snr nurse meant i was worried about it all and it was agreed for my own sanity elective was the way to go.

    Right a few points of view from my own experience. My 1st delivery 4yrs ago was a natural down below birth. It was exhausting scary experience that lasted 36hrs,i had stitches and by the time Autumn was born I was that traumatised for a few days I found it hard to bond with her. With my son who is now 10 weeks old I was calm and in control. Ienjoyed every moment of the section experience and bonded instantly with my little fella. I even had over half hr skin to skin contact with him whereas I never managed any with Autumn.

    My recovery was good. I took peoples advice about walking tall and straight and not hunched over to help muscles to heal. I walked up stairs backwards to stop pulling on stitches etc. I changed all my sons nappies whilst in hospital for 3 days recovering even on the first night. and did night feeds from day 1 ~ nothing was stopping me doing what I had with my daughter. Yes its major surgery but I wanted to be in control of my recovery as possible. My stitches came out at day 5 ~ it tickled. Days 6 to 9 were the hardest for me pain wise. But I lept on top of painkillers and got on with it. I had opted for an elective section afterall ~ i felt i couldnt moan too much! My husband was back at work after 2 weeks. I was back on the school run and back to doing light things around the house. I listened to my body ~ if i felt in pain or achy I slowed down and rested more but life still had to go on for me and my little family.

    My scar is perdect. It literally looks like a little crease in my skin. I saw my consultant Friday and he was really pleased with it.

    My Husband and I got back to a little gentle sex from 7 weeks,I bled for about 4 weeks and then wanted scar to heal etc properly. The area around scar still feels a little numb which is strange but nothing too bad.

    All in all the experience,for me,was positive. And the harder days were made up for it by a healthy happy little boy looking at me.

    Read up about it as much as you can. Stay away from internet sites that make it out to be super scary or women talking down to other women about it not being 'natural' or a selfish choice. Its neither. Please just enjoy the experience as much as you can. Take the good advice you read and adapt it to you and your life and if you can enjoy every moment of it. My husband and I both really genuinely did

    i wish you all the very best xx

  • Hi Shelly, thanks for replying and for all your tips :) I know what you mean about other women being bitchy about it; even a couple of my so called 'friends' are questioning my motives for wanting this which is very annoying! To call it selfish is absolutely ridiculous; in my eyes it doesn't matter how a baby is brought into the world as long as he or she is healthy! Plus we're all different for a reason and we all want different things :)

    Thanks again xx

  • No problem at all :) us women need to stick together a bit more!! If you have any further questions please get in touch ~ towards the end of my pregnancy I had so many questions,some completely random,but luckily I had a friend who was also pregnant at same time as me and she had had previous sections so could answer them all.

    Take care.

    Shell xx

  • Yeah so true, no point in tearing eachother down is there?!

    Don't worry I will; I'd say my main worry at the moment is the scar and any possible muscle damage, but I think I'll go private so I'll choose my surgeon carefully!

    Thanks again x

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