Why I chose an elective c-section

So it’s three weeks since I had our baby girl. (I wonder if I ought to change the name of the blog now?!) 

And to some people’s surprise, I elected to have a c section. When I was pregnant with Oscar I wanted a drug-free, hypnobirth, water birth and obviously that got shot to pieces. At the end of the day that is my ideal birth so when I had my midwife appointment and she told me due to the fact Oscar was premature, I would now be classed as high risk, I was a little disappointed. This meant that if I chose to wait to go into labour and push, I wouldn’t be able to have a water birth or be on the low risk ward. I would be on a high risk ward, with a cannula in and a belt on monitoring the baby’s heartbeat and sat in bed. She also told me that because I had a c section, as soon as my waters broke or my contractions started that I had to go in straight away- firstly to be monitored but secondly, to my horror, that because my c section was (just) under two years old, there is a risk that the scar could split open because contractions contract your uterus and your uterus is exactly where they cut and therefore where the scar lies!

S P L I T O P E N . My goodness.

As much as I was gunning for a natural birth the more time went on the more I didn’t want one. The most painful part of the whole c-section last time for me was the cannula and the anti-sickness injection in my thigh, and being told that I wouldn’t have an injection if I had an elective because you have time to take anti sickness medicine beforehand and that the injection was just because it was an emergency c section, made me think. My thinking was - well, if I’m dreading the cannula BUT I have to have one either way because I’m high risk, then why not skip the contractions and the pushing and just have another section. 

The initial thought of a c section being preferable regarding pain then sparked more thoughts on why it would be the better option for me for other reasons. As I said in my last post, the baby was due (believe it or not) ON Oscar’s birthday and the thought of having two children with the same birthday seemed really mean, so I then thought - with a c section I can just choose the date and she can come a week before. Christmas is also a week after Oscar’s birthday and we already spent Christmas 2016 in hospital, so the thought of going over due and being in hospital for Christmas Day again made me want to pick the choice where she can come on the 12th even more! 

I asked around my friends who had had c sections and it was a mixed response. A few said, ‘fuck yea!’ They figured if they already had a scar down there why not make the most of it and just whip the second kid out - avoid the labour and being tired from pushing, know when the baby is coming, arrive having had a shower and knowing everything’s ready for the baby. No rushing, no panicking, just a calm easy operation! Damn it did sound tempting. I think because it genuinely never upset me that I had a c section the first time around, I wasn’t bothered this time around at the thought of not having a natural labour. I think for those that felt robbed of their dream of a natural labour and/or didn’t heal well after their c section - would think that choosing to have another c section would be madness. 

I also figured, imagine going into labour, having a horrific 48 hours of contractions, try pushing for two hours, have a episiotomy, try forceps for them to say it wasn’t working and you needed a c section anyway. That would be a complete waste of time, when you could’ve just waltzed into the hospital for a booked c section.

Aside from all these superficial reasons to elect a c section, I was genuinely worried that the baby would/could have the same or similar issues with her heart/heart rate as Oscar did and have seen far too many One Born Every Minute episodes where the baby gets stressed during labour and their heart rate increases. The thought of this gave me real paranoia and I decided I’d rather have her taken out as quickly and with as many doctors around as possible. 

So I was granted my decision to have another section and we booked it in for the 12th of December. Born exactly 39 weeks, a week before her brothers birthday. This meant I was then able to pack a hospital bag specifically for a c section! Nice big high waisted pants, high waisted comfy trousers to go home in… you know the drill. It also meant I was able to plan exactly who was going to have Oscar while I was in hospital. The midwife told me that I would be in hospital for one night and sent home the next day - I couldn’t believe it! They said they take out the catheter after twelve hours and have you walking by then too. Then your dressing comes off the next day and boom, off you go home!

There were a few reasons I was hesitant to get another c section, mainly because you’re not allowed to drive for 4-6 weeks afterwards, which with two children and Oscar in nursery - I needed to be able to drive. It also doesn’t help that Oscar can only fall asleep in the car for his nap so I’ve basically enlisted someone to drive him around at lunchtime everyday - if I didn’t have our parents or Luke I would’ve definitely been screwed! 

I also wonder if I will get the urge to have more children (right now I can’t decide, I have no strong feeling toward either decision) and the risks increase with a third c-section. I can’t imagine either being cut along the same place three times!! Nor do I think it would be advised to have a VBAC after two c sections - but why base my decisions for this baby based on a future baby I don’t even know I want yet.

Recovery wise, I remember with my first c section begging Luke not to make me laugh because it hurt so much and I was terrified to sneeze for the same reasons. I also had a toddler this time around to think about who jumps all over me and loves his cuddles. Would he understand not to jump on me or would it be a living nightmare? I definitely have way more to do around the house this time around too, there would be no weeks on end lying around watching Netflix with an only child. This time I have to chase a toddler around the whole house just to get a nappy on him, I have to lift him in and out of bed, in and out of the bath, dress him, make him dinner, drive him around, take him to fun places - the list is endless! Would I be able to do all that with a gaping three day old wound and if not, how would things pan out if I weren’t able to do all those things. (I’ll tell you in a future post how it’s all been going)

Ultimately, after making the decision to have a c section - I felt so much more relaxed. I knew the actual date that my baby was coming. There was no uncertainty, no wondering when she would come. Luke knew exactly the days he needed to take off work and we could relax right up until that date. It felt very nonchalant to decide to have a c section but the day I sat down with the midwife and booked it in, I suddenly became very hot and sweaty and it felt so real. But, in reality, I knew I’d be way calmer than going into labour - with a c section I knew exactly what to expect. I’ve been through it before. There was no longer the ‘fear of the unknown’. I knew the procedure, the pain, the after care, the do’s and dont’s, what to expect and how to cope with it all. E A S Y!

All in all, I’m really glad to have chosen to opt for a c section again. The whole thing was so straight forward and I definitely think I’m the type of person to not mind missing out on the ‘magic’ that is labour. I’m happy to say I’ve never had a single contraction, I’ve never had my waters break, I’ve never pushed a baby out - and yet, I have two beautiful, healthy children - they just came with the added bonus of a scar above my bikini line.