I have had two sections and one VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I can tell you recovery time from the VBAC was much easier. There are fewer restrictions after a vaginal delivery than a c-section. If you have a primary c-section (with your first child), it can and probably will change the way you give birth if you ever have anymore kids.
With each section, your chance of adhesions increases. Basically the scar tissue builds up with each surgery and can stick to other organs, which can cause pelvic pain during sex, urination, and just everyday activities. About 95 percent of women develop them, some are more problematic than others. With each pregnancy the risk of the scar tissue growing over the old scar or even through it and through the uterus increases, which can cause complications. The scar tissue buildup can also cause future fertility problems if you choose to have more children.
I will say this: a lot of women consider a c-section because they fear vaginal birth and pain. You are going to feel pain, regardless. Also, many women are talked into induction for a number of things, some of which are warranted, some of which aren't. Often this can create a more difficult vaginal delivery than needs to be. The typical model of vaginal birth in this country is to induce or try to rush the baby out, especially if you're overdue, and it creates more pain and stress than needs to be. Many times if the woman is allowed to go into labor on her own and the baby is allowed to come out on its own, it would be a lot easier than pushing out a baby who is not really ready to come out.
Think of it like an 8-pound bowel movement and you're constipated. Wouldn't it be easier to wait until you have the urge than force yourself to take a dump? It comes out a lot easier when you leave it alone than pushing forcefully (directed pushing) when you're told to, which believe me - makes it harder than it needs to be.
ETA - I can see why you would consider a c-section. Honestly, though, you can have terrible experiences from those, too. I had some initial trouble bonding with my son and breastfeeding was more difficult at first than with my daughter, who was born naturally. I noticed this in both my c-section births.
Honestly, I think it depends on a number of things. Are you pregnant now? How far along are you? What are your birth options? It does NOT have to be a repeat of last time if you choose your care provider carefully. Some midwives are fantastic; others are basically an extension of the OB, who is usually in a rush to cut you open. That's no walk in the park, either. Some inductions go well because the woman is more favorable and baby is ready; some fail and a c/s is done (even though in many cases mom could have gone home to labor on her own), and sometimes the baby comes out, but with disastrous results like the one you endured. I would do some reading - Ina May Gaskin is a tremendous midwife who has written a book (google her) that offers some wonderful insights on birth and how, basically, our maternity system makes them more difficult than they need to be. Spiritual Midwifery is another one, although i haven't read it but hear it's excellent. Pushed by Jennifer Block is another excellent read that talks about how birth has been abnormal and dysfunction for centuries, and is definitely worth reading. You also might want to watch the movie "The Business of Being Born" with actress Ricki Lake - it's pretty intense but awesome. :)
The things that happened to you sound typical of a Pitocin induction - the uterus can be hyperstimulated so contractions are one on top of the other, causing intense pain and often compromising the baby by compressing it as well as cutting off oxygen supply. This is what causes fetal distress. It can also cause bad positioning because of the intense contractions, which make it harder for the baby to come out, and thus require more "tools" (episiotomy, vacuum extraction, manual removal of this that and the other) to get the baby out, if not a c/s.
Bottom line: not all vaginal births have to be barbaric and horrible. What you experienced is not normal, and there is nothing saying it will happen again. Based on your experiences, it's your decision if you want to do a c/s, but understand that that carries risks too, which is likely something your doctor will gloss over when encouraging you to either schedule and induction or a c/s. I'm convinced that if the majority of women knew the risks of having either an induction or c/s, they wouldn't want them, and hence our c/s rate wouldn't be 32%. :(
mom of 3
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· 8 years ago