C/S or Vaginal again? OB gave me a choice as last 2 V births were very difficult

Background: I have 2 kids both born vaginally. My first was almost 8pds, in labor for 28 hours, was sunny side up and required a forceps delivery. I had a 3rd degree tear with him and broke my tailbone. My 2nd was 9.4pds, shoulder dystocia (they broke his collarbone and femur getting him out) and I had a beyond 4th degree tear, again broke my tailbone. On top of that he had an un-diagnosed heart condition and had to be rushed to children's hospital for open-heart surgery.

For this 3rd pregnancy, due to my difficult births and tearing/tailbone situations, my OB offered me the choice of having a C/S with this kiddo. I'm considering it but I know a C/S is major abdominal surgery and not to be taken lightly. Of course my relatives who have had multiple C/S all said it was a "piece of cake" and I don't believe that.

Considering my birth history, I'm not sure which way to go: vaginal or scheduled c-section. For those of you that had vaginal and then C/S, what are your thoughts on both, comparison, which would you do again, pros and cons, recovery, etc? I'm looking for any and all insight to help guide me to the right choice.

Thanks ladies!

Re: C/S or Vaginal again? OB gave me a choice as last 2 V births were very difficult

  • This sounds a lot like me, though different reasons for a severely painful birth, surgery needed after, and the most painful 8 week recovery from a vaginal birth. I opted for a c section with my second and OH MY GOSH it was so fricken fabulous compares to my vaginal! I got to enjoy my newborn when I couldn't with the first, and the recovery was so much easier (yes painful but nit as bad as first!!). People will give you their own versions but you have to so what is right for you, and in my case I know I made the right decision. If we have a third I will be having another c section! Good luck to you!!
  • I have only had 3 c/s so I don't know if you want my perspective, but I would say my recovery from the c/s were ok.  They weren't a piece of cake, but weren't terrible either.  Just ok.  I felt pain in my incision when I moved fast, coughed, laughed etc, but again the pain wasn't too bad.  I would put it at a 2 or 3 on a scale out of 10.  

    If you decide to have a c/s this is my advice.

    1. Stay on top on the meds and take them when prescribed.  If you wait until you have pain, it will take a while for them to go into effect.

    2. Hold a pillow against your abdomen when you laugh or cough.

    3.  Begin walking as soon as you are able, this will make the recovery process easier

    4. Take stool softeners, fiber and possibly even suppositories if you are constipated.

    5.  If people offer to help, take them up on their offer.  

    [Deleted User]
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  • I have had 2 c-sections. I would never call it a piece of cake. However, in your situation, I would say go with the c-section! Try to get up and walk as soon as you can. Even sitting up and changing positions helps. Good luck!
  • thank you so much for your advice and tips ladies! I am leaning towards a C/S, I'm now at 60:40 leaning towards C/S :-) I'm going to discuss with my OB at my next appointment.
    I did get a chance to talk with a former OB nurse over the weekend and she also suggested a C/S given how bad I've torn.

    I appreciate all your insight, thanks again!
  • Slb22Slb22 member
    I only have one LO and she was born c/s due to fetal heart rate distress. The cord was tight around her neck. Recovery was a bit tough for sure. I can't relate it to a vaginal recovery though. What I thought was interesting is that many people in my family would ask how I was feeling in the following few weeks and I would say sore, or whatever and they would respond saying they had c sections and it was no big deal. I was pretty annoyed with these comments at first then just realized it had been 25/35 years since they had their kids so they must have selective memory :)
    I would just make sure you have extra help at home for the first 2 weeks especially because you have other children.
  • Wow, those are some really crappy labors! In your case I think I would try a c-section. You never know how it will go for you, of course. I had two vaginal and then c-section for a breech baby and I thought the C-section was great. I had an easier recovery (it was a piece of cake) than I did from my vaginal births and I liked not being exhausted when the baby arrived. Good luck with your decision and I hope that whatever you choose, it will be much better this time!
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  • I've had 1 vaginal delivery followed by 2 c/s, I'm hoping for a VBA2C for my next pregnancy.  I'm very pro-vaginal birth, but with your experiences, I think I'd definitely opt for a c/s. 

    My vaginal delivery was normal, I had an episiotomy, not sure how big, I didn't think to ask.  I had an easy recovery and no complaints. 

    My 2nd pregnancy was my twin pregnancy.  One of the babies was sitting on my cervix so I had a scheduled c/s.  I had a very easy recovery.  It hurt to cough, sneeze, laugh, or blow my nose for a week and was sore/sensitive for another week or so.  I had them on a Thursday and by the time I got home on Monday I had to remind myself to slow down on the stairs.

    My 3rd pregnancy (2nd c/s) was scheduled because I got to 41w hoping for a VBAC but my former OB didn't want me carrying longer and wouldn't induce a VBAC.  The surgery and after was without complications, but my recovery was a lot rougher.  I was sore quite a bit longer and I was taking regular Motrin and Percocet for two weeks, I kept trying to drop the Percocet but the pain was too intense for the first 2w.  I continued Motrin without Percocet for another week or so. 

    In your position, I would definitely opt for a c/s.  Your vaginal deliveries are not normal and without complication if you're tearing that bad, breaking bones, and having your baby's bones broken to have a successful birth.  You have to make the decision that's best for you, inform yourself about your options and feel confident in your decision. 

    GSx1 - 05/13/2013
    GSx2 for T&B - EDD 6/21/2015 - They're having a GIRL
    [Deleted User]Soon2BMrsN
  • I know everyone is different and I don't know if it would be accurate to describe any birth and recovery experience as a piece of cake but I had a non-emergency c-section and my recovery was pretty decent.  Better than expected.  

    After a lengthy try and ultimate failure to progress, my Dr and I made a decision to go for c-section that evening.  The nurse prepped me and they took me back to the operating room.  I received a spinal. A sheet was put up so that I didn't see it all and my husband was able to hold my hand.  They gave me standard post-op pain meds and I will not say there was no pain but I remember being more aggravated by my hunger, sleepiness and the shock of the bleeding which happens to everyone regardless. I was up walking the next morning (with assistance the first go) as was recommended.  It felt good to get up and walk.  I feel like I felt pretty good all things considered and I remember asking the Dr to send me home a day early (after baby and I got positive checkups) and he did.  At home, I started BFing more successfully and voluntarily stopped taking Percoset (which made me have weird dreams and causes constipation), I felt like the Ibuprofen was working better/doing the most anyway.  My husband stayed home with me the first couple of weeks and would provide any assistance needed but it was the plan regardless of birth to just help not because I was in capable of taking care of baby and myself.  There were a few things I was supposed to stay away from such as lifting heavy objects (heavier than baby) or running up/down stairs but really when you have an infant your kind of busy with that so I felt like physically, I was fine in less than 2 weeks.  Of course, I had to go in for follow up and get the staples removed to get the official all clear at 6 weeks.  It has been over 4 years since my son was born and even my scar is pretty faint (not to mention its only visible below the panty/bikini line). 

    So yeah, all in all not bad and I'm most likely going to do it again in late Dec/early Jan.

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  • Slb22 said:
    I only have one LO and she was born c/s due to fetal heart rate distress. The cord was tight around her neck. Recovery was a bit tough for sure. I can't relate it to a vaginal recovery though. What I thought was interesting is that many people in my family would ask how I was feeling in the following few weeks and I would say sore, or whatever and they would respond saying they had c sections and it was no big deal. I was pretty annoyed with these comments at first then just realized it had been 25/35 years since they had their kids so they must have selective memory :) I would just make sure you have extra help at home for the first 2 weeks especially because you have other children.
    You are right about selective memories.  However, I think a lot of vaginal birthers are sore as well, perhaps in a different area.  (sources:  What To Expect When Your Expecting Book)

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  • Also remember when some people say their c section recovery was a breeze that it also depends on wether they were in labor before the c section and for how long. For some if you go through labor and end up with a c section the recovery is worse. It's somewhat like you end up recovering from a vaginal and a c section.
  • I've had one vaginal and 2 CS. My vaginal was pretty bad with an emergency D&C performed right after my DD was born due to a retained placenta. I had to have a CS with my second due to large size 9 lb 12 oz. (the US had been predicting 13 lbs) and my OB refused to let me labor due to the types of complications you had. If I were you, I'd have the CS. It won't be worse than your vaginal recoveries. There's no sore muscles from hours of pushing, and the discomfort from a bad tear is worse because you have to sit on it. Just get some "grandma" underwear so it doesn't sit on your bikini line. The incision on your lower abdomen is 1000% better than down below IMO. A CS is so quick too!

    **DD1 - 7/9/98**

    **DS - 11/9/00**

    **DD2 - 4/30/13**

  • I will be having a C/S this time around because of similar complications that I had with my sunny side up son four years ago. It took me 6 months to fully recover from that vaginal birth.... and I still get weird pains down there sometimes. This time around I will have a C/S because I am not willing to tempt the fares on that kind of damage again. I was afraid last time that I would never get bladder and bowel control back and I would be running that risk again with another vaginal birth. I am just not ready to depend on Depends yet. :D If I were you I would go with a C/S rather than have the possibility of the kind of trauma you have had before.
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  • Oh geez!! I would have gone for a cs after just one such experience, not to mention two! Say all you want about 'major abdominal surgery', but none of it involves breaking any of your or your child's bones. And yes, my cs was a cake walk compared to either of your vaginal experiences. And that's why I am def going for an rcs. I'd never want to experience something like you did.. Good luck and hopefully you will make a decision you will be happy with.
  • I had a 4th degree tear with my second and have been having lingering effects/issues because of it. It has been manageable but I'm terrified it will get worse if I have a vaginal birth and tear again. 

    So I'm 99% sure I'm doing a c-section on this one. Which I know won't be a walk in the park. But I think its my best option. 

    Plus I am kind of looking forward to being able to schedule it a bit since I have 2 kids at home to make arrangements for :)

    But I am nervous about the actual procedure and recovery aspect. I've never had major surgery and this is terrifying. But I do have many friends who have had a c-section and they survived so I know I'll be ok.
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  • umma4babesumma4babes member
    edited July 2014
    I had vaginal birth with my first, very difficult and traumatic due to shoulder distotia. Had a scheduled c section with my second, and oh my freaking gosh it was the best decision ever! My recovery was pretty standard - obviously there is pain associated with incision but it was NBD with pain meds. By 1 week I was off meds and pretty much resumed normal activities except for lifting anything heavier than my baby (8 lbs). There was no exhaustion from super long labor, no visit to NICU because the baby had been in distress and collar bone was broken. So smooth and peaceful. I remember not hearing my DS crying after he was finally delivered, his apgar was 2 because he was in so much distress. My husband started bawling because we thought he was a goner, seriously. Thank god everything turned out okay but that was not something I wanted to repeat!
  • I had a vaginal birth with my first daughter and I broke my tailbone. That was the most miserable experience EVER. I was in so much pain for months after having her. I couldn't sit and rock my baby...it even hurt to stand. I commend you for going vaginal on round 2 after breaking your tailbone. I opted for a C/S the second time around because I was only 3 months pp when I got pregnant with the second and I was still in so much pain. I couldn't imagine going through it again. The c-section (in comparison to the broken tailbone) was MUCH better. My recovery was so much easier, I had a lot less pain, I was able to move around so much more and I could SIT with my child and stand up without excruciating pain. I highly recommend it. It may not be a piece of cake, but in comparison...it is FAR easier a recovery than tearing and a broken tailbone.
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  • I broke my tailbone years before having children, and it took nearly a year to be able to sit without lots of pain. When I got pregnant, the expanding uterus put so much pressure on it that it felt broken all over again. I had scheduled c/-sections for all of my children (I was on the fence due to the tailbone pain but then DD1 needed one medically as well) and the recovery from a c/s is so much shorter than from a broken tailbone. I wouldn't call a c/s a "piece of cake," but I much prefer the certainty of needing a couple of extra weeks to heal from a c/s over the possibility of months or maybe even a year of healing from tailbone damage. I'm surprised you took a chance with a second vaginal birth, honestly.

    In your case, I would definitely have a planned c/s. The broken tailbone will make you miserable for much longer than a c/s, and seeing my child's bones broken during birth would be too much for me. The c/s will be easier on both you and the baby.



  • IT really is a piece of cake. My first with brEech.nothing to discuss there. Was running again about 10 days later. had one with the triplets also but had major hemorrhaging.. Nothing due to the c-section.. It's a lot of baby. I would go C Section every time


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