c-section for a big baby — The Bump

c-section for a big baby

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edited October 2014 in C-sections
I gave birth a few years ago to a 10.2 lbs baby. Both my partner at the time and myself are smaller people so no one knew where this huge baby came from. I ended up needed a forcep delivery and as a result I had a 4th degree tear which caused fecal incontinence and a large fistula which required repair surgery. I still have occasional gas incontinence but other than that I am healed up.

I saw my OBGYN a few weeks ago and told him we were TTCing. He said he would strongly recommend a planned csection next time, but the option is open to me. He also said I could be induced at 38 weeks and have a vaginal delivery.

I know I have lots of time as I'm not even pregnant yet, but this issue is still on my mind from time to time. The thought of a csection scares me to death as I have heard horror stories of some recoveries.

If you were me, what would you do? 
DS#1: born Dec 29, 2013 
TTC#2 since Sept 2014 - unexplained secondary IF
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Re: c-section for a big baby

  • Before DD#2 was conceived I had always planned on a natural vaginal delivery no drugs nothing.DD#1 was adopted :) So I got pregnant with DD#2 and for the first 30 weeks I kept insisting on what type of delivery I wanted. At 32 weeks I had a growth scan due to GD and baby girl was already 9.12 lbs at that point the doc looked at me and said vaginal delivery was out GD babies tend to have bigger shoulders and they didn't want to risk her getting stuck so I had to have a planned C section at 38 weeks and let me tell you I FREAKING LOVED IT. No fuss no muss everything was wonderful. Now keep in mind no one in my family had ever had a c section except my sister and she looked miserable,I kept saying OMG I don't wanna be like that after having a baby and having a toddler to look after.My c section was awesome I did get sick later that day and was unable to eat but by 6am the next morning I was able to eat,breastfeed and walk(tiny baby steps) but hey I was still up and about. I was discharged 2 days later and healed really quickly and pp bleeding is a lot less because they are able to suction it out :) I can only chalk up my sisters poor experience as side effects from having a c section and having her tubes tied all at the same time.If/When we have baby #3 i will opted for repeat c section.DD#2 was 11lbs 1.2 oz and had a huge head and I'm just thankful I didn't try to push that out and I wasn't all worn out from labor and delivery.I was out of it from pain meds but after a short nap I was good to go :)
  • Well I've had two CS and I was miserable both times. Breastfeeding makes cramps worse, I couldn't walk for two days with the first one. I wouldn't do it again if I had a choice. It hurt to pee, cough, laugh, driving restrictions for 6 weeks, I couldn't pick up my toddler. Not everyone has a glorious CS.
  • I agree with some others. Your vaginal experience sounds as bad as a c-section recovery any day. Ouch!

    If you plan to do a c-section for size, I'd request ultrasounds to monitor growth. While many people will argue they're inaccurate, they're based on averages. You're going to have ones that are way off and you're going to have ones that are right on. I chose a RCS over a VBAC due to the measurements of the ultrasound, specifically DS's abdominal size as measured over a series of growth ultrasounds.

    In general, while c-section recovery is difficult, keeping on top of pain meds and knowing your limits as you move around will keep the worst of it at bay and within a few days the worst of it will be over.
    DD- 11/17/08, DD- 11/16/09, DS- 3/20/13 
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  • Everyone is different, too! My c-section recovery was a piece of cake. Recovery was harder from my 2 vaginal births, which were tough but nothing like yours!!!! 
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  • I agree I would do a CS in your case.  I had a pretty bad vaginal delivery with #1 because of a large head, and then the cord broke away from the placenta, requiring an emergency D&C right after birth to stop the hemorrhaging, etc.  My second birth was a planned CS because of a predicted large baby for #2 and he would not descend into my pelvis because of the big head (we're talking off the charts).  The main reason I would say CS is because it is more controlled and the doctors can prevent a lot of complications for both you and the baby.  Personally, I think when you have something the size of a watermelon coming out of your body....there really isn't a "walk in the park" way to get it out.  There are horror story vaginal births, and horror story CS, and also wonderful ones for both delivery methods too.  I would base my decision purely on safety if they are predicting another large baby.  Personally, my first CS was no big deal, but my second one did have some complications.  GL!    

    **DD1 - 7/9/98**

    **DS - 11/9/00**

    **DD2 - 4/30/13**

  • I have nothing to compare to but I loved my three c sections. Hearing how you ended up having surgery anyway even though it wasn't a c section, I would probably take the c section in your case. Of course you can have the size of the baby monitored and change your mind if this baby isn't as big.
  • I would wait and see - you don't have to decide for awhile.

    My older sister's first was almost 11 pounds at birth and she ended up with a c-section after 3 hours of pushing because he wouldn't fit.

    However, her next 5 were all vaginal births (3 med-free) and non of them were over 8.5 pounds. 

    At this point there is no way to know how big the baby is going to be or what your situation will be.

    I understand your fear considering your first birth, but I'd highly recommend waiting to make a decision - even growth scans can be off by quite a bit. 

    Good luck!

    ETA: I'm actually surprised your OB would highly recommend a planned c-section already considering you are not even pregnant yet.  If I'm being 100% honest, I'd maybe talk to other OBs just to get their opinion on the situation.

    My guess is that her doc recommended a cs should she have another large baby coming, not for having a baby is general... Just a guess.
  • edited November 2014
    I had a cesection after a 36 hour induction. It wasn't that bad. Obviously it wasn't the most "fun" experience...but I would take a csection over what you went through any day. I'm having a scheduled csection next month, I feel good about it and I've heard that a scheduled csection is WAY better because you haven't gone through labor first. Good luck on your decision!
  • I would chose a C-section at 40 weeks vs. an induction at 38 weeks.

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  • I am in your situation, but I'm 38 weeks pregnant.  My first one was 10.95 lbs and I had a 3rd degree tear with all of the fun side effects you mentioned.  (I was 10.5 lbs myself, my mom was similar, my grandma was 11.5, etc, so we just grow big babies in my family- no GD).

    When I first got pregnant, I was also warned that a c-section might be my best bet, but I was referred to a specialist at my hospital who is running a study on the long term effects of 3rd and 4th degree tears post-partum before making any decisions.  I had a scan of the healed tear (lovely experience, btw! :P ) and after an hour long discussion about my continence after healing/during pregnancy, the scar tissue and the estimated size of this baby (again, measuring well above the 90th) we decided it would be sensible for me to have a planned section on my due date.  I have a letter in my pregnancy notes in case I go early, but I went late last time and figure I'll do it again.

    I seem to know loads of people who know other people who had big babies and never tore, blah, blah, blah.  Well I did and I'm the one who doesn't want to be dealing with continence issues in my 40s.  Some pro-vaginal birth people can be very invasive in their questioning of why I would elect to have a c-section, but it's really none of their business and nothing I need to justify to them.  I feel satisfied with the thought and investigation that has gone into this decision.  I hope this helped; sorry it was a bit long. :)
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