I am having a planned c-section in October and I am experiencing so much anxiety about the situation. My 1st c-section was during my first pregnancy and was a semi-emergency when labor lasted too long (2 1/2 days and 2 1/2 hours of pushing) I got exhausted and then my son went into distress. It turns out in the end that he was stuck to the side, sunny side up, and had never properly engaged my cervix which was only half dilated. It was a scary and exhausting experience but at the end of it I was so grateful for medical intervention that potentially saved both of us and ended an ordeal I no longer felt like I had the energy to sustain that I never really stopped to consider how scary the whole thing was or how upset I felt about how things turned out. Now I am in the last trimester of my current pregnancy and am scheduled to undergo my second c-section soon. This time around, however, the ability to contemplate this upcoming event has brought up a lot of unresolved feelings about the last c-section along with a fair amount of fear about having such a major procedure again. Added to that, a huge portion of the reason we are doing a repeat c-section (in addition to my doctor not knowing if I have a big enough pelvis to deliver naturally) is that I have had several instances of my heart going into hours long, unexplained episodes of tachycardia during my pregnancy, which is a scary experience in and of itself. I have been to several doctors and been assured it is nothing life threatening causing these episodes but they make me feel so awful when they happen and they have been unable many times to calm them down that they just add to the level of anxiety I am feeling. So far I have succeeded in putting off my anxiety about the situation figuring that I needed to concentrate on what was in front of me instead of an event several months into the future but the closer it gets the harder time I am having ignoring it. Anyone else have anxiety about having a planned c-section? How did you deal with it? Would so appreciate any words of wisdom or tips anyone has to share. Also not finding much info on preparing for a planned c-section online or from my docs office so those are appreciated as well!
pomelo / 5524 posts
I want to start off by saying I too had the same fears leading up to my scheduled C-section with my second.
My first C-section was an ESC. I was in labor for 16 hours, pushed for 2 and developed a fever towards the end of pushing. LO got stuck in my pelvis, and when they tried to pull him out by CS, they couldn't because he was wedged in there so badly. They ended up pulling him out feet first instead of head first, and had miconium in his lungs and a fever as well. They had to resuscitate him, and he ended up in the NICU. So it was a traumatic birth experience to say the least.
My second C-section, I was dreading because of how my first went, and I can't say enough that it was SO MUCH EASIER. I knew exactly when I was going in. I got to kiss my LO goodbye and snuggle him up before I left. They calmly brought me into the OR and got me situated. LO2 cried as soon as he was born (music to my ears) unlike LO1. DH went with him to have skin to skin immediately while I was closed up and I joined them a half hour later when LO2 was put on my chest and immediately started breastfeeding. It was SO CALM...I couldn't believe it.
I have anxiety on a normal basis, so it was almost natural for me to have anxiety about having my second C-section even without the traumatic birth of my first. But, I was so pleasantly surprised by how smoothly it went because no one was rushed and there wasn't an emergency happening. Everyone was able to pay attention to the task at hand without having to worry about anyone being in distress, and it was truly an awesome experience compared to my first.
I know that won't ease your mind until you're actually living it, but I hope it helps to ease your anxiety a little. If possible, ask your doctor about immediate skin to skin with your DH or even you.
pomelo / 5524 posts
One other thing - it makes a world of difference when you're not exhausted from being up all night in labor. You're much more level headed and you can request things in a much better state than out of delirium and sleepiness.
clementine / 935 posts
My c-section wasn't planned, but I also didn't labor first (my water broke when she was breech). It was a totally pleasant experience and my recovery was super easy. I know that doesn't really answer your question, but just wanted to let you know that not laboring first will likely make a world of difference!
coffee bean / 40 posts
I'm so sorry you're going through this! I was in a similar situation with a planned c/s but with my first because she was breech. It was SO hard for me to come to be in a good place about. I tried everything I could to flip her and remain positive about having a natural delivery, which I don't think helped my head space at all. Even 1 hour before her birth when they did a ultrasound to check she was still breech (yes), I cried wishing it had been different. My advice would be to have your partner or someone else close to you remind you of the positives. I couldn't handle reminding myself of them because I would just think 'I'd give that all away in a second' but it was really helpful for me to hear them from my husband. He would tell me that I wouldn't have any tearing, that I wouldn't have to go through the painful labor, I wouldn't have to worry about pooping on the table (one of my big fears of having a vaginal birth, silly I know), that our baby would have a perfect round head, and that both mom and baby would be safe. And honestly all of my issues with having a c/s went away after I met our daughter. I hope this helps!
cantaloupe / 6131 posts
@tillma: my first c section was basically exactly your situation. Having an RCS after that experience was a no brainer. My planned repeat section was SO amazing. I felt like such a civilized human being, we were calm and happy, I was actually really awake and present for the whole thing unlike with my first when I was sooo out of it, everyone in the OR was relaxed and amazing, and it was so much less stressful for my husband who had been terrified that me or my son was going to die the first time around but had to be calm and collected for my sake. I went in Sunday morning and I was out by Tuesday at lunch.
I might talk to your doctor about getting on a low dosage of Zoloft or some kind of med for anxiety and seek some counseling.
But honestly, it was a wonderful experience for me and I wouldn't sweat it at all.
persimmon / 1188 posts
I went through this before my second c section. I am not trying to bring you down but it went worse than I thought and I've continued to struggle with the trauma. The reason I mention my own experience is because I suggest you talk with a counselor. I wish I had done that before instead of just after. I didn't need to be as worked up as I was and while that didn't cause my surgery complications, it didn't help that I didn't talk to a counselor until 3 months postpartum.
honeydew / 7622 posts
Could you try and see a therapist before birth? I started seeing one weekly for a variety of reasons starting in my first trimester.
It sounds like a RCS is a great option. I agree with others that when it's planned it's easier- that's what I've heard from my IRL friends who have had sections. I have not experienced it but there were a couple times that I was advised that if I did not progress I would need a c section which I was not opposed to.