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Anyone else? Struggling with my choices :(

Hello ladies,
It's the first time I'm posting on this board. I'm due in May (original due date was 24th May) but am now looking at a c-section at 37-38 weeks (3rd-12th May, more or less). i get my date through on 27th April.

Since being pregnant I've been passed around from one consultant to another regarding a section. I have a degenerative retinal disease and am partially sighted (only 40% vision). I have had previous retinal detachment and tears. My risk during labour is another detachment which can mean further sight loss for me.

Up until now I've been confident that a section is the right way to go to make sure I don't lose any more sight (not to mention be able to tend to my baby girl without added vision problems after giving birth). Last time I had a detachment I could not see for almost two months and was housebound. Over the past two weeks or so as the time gets closer I'm starting to doubt my choices. I'm really struggling and am starting to feel like I'm missing out on something by not having a natural birth (pain and suffering, my mum says! But I think she's trying to make me feel better). I keep crying and I just don't know what to do. I feel so depressed about it all. I don't want to risk my sight, but I don't want to regret this for the rest of my life. What are your opinions ladies? Would you go for a section in my situation? I'm going private as the NHS here in Spain won't give me a final resolution and just keep passing the book between themselves as no-one wants to make a decision. In the private as soon as I told the doctor my degenerative illness he said it's a black and white c-section case. I have insurance which covers it.

Does anyone else feel the same about having a planned section? I hate to use this word but I feel like I might feel like a failure afterwards.
Thanks ladies


  • Thanks Katherine for answering. I'd only had r&r so far and thought nobody would!
    Yes, there is a definite risk to my sight (could be temporary or more permanent, no way of knowing). As I've said it's already quite bad anyway. You answer doesn't sound harsh, and I appreciate your opinion a lot. I'm sure you are right that not getting to see her properly at first would be far worse.
    I guess I've just been made to feel guilty recently about my choices (midwife on NHS who is pissed off because I'm going private, friends and family who keep joking about "too posh to push" and how I'm "lucky" to avoid labour). I had no feelings at all before like this but it's probably all that making me feel like I might regret it afterwards, like labour is some huge rite of passage that I'm trying to avoid or something.
    It's great to hear your experience, saying that I'll forget everything. Thank you so much xxx
  • I would say you are absolutely not "too posh to push". I'm not quite in the same boat as you, but I have to have a section as awkward bubs is breech with legs all over the place - so not really possible for a breech birth even if I wanted one.

    I would be so annoyed with your MW getting annoyed with that - I would have said it was a pretty cut and dried section (if you wanted it) option - so don't let her give you a guilt trip. In the long run, you need to do what is best for you and your baby, and are you better doing that having experienced labour which might cause you to loose your sight or having skipped labour and being able to see your baby and look after her better.

    I have always gone into this birth with the attitude of "I'll just do what it takes - I won't rule anything out" and that I think has helped me immensely - I don't feel guilty about not having the vaginal birth - so I don't have to go through a 14 hour (possibly) labour - but I do have to go through a longer recovery otherwise. The only difference really is that someone helps you out.

    Never think you're a failure for wanting to give your baby the best possible start in life, however that might happen!
  • hey month buddy image

    it's dawming on me too that i wont experience a natural labour either, but what i have to remember is that its best for my baby to get him out safely what with being extended breech, and like mrs chaplic said, legs alother the place. i dont know, even though, i thought i was ok with it, i spose now that its getting nearer, its starting to feel a whole lot more real.

    it sounds like you have really thought about your options, and from the fact that you dont want to risk you're eyesight evenmore, and (im sure it wont happen) if it was to get worse through natural child birth, you're already thinking about the safest opition for you, and of course this will have an impact on your life after little corynn is here.

    i think its really natural to worry, and like you said on my facebook, you just want to know when its going to happen, and hopefully when you get a date and have your appointment, talking through your worries will make you feel a lot better.

    hope your ok hun

  • Hi ladies
    Thanks for your comments! I'm feeling a lot brighter today about it all. I had a really good chat to hubby about all my thoughts last night and he is so convinced that we're doing the right thing (and he doesn't want anything to happen to me) that some of it rubbed off on me too.
    Your messages have really helped too. Thank you so much.

    Mrs Chaplic - I was a bit shocked that the midwife thought that too, especially when she's been telling me she will support me to get a section. It was her who originally brought up the subject! I had a very happy-go-lucky attitude to all of this up until a week or so ago. Maybe my hormones are just making me mental or I'm scared about the actual op (which I don't feel to be, at all!) and I'm focusing it on other stuff. Who knows?! I'm a regular lurker on DiA to see what us May ladies can expect - how exciting that it's getting very close to you now. You must be all ready I imagine!

    Hey Rach, thanks for answering my lovely. I'm sure when I get my date on the 27th I'll just start to get on with it. I'll also be able to know the exact procedure with the little lady too (Will I get to touch her, etc?) so that will stop me worrying about those things. Hubby is definitely NOT allowed in (Policy in Spain) so that's one thing we've already dealt with and moved on from. The chances of something happening to me in natural labour are probably small.. but I think it's not worth taking a risk. How are you feeling about it all now? Feeling any better than the other day?
    Big hugs to all and thanks again for your support! xxxxx
  • i think in your situation i definatley would go for section, i know what you mean about missing out though, i had an emergency section in december and was gutted i didnt delivery naturally and cant begin to imagine how hard a decision it is about delivering the next!

    good luck x
  • Thank you Piggypops, it's really reassuring to hear somebody else say they'd do the same as me in my place! I know really it doesn't matter because it's me who has to live with it, but it's nice to know i'm not overreacting or something.
    I'm just hoping when I see her little face that all this will seem like nonsense! xxx
  • what i think will make a big difference is that it will be planned so i can ask for things i want, in my emergency one i didnt get to hold LO for nearly an hour, with a planned section i can request skin to skin as long as the baby is ok, i would also be asking for the screen to be dropped so i can see him/her delivered too.
  • I agree with piggy - I've written a birth plan for mine and have found it quite cathartic - I've copied it below to give you an idea - it might be helpful...

    Where do you want to give birth? Hospital
    Who do you want as your birth partner? Husband,

    ??????? I wish to have a spinal block or epidural for anaesthesia
    ??????? I would like the catheter inserted after the anaesthesia has taken effect
    ??????? If there is a problem, I would like to nominate my husband to be my advocate in the event I don't feel able to make a decision
    ??????? I would like my husband present at all times during the Caesarean delivery.
    ??????? If the baby is not in distress, the baby should be cleaned and placed on my chest for skin to skin contact immediately after birth.
    ??????? I would like the screen to remain up at all times during the delivery of the baby.
    ??????? I would prefer not to see the placenta after delivery
    ??????? I would like to be told the sex of the baby after delivery
    ??????? If our baby is healthy, please allow my husband and our baby to stay with me while the operation is finished.
    ??????? I would prefer that staples not be used to close the wound
    ??????? I would like the baby to have the vitamin K injection

    ??????? I have a TENS machine which I would like to use as additional pain relief after the surgery
    ??????? I do not require a private room.
    ??????? Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
    ??????? If the baby is to be taken for medical treatment, I would like my husband to accompany the baby.
    ??????? I would like to have the baby "room in" and be with me at all times.
    ??????? I would like to eat after the surgery if I am hungry
    ??????? I would like to be consulted as to when I should be discharged from hospital
    ??????? I would like to be able to breastfeed as soon as possible and would appreciate any assistance/advice.
    ??????? Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to the baby (including glucose water or plain water).
    ??????? I do not want the baby to be given a pacifier
    ??????? Any pain medications should be compatible with breastfeeding please.
  • That's great - thanks! I'm going to think about all these subjects and discuss them with my surgeon on Tuesday's (27th) appointment. I know for sure that hubby can't come into theatre because they don't allow it here in Spain but I hope to get at least a small cuddle and be allowed to breastfeed asap with my baby girl. I also want to avoid staples and would prefer a spinal block as I hear they wear off quicker?
    I've heard planned sections are nothing like emergency ones too and that the place where I give birth allows you to watch as they take LO out. I'm a bit squeamish about the idea, but I think if I don't watch I might regret it so I'll see how I go!
  • Thank Mrs Setters really, she gave me the idea, I just adapted it!

    I think I can live without seeing him come out image And I think hubbie deaar might pass out if they drop the screen - he didn't even want to cut the cord!
  • So, thank you Mrs Setters for doing yours! And thanks to Mrs Chaplic for sharing yours.I had no idea either that you could write a plan for your section. I thought it would be all down to them like any other surgery. Here's hoping that I get a say in some things at least. I'm going private through my health insurance so I bloody well should!
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