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« Preparing an Older Sibling for Baby | Main | Baby Z’s Birth Story »

According to Plan – C-Section vs. VBAC


Such a big decision, however early on my OB and I decided that it would be best for me to schedule a c-section vs trying for a VBAC due to the many complications I had with labor last time, which ended up in an emergency c-section. So I decided trying for a VBAC just wasn’t worth it to me especially since the chances are slim. Nathalee shared her reasons for choosing C-Section over VBAC here and Jennifer is leaning towards a VBAC

Part of me is totally bummed because I wanted to skip the six-week c-section recovery period (a very long time for me not to be able to pick up Reese) but I know this decision is in the best interest for me and this little peanut inside me. Although I guess he’s not a litte peanut anymore as I’m approaching seven months.

Anyway, since I have decided to have a planned c-section, instead of dreading the lenthy recovery period I’ve been focusing on the benefits of a planned c-section *if all goes according to plan and he doesn’t come early!

  • No waiting around to go into labor wondering if today is the day!
  • I’ve been able to enlist and schedule help from my Mom and in-laws during my four-day hospital stay and recovery period.
  • I am not as worried about Reese since I will have family here beore, during and after.
  • Finally, Nathalee shared her wonderful experience of a “family centered c-section,” where baby can be put on my chest immediately after he is pulled out as long as he cries.  

My first c-section recovery was terrible. I ended up with a blood clot and and infection so the healing time was slow and painful. For those who have had c-section – when did you start to feel yourself healing? And for those with another child at home, how did you manage not being able to carry them?

Reader Comments (4)

I've had 3 c-sections and the 3rd was definitely the toughest recovery, probably because I had a 3 year old and an 18 month old at home!

It's tough! You'l want to enlist plenty of help. My mother and sister stayed with us for several days to help out with the kids, and then my mom brought my older two kids home with her for several more days (they live 5 hours away). I was about 12 days postpartum before I was on my own with the kids and it was a few days too soon. It was rough! For me, the big turning points were 2 & 3 weeks. At 2 weeks, I don't hurt so much and at 3, I'm able to get around the house much better. I usually feel really great around 5 weeks.

As for picking up the kids, that's tough when you're on your own during the day. We lowered my 18 month old's high chair and taught him to climb in and out of it. I did his diaper changes on the floor rather than the changing table. Once I was on my own with the kids, my husband came home for a late lunch every day. He diapered my toddler and put him into his crib for his naptime so that i wouldn't have to. Then the only lifting I had to do was getting him out of bed after naptime. Before my husband left for work, he would set up the kids in my room, giving them a sippy cup of milk, an easy breakfast (like granola bars or poptarts) and put a show on Netflix. This enabled me to doze as needed and take it easy in the mornings.

You'll make it, especially if you keep focusing on the positives!

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGabrielle

My second C-section recovery was sooo much easier than my first, apart from the bladder injury that required me to go home with a catheter (ewww!). I was in so much less pain this time around, and I don't know if it's because my uterus didn't rupture this time or if it was because I knew how important it was to stay on top of my pain meds and move around as much as possible -- plus, I already knew those strategies to move around to minimize incision pain. So take heart, you've already gone through this before and hopefully your prior experience will make it better! I had a lot of help at home with my older one while I was recovering, which also eased my recovery. Sounds like you are well-prepared and will do great!

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

I just went through the same decision making process. What sealed a repeat (and scheduled) c-section for me on the 2nd time (after an emergency one with #1 and a uterine infection afterwards) was that my OB said that it was likely I end up in the same position - having gone through labor and then having to have a c-section and the recovery time for that is SO much longer and more difficult. Now, having done it both ways, I can attest that is true. I found the first recovery (after 28 hours of labor) to be far harder than the second one (with the planned c-section.) The recovery was still a challenge, especially the not picking up my toddler for 6 weeks, but it was far easier than the first one. The scheduled part was nice because I could enlist help for exactly when I needed it and my husband was able to take a few days off of work (not an easy task!) I was up and walking just a few hours after the c-section, being highly motivated by the fact that my baby was taken to the NICU and that was my only way to see him, and I can't imagine having done that after the first c-section. As a sidenote, the NICU stay was a result of the baby not "transitioning" correctly, which is common with scheduled c-sections. It turned out to be no big deal, but I really wish they had warned me of that possibility in advance. All in all, I found the scheduled c-section to be an easier recovery than the emergency one and it was certainly the right choice for us!

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I had a natural birth first time round but due to complications went for an elective C section second time around. In some way ignorance was bliss in that I wasn't sure what to expect except I knew it had to be easier that what I experience with my daughter. It took me 2 -3 weeks to stop being as tentative, to 5 weeks to be feeling really chipper and then another few weeks to be normal. I was pikcing up my daughter at 6 weeks, I probably could have done it earlier but didn't want any complications. I found the 6 week period a good 'excuse' to make myself take it easy and not jumpr straight back into things. This helped me to bond with the baby and also to recover faster. Regarding not picking up #1 (who was just over 2 at the time and about 12kg), in the weeks beforehand I got out of the habit. I would hug her on the ground and get my husband to lift her up, that way it eased her into it all rather than a total change when bubs was born. This worked well for us. I also had help from my parents so I was never alone trying to get her into bed for a nap or to change a nappy. Good luck!

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBella

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