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Thread: Recover from CS (vs awful recovery from VB)

  1. #1

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    Default Recover from CS (vs awful recovery from VB)

    Hi all,

    I had a 10 cm gutter tear last night round. The stitches were too tight and/or didn't dissolve and/or got a bit infected. Sitting and getting up were so painful for so long and I think it took a whole year for all the pain to fade. So now I'm unexpectedly pregnant with number two and wondering if I can go through all that again.

    For people who had a CS, can you tell me how long it took you to recover? I was just reading the driving after CS section and I see some people were painfree after five days. Is this normal? (If it is, I want one of those!)

    I know the traditional advice is that you recover faster from a VB. But my recovery wasn't fast at all.

    Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences.


  2. #2

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    Every experience will be different. I was lucky to have a fantastic recovery from my c/s. Very little pain (stopped taking pain killers when I went home on day 4, driving again at 3 weeks). One of my best friends had a c/s a few months before me and was devastated for me when she heard I'd had mine because her recovery was still ongoing. I felt as good after a fortnight, if not better, than she did after six months! Unfortunately it's very much an unknown as to how your recovery will progress.

  3. #3

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    Well, THAT'S not what I wanted to hear, briggsy's girl!!! Why-oh-why can't this childbirth thing be straightforward???

    (Just joking, by the way. I really do want to hear about people's different experiences.)

  4. #4

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    Hahahaha yes why can't it be straightforward?!?

    I don't have any more information, but I'm also interested.
    Given the complications I had in my first labour a planned c/s is a possibility for the next one. I think I'm leaning towards a preference for VB again and hoping it goes better but I'm still on the fence. (Of course I'm not even pregnant yet so plenty of time to decide...)
    It also took me a long time to recover from my VB. Thankfully no infection!! But I did have a 12cm episiotomy with internal stitches and a few other things to recover from and that definitely took time.

  5. #5

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    I had a massive tear with my 1st VB and it did take a long time to heal - at least 15 months before i was completely pain-free. BUT that was minor pain, it didn't prevent me functioning in normal life during that time. However, with my CS I had problems with healing, got an infection or something and it was 10 weeks (and a trip back to hospital for IV antibiotics) before i was able to carry the capsule, or leave the house by myself and even then only for shorter trips. BUT - and this bit's important - emotionally/psychologically, I was in a much better state after my CS than after my VB, so even though the physical recovery was slower, my whole-person recovery was faster after the CS.

    FWIW - without knowing a little more about your medical care in relation to your recovery, it's hard to tell whether there may have been something else that could have been done. I was helped enormously after I saw a better doctor (9 months later) who prescribed vaginal oestrogen and if that hadn't helped (it did) the next step would have been to see a gynaecologist who could have done a surgical revision. Sometimes we think we have to put up with pain when in actual fact seeing a kinder and more skilled doctor can sort the problem out. So I do think as part of your decision-making process, you might want to get another opinion (if you can) about whether your recovery might have been better if you'd had different care. That might be enough to give you the confidence you need for another VB. Good luck with the decision

  6. #6

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    My vb recovery wasn't as bad as yours but I did get bad tearing and a prolapse from my first birth was in huge pain for at least 3 months after
    Pain in stitches and crying everytime I peed ended up in hospital with infection which prevented me from breastfeeding and I got PND
    My first I was induced and bub was posterior and came out super fast which is what caused damage

    I was worried it would happen again but it didn't my labour was only an hour longhand fast again, I had no tears but dud have a couple stitches for variscosities caused by first birth
    The only pain I felt post birth was afterbirth pains which was gone by day 2/3
    I was able to walk as much as I wanted
    I could sit easy
    My vagina wasn't swollen to my knees (that is no exaggeration)

    Post birth recovery I was 100% by day 4 and my scars from first birth have dissapeared i guess they got stretched out from my second bub now I hope my prolapse can start to recover

    But that's just me a dr who knows what their talking about might know which option is better and it's up to you to decide which one might be better emotionally for you physical healing is one thing but emotional healing is as well

  7. #7

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    I was one of those "pain free" ladies, I was given morphine in a drip in theatre, was MADE to take Panadol 4hrs later to help prevent pain after the spinal wore off, that was it, I had NO pain, the after birth pains weren't even as bad as period pain for me, I got no infection or anything BUT in saying that, I had had 12 surgeries in my life BEFORE that so I am used to it.
    My mum on the other hand is the opposite end, she had VB with me, was 2 cms dilated when I decided to come, tore and needed stitches (poor thing was only 19!) had to have an emergency csection with my at 36 weeks due to twin to twin transfusion, was in hospital for 4 weeks, got and infection and pneumonia (which is common with emergency c's due to the tube in the throat) so had a horrible time after both and was in just as much pain after each.
    I know I have to have another c-section with any further pregnancies due to didephlys uterus and extremely weak pelvic floor, plus spinal issues, last time I was 37+6 next time I will have to be between 36-38 weeks because risk of going in to labour is life threatening to me (told to me by a gastroenterologist not ob/gyn). And I wish I could go natural.
    At the end of the day a good ob will weigh up the risks of both and tell you which one is going to be better for you (IMO). You personal health will play a big part in the end decision, so it's hard to say which would be "better".

  8. #8

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    my 2nd vaginal birth fixed some of the issues from my first birth's episiotomy and stitches. I did not have any stitches 2nd time around and my bits recovered more naturally.

    talking to a health care professional about your previous birth, and what might have contributed to your injuries, can help you to decide what you want to do this time.

    thinking of you as you work it out.

  9. #9

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    My first i had a 4th degree tear and an infection.

    Could not sit comfortably for many months!!!!

    But second time vb round recovered in 2 weeks. I kid you not.

    Every birth is different and i agree maybe discuss with your health care team.

    Either way the important thing is mim and bub is safe at the end of the day

  10. #10

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    Thanks ladies.

    Part of my problem is that I'm in Vietnam and I don't really have anyone to discuss things with! I'm flying home at 34 weeks and will meet my Australian "team" the following week.

    I'm just so tired with this pregnancy that I don't feel like I can cope with the same kind of recovery I had last time. This time around I'll have to keep getting up to deal with my four-year-old. And getting up was such torture last time round.

  11. #11

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    I had an emergency CS and ended up with I've antibiotics for an infection for weeks after. I was in terrible pain and couldn't even sleep in my bed for 3 weeks, bareable pain till about 3 months pp.

    I will be doing everything I can to avoid a CS next time round

  12. #12

    Default Re: Recover from CS (vs awful recovery from VB)

    I've had 3 ceasareans, 2 emergency and 1 elective and I would say that each time it took about 2 weeks for me to be pain free...the first 2 or 3 days being the worst. I found diclofenac to be an amazing painkiller.

    I do think that it depends on whether you manage to avoid wound infections. Second time despite a very long labour, category 1 cs and a big pph for which I had a transfusion I was back on the school run after 2 weeks and driving in 4 weeks.

    I do have some ongpong issues with adhesions but you can try abdominal scar massage to help that

  13. #13

    Default Re: Recover from CS (vs awful recovery from VB)

    I just saw my post from previous and thought i should add...

    I had another CS but this time a planned one and while recovery was still painful it was so so so much better than last time. Once my afterpains let up i found everything quite manageable.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Recover from CS (vs awful recovery from VB)

    I was another lucky one, with a fast recovery. I did recover well, hardly any pain killers and Christmas shopping a week after his birth.
    Thing to remember is that it IS major abdominal surgery and isn't without risk. It also puts you in a crap position for any future pregnancies if you want them as even if you decide to have another vaginal birth you'll be considered high risk as a vbac patient and have many restrictions.

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