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Case study: Caesarean section - The side effects

MagazineSeptember 1993 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)Case study: Caesarean section - The side effects

The last two and a half years have been a nightmare since I was given an epidural which didn't work properly for my elective caesarean section

The last two and a half years have been a nightmare since I was given an epidural which didn't work properly for my elective caesarean section. I never dreamt this could happen. But the pain during the operation, before I let them put me under general anaesthetic (after seeing my little boy) was nothing to when I came round. The terrible loss I felt, the days of not being able to pass water, the fever when I came home, the three months of not being able to move because of the terrible pain under my ribs, not being able to walk properly as my legs were numb, followed by five months of severe pain. I have few happy memories of my son's babyhood.

I didn't realize until recently why I couldn't talk about what had happened, until after a year of hell, I saw a counsellor. Then I discovered that the "flashbacks" and fear were all part of post traumatic stress.It was two years after the birth of my son that I felt I was getting better emotionally. The physical pain is starting to get better since I've found the right treatment. An osteopath is manipulating my body back to normal and already the "pins and needles' in my lower half are a lot better. After all this time, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. It'll still take a long time to come to terms with everything and feel fully better and I'm still very bitter. I'll never feel able to have another baby, and that hurts more than anything. V J D, Powys......

We're so sorry to hear of your ordeal. Should you finally feel you'd like another baby, take heart that in the largest study of women given a caesarean after failure to progress, 75 per cent went on to have a vaginal delivery in the next pregnancy (S Clement, The Caesarean Experience, Pandora, 1991). Many midwives believe there is no such thing as an "elective" caesarean and that all births should be given a trial of labour. The Active Birth Centre (tel: 071 267 3006) can help you find a sympathetic midwife or hospital.

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