I had a classical c-section/vertical incision also. It was not really a big deal for my pregnancy with my son, except that he was born at 36+2 after an amnio to confirm lung maturity (but with mature lungs and at 7.4 lbs, he had no NICU time or issues and has never been really considered a preemie.) I had a regular c-section with him as they did not want to mess with my original incision (which apparently healed so well that my OB said she only knew it was there because she had delivered our daughter.) They have given me the okay to have another baby (which would be a 3rd c-section), and I'm hoping if all goes well another time, I might get the okay for one more. While it will get a little riskier with each c-section, I'm not really all that worried about it.
While the way you found out about it is certainly wrong, there isn't a whole lot of choice at 23 weeks. They usually *have* to do classical c-sections until 27ish weeks or so, the babies are still too small and not low enough for a regular c-section. So, the only alternative would have been to have an induction and vaginal birth, 23 weekers are usually too small to monitor during labor and delivery, and so if you had done that, your daughter very likely may have been stillborn. (We were actually given the choice to induce me with the acknowledgement that our daughter most likely would not be born alive, or a classical c-section-and the risks and issues of a vertical incision. We chose the classical c-section. One of the doctors I consulted with told me that she would have not given us the choice, that she would have "never allowed" me to have a c-section- I really resented that statement and did not go back to that doctor. I am really sorry that you were not given the option at least, I would have been very angry to later find out that I had not been given all of the information.)
Operative reports, in my experience, are not in the same records as regular OB medical records. I had to request that separately from the hospital when I was getting different consults. But my OB also made sure that I knew that I had had a vertical incision and made a very big deal about telling me that all future pregnancies would have to be c-sections, etc. That information definitely should have been given to you along the way.
(BTW, my second c-section was an extremely easy recovery. I wasn't even taking tylenol by the time I left the hospital, it wasn't a big deal at all. I personally much prefer c-sections over having a vaginal birth, although I guess I can't really compare since I've never had a vaginal birth.)
Me (29) DH (30)
#1-Olivia Caetlyn-9-28-09-9-28-09, 23+2 wks, emergency classic c-section, class I HELLP, IUGR
#2- Lucas Oliver (rainbow baby)- April 2011, 36+2 wks, HELLP and pre-e free! (lovenox and LDA pregnancy)
#3-Matthew, late October 2012...mostly normal, 37 wks, (lovenox and LDA again)
My blog: http://www.butterflies-and-rainbows.blogspot.com/