4th Degree Tearing in childbirth - Anybody else out there have this happen?

Dayna - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 44 moms have responded )

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I had a 4th degree tear with my second son and this was an incredibly difficult experience for me and my family. My son was 8lb(3650kg) so an average weight and I did have him at home with 2 midwifes to help. They have spoken with me numerous times about it and have always said that my labour wasnt fast and went very smoothly and they were very surprised at the result. I had nearly 100 stitches and they basically had to rebuild the sphincter muscle for me to have full use in that area. It took just over 5 months for the stitches to heal and within this time I was back and forth to my doctor and hospital with not a huge amount of support. No one apart from a specialist was able to reassure me that things would heal. I wish that I had been given some sound advice at the beginning and realistic time frames in regards to how long it would take to heal.

This was an extremely traumatic ordeal and to this day when i think about the birth it comes with alot of negative and overwhelming feelings.

Luckily this didnt affect my bond with my son and I didnt suffer from PND which Im still amazed about. I had alot of help from family thanks goodness.

Basically I would just like to know if any other woman have had this happen to them and if they have gone on to have other babys naturally or opted for C/Sec.

Thanks for reading
Dayna

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Julie - posted on 04/12/2010

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I tore from one end to the other with my 5th baby. I live in Utah, but I was in Illinois for my dad's funeral. The morning of the funeral I woke up and my water broke. I decided to attend the funeral anyway because I had promised my dad I would sing his favorite hymn and give his life sketch. So I put on an overnight pad and shoved my purse full with as many more as I could fit and attended the funeral and cemetery services. Then I went to the luncheon because I knew as soon as I went to the hospital they wouldn't let me eat and I was starving. Afterwards I quietly told my sister what was going on so she could take my other children and my husband and I quietly snuck out and headed for the hospital. After an hour of monitoring and an exam and no contractions still, the doctor decided he wanted to induce labor with Pitocin. When the nurse came in to put it in my I.V. along with antibiotics because my records didn't show the results of my Group B Strep test, I told her I thought I was feeling mild contractions. She checked the monitor and said indeed I was having small contractions. She spoke with the doctor, but he still wanted me to have Pitocin, but the nurse said she would give me the smallest amount to see if that would just help things along and I could labor myself. An hour later the doctor came and without even checking my dilation he decided to up the Pitocin. After he left I began experiencing the most excruciating contractions of my life. I would say they were stronger than the contractions of all 4 of my previous labors put together. They were so strong my whole body was being thrown forward off the end of the bed. My husband had to hang onto me so I didn't fall off the bed. When the nurse came in I begged for an epidural. She checked me and said I was in transition and so I couldn't have one. When the next nurse came to check on me I really thought I was going to die during childbirth and begged for anything to take the edge off the pain. She checked me again and said I was at 10 and so I couldn't have anything. The doctor came a little while later and he barely sat on the stool and my 6 lb. 15 oz. baby girl came flying out. I didn't push or anything. He barely could hang onto her. She was my only baby that was not laid directly on my chest. They took her off to the side to start assessing and cleaning up. The doctor administered a local and began to sew up my tear. I could feel the needle burning as he stuck it in and I screamed for him to stop. He administered a 2nd local and tried again and I could still feel the searing pain. He administered a 3rd local and I screamed louder for him to stop and that I could feel the needle. He yelled,"Will someone get this woman some Stadol?" After that was administered I no longer felt the pain as he stitched me up, but I had a bad reaction to the narcotic so I was extremely dizzy and vomiting and it was not until quite some time later that I was able to see my baby. While in the hospital I didn't realize how bad the tear was because I was being giving Percoset. When the doctor came to check me out of the hospital and write me a scrip for painkillers, I said I only needed 800 mg. Ibuprofen because that's all I ever had after having a baby and I did fine. However I never gave birth and had to travel 1700 miles home by car before. She told me I would need to sit on a donut so I wasn't sitting on my stitches. I was in excruciating pain. We got as far as Davenport, Iowa and my feet had such bad edema that blisters were forming on the top of my feet and I was bleeding through everything. So we went to the E.R. My blood pressure was sky high. The e.r. doc gave me Bandaids and triple antibiotic ointment to put on the blisters, told me to keep my feet elevated and sent me on my way. A little tricky to the the latter while riding in a van full of people. The whole trip was excruciating. Every time we stopped to for me to nurse the baby and I would use the restroom to change my pad, I could hardly walk because I was in so much pain. It took us 4 days to get home. I called my doctor when I got home and he put me on blood pressure medication which took away the edema. When I told him my birth experience he was astounded. He said that doctor should have slowed things down and controlled my labor and delivery. He said that's why I tore so badly. He said without being there it was hard to say, but that the doc was probably anxious to get to a golf game or something. It took a long time to heal and ever since I have had horrible problems with incontinence. I've never had surgery because no one has ever mentioned that to me.

I did go on to have another baby 6 years later. I was so scared because again my water broke and after several hours of monitoring, I never went into labor. When the nurse mentioned starting Pitocin I said no. I relayed my previous experience and she said she totally understood and it was my decision. She said if I decided to do it they would make sure it was slow and controlled and that I could have an epidural from the beginning. It took another couple hours of nothing happening before I finally decided to let them administer Pitocin. I experienced some intense contractions for about a half hour before the anesthesiologist was able to come back and up the medicine in the Epidural, but nothing like with my 5th baby. Since I was only 36 weeks, my baby was only 5 lbs. 13 oz. and I know I didn't tear, but I can't remember if I had a small episiotomy or not. Anyway I think given enough time we forget the trauma we have to go through to bring these beautiful babies to our family, well enough to try again if that's what you want:)

Julie - posted on 10/31/2011

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ok, wow..... dayna i had the same thing happen to me (3rd child, 8lb 4oz). i've had such a difficult time healing & feeling "normal" this was 11 weeks ago & i still don't feel "right" yet. I had two great docs stitch me up, took almost 2 hours before i was able to hold my baby girl..... been very traumatic & i think i've suffered some major baby blues because of it. very nervous about sex....tried once, didn't go so swell. just not feeling so sexy with these issues. i enjoy thinking back to the births of both my boys, but this one tends to make me feel a little sad & wondering if anything could've been done to prevent things. i do so hope i am able to regain a normal feeling again. i've been told it could take at least 3 months for it to heal & i'm almost there.... been back & forth to doctors & specialists who say things are healing well, but still feel pain where there's scar tissue i believe. things do seem to be working properly (still on softners twice a day though).
i was told if i ever had more to have a c-section...but i'm done lol
i see this post was a year ago...oops. hopefully you'll see this so that you can tell me how you are doing now after so long =) i could use some encouraging words that it will get better. thanks.

Christina - posted on 03/17/2012

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i know how u feel my 3rd delivery felt like hell, but the dr. was so sure i could just push like superwoman,and my son got stuck 9lbs, he suffers from brachial plexus injury, not much use in his arm now.

De Lyn - posted on 04/16/2010

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I should also add that the nerve damage to my daughter resolved quickly. Don't want to totally scare people away from forceps...but I wouldn't go for it again. That delivery was just a panicky mess during which I was mostly incoherent. As soon as I heard her crying, I knew it was going to be ok.

[deleted account]

Hello there, I really sympathize with you although i had a second degree tear For me was also traumatic especially because in the maternity course i was told it was my right to ask for it in labor, however it was denied to me in the spot..i felt cheated!
I'm trying for second one now and I will be more than explicit Every time I'll have a chance (I cant afford private insurance)

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Angela - posted on 05/16/2011

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omg really it took 5 months to heal, my 4th degree tear went un noticed for 6 weeks hav 2 wait 6 months 2 heal then get an arfifical anal sphinter replaced ouch good grief how was the op???? x

De Lyn - posted on 04/16/2010

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I had the tear due to a (2nd) child with the cord wrapped around her shoulders, losing her heartbeat with every contraction and me losing blood pressure...and a very panicked doctor who was covering for my doc while he was on vacation. He used emergency forceps, causing the tear and cranial nerve damage to my daughter, when an emergency C-section would have probably been more appropriate. But what's done is done. I had reconstructive surgery 6 weeks later because of full bowel incontinence. (Sorry for the TMI, but true.) I opted (ok, demanded) a C-section with my 3rd child. I was too scared that any more damage to the area could be permanent. I had asked my OB doc if there was anything I should know/do if we did have any more children down the line. (We were moving.) He paused, then said, "Have a C-section."

Everything may have been fine with another vaginal delivery, but *I* was too scared to take the chance. As far as healing, everything has gone well. I do feel the area is becoming weaker as time goes on, but that could be age.

It was a good thing that I had a C-section with my last child. All 3 of my kiddos had that cord wrapped around their shoulders. It was a bit of drama that we bypassed with the scheduled C-section.

Allison - posted on 04/16/2010

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Virginia - My scar tissue felt weird for a couple of years, sometimes hurt or even tore a tiny bit during sex. But it did get better with time and in my experience more sex helped it stretch out and feel normal again. But we did NOT do it very often for those two years (maybe once or twice a month). Now 3 years out the scar tissue doesn't feel weird at all, and like I said things actually feel better than before. Again, I really think my OB did a great job fixing it. Since you guys are trying a lot I bet it will get better and better. I know 2 years probably seems like a long time...but hang in there, and I hope it it won't take so long for you.

Virginia - posted on 04/16/2010

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We had a very active sex life before I got pregnant so it is weird for us not to be intimate with each other. So we are trying all kinds of lubricants etc to try to make it work. I think I was sewn up extra tight to make things worse. Scar tissue does not stretch easily. He says "You're like a virgin again" (typical guy) It is, but losing my virginity was way less painful. I figure its not going to get any easier or less painful not at least trying to do it. I would like to enjoy sex again in the near future.

Julie - posted on 04/15/2010

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I find it very interesting those of you that said you felt being induced caused your bad tearing. It makes a lot of sense. I do feel though since I had a good induction experience after the bad one, that it makes a huge difference how it's done. I vowed to never be induced again, but I live in Utah which I think delivers more babies than anywhere else in the U.S. so they are experts and so my last induction was controlled and I think the epidural kept me relaxed which I think helped a lot as well. I hope if I don't go into labor on my own next time that I can have an experience like the last one and not like my Illinois experience.

Allison - posted on 04/15/2010

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Hi Dayna, I can definitely relate with the traumatic feelings. I got fairly good support from my OB and midwife regarding the tearing, so my trauma was actually about the hemmorhage and terrible ER and post-partum hospital experience I had. I start shaking every time I talk about it, and it's been 3 years. I feel it's more like PTSD than just anxiety, and I wondered if you had the same feeling. Anyway, each time I talk about it, it gets a little better, and I actually find circle of moms a really helpful place to talk about it a lot and find similar stories, two things I haven't been able to find among friends and family. It definitely affects many parts of my life and marriage, and I found that professional counseling really helped, so if you want to chat about it more I'd be more than happy to. Time heals all things :)

Dayna - posted on 04/15/2010

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Virginia I was thinking the same thing as Allison! Its nearly 17 months now and I havent had the guts to try. The longer you leave it the harder it has become for me. Im not just physically nervous. Im emotionally terrified and its been quite hard to "reconnect" those sorts of feelings down there. I have become very used to associating it with something very traumatic.

You ladies are very encouraging.

Allison - posted on 04/15/2010

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Wow, Virgnia, sex at 5 months out sounds very brave after a bad tear, so kudos to you for trying :) I think it was 7-8 months for me.

Virginia - posted on 04/15/2010

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I had a 4th degree episiotomy with my first child almost 5 months ago and I still haven't had the guts to look at the scars. I tore all the way to my rectum. My little boy was 9lbs11oz and got stuck on my pelvic bone. I can count how many times I have had sex with his father since then on one hand. I thought I was the only one.

Allison - posted on 04/14/2010

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Don't know the degree of mine, but probably 3rd degree, almost through my rectum, as well. Had a wonderful (planned) home birth, 9lb. 7 oz. boy, with an experienced midwife, but afterward had a severe (class IV) post-partum hemmorhage - from my uterus, though, nothing to do with the tear.



After they stopped the bleeding at the hospital, I was stitched up, but had 2 months of recovery with blood transfusions, D&C, etc, so the tissue never healed. I also had the "granulation tissue". So at 3 months post-partum I went for reconstructive surgery on my perineum and they had to remove all the granulation tissue. I went under general anesthesia for that, though. It took a few more months before I was back to normal, but now it is really fine - sex is even better than before :) I thank my OB for her skills!!!



I'm nervous about tearing or PP hemmorhage again, so I will probably wait another two years (my son is 3 now), also because of my career. But I will definitely go vaginal birth again if everything checks out normal, hopefully at home but possibly with a hospital or birth center midwife, as the whole birth process was very smooth, very peaceful, intervention and drug free and complication-free until post-partum. My son was super healthy and strong (Apgar 10 at birth), and my midwife helped me breastfeed successfully even though I couldn't really start until day five!!!



All of my OBs (had several different ones post-partum) said that the midwife did a wonderful job, and said she did all the right things medically, so things would have likely turned out the same if I had birthed in the hospital. But I'm certain they would have encouraged way more interventions for my big (overdue) baby, which probably wouldn't have helped with any of my issues (OB agreed), and I suspect would have only made things more difficult. (I'm in the US) Hope that is encouraging :)

Jaime - posted on 04/14/2010

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FYI your child was not 3650 kg that would be 8,030 lbs your child was 3650 grams anyway I am very sorry to hear that you had to go through this I work in L&D and truley believe that you will heal and put this all behind you! Good Luck!

[deleted account]

wow, pretty much all I can say..oh and ouch lol. I thought I had it bad on my second child, I had a measly 3 stitches, and thought that was sore enough, so I really feel for you ladies out there who have had it so bad.

I've birthed 5 children, but have 4. All done naturally, first with nothing at all, the last 4 with oxygen gas mix. The longest I've been in labour for was 4 hours, the shortest 1 hour 40mins, funnily enough that was my 3rd, and the only time I had stitches.

I birth really fast, very lucky. the worst thing for me was telling the midwifes I birth really fast, and they say yes yes, we understand, but are then subsequently shocked at how fast. With my 4th, my son, I said I need to push, one push and he was there, the midwife never even had a chance to get her gloves on, as prior to that I was on my knees sucking on the gas.

With our last one, again, I said pressure, and promptly passed out lol, I came to and Grace was on my chest with people slapping my face and an oxygen mask on.

The worst thing I suffer from is Pre eclampsia, but unusually not in the first 3 pregnancies at all. Only in the last 2, and the last one was worse than the one before, she was born 3 weeks early, our son 2 weeks early.

I have been told I will suffer from it earlier if I have more, as we had battled it for 5 weeks before Grace was born 3 weeks early, I was at stroke levels...

but none of that compares to over 100 stitches down there....ouch ouch ouch...if you have more without c sections, you are braver than me and I take my hat off to you ladies out there willing to risk that

Anita - posted on 04/14/2010

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Wow, how traumatic and painful that must have been. I've never even heard of that happening. God Bless you and I hope you have healed well.

Chantel - posted on 04/14/2010

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Hello - I too had a 4th degree tear. I was induced and when it came time to push I believe the direct works from the doctor were "You better hurry up and push because I have someone else in the next room and if we don't get this baby out I will have to do a c-section." Now I wish I would have told her to go ahead. The cord was wrapped around my little boys neck and I know they had to hurry to get him out, but I believe I was rushed and it was the most horrific experience of my life. I then "retore" and he to be sewn back up. I was pg again two years later and had a NEW doctor (love her) who told me my best bet was to have a c-section because if I were to "tear again" this could cause much bigger problems down the road. I went with the c-section and never looked back. It was 110% easier than what I had experienced with my first pregnancy and labor and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Helga - posted on 04/14/2010

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Hi I am sorry to hear about your experience! it sounds like you had a very rough time with it! I had 3rd degree tearing with my first one, it was only 3rd degree because they couldn't stitch as much as was probably needed, but it tore in 4 directions so pretty bad. To say that my nether region now looks more like the Grand Canyon would be an understatement! Luckily though it was mostly skin and deep tissue but no muscle, so from that point I was lucky...My first daughter weighed 8.9 pounds and it was a long drawn out delivery 31hrs and during delivery my right hip dislocated but that just tells me my hips weren't wide enough for my daughter to pass through.
Well let me tell you that it took me 9-12 months to get to a place where I felt like I was healing. I couldn't let anyone near me in that region and it felt very painfull and sore for at least a year. But from a positive point I went on to have 3 more children naturally!!!
I tore a bit with the next 2, basically the previous stitched area tore again and some more but the difference was that it took less stitching each time and by my 3 child I was kind of "used" to it tearing so it wasn't so traumatic. My second child was 10.11 by the way and got her shoulder stuck so it was actually a surprise that I didn't just tear in half : ) But basically I would say, if you want to have more children, do. I would recommend you to try naturally unless off course the doctors advice you not to in case it might affect your internal muscle that was re-built before. Also I think it's imperative to do labour in hospital if there have been prior complications with a homebirth, to be honest I have heard so many horror storys from homebirths that I wouldn't recommend it for anyone! I think midwives in most cases can handle a textbook "easy" labour at home but anything else they seam to fall appart and makes serious misstakes, sometimes in pure stubborness they do not send the labouring woman into hospital half delivered!
In regards to PND I didn't think I had it but when I was pregnant with my second it became obvious very quickly to my then midwife who was looking after me that I had suffered undiagnosed PND after that first delivery and she gave me the best care and support during all my pregnancy as a result. I even had councelling for 16 weeks during my second pregnancy to avoid falling into PND or even pre-ND and it's the best thing I have ever done! I think those councelling sessions had a big part in me going on to have the other 2 children after that and the healing I did emotionally was all down to the councelling.
Well I wish you the best of luck, remember time IS the greatest healer and having a loving a supportive and understanding partner also helps.
Take care of yourself , kind regards
Helga

Joanna - posted on 04/13/2010

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I haven't personally experienced this, however I wanted to thank everyone for posting here with their stories...

my husband's friend and his wife are going through a seperation (they have a 9 month old girl). He recently told me about how she had really bad tearing, and had to have a surgery but the surgery didn't take, and that it all had to heal open, no stitches... so needless to say she was traumatized and depressed. I couldn't imagine going through something like that, and I can see now why they are in the midst of seperating, from what she's said and from what I've read here, it is simply traumatizing and can hurt a woman's self-esteem. She doesn't want to even look at herself.

So I am going to take what I've read here and talk to her about it, and see if she can open up to me, because I think maybe that's what she needs is some support.

Sheila - posted on 04/13/2010

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I tore almost completely to the rectum with my first child. The healing process seemed to go smoothly, and I was cleared for all activities I believe at my 6 week post natal visit. My next delivery was c-section, but only because one of my twins was breech. To this day, I believe that the reason for my tearing is because my labor was induced, and my body was not prepared to properly deliver. My suggestion is to avoid being induced at all costs. If I had it to do over again, I would beg for bed rest rather than be induced. For the record, if I do give birth again, which my husband and I haven't decided at this point, I will push for natural, non-induced child birth. My labor with my twins was much easier than with my son, and when the doc said that we had to get into the operating room due to heavy laboring, I wasn't feeling anything.

Dayna - posted on 04/12/2010

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Thanks Kim

I had totally considered having 3 kids before this ordeal and its quite encouraging to hear how you came through your c section. Nothing is as bad as healing for 6 months huh!!

Thanks for sharing what happened. It seems everyone has had a bad birthing storey as to why they tore so bad where as my baby came out really smoothly I thought. I only had to push for 20 minutes and out he came. Thats was one thing to be thankful for that he was never in danger.

Thanks Again

Kim - posted on 04/11/2010

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The birth of my daughter was very traumatic, I had approx 140 stitches. I had 2 obs stitching me up, they were telling me it was like a puzzle they had to put together. My daughter was 9lbs 8oz, her shoulder got caught under my pelvic bone - she needed oxygen 3times and was in neo-natal for 5 days. My recovery was 6 mths. I had a c-section for my 2nd child - I told my dr that I didn't want to take a chance for that to happen again. I was up walking that night home in 2 days and myself again in 3 weeks.

Dayna - posted on 04/11/2010

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Hey Laura



I know a few woman who have not torn as badly as me, but when repaired... they almost stiched them up a little too tightly which has caused problems with sex and one friend in particular was told to have her second baby and then she will need to be booked in for reconstructive surgery. I used to be so so so pro vaginal birth and couldnt understand why anyone would opt for a C section, now I do understand both sides alot more. I have friends who deliver 8/9lb babys without even a graze and I thank god that they had a great delivery and in the same breath wonder why its okay for them but not for some of us.



Stay positive though because there are definately things that can be done to fix down there although it will involve more stitches in the end it will be worth it. I think even just talking to professionals about it will help.



Dayna



PS - sounds like alot of work for a second degree tear, must have been a really bad! For my second degree tear i only needed 4 stitches. It felt uncomfortable for a little while but nothing major... It sounds like it could have been borderline 3rd degree?.. Im also with you in the whole baby department... Ive been blessed with 2 but both with problems... thats definately enough here. We were lucky to not have any issues getting pregnant though. One is definately a blessing for anyone though isnt it.

Laura - posted on 04/11/2010

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I had a second degree tear with my daughter as she turned from face up to face down as she came out (back labor really really hurts). She was also almost 2lbs bigger then I was told she was going to be. I'm not sure how many stitches I had but it took almost an hour to stitch me up. It still hasn't healed properly; I have a funny scar ridge that makes sex next to impossible without pain and it's almost 18 months later!

As I wasn't even supposed to be able to conceive let alone carry a child to term, I'm taking this as a sign to not even bother trying again. I will, once my husband is finished with working away, see if there's any way to fix the damage.

Jess - posted on 04/11/2010

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My tear was no where near as bad as yours. My tear started from the top of the vagina all the way up, its caused the clitourous to detached and tear in half. I have no idea how many stitches it took to get everything back together, I didn't ask ! I hate how it looks now. I can see the scar, I use to pay someone to do my waxing... not anymore ! At first I was scared the wound would re-open and now I'm just too ashamed of how I look down there ! It didn't all go back into place. Its all home wax kits for me now. My daughter was only 4 pounds. I'm sure I would have split in half had I had a 9 pound baby.

Caitlyn - posted on 04/11/2010

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I had a second degree tear and it took severall months to heal. I kept going back and forth to the doctor also b/c of other issues. My husband and I did not have sex until my son was seven months old and even then it has taken a while for sex to feel somewhat pleasurable. My son was 9lbs 3 oz when I was born and the nurse told me afterwards that I should have a csection the next time around. At my 6 week appt. I was told I should not gain as much weight (35lbs) the next time around. If it caused that much damage I would say a csection might be best but then again you have to do what you are comfortable with. Best regards!

Dayna - posted on 04/10/2010

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Wow thanks for so many of you sharing your storys. Its unfortunate but good for me at the same time to hear about your experiences. Im not entirely sure about what went wrong as I have said but with my first baby who was 7 weeks early and weighed 4lb13oz I also had a second degree .. so the midwife and doctor have both suggested a c section next time... I have really great pregnancys until the birth it seems!!

Its been over a year and Im still not brave enough to take downstairs for a test run... but for most of what you have said it never really feels the same. Thats the next big obsticale to get through.

Dina... you said your husband is a surgeon and now... after hearing so many awful stories about recovery downstairs and going through it myself I just dont think I could emotionally manage a vaginal birth again. healing down there is so different to anywhere else on your body.

Anyway thanks again to all of you who responded the encourging words have done wonders for me!!

Take care and hope all your babys big and small are well!

Dayna

Jen - posted on 04/10/2010

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i had a 3rd degree tear oh dont know how u coped with tht many stiches i couldnt get out of bed for 2 weeks couldnt walk up or down starirs had to walk like a snail if i went out n then would get people moaning. its was soo painful

Michelle - posted on 04/10/2010

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I had third degree tearing with my son after a 24 hour labor and 2.5 hours of pushing. He was only 6lbs, but he was SO early he hadn't dropped or turned and I needed foreceps. I am not sure how many stitches, but I do know that took forever to stitch up and I ended up having 2 blood transfusions due to blood loss.

It sounds like your tearing was MUCH worse than mine, but I do partially understand your fear and pain.

I am expecting number 2 in a few short weeks and I was very vocal with my new OB that I was worried about tearing like that again. My OB reassured me that will most likely not happen again. My situation was not normal at all and I am sure that it contributed to my issues, but she said that on subsequent births they can usually work around scar tissue and prevent tearing.

Talk to your care provider and discuss your concerns. S/he may be able to reassure you one way or the other.

Dana - posted on 04/09/2010

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Dayna,
I had a 3rd degree tear when I had my daughter (10lbs12oz), so definitely not as bad as yours, but I hear you on the pain after! I delivered my son vaginally almost 3 years after I had my daughter and had only the tiniest episiotomy right at the last second. What I think really helped were definitely the Kegel exercises to get things back in shape and also my obstetrician the 2nd time around recommended massaging and stretching the area back of the vagina (can't think of the right name...perinium, maybe?) starting about 3 months before your due date. He said it would help the skin to be more flexible and he was right. I think the second time I only had a couple of stitches. As for support, I don't think there's much out there, you're right on that one. You've probably done the very best thing by reaching out to the Circle of Moms...there are so many helpful ladies out there and you know all the stories and tips are from real people who have been there. All the best!

Danielle - posted on 04/09/2010

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Hi Dayna
My firstborn was an 11 lb 12 oz boy and turned wrong way with cord wrapped around his neck and with each contraction they lost his heart beat. I was in hard hard labour for 12 straight hours and they wouldn't give me anything for the pain but some oxygen/gas mix....He ended up ripping me about 3 1/2 inches before they finally cut me with no freezing....not quite as bad as you by sounds of it but a horrible experience and the pain was unreal....two weeks after his birth we were to move from B.C. to Alberta and there was no way I could sit in an airplane nevermind the moving truck....Needless to say I moved with new baby about 4 weeks later but was till in major pain for about 6 months after he was born. I went on to have 2 more children (much smaller). One was almost 2 years later and the other 6 years after that one. They are all fine and I have a close bond with my eldest who is now 23!!. Good luck and all the best and I hope you will be okay. Hang in there.

Lada - posted on 04/09/2010

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Why didn't those nurses snip the area? my doctor could tell that the babies head was too big. My baby was 3.678 kgs so a little bigger. yes even with the snip it took 4months of healing and for sex till this day a little sore sometimes. maybe next time have baby at hosital as this mid wives did a wrong thing i would sue

Erin - posted on 04/09/2010

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I had my first son In July 09 weighing only 7lbs 3 ozs. I had a class 4 tear and it took 45 min so sew up as well! Then things didn't heal right and they had to use silver nitrate to burn off the grainulated tissue that healed wrong. The drs. said it wouldn't hurt but holy goodness don't believe them! I didn't have any pain meds during labor and that silver nitrate hurt WAY worse to me! It took me 6 1/2 months to recover. But I feel that I am pretty much back to normal after the whole ordeal. Luckily just in time before my husband had to deploy to Iraq! They said they would recommend a c-sec for next time though, which I am terrified to get!

Jessica - posted on 04/09/2010

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I had my 2nd son January 2010. He was a normal 7lbs 13 ozs. But was born sunny side up. I had over 100 stitches and took about 45 min to sew up. Healing was fairly easy for me as far as the stitches but I do not feel that things are normal down there. I have accidently peed on myself a time or to for lack of muscle control. Still have yet to have sex so not sure how that will feel.

Dina - posted on 04/09/2010

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I had a 4th degree tear with my first child. She was 7lbs 12oz. It took a while for me to heal and I still don't feel like anything is normal down there. I had my son in July '09 and I opted for a c-section. My doctor had given me the choice between the c-sec or natural delivery. She said that if I wanted a vaginal delivery it would be better for me to go a little early when the baby was about 6lbs, and they would induce me. I decided it would be better with a c-sec because I didn't want my baby to be delivered so early and I was scared to tear again. My husband is a surgeon and he told me some stories about women that have torn and surgeries they had to have after. Needless to say, I didn't want to go through with that.

Katie - posted on 04/09/2010

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Oh yeah...my first son was 8# 11 1/2 oz...doc had to insert scissors in both areas and cut; I tore further up. 45 minutes later, he was finished sewing and they wanted to transfuse me for the blood loss but I refused because of my fear of AIDS back then (Arthur Ash had died of that). My doc did a great job of reconstruction but it did take a long, long time to heal. I had two more sons after that with less damage but still had to be cut. I'm fine now. Youngest is 12 and life got back to a normal pace fairly quickly after each. Keigels; absolutely do Keigels or you'll end up peeing yourself when you're older. ;-)

Tracy - posted on 04/09/2010

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I had a 4th degree tear with my son in 2001 (10.6 lbs), but it also went UP. It took about a year to fully heal. It was a difficult, scary birthing. The boy got hung up on my pelvic bone, so I almost had to have an emergency C section.



A few years later in 2006 I had an EASY labor/birth with my daughter, though. She was a very normal 7.8 lbs, three pushes and we were done. I wish everyone could have a L & D that easy!



One thing, Keigels. They have been the best thing ever! Even after having such a large boy and everything, those exercises made me very nearly as good as new again! HA!

Stacie - posted on 04/09/2010

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Mine was not that severe, but just FYI, if you are having difficulty with pain or pelvic floor control due to this, know that there are Physical Therapists that specialize in pelvic pain and incontinence which are often times related to problems through childbirth such as yours. The results are usually very good especially with younger women.

[deleted account]

I also had a grade 4 tear due to the fact that I went from 3cm to 10 cm in 17 minutes and then they had to use forceps and the vaccuum because my daughter had been pushed crooked. I didn't ask how many stitches because I really didn't want to know but my poor husband was freaked out because he said it looked like they were sewing me up with cooking twine.

I am still numb between my vagina and my sphincter (although everything seems to be working normally) and sex is in no way as 'stimulating' as it was. I needed physiotherapy to help with my pelvic floor and that's not as grand as it used to be either.

Having said all of that though I am in the process of trying for number 2 and it hadn't even occured to me that I wouldn't have a vaginal delivery.

Kathy - posted on 04/08/2010

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My friend had this happen with the birth of her first daughter, She ended up having four more daugters vaginally. From her first to last, she went naturally with no pain meds and each time was faster than her last.

Morgan - posted on 04/08/2010

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I had 3rd degree tears with my daughter who was only 7 pounds due to the forceps that they used before she had even crowned,
I only had 33 stiches so I cant imagine how 100 would have felt.
Glad to hear your healing well and that it dident effect your bond with baby :) I told myself for weeks after my Daughter was born I would NEVER put myself through that again.......But I will :)
In regards to support I am sorry you dident have much, My doctor was very helpful in reassuring me that I would heal but couldent tell me how long it would take as every body is diffrent, he said to expect 3-4 months and I healed in 5 weeks, so its really all on your body.
some of us just have it harder, but its still so worth it!!!
were I am you cant have a c-sec unless its for medical reasons :(
so I'll be going natrual again next time.

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