Hello Healing Mamas, your stories and community have been so helpful to me today - it's been a long hard road and this is day 5 after a reconstructive surgery and muscular repair. Your stories and strength are inspiring and it's a relief to find others struggling with the same feelings. Regrets and anger plague me daily and I'm afraid of how my body will be impacted for the rest of my life. It's true what another member posted previously - you never think it will happen to you.
I live in France and so much about my birthing mishaps had to do with miscommunication and misunderstanding and cultural difference. After 13 hours of labor, during which I was pressured into an epidural, and 15 minutes of pushing the obgyn yelled stop, said the baby was in distress and picked up the forceps without hesitation. I'm glad that my baby was safe and sound (save for a broken collar bone), but I'm still not convinced of the forceps necessity. The surgeon did not perform an episiotomy, but let me tear naturally - which at the time I preferred, had heard muscles will heal more strongly. But the tearing was more extensive than was repaired and the wound became infected and did not heal correctly. It took months to heal and after physical therapy I was feeling pretty good, but still having problems with fecal and gas incontinence (yuk!). It wasn't so extreme, but I met with a few surgeons that said this would require surgery sooner or later if I wanted the problem to improve and if I didn't have the surgery, the problem would become inevitably worse with my next pregnancy. So, I decided sooner rather than later is the way to go and last week underwent surgery. While he was repairing the sphincter muscle, he revised the entire perineum, which had basically healed as just one small, 2-3 cm stretch of skin with decently strong muscles beneath. I'll have to redo physical therapy and hopefully the perineum muscles will be just as strong as before. But, I have doubts that the surgery was successful, and I'm afraid that maybe this painful surgery wasn't worth it.
I'm trying really hard not to blame myself for not being a stronger self-advocate, for not making different choices, but I'm so angry with myself and the situation. And I'm afraid all this bodily trauma will mean I'm not strong enough to deliver my next baby and I'll have to do a c-section. Have any of you vaginally delivered after severe birthing trauma with extreme muscle tearing or episiotomy? I want to know if it's possible. I really pray that I can have a beautiful birthing experience, without surgical intervention next time. In the end, I just want more beautiful babies and a good quality of life, a healthy functioning body. I'm so scared and sad and mourning my body and the non-traumatic birth I was hoping for.