I had my first baby 16 months ago after a long (but typical) labor. My DH and I had taken Bradley classes in preparation for the birth, and this method helped me to achieve my goal of delivering my DD without any medication. However, I suffered a severe 4th degree tear that took me months to recover from, and I still feel occasional discomfort from it even today. According to my doctor, this was no normal tear because it severed through all the tissue and the muscle. In fact, she said that it was the worst tear that she or anyone in her practice had ever seen, which is why they referred to me as the "6th degree." A few hours after delivery, I even had to be put in CCU to receive a blood transfusion because of all the blood loss. Thankfully, I healed amazingly well because my OB told me (well after I had mostly healed) that she had fully expected me to need further surgery in order for my body to function properly. But even though I did heal really well, knowing how severe this tear was and what could have happened really scares me in thinking about having another baby.
My OB, of course, has told me that she thinks that I should have a c-section with any other children because she can't see a reason for my tear. She said that my pushing was controlled and that there was nothing to indicate a reason for this awful tearing. Therefore, she believes that my body would do this every time. The problem is that I've been reading a lot of different material about birth because I'm studying to be Bradley teacher, and this just doesn't match up with anything that I'm reading. So, I'm beginning to think that maybe there was something that could have been done to prevent my tear. However, I'm still terrified of this happening again, regardless of what I do. My DH wants to try to have another baby in the next several months (and I want to as well), but I just don't know how I could get through it if this (or even worse) happened again. Have any of you experienced severe tears with your first baby, but had better experiences with subsequent deliveries? Is there a certain pushing position or technique that you believed prevented a severe tear? Thanks so much for reading.