4th degree tear followed by 3 repairs
Thank you so much for all of your posts, I have read every last one of them. They have given me hope that I too can have another vaginal birth for any future babes after my 4th degree tear.
I had a home birth with my DS who is now just over 2 years old.
During one of my squats my MW checked for the head and she told me to reach up and feel and that I should push if I wanted to. Well, I didn't want to, but at that point I knew that it would be over sooner if I just pushed. It makes me so angry to look back at how much they were encouraging me to push without actually telling me to. Even though I had been very clear about not wanting her to guide me at all during all our prenatal visits.
I ended up with a BAD 4th degree tear. Some doctors that saw it said that it was worse than a 4th degree tear, although I don't know how that's possible. I tore through the anus 3/4 of the way back, through the internal and external sphincter.
My MW stitched me up and my stitches came apart 1 week later and my MW referred me to an Ob/Gyn who stitched me up in her office 2 days later. I would have rather delivered 10 more babies without drugs than have gone through that. Especially because the stitches came apart again 3 days later.
At that point I knew I couldn't go through that again. I spent the next two years interviewing OBs, colorectal surgeons, MWs. I even asked Ina May Gaskin her opinion on the matter. I researched countless articles about pelvic floor injuries during birth. How they happen, when they happen, what are the chances of their happening again. It seemed that a home birth without intervention was the least likely way to end up with a 4th degree and yet, I had one. I started thinking it was my body's fault, that my perineum was too small. Every OB and surgeon I spoke to said that I would definitely need a c-section for subsequent births if I had the repair. Every MW said...I would be fine and could avoid another tear. Although many of them had not attended a birth following a 4th degree tear, without a subsequent tear. I didn't know what to think!
When I talked to my MW about it she agreed that squatting might not have been the best position for me, and that I didn't have any swelling to indicate that I might tear.
I finally, somewhat reluctantly, agreed to surgery, in January 2008. I knew that I could not continue with the fecal and gas incontinence, and I was afraid that delivering a subsequent baby without any perineum to slow the baby down could cause more damage to my pelvic floor.
My surgeon was worried about the outcome of the surgery because he felt like my tissue had been so damaged with the two previous repairs. He did an overlapping repair on the anus, sphinteroplasty, perineoplasty...anyway, that's what it says on the report. The recovery was almost impossibly painful. And three months later when he said I was completely healed I thought he must be joking. I was in so much pain.
I had a short perineum to begin with, but now, I feel like it's almost non-existent. I'm currently seeing a pelvic floor PT, and I'm getting great results in terms of scar mobilization, pain relief (almost pain free!!) and pelvic floor strength.
I'm feeling much more positive about getting pregnant again and delivering my next baby vaginally and at home again (with a different midwife!), especially after reading so many positive stories.
Thank you again for your posts and for being a safe place to discuss something like this.
:, mother of
:, loving husband D