Also..one thing to consider is that, like stretch marks, some women are just more prone to tearing because they have more or less elastic skin.....
I personally tore from butt to clit and sideways too....and did EVERYTHING "right" to try an not tear, took fish oil/flax oil during preg to increase flexibility of tissues, labored in water, no directed pushing, used hot compresses, etc, etc........but it was just not in the cards for me.......you could feel as she was crowning there was just no way.....my vagina was TINY before i had dd.....i had to stretch it open to get a tampon in there...with me putting 2 fingers in and stretching, the widest it would open was about 3 CMs. When dd crowned (15 inch head with NO MOLDING), i reached down and felt the skin just being stretched tauter than you can imagine anything stretching...and it was only about a 4cm wide opening...clearly only a small fraction of her head......it stayed that way for about 3 contrax (all my body pushing on it's own, a true "fetal ejection reflex!), i was not "trying" to push at all, i was in a full upright squat (standing on my feet, not lying in bed)) and on the 3rd or 4th contrax, with no ring of fire or anything, she just BURST out all at once and tore me to high hell. I felt the skin under my hand (i was providing my own perineal support) split in two....literally up through my clit all the way back to my rectum (but not INTO, thank god!!), and DEEP....at least an inch. It did not heal together, it healed "open", and now it's like a third set of labia, plus my clit is torn in half and there's like a cm of skin between my vaginal opening and rectum opening at the back. BUT, after having felt dd crowning, and the just extreme tautness but still such a ridiculously small opening, i **know** that tearing was the only way she was coming out. My skin was stretched to it's absolute limit, and still just not even close to big enough. So, i feel okay about it. I have no doubt or regret that i could have dome anything differently or better to have made me not tear. So i am at peace with it.
It took 10 months for sex to be not-excruciating, and now at 18 months, i just realized last night(TMI, lol!), it is actually pleasant again.
But, regardless of the fact i did tear horribly, i am still glad i didn't get an epis. For some reason, it is *okay* with me that i tore, but having been cut open just wouldn't have felt right. I can't really explain why, its just how i feel.