Forcep delivery

(24 Posts)
Karasmummy Thu 31-Jan-13 15:23:55

I had to be induced at 38 weeks because of diabetes, to cut a long story short I had a terrible and very long labour with numerous problems, In the end I had to have a forcep delivery and an episiotomy. (baby was stuck and had the cord around her neck)
Since the labour which was 7 weeks ago I have discovered that I can't control my bowel functions, I have had numerous "accidents" and I can't keep in gas either, I was told this would get better and I should give it at least 6 weeks.
Obviously it is not getting better, I was wondering has anyone else had this problem? Did it get better or did you have to have treatment/surgery?
I am very angry as I have since done some research and forceps are notorious for causing incontinence so why was I not warned? Or offered a c-section instead?

cravingcake Thu 31-Jan-13 16:18:48

Congratulations on your DD. Unfortunately a lot of us have ended up with problems that we were not warned about. There's a thread in the general health section 'Calling all RAGGEDIES...' We are a friendly bunch who have all had a lot of problems. Not sure if its quite the right thread for you and there is another which is very good for those with childbirth injuries (sorry cant remember the name of it) but at least you know you are not alone.

Firstly, phone your gp and get an appointment. They will probably refer you to see a specialist or gynae consultant. You should also be able to see a physio to help you with your pelvic floor. The only thing I will say is that at only 7 weeks since you gave birth you may have to wait a little bit as things need to settle down.

I had a 4th degree tear, episiotomy and forcep delivery so understand how frustrated you feel. I started physio about 12 weeks after and she said I was still very bruised.

Karasmummy Thu 31-Jan-13 16:41:27

Thanks cravingcake Glad i'm not alone!! You may be right, my episiotomy wound is still healing as it started to break down and open up, it looked awful! Maybe I'm just slow to heal, did you find physio helped? I forgot to say I saw the physio last week and she was useless, all she could come up with was I should cut out lactose and gluten from my diet as this would keep me from getting diarrhoea!! Not exactly a cure!! And what a miserable existence that would be.
Not to mention my history of IBS, so diet has been looked at before to no avail.
I feel very low, am frightened to go out in case I have to go and can't get to a loo, and as for resuming sex there's no chance while this is an issue!!!
I will have a look at the threads you mentioned.

cravingcake Thu 31-Jan-13 17:10:32

Its not much fun. No-one ever warns you about this sort of thing.

Physio helped a bit, in the way that at least I knew I was doing my pelvic floor exercises correctly so have been doing them as much as possible. I guess it helps but I thankfully have only had a few accidents and all have been at home.

Keep doing your exercises and chase up a referral to a gynae consultant, only they will really be able to tell you what you may need. There is surgery that can be done to fix these things but until you have been seen you wont know.

It wont last forever, its still early days. I'm 15 months on and would say that every month that passes things improve. I'm not going to lie, it has been slow and hard some days. If you are feeling very down then it may be worth speaking to your GP about counselling as by the sound of your post you didn't have a birth you expected and this can be hard to deal with (mentally as well as physically).

FirstTimeForEverything Thu 31-Jan-13 17:13:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mayhew Thu 31-Jan-13 17:14:03

You need to see a specialist women's health physio. There is usually one attached to every maternity unit. They are very knowledgeable about pelvic floor injuries and normal and abnormal recovery.

Karasmummy Thu 31-Jan-13 17:21:13

To say the birth wasn't what I expected would be an understatement!! I had 5 drips and was monitored constantly so was bedridden for the whole labour it was horrendous!! If I hadn't already decided 1 baby was enough, I would have decided after that experience!! Everyone told me how easy labour was, but as soon as induction was mentioned I was told by people that it was sooooo much worse than natural labour, I believe this is where my problems stem from because when baby was crowning the contractions stopped!! So everything was at full stretch while they were messing with the drip to get the contractions going again!! I have also suffered ligament damage in my right leg due to being on my side with my leg in the stirrup whilst they kept taking blood from baby's head (whilst still inside me) to check her blood oxygen levels! As I had to have an epidural because I couldn't take the pain, I was unaware that my leg was being over stretched.

Karasmummy Thu 31-Jan-13 17:23:22

Thanks everyone for the advice, I have my 8 week review with GP next week so will defo ask to be referred.

trustissues75 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:09:15

Ligament damage as well?! Honestly I think you need to speak to a birth injuries solicitor after you've had a bit of time to recover physically and mentally.

Karasmummy Thu 31-Jan-13 19:06:34

I am in the process of making a formal complaint to the hospital regarding my injuries. Obviously if I get no joy from them I will consider legal advice, I'm not interested in compensation I just want them to do something to help me recover.

atrcts Fri 01-Feb-13 09:45:13

Unfortunately healthcare professionals tend to hope for the best when offering a procedure because although they know that there is a chance something can go wrong, a lot of the time it doesn't, so they often expect the best outcome for everybody in hope! It is impossible for every 'potential' side effect to be listed and if incontinence isn't well researched or a high statistic, it might not get a mention. Also in an emergency (such as cord wrapped around baby's throat), there isn't much time to think about your options, it's all about getting out a live baby ASAP.

For some reason the policy seems to be assisted delivery first (forceps really does seem barbaric in this modern day though!), and c-section as the very last resort, although a c-section can have the reputation for potential bladder damage/incontinence too, so not entirely risk free either.

Having said all that, I had a forceps delivery which caused SPD afterwards for 2 years. While I had Physio for the pelvic agony (felt kicked by a horse every time I stood up), I also mentioned an episode of faecal incontinence I'd experienced 3 days after giving birth.

I was given exercises a it like pelvic floor exercises, where the Physio said "imagine you're trying to pick up and hold on to a pea with your anal sphincter" .... Sounds daft, but it helped regain lost strength.

It was a slow recovery though, and although I wasn't incontinent again it certainly felt like I would be and I didn't dare stray too far from a toilet, always answering the call of nature ASAP!

Time is a great healer though, and it was coincidentally around the 2 year mark that I felt I could 'hold on' a bit longer (never to the point I could pre-forceps, but definitely much better), and the SPD pain significantly reduced. Now all I am left with is a dull heavy ache on my pubic bone if I stand too long or push a heavy supermarket trolley round a corner.

If someone had told me way back in the beginning that it might take 2 years to feel more normal I'd have had mixed feelings; relief that it might not last forever after all, and despondency that the journey is a long recovery. What makes it easier is that it's not bad right up until 2 years when it switches back to normal, it's a gradual improvement and strengthening of the body, so the symptoms get easier to bear along the way as they're not so intense and troublesome.

Good luck for a speedy recovery smile

spanishring Sat 02-Feb-13 22:43:00

I had a similar experience to actrs. 3 degree tear. Forceps, episiotomy , tear etc. afterwards was awful - I had urge incontinence and was terrified about having an accident.

It took about 2 years but now I feel fine and as actrs post says - it needed to take a while to heal in order to heal 'properly'.
You will recover - give yourself time, physio and pilates!

Karasmummy Mon 04-Feb-13 16:30:55

Thanks ladies, good to know there may be light at the end of the tunnel, its an awful side effect, coupled with a very difficult baby, I sometimes wonder if it was all worth it!! if I had my time again I'm not sure I would have had her at all.
Hind sight however is a wonderful thing isn't it? I am wondering if some counselling may help as I do feel very low and bitter about the whole thing.

cravingcake Mon 04-Feb-13 18:01:15

Definitely have some counselling. I found it helped me accept what happened to me, I cant change it but I can live with it. I have had a lot of the 'why did this happen to me' thoughts which I'm sure you are too.

Speak to your GP about arranging counselling.

Speak to your maternity unit where you gave birth and arrange to go through your notes. Its often called birth reflections or birth discussion or similar. Most places will do this. I had a person sit with me and go through my notes and it really helped piece together the timeline of events and explain why some things happened the way they did. You will probably find this really helpful.

Karasmummy Mon 04-Feb-13 19:06:29

Thanks cravingcake I didn't realise you could get someone to go through your notes with you, sounds like a good idea, I will definitely look into it, my health visitor is coming Wednesday so I will ask her about it. Actually out of everything that has happened my midwife and health visitor have been absolutely fantastic.

cravingcake Mon 04-Feb-13 20:08:43

Not all places offer someone to go through your notes with you but if you ask then hopefully where you gave birth will do this. If nothing else you can get your notes and copy them and go through them in your own time (and ask on MN anything you don't know), it just helped to have someone explain things as we read through them.

Don't be afraid to talk to your health visitor and midwife about how you are feeling, they will be used to it and can help point you in the right direction to get any help you need.

oscarwilde Wed 06-Feb-13 16:22:53

Had a recent forceps delivery with "minimal" damage. It was 10 weeks before the bruising became comfortable so I would say it is early days. My GP said to give it 12 -16 weeks and come back.
A few people have mentioned cranial osteopathy for v cranky babies of forceps deliveries. My DC seems to be fine but it has popped up as a lifesaver for a number of people. Might be worth a try?

Karasmummy Sun 10-Feb-13 16:39:22

Thanks for the advice, am going to see gp as i suspect my low mood may be turning into postnatal depression as im still not feeling happy at all and crying a lot and basically wishing i hadn't had my daughter and longing for the days when it was just me and hubby.

FuriousRox Sun 10-Feb-13 16:48:43

Hi, so sorry you are having a hard time.
I had a similar birth 15 weeks ago and now have similar problems. Dreading the day I return to work and accidentally break wind in a meeting!! So I got the gp to refer me to a specialist clinic - first appt in 10 days time. I don't want to go - too humiliating - but am going to tough it out. There is no reason to suffer these problems in silence as there is help available.
Glad you are seeing gp about your low mood, op, too. Make sure you get the support you need. It's normal to feel conflicted and ambivalent about the new person in the house, but perhaps not to feel so tearful as you do. I hope you start feeling better soon.

Karasmummy Sun 10-Feb-13 17:00:51

Thanks furiousfox i need to get myself together i have an appointment next month for bowel specialist so like you will just have to put aside the embarrassment and try to get some help.

Ushy Sun 10-Feb-13 17:47:23

atrcts You're being very kind to the professionals smile The OP had a long labour and I am quite sure had she been in the private sector a consultant would have offered a caesarean much earlier.

The NHS is obsessed with saving money by not offering caesareans when they are clearly needed. This situation would have been avoided if the OP had been offered a c/s because no-one has ever become incontinent as a result of c/s.

They don't save anything because women end up having more operations in later life. It is totally short term thinking.

Incontinence only occurs when the 'bum muscle' - anal sphincter or associated muscle or nerves gets cut into. The slice just doesn't happen in that area with c/s. 26% of women suffer pelvic floor injuries from vaginal birth so they should be warned about the risks.

I think you are right to be angry Kara - if your problems go on, you might like to see one of the legal firms that specialise in medical negligence cases. Good luck smile

Karasmummy Sun 10-Feb-13 21:38:50

Ushy i totally agree i believe i should have been offered c-section but as you say it costs more, (or does it) i am in the process of complaining so we will see what happens i suppose.

whatsoever Sun 10-Feb-13 22:29:06

karasmummy I had a forceps delivery 17 weeks ago & while I didn't experience anything like the injuries you did, I am left with the overriding belief that a c section would have been better for me. My episiotomy stitches became infected and are still sore, despite the infection clearing a long time ago. anal fissure still not healed. No sex yet for me...

I hope you get the assistance you need for your injuries.

Moominmamma86 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:33:54

I too had a forceps delivery. I was asking for a c section but was told this was safer. Then baby got stuck (shoulder dystocia) - so actually, a c section would have been safer and certainly less traumatic for both of us. Fortunately he is ok, and I know that was just my situation - most forceps don't lead to dystocia. I just felt I wasn't listened to.

I'm not a medical professional but I do think the use of forceps should be looked into. In the US for example, most hospitals wont use them. They try ventouse and then if that fails go straight to c section. I know they have a high c section rate but I think if a vaginal birth isn't going well it can be the preferable option. People are so down on c sections but for me, forceps was my one thing I was adamant about not happening and I did find it hard to cope with psychologically, because of being in stirrups in a theatre in front of so many people. For other women it might be that they aren't affected as badly by that and would prefer to avoid an operation but women should be treated as individuals, and listened to, and the risks of vb versus cs discussed in a more balanced way.

I haven't had the problems you've had though karasmummy. So sorry to hear about that! For me it's just a bit more urgent to go the loo if you know what I mean. I did do birth reflections and can recommend it, it helped me to move on.

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