Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.
4th degree tear, feeling sad.(43 Posts)
Hi all. I had a 4th degree tear after giving birth in February. Labour was going so well but he ended up back to back. Forceps. Blah.
I feel so sad and cheated.
He's great and I've been doing better. But today I got hospital report and while it could be worse, seeing it all in black and white has brought it all back.
I have 'poor anal resting pressure' - I guess that refers to the constant feeling I have of not quite being 'cleared out.'
I feel ok most of the time but now and then feel cheated and sad and hopeless. I just need some perspective and some hope I'll feel normal again.
I haven't had any continence issues and after a rocky start me and my son are bonding more and more each day.
My friend was also my midwife and that's confused feelings of anger/blame at the hospital. They seemed to think I didn't want a c section under any circa and I never said that.
I feel so confused and sad right now. I'll be ok but I just needed to vent. This time last year I was so happy and hopeful and positive.
4th degree tear veteran here <waves.
It's bloody awful isn't it? How was your stitching?
I'm almost 6 years down the line now, and it was only after 2 years and 4 operations that I was able to wear a tampon and have sex again. I'm over it all now thank goodness but can totally relate to feeling angry/confused/sad about it all.
Hi Peanut, sorry you are feeling down. I am sorry I don't have any help but you may want to join this thread where there may be more advice.
Good luck x
Gosh, thanks for these replies already. Just wailing into the ether and to have people actually respond is amazing. Has made me do a bit of a blub. It really helps, not feeling so alone.
I've been so much better last two months but this letter had jut brought it ll back up again. I had loads of debilitating infections and have lost so much confidence: my body feels alien, and I've been nervous to go out. I hate how I look and don't think I'll ever be able to have sex again!
Mostly I'm just so so sad because I feel cheated from the birth experience I'd hoped for. I'm a staunch republican but actually cried (!!) at seeing the Kate Middleton looking tired but happy after birth. I wanted to feel like that. I wanted him on my chest. I wanted to fall in love instantly.
I know that many people don't have smooth experiences and that my wants lists above are best case scenarios/ridiculous idealism.
A couple of close friends ate due to give birth and I am ashamed to admit I feel jealous and envious that statistically their experiences are far less likely to be as hideous as mine. I feel like I failed. I feel like I'm there to be wheeled out as a cautionary tale.
Oh you will have sex again my lovely
And don't believe everything you see! Kate probably had two lots of breast pads on and about 7 maternity
duvets pads. Add to that a fistful of painkillers and she probably doubled over as soon as she was out of the public view.
You didn't fail. I know it feels like it but you did the very best you could and had little to no control over what happened. x
Thanks so much, Shakey. And thanks for telling me about your tears/operations. I'm going back to see the physio this week. I'm guessing that as I haven't had any incontinence they prob won't refer me for surgery. The way I understand it, my internal sphincter is badly damaged and that's just how it's going to be.
Sorry to hear about all you went through but inspiring to hear you've made it through to the other side.
Oh and in answer to your q, the repair has been deemed 'adequate'. It was a consultant surgeon, so for that I am v grateful.
Un-mumsnetty hugs peanutbutter ((()))
I had a third degree tear, but it was stitched up well and healed quite quickly, so I can't say that I know exactly what you've gone through, but I can relate to what you're saying about your own body feeling 'alien'.
My midwife who came to visit us at home and discharge us from midwife care on day 10 said she always recommends her ladies to get a mirror out and have a look 'down there'. I must admit, I was scared as I didn't know what on earth kind of horror I was going to see, but I did look and it wasn't too bad. Now DS is 19 months old and I still have a visible scar, but I'm more interested than scared of it. It might help to have a look and re-familiarise yourself?
I was relieved to see Kate Middleton have a bump when she came out of the hospital with William and baby George. I felt so shocked at mine, I knew I wouldn't have a flat stomach, but I felt like I had to pick my tummy up to roll onto my side and get out of bed. Very strange and scary.
With bonding, I can only recommend taking one day at a time. I found it hard to remember the good parts of my day, so I kept a little diary and wrote it to DS of what we had done that day, e.g read a book, etc and also wrote down what had made him smile or laugh. I'm not saying to ignore any feelings you have, but I found in the early days it helped to concentrate on the good bits even if I only had one smile that day from DS.
I've just read back my post and I hope I don't sound like an idiot! It's so much easier to talk to someone on real life sometimes!
I didn't have a 4th degree tear but I did have a badly stitched episiotomy with my first baby and it did not heal well and hurt all the time. Sex was really painful so I couldn't do it. It took about 6 years for me to feel normal again and I totally relate to the feeling of body feeling alien. But I'm happy to say that after 2 more babies I have recovered in that area and now it feels almost the same as pre-babies. So it can happen.
You do need to push for an operation though if you feel you need it. Why should you put up with this just because you aren't incontinent??! I found that the staff were very dismissive of my problems after the episiotomy and tried to say it was psychological so don't be fobbed off.
I had mild incontinence but the debilitating thing for me was nerve damage and scar granulation. And I only really found that out after trying to insert tampon/have sex (not at the same time ). The pain was inside the vaginal wall and at the entrance.
Have you attempted tampon/sex? If you feel able to give it a go, it might give you some idea how things are on that score, which is important. I also had to go through physio, dildo type things (I forget the name), anaesthetic gel. It was only when all those things still didn't improve that further surgery was considered. I had a "modified Fentons procedure". After that, all was well but I was pretty desperate by that point to be honest.
I well remember the infections-ouch. The only comfortable position was lying flat on my stomach on the floor
Good idea is to bite the bullet, have a good look at the area, try insertion and write everything down.
Thanks CheungFun - no you don't sound like an idiot at all! I made my husband have a look down there quite early on and he reported nothing freaky.
I love the idea of writing stuff down to help with bonding. My son is now almost 6 months and I feel a bit sad I won't have remembered much of this time, especially the first three months which were just hellish.
It's the feeling of shame and failure that I just don't understand. I'm a reasonably intelligent logical person - I know this wasn't my fault, yet I feel like such a loser! God. What we do to ourselves.
Thanks so much for responding. Can't tell you how wonderful it is to finally 'speak' with people wove been through this.
reads all the posts Sounds like its time for me to fire up he ol' Rampant Rabbit again!
Hi peanut, just sending you some huge hugs. My bf had a 3c tear and although it wasn't 4th degree and I have no personal experience, from supporting her I have a bit of an idea about how difficult major tears can be to get over.
I think you sound like you are doing brilliantly and don't forget that if you have another dc you may get that calm easy immediate post birth moment that you wanted - my bf is having an elcs next time.
Also, you did not fail - some positions for the baby are very very difficult to have a normal vb. forceps are so commonly used now and you were just so unlucky to get such a bad tear
You might want to talk to Sheila kitxingers Birth trauma organisation and the hospital ask for a birth debrief - both have helped people on here.
How awkward for you that the mw was also your friend. Is she a close friend?
Mine was a consultant surgeon as well but he made a hash really <wonders if it's the same one??>
Four years after, he came into the shop where I worked. I slammed the change into his hand <small but petty victory>
Hi Gherkins (yes they are ace). MW is my bf's mum. I hope she didn't make an error of judgement but am avoiding the hospital debrief as I feel apportioning blame may just make me feel more depressed about things.
Have thought about the birth trauma thing but tbh just knackered all the time as my lovely son doesn't like sleeping much!
If I ever have another baby if will be through elective c section. I have to focus on how lucky I am to have a healthy happy baby/ I try to, I really do. Just gets the better of me sometimes:
Peanut <squidge> I also had a fourth degree year when I was opened up for an emergency section and they were unable to deliver my son so had to resort to a pretty brutal forceps delivery. I know how awful a fourthdegree feels and I'm sorry you're experiencing that.
You will get back to having sex again, but it takes time for you to be comfortable with it again. It's been nearly two years for us and I no longer feel the fear Have youbeen to a women's health physio for help with the after effects of your tear? That made a big difference forme.
I get the feeling when other people have babies too. I love that they look so happy but then am consumed with jealousy that I never got that and feel angry about it. I was diagnosed with ptsd and depression and having professional help with that had really made a difference to how I feel about the birth. It's a slow prices but it will get better.
About the debrief- it's worth considering. Even if you get your notes and go to your GP.
I was convinced that something went horribly wrong on the hospital's part because relatives who had been midwives told me that it must have been the hospital's fault, should have fine something dinner etc.
The debrief was so thorough and after spending over 2 hours with the consultant who delivered my son, I felt worn out emotionally and really sad but it's helped me to let go of a lot of the anger and guilt I had about his birth.
Quite a close friend really, then In case it helps, my bf was told (and believes) that in her case there was no way the tear could have been predicted as a result if the delivery and so she actually found the debrief comforting. I can see why you wouldn't necessarily want to go down that route though.
I think that nobody prepares you for how you might feel psychologically after you've given birth (especially if something happens to damage you). I felt so awful after dd1's birth that I couldn't understand (and yes felt jealous) of people who spoke of an amazing birth experience.
Fine something dinner? I meant done something better.
I think major tearing is one of the last taboos, so it is very hard to get understanding and sympathy because they are lot talked about.
Lots of wise advice on this thread... Please look after yourself and your baby... One day at a time...
Thanks everyone. Maybe the debrief is a good idea. I don't know. I do know that this is already v helpful and is the first time I've discussed any of this with other people who have had tears.
I want to be able to accept what happened and stop feeling
upset and cheated.
When I think back to the weeks and pregnancy yoga and hypnobirthing and aaaargh! Though it did help, actually.
I don't want to be the person who had the 'terrible' labour. Most of it was fine. But I was so full of drugs by the end and I don't remember holding him.
He's next to me now and is wonderful and sunny and smiley. So I should let go of the past and relish every second I have with him now. And yet.
Thanks everyone. It has been so wonderful to hear from you all. I'm reading your posts and having a big cry and it is helping. Xxxx
Join the discussion
Please login first.