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Traumatised to have sex...

(15 Posts)
Rhinointhespring Sat 25-Jan-14 22:31:42

NC - Looking for some advice...

I had a good birth, big baby, lovely pool birth-you get the picture. smile My beautiful baby is now 4 months old and I'm keen to get back to sex with my husband. He is not pressuring me in any way to dtd, and hasn't even mentioned it until I have. Despite trying many times and succeeding once, I feel like there's a mental block when I go to have sex.

I think the problem relates to my experience post birth... I probably naively never realised of the after bit of birth where you are examined and stitched up... I ended up with a second degree tear and was lying in complete agony with a mw attempting the stitching. I was unable to lie in the position they wanted and effectively sobbed through the procedure on gas/air whilst by husband held my daughter at the other side of the room... (He turned his back to me to give me privacy) I felt utterly violated by the procedure which ended when mw called in her supervisor and without warning put her finger up my bum shock

I accept people have far worse experiences than me but I don't seem to be able to get past it. I want to get on with our normal sex life but I do feel I was violated somehow. I'm such a private person and struggling....

JoinTheDots Sat 25-Jan-14 22:35:45

You need to debrief, get some counselling, and possibly make a complaint about the experience.

There is such a thing as birth trauma counselling, and it might be well worth it for you to look into it.

I am sorry you had to go through that after what sounds like a reasonably pleasant actual birth, and I hope you can resolve things so you can feel like you are getting back to normal with your DH sooner rather than later.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 26-Jan-14 00:29:00

Hi op.

Your experience sounds horrible. Definitely go for a debrief & counselling. Actually do whatever helps you to recover.

Best of luck. x

Rhinointhespring Sun 26-Jan-14 01:00:57

I've been thinking its normal my experience not just a part of childbirth that's rarely talked about and I was just not expecting...?

What's a debrief and how would I get one?

JoinTheDots Sun 26-Jan-14 12:12:14

Hmm, I am not sure I could say if it is normal. I know a lot of people go through the stitches and pain after having a baby, but usually your midwife would be telling you exactly what was going on before it happened. So no finger up the bum without warning! And also, there should have been some compassion about your clear distress and pain at this part of the process, not just getting on with it and stitching you up asap.

Debrief services are usually offered at the hospital you gave birth at, here is some information:

makesamesswhenstressed Sun 26-Jan-14 12:19:02

You know what - if you feel traumatised then that's how you feel. There are no rules or regulations about feelings. I experienced massive birth trauma after my C-section - and that trauma directly related to after the C-section, when I was in the observation bay, nothing to do witht he actual birth. It helped so much to know that I was entitled to those feelings and that it was perfectly reasonable for me to seek help. Talk to your HV about getting counselling. It can really make a difference.
Good luck x

Beesandbutterflies Sun 26-Jan-14 12:22:48


I just wanted to say almost exactly the same thing happened to me, I made a complaint and am still dealing with it. I have no real answers, you are not alone. I'm seriously considering no midwife at all next time after my experience if them. Please complain x

Rhinointhespring Sun 26-Jan-14 14:51:08

I feel like I'm making a big deal out of something loads of people go through and that I should just 'woman up'...talking to hv would be so hard....

But I can't help but think I gave birth to an almost 9lb baby on gas & air alone yet the only thing I can't take my mind off was the stitches afterwards.

Also have a smear coming up and dreading it....

I've been thinking about the experience and whilst the mw did try at points to give me compassionate looks it did feel like she was trying to rush and end her shift, And I had to ask loads of questions about what she was doing, but after a lot of pain and a lot of gas & air I gave up.

The finger/bum incident was the last straw I think... I still don't really know why she did it, assume it was to check it wasn't a third degree tear, but wish I'd been told that at the time.

makesamesswhenstressed Sun 26-Jan-14 15:07:37

But HVs are there to support you. You are not making a big deal out of anything - this is affecting you. Help is available and you need it, so take it. Feel free to PM me if you want to. It was the help of women on MN who made me seek out help and reassured me that it was OK to ask for it.

This is affecting your confidence and sex life and in the long run that will affect your relationship.

Parliamo Sun 26-Jan-14 15:18:15

She put her finger up your bum to check your sphincter wasn't damaged (which can happen with a bad tear and may lead to faecal incontinence - another delight of childbirth that no one tells you about!) She should have warned you and explained what she was doing.

Your feelings are valid and it will help to talk it through with someone. I would suggest phoning your hospital and asking how you go about getting a debrief. I found it immensely useful. I didn't want to get anybody into trouble or complain, but someone helping me understand what had happened and why helped me get it all into perspective etc.

Also have you talked to your DH, that will also be helpful.

naty1 Sun 26-Jan-14 15:34:17

Well done on just gas and air.
For all i know I had the bum thing- no sensation from epi.
Though I did say something about piles and she said not going near there.
Hope you start feeling better soon.
I know different mw can be so different, my first I didn't like and wouldnt allow me g&a.
Maybe she thought after you'd done so well you would be in a euphoria after birth and not feel.
I didn't even know I'd passed the afterbirth till I said something I'm not sure they said how bad the stitches were. So not too good communication.
I was asked how the anesthesia went but not about my experience overall or with mw. They could do with asking us for feedback (anonymously )

Rhinointhespring Sun 26-Jan-14 18:55:52

I was asked for feedback I think but it was in the haze of a swidgy newborn and it took a while for things to sink in. Thanks for the replies, might just give it a bit of time and then first step talk to hv. The one round here is quite good.

And yes, I have spoken at length to dh, he's wonderfully supportive and will stand by and support me no matter how I decide to proceed. No pressure, he's lovely smile

MrsJK Sun 26-Jan-14 19:21:22

Could it have been a suppository given as pain relief for the stitches?

This vaguely recall being told I was going to get some pain relief <naively thinking it was an injection> only to feel a suppository being inserted!

Parliamo Sun 26-Jan-14 19:43:40

Glad your DH is helping you, I was asking more because I am completely useless at opening up to my (also lovely) DH, rather than any worry he wasn't being supportive! Keeping it all bottled up just made things worse for me.

wolfgirl83 Sun 23-Feb-14 22:47:06

Sorry to bump this but just wanted to say i had v similar experience. Natural water birth, just gas and air, bad 2nd degree tear. My issue was the mw apparently couldn't tell if it was 2nd or 3rd degree, the examination was agonizing, then she got a supervisor to examine again, more agony, was sucking on g and a so hard I left massive teeth marks. Then they decided they couldn't see properly COS THE FUCKING LAMP WASN'T BRIGHT ENOUGH! I mean seriously, you couldnt have worked that out before torturing me twice? Then got transferredto another room with proper spotlight, cue a 3rd examination. I almost broke dhs hand holding it. Then had an hour wait for doc to finally stitch me, more horrendous pain.

I was warned about finger up bum but was v rough, no lube like gps use, pretty sure that's what gave me an anal tear/fissure. Whole thing took hours, couldn't hold baby and that may have contributed to his feeding/ latching issues. Stitching was DEF worse than birth, and also felt shocked and traumatized by it. sad

Really hope you're feeling better now and have managed to get a debrief maybe? Did you decide to complain?

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