Advanced search

Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

recovery after forceps delivery

(57 Posts)
flamingoshoes Sat 12-Dec-15 18:43:37

I'm feeling quite traumatised about my labour and delivery 4 days ago. It's kind of hit today. I had a vbac (first was a section for breech) which ended after 28 hours with rotational forceps. Had the epiostomy as part of this but also had a 'complicated' second degree tear and lost a lot of blood. I've also been left with hopefully temporary bladder incontinence so have come home on a catheter for 10 days.

Reading my notes and from the bits I picked up during discussions in labour I got to 10cm but baby was back to back and had cord round neck which was acting like a bungee with him moving in and out of the top of the birth canal. So despite lots of good pushing I just couldn't get him to descend. There is failure to progress past second stage written in my notes which has just made me feel a bit sad. I don't think it helps that my milk has come in today, i'm a blubbering wreck and had an awful no sleep stay on the post natal ward until yesterday.

I now have to empty wee bags, can't sit down and also have a new baby and a todder to care for. I know It will get better I guess this is a place to let it all out....

stairway Sat 12-Dec-15 18:49:36

Oh poor you. I had an assisted birth with my vbac. You will heal and feel much much better but it will take some time.
I hope you have some help for the next few weeks.
Psychologically it may take a while to heal.
I'm not sure if I'm there yet...
Congratulations flowers

thegoldenlemon Sat 12-Dec-15 18:50:05

Just read your post and wanted to offer a handhold, what a very tough time you've had and are having. I empathise three weeks on from a very traumatic pregnancy but am only dealing with an infected section wound, you must be in a lot of discomfort and a catheter at home must feel rotten. It is hard isn't it that at a time when you need utter rest to heal and recover you get the exact opposite. In times of tears at the moment knowing it shall pass kind of helps and that things will stop being painful not too far down the road. I hope you're getting good midwife care. Be proud of you. Hopefully someone will be along soon to comfort with regards to healing time etc. there's no doubt hundreds of post partum women up and down the land who'd hug you in solidarity.

PotteringAlong Sat 12-Dec-15 18:52:33

I have no experience but know there is a long running thread (maybe called ragged bits?) that might help you. Hang on, I'll have a look...

PotteringAlong Sat 12-Dec-15 18:56:14

it's here

flamingoshoes Sat 12-Dec-15 20:10:58

Thank you everybody your replies made me cry. I know I will recover but it's just so hard trying to process everything that happened in the past few days. I will check out that thread thank you.

pinguina16 Sun 13-Dec-15 11:30:02

Hi flamingoshoes.
I'm sorry about what is happening to you.

I hope you can get as much practical support as you can for the next few weeks (months? until baby knows night and day). Extra pairs of hands for toddler, laundry, cooking, taking you to the doctors (guessing there'll be lots of that coming), carry stuff, empty bins, change bed sheets etc.
In some cases extra pairs of hands have the ability to listen too apparently...

In case you come across insensitive people (random mums or even healthcare professionals), do tell them you went home with a catheter, just to get the upper hand and cut the conversation short. After I gave birth (different but similar scale to yours) I let some people treat me poorly (a mix of ignorance on my part and being so weak physically). If you feel the healthcare professionals looking after you are not compassionate, don't hesitate to see someone else.

I'm really sorry you are suffering right now. I hope your toddler and baby are being cute/nice with you.

thegoldenlemon Sun 13-Dec-15 11:30:15

How you doing today op? Hope some sleep has been had.

Nosenosebounds Sun 13-Dec-15 13:41:56

Oh OP I really feel for you. Sounds very similar to my last birth but without the catheter. I suspect you do feel traumatised / like you've been beaten up. I promise you it does get better but slowly, and the worst thing to do is to compare yourself to other mums with easier births or to the vision you had of how post-natal life would be.

Make sure you get lots of rest, keep your stitches clean (consultant said to me no baths or essential oils etc, just a gentle blast with the shower head once or twice a day and to let it air as much as possible), and lean right forward when you wee - it really helps!

My stitches got infected and I had an open wound which took 6 months to close over but that is very rare and I'm sure you will feel much better after a couple of weeks- most people do. Just keep a really close eye on your stitches and if you are at all concerned go straight to doctor for antibiotics. Most hospitals have a perineal clinic so you could ask to be referred to a specialist there if you don't feel you are healing as you should. In my experience midwives and GPs can be a bit squeamish/ unwilling to check wound healing properly (they have to touch/ smell as well as just look!) so don't just accept advice that it will be "fine" if you suspect otherwise.

Definitely agree about getting as much help as possible and dont feel bad about banning all visitors until you are up to it. The only people who should be allowed in your house are those who will wash up, clean and sterilise, and hold the baby for an hour or so so you can sleep!

Good luck and hope you are feeling a bit better today x

WanderingTrolley1 Sun 13-Dec-15 13:50:53


You've been/and going through the mill. I do hope you have good support at home.

flamingoshoes Sun 13-Dec-15 20:10:44

Thank you all again. Yes we have both sets of parents living close by so they have been alternating days to amuse ds and do cooking/washing which is fab although I admit to enjoying when everyone has gone and just having some quiet time to spend with both ds1 and new ds.

Pain has hit today the feeling in my pelvic floor is starting to return and it's agonising. Can't walk upstairs or sit down properly and have burning pain going right up inside .

Had our midwife community follow up today was an extreme mission getting into the car (not driving! ) and getting there. She managed to give me a little more information from looking at the notes and basically have a cut that is visible frim the outside but nasty internal tears. Got quite upset but was good to talk it all through. The only thing that got me a bit was she asked of I regretted not choosing a repeat c section which I don't as up until entering theatre I was embracing the labour. She's recommended when ready I have a session to talk through what happened which I will do and will hopefully help me get my head around it all.

Unfortunately then got sent back to hospital as ds was looking jaundiced so had a few hours waiting around for a test which came back below treatment line so sent home again. The midwife who saw us was one of the ones in theatre with us apparently and she said she had not really seen such a complex tear and hoped I was taking it easy and getting all the support I needed.

I'm really hoping for a quiet day in bed tomorrow as ds1 has child minder. It just all messes with your head but don't feel like i've been able to get off the treadmill yet and enjoy my new family. It's also weird as should have been 39 weeks today and feel a bit sad that the pregnancy ended sooner than expected and didn't get the couple of maternity leave weeks I was hoping to spend with ds. Sorry feel like i'm moaning! Just good to get it all out there and really appreciate that you have taken time to read and respond.

BendydickCuminsnatch Sun 13-Dec-15 20:23:39

Oh you poor thing, you've been through the mill!

Good news that you have your parents and a child minder! Lean on them and ask for help if necessary.

Also, re. the incontinecne, ask for help if in a few weeks/months you still don't feel quite right. I'm still having physio 6 months after DS' forceps birth. Don't mean to scare you, but just so you know. My physio is the loveliest and most understanding HCP I've dealt with throughout pregnancy and afterwards, and I'm feeling better and better as the days go by. So it might be a long process, and you might have to ask for more help recovering (hopefully not!) but you will feel better in that regard eventually!

Congrats on your dear little one! Feel better soon flowers

Headmelt Sun 13-Dec-15 20:28:27

I had a similar experience and I sympathise with you. The early days are tough. I had a horrendous birth and episiotomy. I got an inflatable O Ring cushion in Boots which helps when sitting I carried mine everywhere for weeks afterwards until sitting became bearable. I got a script for diaphene and used paracetamol to get me over the first week or so. I used ton wash with the shower head (rather than a bottle) in the bath to douse regularly and soft dry towel to pat dry. Witch Hazel on my maternity pads really eased the soreness and cooled the area.
I hope you feel better soon. Ask your hv to check your stitches if the soreness persists

BendydickCuminsnatch Sun 13-Dec-15 20:41:11

YES to the haemorrhoid pillow. Amazing invention! Also tea tree oil in the bath to help stitches.

flamingoshoes Sun 13-Dec-15 20:48:24

Ah thanks bendy and head. I saw the physio in hospital and she is sending me an appointment for hopefully before Xmas and will dispatch dp to get a cushion tomorrow.

EmmaGellerGreen Sun 13-Dec-15 20:55:19

I had a very similar experience 8 years ago except I had a third degree tear. I had the catheter for exactly 2 weeks and my bladder / pelvic floor was fine afterwards but it took me a little time to trust it! The episiotomy/tear started to get less painful after a few days and within 2 weeks I began to feel normal. Fingers crossed that you start to recover really soon.

Millie2013 Sun 13-Dec-15 20:56:26

I had a forceps delivery and PPH. I had a catheter for a while (couple of days) managed by midwives as I was in hospital and quite poorly

The bladder issues resolved as soon as the catheter was removed, but I ended up with a hematoma at the episiotomy site and couldn't sit down for about two weeks.

This sounds very doom and gloom, but my point is it only lasted for two weeks. At the time, it feels like it will be forever, but nobody expected me to recover las quickly as I did.
Please PM me if you think it might help to offload, the early days are so tough. Hugs

xyzee Sun 13-Dec-15 22:51:57

Hugs to you. I had a rough forceps delivery too and then problems healing, crap follow up checks from midwife and GP and had to go back 6 months later to get it sorted out under general anaesthetic. But am absolutely fine now and have no problems with the area at all. I second the o ring pillow, and you can also get frozen ice packs called feme pads on Amazon which are designed for episiotomies, they were fantastic for the first couple of weeks. Really feel for you, I remember feeling shocked by it all. I think people think all VBs are easier than sections but if you have a rough delivery it can be very grim, and yet people still expect you to be up and about because it's not like you can talk about episiotomies with FIL is it! It will get better flowers

flamingoshoes Mon 14-Dec-15 10:07:01

Thanks xyzee unfortunately fil got a detailed account of the state of my bits as my community midwife phoned while he was driving me home from a hospital appointment!

First bit of time on my own today with ds2 as ds1 at child minder and dp gone into work. Just want the random crying to stop. Just phoned the gp to get some stronger pain relief as it's worse than yesterday and also managed to have a accident with the catheter bag meaning I now have a trail of wee all over the house. My mantra today is will get easier...

TreeBird16 Mon 14-Dec-15 10:20:13

It does get better. I had a foreceps birth with third degree tear. I was right as rain within a year. I was a bit tender for the first 6 months but could have sex and use tampons after about 2 months (lots of lube). I did lots of physio (in the maternity hospital) to rebuild my pelvic floor. It is really worth doing this as 5 years on I have a strong pelvic floor and no issues. I started getting more sore about 10 days after birth and it turned out I had an infection in my stitches which delayed healing a bit. Have as many warm baths as you can and rinse with a bottle of warm water after using loo. Be kind to yourself and let the tears flow, crying in the right amounts can be very healing. Also regarding what the nurse said about regretting having a vbac, well I did it the other way to you. I had the foreceps birth on first dc and had an emergency section for undiagnosed breech on dd2. I think a section is a slower recovery imho

May09Bump Mon 14-Dec-15 10:21:39

I had diclofenac for the pain and its was brilliant. I also used dettol wound wash - i just sprayed it on after the toliet and shower, helped me heal.

Should the midwife be visiting you at home? I would have cried at the thought of getting into a car at this stage of recovery.

The catheter made me feel miserable, hopefully that will be sorted soon. It will get easier, and continue to get help if meds, etc are not working for you.

stairway Mon 14-Dec-15 11:56:37

Hi flamingoshoes I've been thinking of you!
I thought I would just add in case you are worried what it will all look lol me once it was healed. Well I 4 months down the line I can hardly see my perinial scars. The area usually heals very well.. Especially the old fanjo! And I had an infection with falling out stitches to boot.
I used some cream recommended in here contractubex which can be applied once healed.
As for the old pelvic floor you should start the pfe as soon as you are ready. Search for gussiegrips ( i think?)for some excellent advice.

stairway Mon 14-Dec-15 12:03:07

As for do you regret not having a section. Well the Dr asked me if I was glad I didn't have a c section while stitching me up ( just after she shoved something up my backside)
Amazingly I think I said yes! ( I think the pethidine had just kicked in at that point)
A week later suffering from an infection and the go describing my privates as 'mucky' I thought why the f#ck didn't I choose a c section.
Anyway I'm OK with my choice now that I've recovered.

stairway Mon 14-Dec-15 12:03:57


CatKirk Mon 14-Dec-15 12:52:40

It seems unhelpful of them to ask if you regret not having a second section, what's that going to do apart from make you more upset?

Anyway I had the same as you and second the pile cushion advice. I only got one after 3 months by which time I didn't need it.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: