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7 months later

(7 Posts)
nc123456789 Mon 06-Mar-17 10:14:02

Looking for a bit of advice as to what is normal, has this happened to anyone?

I had a 24 hour back to back labour, they tried to turn ds by putting me on a drip to make my contractions stronger, getting me to push him down past the spines, trying to turn him with their hands causing first degree tear, I was then taken down to theatre where they gave me an episiotomy then rotated him with forceps then they pulled while I pushed basically. My womb wouldn't contract after he was born so I was put on another drip to get it to shrink back down. I've since found out that they should have offered me a c-section, can only assume my hospital was trying to get their c-section rates down.
I had quite heavy lochia for 6 weeks afterwards, my episiotomy site was sore for up to 12 weeks. I said to my gp at my 6 week check that I was still sore, she had a look and said that everything looked normal.
I still don't feel normal 7 months later, the front wall of my vagina is lower, almost lying against the opening, my clitoris feels numb. Sex is uncomfortable and I can no longer orgasm (even by myself). Also it looks like my labia have basically disappeared.
Surely this isn't normal? Is it worth going back to my gp? I felt like she just wasn't interested at my 6 week check.

pinguina16 Mon 06-Mar-17 13:44:41

Hi OP, you need to ask your GP to go and see a women's health physiotherapist. They should refer you to a pelvic floor clinic (as an indication my referral took 4 weeks). Your first appointment might be with a specialist midwife or a physio. They will ask you a list of questions about the birth and about the symptoms you have. They should also perform a vaginal examination.

I'm really sorry this is happening to you. Your labia might be a natural change after giving birth (things change quite a bit more than we are told!). Not being able to orgasm sounds like nerve damage and the sensation you describe in your vagina might be one form of pelvic organ prolapse.
With you I share a traumatic birth by forceps. The damage I sustained is different to yours but I was referred quickly because I experienced faecal incontinence. I found waiting to get some answers horrible so try to lean on some good friends who can offer some support.
If you're not doing pelvic floor exercises 3 times a day every day, you need to start doing that. For the first 6 months I was told to do 5 to 6 repetitions a day so you might want to do this until you see the physio.

It does sound like they should have offered you a C-section. Once you've been assessed by a physio and you know if you've been injured and what type of injury you've sustained, you could contact personal injury solicitors (specialised in birth injury or obstetrics and gynaecology) so they can tell you if there was negligence (and there may not have been). Normally solicitors offer to look at your case (for free) and can tell you if something was amiss. They'll ask for your medical records (that can take a month or 2 to get) then they'll look at them (another few weeks) and give you an opinion.
I'm not necessarily pushing you to sue the hospital, I'm just saying that having a debrief at the hospital (after thoughts meeting) might not tell you whether or not the correct decision was taken because they might not want to admit liability whereas solicitors will tell you if something was not right. Hope it makes sense.
Hopefully other posters will come along with some more info. Big hug.

Phoenix76 Mon 06-Mar-17 21:55:44

You know your body better than anyone and if you don't feel right absolutely see the GP again. I will say this though. I had an almost identical experience to you. I was in so much pain when I walked (more like John Wayne) out of the hospital I was in tears. I was convinced my insides were falling out for months afterwards and sex, god no he wasn't allowed near me. I also went back to my GP after my check and again was told all looks fine. It took just over a year, and plenty of pelvic floor work, and it did return to "normal", it was never the same as it was before birth but certainly as close to it as possible. Fwiw I did go on to have another baby and my second experience couldn't have been more different. I was offered counselling for the first delivery but I decided not to as I understood what happened and why. I guess what I'm trying to say is you may just be like me and take a little longer to heal, I hope you feel better soon.

smellsofelderberries Wed 08-Mar-17 01:02:39

Oh, I'm so sorry this is happening to you. For what it's worth, I had a straight forward birth (aside from my midwife saying 'PUSH PUSH' as DD was crowing and me pushing way too hard). I have exactly the same thing. One OBGYN has told me it's normal, my physio has said it's a stage 2 prolapse and she suspects I've avulsed some muscle and maybe one of my major ligaments off my pubic bone sad push for a urogyne consult, and to be referred to a women's physio. I've just bought a tens machine that has a probe which I'm going to start using under the guidance of my physio. It really fucking sucks and I'm still so, so, so cross that healthcare providers don't tell you this can happen. PND has hit me pretty hard because of it, especially hearing a lot of my mother group who's private OBs gave them emergency c-sections to protect their pelvic floors sad small consolation, but you are not alone. Lots of women go through this, but because it's so personal, hardly anyone talks about it. Could you afford to pay for a private women's physio? In the mean time, start doing your pelvic floor exercises. Start slow, just do 5 second holds for 5 sets, 5 times a day and build the sets and length from there.

GussieGripsYou Wed 08-Mar-17 19:00:37

Hiya, I've had a mail to swoop on here. I'm a pelvic physio -what you describe isn't that uncommon and can often improve.

I'd want to rule out a nerve being irritated during the end of your pregnancy or labour - that would account for the numbness. The nerves can heal, but very slowly, only a millimetre a month. So, 7 months isn't that long in nerve years.

It's normal for things to look a bit weird/different after birth. The guidelines we have is that things can still all be shifting about for six months after you stop breastfeeding. So, if you chose to bottle feed, you're only going to be coming up to that point now.

Sounds like you need some reassurance and a review. Speak to your GP and ask for a referral to a women's health/ pelvic physio. Lots of cilnics have a self referral system so you never have to even see your GP.

MEanwhile, do laods of pelvic floor exercises. All of you!

smellsofelderberries Thu 09-Mar-17 01:56:26

Gussie, I've stalked a lot of old prolapse threads and love your advice! What is your opinion on recovery with muscle avulsion? Can other muscles be made stronger to help compensate? Because all the literature sounds so doom and gloom and I'm so, so scared by it. One of my leavtor ligaments is fine and the other is still there but doesn't seem to really be attached to much sad

GussieGripsYou Thu 09-Mar-17 12:40:55

Love your name, Smells. Got an urge to make a joke about fathers.

Avulsion can be tricky - depends on how much muscle has been affected and where. Research (Dietz is the authority if you fancy some googling) reckons about 36% of women have some sort of avulsion post vaginal birth. So, it's important not to freak out, it's common, not necessarily a huge problem.

Yes, it is possible to get the other muscles to strengthen up and compensate - but, that depends on how much has pinged off. There is surgery for those who can't be helped conservatively, but, that's done after your family is complete. It works, but, you need to really commit to looking after your pelvic floor.

TBH, a G2 prolapse isn't too much of a worry - depending on what symptoms you're getting. Some people have one with no symptoms at all (me) and other people have terrible gyp. Evidence is that pelvic floor exercises can manage up to a G4 prolapse and new research published in the lancet this month shows that it can REDUCE symtpoms. Which is huge.

So, you're doing the right things.

I totally agree about the PND, by the way. We need to talk more about birth injuries and negative feelsing after babies. Way more. Historically, it's been avoided for fear of frightening women - almost as if we don't deserve to have informed choice. Bonkers.

Glad you're getting referred. There's lots which can help. You really don't need to put up with it.

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