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has anyone here ever gotten over 4th degree tears struggling

(15 Posts)
kittenbaby Mon 16-Jul-07 13:43:02

hi girls
had my beautiful gorgeous bay girl on the 27th of june so 19 days ago
i did so well during the labour and giving birth
only had gas and air during the labour and nothing at the pushing stage
apart from the fact i was in the water
thought everything had gone so well
after dd was born i delivered the plactena naturally after nearly and hour while bf dd
and i thought thats it ive done it!

then when i was examined the mw said we need to get someone more senior to look at you the look of horror on her face im not sure ill forget
then a sister examined me then a doctor then a surgeon they said i had 4th degree tears
i never knew anything like that existed and that id have to have a spinal tap and a repair operation
i was crying my eyes out even though when i was in labour and giving birth i was pretty silent and just got on with it
i found the examinations far far far worse than the labour and birth
thats was the worse bit
but here i am 19 days only and im still so so sore

really thought i would be getting over this repair op by now
never knew natrual childbirth could do this to you
last monday my mw took swabs from the stiches to check for any infection
i called the surgery this am and the swabs have come back clear which i am v v v relieved about
but its so sore
its making feel frustated
but what can i do?
ive been reserching 4th degree tears on the net to se how long its gonna take me to get over it and it doesnt sounds good
it seems as if 4th degree tears are v v uncommon and i just cant understand how this has happened to me
like if i had had an epidural or even pethidine and had lost the urge to push and had to had forceps or vontouse and that had caused it then i could understand why it happened
or if dd got stuck and they had to rush her out , or if she came out the wrong way round i could understand it obv im glad those things didnt happen but then id understand what happened

but i only had gas and air
was on all fours
was in the water
only pushed when i was told to do so
i just cant understand it
ive been taking the lactulose the surgeon told me to take and have 2 baths a day with lavender oil drops taking arnica and paracetamol and ibuprofen not sure if i could take any stronger painkillers due to bf
just can believe this has happened
kittenbaby xx

Meglet Mon 16-Jul-07 13:57:03

so sorry you are having a horrible time. I'm afraid I can't help (had c-section) so I'm not much use. I'm sure others on here will know more than me. But you are clearly having a tough time and I wanted to reply. Hope you get good medical help and support to get better soon. take care, big love .

4jen Mon 16-Jul-07 14:07:10

Kittenbaby, I'm sorry to hear you are still struggling with this. I can understand why you are wondering how this has occured without all the interventions or baby being in an akward position ie arm above head. It does take awhile to recover from a traumatic birth ( or after birth experience in your case) and it may be worth having a debrief with the hospital to go through whats happened. It is a good thing that the damage was spotted immediately and repaired as you can get on with healing and enjoy your dd. In my case the tear was misdiagnosed as 2nd degree and it took months of pressure on my part to get referred for repair surgery and nearly 16 months on I'm still going through it with another operation to come.

SanetJvv Mon 16-Jul-07 14:20:23

19 days is still very early. I had a laseration with dd1 and it took almost 2 weeks before I could go to the toilet without pain. After almost 4 months intercourse was totally comfortable.

Ive heard that infra red lights help with wound healing. Did they tell you if you are allowed to do pelvic floor exercises jet? If you do them correctly they will do wonders.

Atleast you had a repair like 4jen said....

I hope you will feel better very soon.
Good luck!

miniegg Mon 16-Jul-07 14:51:31

i am so sorry and disturbed to hear your story.
my first baby is due tomorrow - i probably shouldn't be reading posts like this! - but I just wanted to send you sympathy as what happened to you is one of my worst dreads. It sounds like there is absolutely nothing you could have done and nature just took its course. i really hope you get the best possible treatment. be pushy.

Meglet Mon 16-Jul-07 15:13:45

You mentioned that you have lactulose but I just remembered that there is some good laxative type stuff called Movicol (or something like that). I was given it after an op a few years ago and I was horribly constipated. Its a stool softener so it makes it much easier to poo, not a traditional laxative that just forces everything out at speed! sorry if thats too much info!

Although not sure if you can have it if you are b/f, I wasn't allowed it after a c-section and had lactulose instead which wasn't as good.

lulumama Mon 16-Jul-07 16:13:01


am really sorry that you are having a hard time

sometimes, things happen, for which there is no rhyme nor reason

on paper, your birth sounds ideal, and the sort of birth i would suggest for someone who wanted to avoid tearing.......

how horrible that you should have to endure a spinal block and a repair after such a natural birth

I would suggest either birth trauma association or sheila kitzinger;s birth crisis helpline

to talk to or email someone about this who can help you x

kittenbaby Mon 16-Jul-07 19:10:12

thanks to everyone for all your replies xx

4jen im heart goes out to you thats even worse
do you know when your having your next op?
i really really hope it goes well for you?
do you have one child?

miniegg good luck i really hope your labour and birth goes well x

lulumama ive been on the birth truma website and i think i will contact them maybe via email 1st thankyou

Rosetip Mon 16-Jul-07 21:34:09


Just to say how much I sympathise and hope that your repair is successful.

You did nothing wrong- childbirth has always been a risky and unpredictable business.

So pleased that you have a beautiful, healthy daughter.

loolop Mon 16-Jul-07 21:44:40

Kittenbaby I totally totally sympathise with you, I had exactly the same as you - 4th degree tear hideous repair op, consultants running in and out, didn't get to see DD for 4 hours as was in theatre. However...I wasn't entirely blameless like you - I was in too much of a hurry to push her (rather large) head out!! On the plus side she is now 19 weeks and am entirely back to normal apart from the odd ache/throbbing at the end of the day sometimes. Pain going to the toilet lasted about a month I found pouring warm water whilst weeing really helped and had a bath with tea tree oil in each night, I had full intercourse after about 8 weeks. I know how much it hurts and really do feel for you but it does get better and soon it will be a distant memory! Try not to go for too many long walks etc as i found if I did too much the aching got much worse, oh and sitting with my legs tucked up helped too! Hope you get better soon x

4jen Mon 16-Jul-07 22:10:37

Kittenbaby, I do have only one child, if I do have another it has to be c/s. I'm on a waiting list for colostomy reversal up to 6 months, had to have one following my sphincter repair op. Even if the repair isn't that sucessful the surgeon has made me look great down there again, I have a new perenium.

You may want to look at babycentre's forum difficult birth debriefing as well (sorry not good with posting links). Keep taking the lactulose and do your pelvic squeezies to make sure all heals well and if you feel something is not right get straight to the G.P. and don't be fobbed off.

clur79 Tue 17-Jul-07 22:23:12

I also suffered a 4th degree tear after gicing birth to my ds 10 days ago. I had no idea what was happening as I was rushed to theatre without holding ds. Have been thinnking that i need to talk to someone about the birth as it was quite traumatic and it keeps playing on my mind

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to have a natural childbirth after a tear this bad or will i be advised to have a c section?

Nin18 Wed 18-Jul-07 13:33:24

kittenbaby and clur79 - best thing i had after a particularly awful 4th degree tear was to be referred to physio for ultra violet treatment ... demand this for yourselves. i had 6 weeks of treatment in all and although i had to wait 6 weeks for anyone to help me to begin with I couldn't believe the difference it made. also talk to someone about it - my midwife was fantastic as i also had a really traumatic birth which i couldn't get over ... was really horrible but i couldn't get over that i had this wonderful baby after such an awful, awful time. i've been advised to go for a c section if i have another baby which i'll certainly do. never, ever want to go through that again.

lulumama Wed 18-Jul-07 14:23:04

clur-- try the links further down the page, for help with birth trauma x

vole3 Fri 20-Jul-07 17:16:59

Sorry that you're having such a rough time.

They say that 2 out of 3 first timers will tear or have an episiotomy. Something to do with just not being stretchy enough and that the first one stretches things and makes it less likely with subsequent babies (although I guess you're not keen on contemplating such things yet!)

I tried the massaging ones bits with vitamin E oil from 35 weeks onwards, but still ended up with a 3rd degree myself. I was told it was because it was a quick 2nd stage (15mins so not enough time to allow things to stretch), delivering kneeling upright (puts pressure on different part of perineum) and apparently I have a short perineum. Makes a change from acute angina

Witch hazel solution dribbled on to your pad is very soothing and moist loo paper is much less scratchy.

Things will improve, but living in a hormone haze doesn't help much at this time. Keep mobile, but don't tire yourself out. Eat well, sleep when you can. Ban visitors unless they are going to cook, hoover or do the laundry or cleaning for you. Use it as an excuse to babymoon in bed with your little one and be waited on as you deserve it!

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