C Section After 3rd Degree Tear

219 Replies
ES - March 5

Ginger Lady, I agree that pitocin probably has a role in these problems we have. But I didn't have any pitocin and I still had a third degree tear. So I think it can happen either way. I did have an epidural but I was already 7cm when I got to the hospital at 4:15 am by 6:30 am I was 10cm. I got my epidural at 5:00 am. I started pushing at 9:30 am and she finally came out at 11:20 am. She was 8lbs 4oz. and I'm smaller in size, I think that she was just to big for me.


katie-jane - March 10

Hi. I have just spent ages reading through all the comments. I too had a 3rd degree tear with my first son (8lb). I am now 33 weeks pregnant and trying to decide if a c section is the best option. I am totally confused about what to do. I haven't had to see a specialist, but have never felt right after my tear and it took a long time to heal (i still have problems now) and even more so since becomming pregnant again. I'm so scared that I will tear again (and mabye worse) but I'm also scared to have a c section. My OB said the choice is mine, but I have asked and he has provided me no info on either option. feeling really anxious.


ES - March 10

katie-jane, I think having a baby is scary no matter how it comes out especially if you have had a bad experience already. Di you have any girlfriends who have had c-sections? Maybe they can help you decide. I have two close girlfriends and my mom who have all said that there recovery seemed to be a lot easier than mine. You should read The Essential C-Section Guide: Pain Control, Healing at Home, Getting Your Body Back, and Everything Else You Need to Know About a Cesarean Birth by Maureen Connolly , Dana Sullivan. It really helped me a lot.


GingerLady - March 11

I am currently 6 days overdue with my second baby and very anxious about how this birth will go. I weighed the options for a long time and spoke to several doctors and midwives, bringing along my birth protocol from the last delivery. I understand some people tear badly without an epidural or any interventions and maybe I would have as well... we will never know. But after weighing the options, a C-section did not come into question for me. Maybe if this next birth turns out the same way, I will change my mind. I read a book called "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin and in there she talks a lot about natural childbirth and the role that environment as well as other intervenions can play on your labor, how some factors can cause you to tense up during labor. I realized that the hospital environment itself tenses me up... the whole "everything has to happen this way, and fast" vibe really stresses me out, not to mention the bright lights, beeping and people walking in and out all the time. So I have decided this time to try for a home birth. If you had asked me a few years ago about home birth I would have said it was crazy, in fact, I thought my sister-in-law was nuts to attempt it when she had her 2 kids 7 and 4 years ago. But in the meantime I've researched so much and met so many women who have had great experiences, I am going to go for it. I have a birthing pool set up in my office and have everything prepared, and have a midwife coming who has been home birthing for 28 years. And I am a 3 to 4 minute drive from the next hospital, which is very comforting to me... not sure I would do this if I had to drive more than 10 minutes. Anyway, I will let you know how it goes... please send good vibes. It's hard to get through a trauma like the ones we've been through.


GingerLady - March 11

About st_tching up... just wanted to add that I think that is a huge factor in how we recover. I have the feeling that many doctors are not really skilled at repairing tears and that if they had better training in that, a lot of our complications would be much milder. After my tearing, I went for my 6W postpartum checkup to my ob/gyn and she said "wow, you have enough catgut in there to fill a delivery truck, but the doctor did a very good job st_tching you up". I got this comment a few other times from docs in the hospital and postpartum midwives as well. I guess that's why the doc was sewing me for almost 2 hours after my delivery. Anyway, the long and the short of it is that although my recovery took a very long time (about 2 years till I felt relatively normal again), I healed very well, and my doc/midwife now say that the scar tissue down there is not bad at all, I don't look much different than someone who has had a more minor tear. Especially if you tore into the epithelial tissue, which I did extensively, that heals wonderfully... it's the same that is in your mouth, and you know how fast your mouth heals if you bite your cheek or something (and how it hurts like hell while it is still injured!).


ES - March 11

GingerLady, I wish you the best of luck. You are much braver than me. Let me know how things go.


ES - March 11

I was just wondering to all of you who have had a 3rd degree tear... When they st_tched you up, did they st_tch the whole tear? I know it sounds weird but my doctor didn't. My tear runs through the opening of my rectum,and he started st_tching just above my rectum. So now my rectum has a slit in it, like when someone has an earring ripped out of there earlobe. Its really hard to keep it clean, it sort of has like a pocket there. I was just curious if anyone else is like this. My doctor acted like I was crazy when i asked about it. But when he st_tched me up I a__sumed he had st_tched the whole thing. The colorectal specialist said that my internal sphincter was intact. But my external sphincter is what tore. I just don't get why they don't st_tch the whole thing? It's still sore, and she is 5 months old now.


Christy - March 12

Well, I had my son on Monday and went unmedicated, v____al this time. It was tough, but I had a doula help me through it. I did tear again, but only a second degree this time. I think it might not have happened at all if my ob didn't rush me to push and make me push on my back!! I was trying to push on all fours but she got really b___hy about it. I wish i had gotten one of two other docs i like but this lady was on call that morning. Still, this birth was so much better and while I'm a little sore, it is nowhere near as bad as the first time. Good luck to all you trying to make this decision! It's not an easy one, that is for sure!


Christy - March 12

ES- both repairs I had ran/run the length of the tear.


angeonel - April 21

I was 22 when i had my first child, laboured at home due to my first trip to the hospoital where i was told i wasnt in labour by some midwife more bothered about her food than me. I left the hospital then eventually when contractions were 2 mins apart (2hours later) was forsed by my mother into hospital, the same midwife again told me i wasnt in labour and only when my mother insisted she checked me did she discovered i was 10cm dilated and head had crowned, with 1 push i gave birth to my daughter on the examination table. 3rd degree tear! Theatre. Major pain for bout 4 months (for the first 3 weeks i couldnt even pick her out her crib to b___stfeed) i have had twinges of pain since. 2 and half years on am now 23weeks pregnant with baby number 2, im petrified. Ive been to see consultant who has tried to push me away from a c-section, saying its a major op and recovery time blah blah blah. I jus wonder if she has actually gone through half of what we have then she would understand that we obviously know a c-sec is painful but mebies more barable than our bottoms splitting! I havnt decided one way or another what im doing yet! Im us sooooooo scaired it will happen again i dont think i will be able to stay calm and composed if i opt for a V delivery. Im jus so pleased im not the only one that has been affected by a 3rd degree. I wish u all love n luck and thank you all, from all your pain I have found comfort in all your stories, knowing i am not the only person going thru all this. Angie x


GingerLady - April 21

Well, I am back to report what happened with my home birth. First time around I had a hospital delivery, 3rd degree perineal tear, torn cervix, 2 very deep tears up the sides of my v____a with a torn artery causing me to lose 1.5 liters of blood, and nearly tore off my right labia. I was told over and over "c-section next time!". My whole story is posted above somewhere... Anyway, I gave birth at home almost 6 weeks ago to an 8 pound girl. My labor was very fast... midwife arrived at 11, bay was born just over an hour later. I bought a b__w-up pool online and was in it for about 35 minutes. I was petrified that all of my scars would split open again and I would have a recovery that took AGES like last time. Well, I did tear, and in the only place left intact last time around... I had a labia tear on my left side. My perineum did not tear, all that scar tissue held like Ft. Knox. No other tearing. My recovery took about 10 days for me to feel great again... although the next morning after the birth I would have never believed it... was swollen like I had a pair of socks in my crotch. The water birth was very gentle, I felt the tear as it happened but no pain on my perineum, the baby slid out like b___ter. I would do it exactly this way again, however I might have let the midwife get a close look at what was going on with me before getting into the tub... I was in the tub before she could check baby's position, so it may have been a nuchal hand or something else causing the tear.... it all went so fast the midwife basically just watched and handed me water to drink. My neighbor had a c-section 10 days after me, her daughter was exactly the same size as mine. She took quite a lot longer to recover, and still looks 6 months pregnant. I understand this is normal after a c-section.


ivyleaf3 - March 14

I know no one has posted on this thread for a very long time, but I am hoping to revive it, as I'm dealing with these issues at the moment and could really do with some advice and support. My husband and I are currently trying for our second baby, but I am very worried about how I will give birth. My first delivery, almost 2 years ago, was very quite traumatic and the recovery was terrible, though not as hard as some of the stories on here that I've read. After 3 days of no sleep with pre-labour pains, I was in labour almost 19 hours before my son was born, and was transferred to a different hospital while in labour (not happy). Most of that was screaming in the shower in pain because my baby was ready to come but the waters still hadn't broken. My midwife finally decided at the 16.5 hour mark to break my waters, after I had already torn internally while in the shower trying to labour squatting (though she didn't tell me that at the time). For the final stage of labour I was on my back with legs pushed high and was told to push as strongly as possible when she gave me the ok, but the baby came very quickly regardless, once she broke the waters. I ended up with a 3rd degree tear and two internal tears. They tried to stich me up in the room and decided there was too much damage so I had to be taken to the OR and given a spinal block (after having no pain relief in labour!). It took 2.5 hours in the OR to repair. I was in immense pain, suffered both incontinence and constipation at various times during recovery, and required reconstructive surgery again 9 months after the birth. There was too much scar tissue and I suspect (though no dr would ever confirm this) that I was sewn up too much. I know how my body felt before and after the first repair I had a sort of lip of skin at the edge of the v____a where the perineum starts (was not able to have s_x at all). After months of trying to get drs to listen to me, I finally got the repair and after about 4 months of healing (total of over a year) was finally able to be intimate with my husband again. Luckily, 2 years down the track, I only have occasional incontinence (sneezing and the like) and have only experienced 2 instinces of bowel incontinence, but the idea of possibly going through it again OR WORSE terrifies me. I was always against C sections, but I have now talked to my GP and 5 OB/gyns during my recovery and repair process. One said it was totally up to me either way; one said it was my choice but he wouldn't recommend vag; the other 3 said absolutely have C section (inc the initial surgeon). I'm pretty sure I will request a C section but am so totally freaked out by the complications. As one midwife said to me, you can die in a C section - that almost never happens with a v____al delivery. It is so hard to know what to do...


sharongi - March 15

I don't think it's right for anyone to frighten you like that. There are many, many uncomplicated c-sections. Personally I have delivered v____ally (with a similar story to yours with similar after effects) and I have delivered by c-section which went like a dream - absolutely nothing went wrong. If I have another baby, I would have a c-section - no questions. I can live with my problem now, I don't need to have the tearing and damamge exacerbated by another v____al delivery. It's easy for someone who has not had to live with incontinence to advise you not to have the c-section. It sounds like most if the medical advice favours the c-section anyway. All the best!


tvc - March 15

I did deliver my daughter by c-section and nothing went wrong no pain no pressure no nothing. We are ttc and are not sure of a v-back or c-section but more then likely will op for a c-sec. I think its really rare for someone to die from this. Nobody should have scared you like this.


sll - March 21

I'm glad this topic is resurrected, as I'm pregnant again (no. 3). I had 3rd degree tear with my first, and was offered C section for my second. I opted for home birth instead. For me it was either C section in hospital, or as natural as possible at home, there was nothing in between. I think that's because it is so important to be relaxed and (hopefully) with a midwife you know and trust, which I was lucky enough to have with my second. However I still had a 2nd degree tear, even with very relaxed birthing process, excellent senior midwife, best position for not tearing, very slow pushing (breathing baby out) etc. I feel like I was lucky not to have 3rd degree tear again, and that if any of the cirumstances had been different this could well have happened. Now I am pregnant with my third, I've been offered C section again. I think I will opt for this. I don't have anything to prove; my consultant has said with my history it's likely I'll tear again if I deliver v____ally, and that there is a good chance of fecal incontinence if this happens. I don't see the point of taking the risk; if I have a planned section, with my age, general health etc. I am very low risk for any a__sociated problems. It's so helpful to hear everyone else's experiences, keep talking!


mrs james - January 11

Hi, I have read this thread as I am currently 17 weeks pregnant with my second child and suffered a third degree tear following the birth of my first in 2008. I am too unsure and busily weighing up the pros and cons of Vaginal and elec C/s. I was a colorectal nurse for many years and my mother is an experienced midwife I now work in anesthetics. Many of the posts are pro c/sec and few are v____al, the problem for us all is their is no right answer on how to deliver following a tear and the best you have is your intuition. C sections are major abdominal surgery FACT! which if carried out correctly are a safe option for many women however you cannot ignore the risks of bleeding, infection, bladder and/or bowel problems etc. Vaginal births also carry risks to the mother which many on this forum are all too aware. All I can say is that all of our experiences where individual to us and it is those which are best to influence our decision making. It is important to get all the facts but we are the ones best to judge our bodies and what they are capable of . Gook luck x



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