"I'd never felt so alone than after I had a 4th degree tear. Whilst I was in hospital recovering no one explained what it meant, they just kept saying "with the severity of your tear...". It made me feel like my tear was the worse they'd ever seen.
I was too scared to look at my stitches so would often go to my GP to let my emotions out and for someone to tell me I was healing well. There is hardly any support out there for ladies who suffer severe tears.
Having a group to share stories and experiences has been life changing - no one understands what the physical and emotional trauma of dealing with a tear is like until you've had one yourself. To be in a supportive environment with other ladies who can relate to you has been amazing".
"8 years ago I suffered a 4th degree tear which healed remarkably well, with no lasting symptoms. However, it hurt for weeks and even the pain of labour didn't hurt as much as the tear did. I knew it wasn't normal to tear right up to rectum and was anxious about having more children.
In November 2016 we conceived after 3 months of trying and I came across this support group when trying to make a decision on my delivery method. I have now decided to have a ELCS [elective caesarian] this time after discussing it with professionals and the women in BTS who are so good at listening & understanding. They give honest opinions without criticising you".
"8 years ago I suffered a 3rd degree tear. When I got pregnant 2nd time, all I could think about was tearing again. After several consultant appointments and being told I was at high risk for tearing again, I was dreading giving birth. However, I decided to have a natural birth and I gave birth to by baby with no tearing or stitches".
"I had an unremarkable pregnancy and a dream birth that went so well, so I was shocked when the consultant told me that I had suffered a severe tear that had to be repaired under spinal anaesthetic. The weeks that followed were painful and stressful; I was so worried I would always be incontinent or in pain! The members of this group assured me it would improve, albeit slowly, and after some physio help I feel so much better six months down the track. I can now focus on enjoying my beautiful baby girl". Emily, Australia
I literally couldn't have gone through some of the last 9 months without some of the support I have had on BTS, so thank you ♡ I really hope hearing this can make as much difference to someone else as a lot of you have to me.
I gave birth to my second child in August '17, and I couldn't have hoped for a better birth after the trauma I suffered 6 years ago. I received a tiny 2nd degree tear but nothing compared to the 3rd degree tear I suffered before, and the care I received was exceptional.
I had my daughter 19 months after a 3b tear after episiotomy and forceps with my son. I have a prolapsed bladder and have had periods of being symptomatic since his birth, but pelvic physiotherapy had really helped minimise the symptoms for me.
After spending time deciding on whether another vaginal birth or an elective section were the best option for me, I had decided on a vaginal birth, with no induction and no instruments and a low threshold to go to c section if things were not progressing well. I am very happy to say that I went into labour spontaneously (after a stretch and sweep at 39 weeks), and I literally did 'breathe her out'. I didn't believe it was possible after 'failing' at hypnobirthing the first time around. It was incredibly calm and peaceful and I got a second degree tear with no symptoms. I feel a million times better than I did after my first and am feeling very thankful that the decision was the right one for me.