Find part one of this story here.
I did A LOT of research on ways to decrease the chances of having another 4th degree tear and I felt like the best way for me to do that was to have a home water birth, which I also did A LOT of research on.
So almost two years after my first son was born I had an amazingly healing home water birth. It was exactly the experience that I was hoping for. One thing I didn’t expect though, was that it brought up a lot of trauma from my 4th degree tear. After experiencing an amazing birth, I realized how bad that birth really was. When you have a traumatic birth with your first baby, you don’t have anything to compare it to. So when you go on to have a good experience with your next, it can bring up a lot of new feelings about that first birth that you didn’t realize were there. I wasn’t expecting that.
A couple of years later I had another picture perfect home water birth with our daughter. It was also very emotionally healing because her labor started like my first did – with my water breaking and labor not progressing quickly. I had a lot of emotional stuff to work through during that labor, which I was able to make peace with. It felt like a second chance to do things differently and have the birth I always wanted with my first. Almost twenty nine hours after my water broke, I pushed my baby girl out on my own and felt her head as it was crowning and coming out. It was the most beautiful experience out of all of my births.
It has been five and a half years and two healing births since my 4th degree tear, and I still can’t say I’m completely over it. Just yesterday I called to request my medical records from that birth because I have heard it can help the healing process. It’s something I have been wanting to do for years, but just now got up the nerve to do.
Being a part of the 4th degree tear support group has been such a learning experience and has really opened my eyes over the last 3 years. When I created it 3 years ago it was after the birth of my 2nd son and I will be completely honest that one of the main reasons I created it was because I was on such a high from my birth that I wanted to tell other moms who had 4th degree tears that they could experience another vaginal delivery and have a good outcome like I did. That they didn’t have to have a csection like my OB recommended for me. That their bodies weren’t broken – their tear was probably just caused by medical interventions like mine was, and if they just avoid those interventions then they could have a good birth like I did.
But wow have I learned so much since then. I have been so humbled by the stories of women in the group. I know that I am one of the lucky ones and that, yes, some women can have that same experience I did, but many can’t/won’t.
I understand now that there are so many factors that go into the decision for future children and not everyone is going to make the same decision I did, nor should they. There are physical factors to take into consideration and emotional ones. For some women a c-section is the best choice for them. Others will choose to not have anymore children. All of these decisions are right for them. It isn’t my place to convince anyone to make the same decisions I did. We all make the best decisions for our bodies and our families. And we all support each other no matter what. 💞
I recently read this comment on a related post – “Women who choose a c section the second time aren’t that different from those who choose to home birth or even birth unassisted. It’s the simple goal of never having to live through the same trauma a second time. It doesn’t make subsequent choices less valid, it certainly isn’t an indication that women are choosing higher risk alternatives even though some are, that’s their choice and should only ever be their choice. What ever the second birth plan turns out to be, the birth after a traumatic delivery is invariably researched thoroughly by the individual and much more likely to be a genuine informed decision.”