“I so wish I would have found this group sooner.”
“I read the article on Scary mommy and tears began streaming down my cheeks. I’m not alone, I knew there had to be more women like me.”
“This support group could not have come at a better time. I wish this group wasn’t needed but am I ever thankful that it’s here.”
”I am so glad this group exists!”
”I thought I was the only one going though this. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone anymore.”
“So thankful that this group exists! I just found it last night and have already learned so much.”
“I am so grateful to have found you all!”
“I just found this group and it makes me feel a lot less alone.”
“I have never met anyone else who had a 4th degree tear before.”
“I wish I knew of this group two years ago when my daughter was born.”
”I am so happy to have found this group.”
“I feel nobody other than the people in this group will understand.”
”Thank goodness for a group like this.”
“I am new to the group and boy am I glad I was recommended to join.”
“I am new to this group and so happy to have found you!”
“So glad I found this group of ladies!”
”I’m so pleased I found this group.”
My oldest son was born in October 2012 and through a series of unfortunate events I suffered a 4th degree tear during his birth. For the next two years I searched online for a group of women who had gone through the same thing. There was only one online community that I found but there were very few active members, and you could go days or weeks before getting a response to a question.
Finally I decided I was tired of going through this alone. I knew there had to be others out there who were searching for a connection like I was. In January 2015 I created a support group on Facebook for others who had also experienced a 4th degree tear. In three years we grew slowly, reaching around 300 members. But in the last few months we have gained a lot more exposure thanks to articles like this and tripled to 1,000 members, representing 33 countries and six continents.
It’s a strange feeling to reach 1,000.
Every time there is a request to join the group, I feel sad that another woman has gone through the physical and emotional trauma. But I am also thankful that they will not have to go through it alone anymore.
We aren’t made to go though life alone. We need others in our lives to connect with. In his book, The Power of the Other, psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud explains that we need relationships in our lives. We need connections. And when it comes to our 4th degree tears, we have noticed that we really can’t connect with anyone else about our birth and postpartum experience, except with others who have gone through the same thing. No one else truly understands.
Here is an excerpt from The Power of the Other:
“Your plane lands, and the flight attendant says, “It is now safe to use your mobile phones.” You turn yours on, and what’s the first thing that happens? You receive a message at the top of the screen that reads: “Searching . . .” or “Searching for connection . . .” Or “Searching for network . . .”
Until the phone connects with the network, nothing happens. But when it connects, miracles occur, in the invisible world. The phone’s capabilities are now empowered to be all they were designed to be. It can now automatically download or fix bugs in the software; it can download new apps that enable it to do things it couldn’t do before. Through this connection, all of the resources of the outside world are suddenly at your disposal and ready to provide benefit. Through this link, the phone connects you to the entire world, all of its information and knowledge, help and skill, to enable better performance. From this one connection, almost anything is possible. The phone surpasses its previous limits . . . it can get bigger, and better.
But without a connection to the right network, that little device will never be able to do everything it was designed to do. Sure, it might still be able to tell you the time or see a calendar of your events or serve as a repository of previous communication and photos, but without a strong and steady connection, the device has hit its limit. It continues to produce the same results you were producing on the plane, even if you try harder.
Humans are exactly like that. You are like that; I am like that. From the moment we are born the moment we land, a “chip” inside each of us starts searching for a connection to the right network, one that will provide us with the energy and information (coding) to go beyond our present ability, experience, and performance. And this searching, this needing a connection, is not optional for any of us. It is hardwired and always on, even when we don’t know it and even when we don’t even desire it.
As long as you are alive, your heart and mind and soul will be searching for a connection. An “other.” Several others. A community that will bring life, all the ingredients of life that you need to get past the limit of your present existence and performance.
The need for connection begins before infancy and continues throughout life — from the womb to the tomb. If you are alive, you need it to thrive, period.
We are fueled from the outside, from connection with others. Whether it’s a smartphone or a human, when the system can’t make a connection, it begins to run down. This an indisputable reality. Humans need connections, and their systems are always searching for one.”
I’m so thankful for every single member of our support group. I cannot imagine going through life without all of you! Even though we may never meet in real life, we know some of the most intimate details about each other and have a connection that is indescribable.