The New York Times was out with a blog post last week that notes how complications from vaginal birth likely do not receive the attention they deserve. Reams of stories are filed on the unique risks to C-sections and the harm that may come for those with certain risk-factors (old age, obseity, diabetes, etc.). However, far less discussion takes place regarding the harm that comes even in the “traditional” birthing process. The post is a helpful reminder that childbirth can always become a dangerous situation, and proper care is absolutely essential at all times.
The article was written by a mother who shared her personal story of injury following a vaginal birth. Contrary to the “grand” memories many claim to have about the birth of their children, this mother admitted that her memories are mostly about pain and injury. Specifically, she discussed how she experienced an extreme vaginal tear–a common injury during the birthing process. There are different degrees of tears, with some more serious than others. In her case, the writer sufferd the worst possible, a tear of the fourth degree.
The serious tear should have been expected because the mother experienced serious problems during an earlier birth. When her first child was born the mother was forced to push for hours, forceps were used, and she left the hosptial barely able walk. When preparing for this second delivery, she discussed these problems with her doctor. Was a C-section a better option? Perhaps, but the woman’s doctor in this case apparently brushed it off. She writes, “I expressed my apprehension about another vaginal birth to a doctor beforehand. His response was to ask, “Was it really four hours, or did it just feel like four hours?”