Birth Stories

Lornelle’s Story – Instrumental Delivery and Spousal Trauma

Trigger Warning: This birth story contains details of instrumental delivery, 3b tear and partner trauma. If you are triggered by these topics you may wish to skip this blog or read it once you have support available. If you are seeking support for your birth trauma, you may wish to contact our Peer Support Service.

In 2015 we were due to welcome our first child on January 5th, a son. I was overdue and had been given the date to come in for an induction, 13th Jan. We attended the hospital and I was checked over. The decision to put the tape in was made and I was given some pain relief and sent to bed. The following morning we went up to the birthing suite to have the tape removed and be examined again and I was then informed that nothing was happening and I was not having the baby that day either. They instead decided to use the balloon catheter method and I was sent back to bed to rest.

The next morning I showered and made my way back to the birthing suite by 8 am where the catheter was removed and upon examination, I was told we were 6 cm dilated and then my water was broken and the induction process had begun. I then spent all day and the early evening in labour. I tried to go pain relief free but battling crippling and intense back pain I asked for an epidural. The Anaesthetist came and administered an epidural and for the first time that day I felt at ease and that my sons birth was imminent.

After a few more hours of pushing and an examination from a couple of Resident doctors, one couldn’t even tell which way my son was facing my room suddenly filled with doctors. It seemed the baby was starting to show signs of distress and he wasn’t coming out. The doctor appeared beside my head to inform me that they were going to intervene and use instruments to assist in the delivery. My husband was at my side the whole time through this and so was my best friend. I had been present for all 3 of her children’s births.

After setting up for the next step I chose to just look directly at the roof and wait for the news that my son had arrived. My husband said during this time he was watching my doctor who was just a wee dot about 5ft tall and would blow over in a stiff wind, was struggling to get our son out. My husband said she was red in the face and if she could have stuck her foot against the table for extra leverage she would have. Finally, after lots of tugging and what seemed like an eternity our son entered the world and was placed on my chest it was almost 10 pm.

The next thing I know I’m being asked to remove jewellery and informed I would require repair surgery as I had received a tear whilst they were delivering our son and was losing blood. I said goodbye to my husband, our son who I had only held for a few minutes, and my best friend and anticipated being back to them in an hour. I was surprised to find that it was closer to 4 hrs when I was brought back to my frantic husband who was left holding our baby and not being updated on my surgery or recovery.

It was close to 2 am when i once again held our baby and spoke to my husband. He was severely traumatised by the whole event.

I was informed I had a 3rd-degree tear (3B), I had suffered significant blood loss and was offered a blood transfusion immediately or an iron transfusion to take place over the next 10 hrs or so. I went with the iron transfusion because I honestly didn’t think I was as damaged as I was.

I spent the next 5 days in the hospital and the next 6 weeks in intense physio as I’d lost the control function to urinate and to tell whether I needed to poo or not.

The way our child arrived into this world and how the situation spiralled out of control scarred us. It took me months to get over what happened and I refused to give birth other than via caesarean for my following 2 children. They were born in consecutive years after my first.

My husband and best friend still talk of watching that whole experience as the most traumatic and wrong thing they have ever seen.

I thank you for this ability to have our say and to tell our story. It has helped in the healing process.

If you or your partner are seeking support for birth-related trauma, please contact our Peer2Peer Support service to connect with one of our Peer Mentors.  Women who have experienced severe tearing may also find useful information at https://masic.org.uk/.

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