Karen’s story

My story began in October 2010, with the birth of my first child. My baby became distressed and I was given an episiotomy and she was delivered using forceps.

Sadly, I was not adequately assessed by the doctor after delivering and had sustained a substantial 4th degree tear. I was superficially repaired and sent home.

Slide showing NICE classification – from the presentation given by Teresa Arias from King’s College at the MASIC launch meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine on 22 March 2017


6 days later in excruciating pain and having started to pass faeces via my vagina, I was readmitted to hospital with my baby.

After ride in an ambulance I was then transferred to another hospital where a team were assembled to reconstruct my perineum.

I was in hospital for 6 days, mostly confined to bed rest. My husband’s paternity leave was consumed with caring for me and visiting hospital.

I was on bed rest for 8 weeks and very weak. I became socially isolated and soon became depressed. Unable to take my baby out for a walk, play sport, ride horses or sit for long. Why me?

Too soon I had to return to work as I was self employed. I did so with a mountain of pain relief. After suffering panic attacks I finally sought the counselling I needed.

Today, I still attend hospital appointments for my ongoing issues of pain and incontinence. However I have learned to manage my symptoms and have gone on to have a second child by Caesarean section – a walk in the park compared to my first birth experience!

My passions are horse riding and sport which I have returned to and as long as I follow a strict diet and exercise regime of pilates and pelvic floor exercises, I can do them with a smile now.

9 thoughts on “Karen’s story”

  1. Hi there I was wondering if anyone could help me i suffered a birth injuries due to the lack of care of the obstetrician, I wanted to find out if an obstetrician stretching someone’s vagina is classed as normal practice,I was not offered any other method of delivery

  2. PRACHTIG Laura en Hugo. Ik kan me voorstellen dat jullie een geweldige vakantie rijker zijn geworden die je nooit meer zult vergeten. De HARTELIJKE GROETEN en een goede terug rijs. Gabriella Weidar Jair

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