Having To Have A Colostomy After Child Birth

11 Replies
Nicky79 - August 16

Hi, I gave birth to my son 3 years ago and I have a colostomy because the midwife did not check me properly. She told me I has 2nd degree tears but a week later I was told it was 4th degree tears. i am the only person this has happened to in the channel Islands where i live but I know there is woman all over the world who has had to have a colostomy due to child birth. Please get in touch if this has happened to you.


Chem400 - August 16

Hi Nicky, don't know anyone who had a colostomy after v____al birth, but do know 2 women who had ureterostomies after c-sections. Their bladders were injured during the sections. What did you midwife do?????? I am so sorry you have had such a devastating result. I guess for some women birth just doesn't go like the T.V. shows. I hope things go better for you and that you are surrounded by loving, supportive people.


Nicky79 - August 17

The midwife looked and said that i had 2nd degree tears without even checking me properly. She didn't check me internally, she just St_tched the tears as if they were 2nd degree and said I would be fine in a few weeks but the following week I went back to hospotal as I knew something wasn't right and was told by a doctor that I had a rectov____al fistula (pa__sage of stool through the v____a) and I had 4th degree tears and not 2nd. I had to have a temporary colostomy 2 weeks after giving birth and it took 13 months to have the tear repaired in the UK. In feb 05 after having some rectal tests the doctor said that the repair to my a___l muscles had not been as good as they hoped and if I did have the colostomy reversed then I would suffer from Faecal incontinence, so I decided that I would not have the colostomy reversed as living with Faecal incontinence would be worse then living with a colostomy so I still have the colostomy. No it is nothing like the T.V shows I've watched, its probably because they have midwives and doctors who know what they are doing and they don't have useless ones like us. Yes I am lucky to have my family and a wonderful husband and of course my little boy keeps me going. We are trying for another child but I have been told that I will need a c-section next time but after reading your post I'm not so sure:-)


Chem400 - August 18

hey Nicky, I think you are in an unusual position. What do the doctors say about your future births? I know they may recommend c-section. While it is NO walk in the park contrary to a few posters who I might add are very lucky, I can't see how the riks to you from a c-section are any higher than your first v____al birth and might be the better choice for YOU> I am sad as the more people I talk to about v____al birth the more I find that medical technology has caused so many sections, added pain, and huge tearing due to epidurals. I am sad for the lot of you who still wish to birth again, hope all is well for you today.


Nicky79 - August 18

Hi, The doctor who did my scans told me that due to the tears it would be better for me to have a c-section for the next birth and he said that I could still go on to have 7 c-sections but theres no way I want 7 children:-) I was torn on the outside from my v____a to my a__s and was torn inside aswell, When the doctor examined me when I went back in to hospital he said he could put his finger up my bum and it would go straight thru to my v____a. (sorry to be crude but thats how bad the tears were). My choice would be to have a c-secton anyway because theres no way I ever want to go thru that again. I know that there is risks with a c-section as its a major operation but thats the risk I have to take. My sister had an emergency c-secton a month before I had my son and her scar had got infected and took a while to get better but she has said that she's glad she had one. I know this woman that had her son about 7 years ago by c-section and she was really bad, the doctor had cut her bowel by mistake and she nearly died and nearly had to have a colostomy but she is fine now. When I was pregnant I thought giving birth would be easy but after what I've been thru its like the lottery, some people win and some people don't. Yes I know what you mean, in this day and age i can't believe how so many things can go wrong with giving birth. My great-grandmother gave birth to 18 children and nothing bad happened to her with any birth. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong midwife but If I was Superst_tious I could blame the fact it was Friday 13th that I gave birth:-) I am suing them at the moment but it will take while yet. Having to have the colostomy has changed me but it will not ruin my life, I have always wanted a few children and what happened to me wont stop me from having more. Best wishes.


Perl - August 23

THis is upsetting to hear and I'm sorry you had to go through such pain during labor and afterwards with the colostomy. IF you don't mind, I'm concerned and curious: what should have been done differently by the midwife? How can they tell if you're going to tear that badly? I'm pregnant with my first and worry alot about tearing.


Nicky79 - September 1

Well my sister had gone into hospital a month earlier to give birth to her daughter and we are both slim build and are only 5 foot 2 inchs tall and she had to have a c-section because her pelvis was too small so given the fact that I am the same build as my sister they told me I would be fine because my baby would not be that big. My son weighed 7Ib 12oz and for me that is big. I only expected a little 5Ib baby. what the midwife should of done differently was to check me properly. She knew I had torn from being in the delivery room and the doctor told me that when a woamn has torn the midwife has to check to see how badly the tears are by putting her finger up the mother a__s and seeing how bad the tear is but this did not happen with me. She did not check me that way and only looked and said it was 2nd degree tears. The doctor told me that if the midwife had of checked my a__s then she would of found the 4th degree tear. A week after giving birth I took myself back to hospital and demanded to see a doctor as I knew something wasn't right and the doctor checked me by putting his finger up my a__s and spotted the 4th degree tear straight away but because a week had gone by it was too late to have the tear st_tched up so I had to have a tempory colostomy because I had faecal incontinuous and after having the tear repaired my a___l muscle had been damaged too much so I had to have the colostomy permantly or live with faecal incontinuous so i've still got the colostomy. I don't know where you live but you prob haven't got useless midwives like us in Guernsey, channel Islands. I hope everything goes well for you.


gabesmom - September 1

Hi Nicky, I'm sorry to hear that you had such a hard time with your delivery. I had a similar experience. I had my 1st child a son in Jan 05 after receiving a 4th degree episiotomy by my obgyn, I pushed for 2 hours then required a C-section. I was sent home after 3 days and byu the next day I was septic. I had told the nurses that I was pa__sing gas through my v____a and I had not had a bm they dismissed my complaint and I was informed that was not possible. ANyway, I was readmitted to the hosp. with 104 fever and "uterine debris" One week after delivering my son I had a temp. colostomy placed in order to have the recto-v____al fistula repaired. I had to go to several doctors for a rectal exam to find someone qualified or willing to fix the tear. My obgyn stated he had sewed up what he cut and I must have torn further during the pushing of the baby. He stated if he had known about the previous endometrious surgery I had 2 years prior he would have suggested a c-section from the get go. He repaired the episiotomy while the baby was still in the birh ca___l. He also stated had he thought there was a tear further up he would have waited until after the baby was out to repair the cut and "lift up my uterus to look to see if there was still a hole." I finally found a colon surgeon to repair the fistua and let down the colostomy, however, I will never be the same. It took a year before I could have s_x, I have so much scar tissue. The repair surgery was another episotomy therefore more scar tissue. WE no longer have s_x very often, I t is horrible pain like I am beign ripped from the inside out, we do try to have s_x during ovalutaion but we have not been successful,I have terrible stomach cramps, I have diarreaha daily and have to take levbid for the stomach cramps. I can not get very far from the restroom due to always having to go, I can't pa__s gas without being near a restroom because I have accidents. I haven't been able to return to work due to the incontenance I am on 2 anti-depressants. I am no longer able to eat raw fruits or vegetables, fried foods, spicey foods. I have gained 45 lbs since the let down of my colostomy. I weigh as much tody as I did the day I delivered 19 months ago. Every one tells me I have a good lawsuit and I do have a lawyer, we were able to get an expert to testify that there was malpractice, however, that was in March 2005 and now with 4 months left before I can file suit, (the statute of limitations on personal injury is 2 years in Arkansas the state I am from, it is different in all states.) he changed his mind staing that it is sad that I had all these damages and suffering, regardless of the few amount of cases, a recto-v____al fistula is a complication of child birth, just a very rare instance. My ogbyn told me that he was sorry this happened and he would take care of the next 2 surgeries, just send the bill to him. I have never known a dr say this to anyone. We are having a hard time finding a expert witness to testify against this dr. My new OBGYN recommends any other preg be delivered c-section. I hope this helps and I hope if any one has any answers for me to please let me know here or my email [email protected] Thank you for letting me vent, I need the therapy.


Nicky79 - September 1

Hi I am so sorry to hear what you have been thru, as if having a baby and looking after one isn't enough we have to go thru all this aswell. The surgeon gave me a choice whether or not to have my colostomy reversed and told me that if I did then I would more then likely suffer from faecal incontinuous forever and I was not going to live like that. I had wasted enough time having operations and having tests that there is no way I could spend the rest of my life having faecal incontinuous. I can not imagine what your going thru, I thought what I went thru was bad. Do you think your life would be easier if you had kept the colostomy. When the doctors told me that I needed a colostomy I didn't even know what it was and I was devastated and so was my family but after 3 years I have kind of got used to it and to be honest I don't really miss having to go to the toilet. (never thought I would be ok with having the colostomy). Yes there is some days when I wish I was how I used to be with a nice flat stomach and no scars but most the time I have accepted it. For the first 2 years I hardly went out because i felt so paranoid that everyone knew but then my son was getting older and I had to go out, not just for his sake but for mine aswell. I have even taken my son swimming at the bathing pools, something I never thought I would do. My colostomy don't revolve around my life anymore it is part of my life. I couldn't have s_x for 21 months due to having operations and I was really scared the first time but It is ok now. I knew our s_x life wouldn't be how it was before I had my son but it isn't as bad as I thought it would be but it does feel different. I can understand how you s_x life has changed, if you have faecal incontinuous you are hardly going to want to have s_x. I am in the process of suing the board of health who employ the midwives and it will take a long time, law suits always drag. over here we have 3 years to file a law suit and I started suing in march 2004. From all the things you said you have to go thru I wonder if reversing the colostomy was the best answer. I think you have a good reason to sue its just getting someone to agree with you. I'm not doctor but I have never heard of st_tching up an episiotomy while your still in labour. I had a recto-v____al fistula and I did not have it repaired until 13 months after giving birth, the doctor told me it was to let everything heal but the surgeon who did the repair in the Uk said that I waited a long time to have it repaired. You can't win can you. I was the same I couldn't eat spicy foods or fruit or veg but with the lomotil tablets I can how eat really what ever I want. Lomotil tablets are a Antidiarrhoeal which makes your stalls firm and works by slowing down the movement of the intestines. please feel free to chat to me here or email me at [email protected] if you need any help or just want a chat. Best Wishes.


trisha - September 9

Hi NIcky, I have had a similar experience to you. I delivered my first child in may, 2000, and my second in dec, 2002. Both were v____al deliveries. I was told I had 2nd degree tears with both of them and was st_tched accordingly. Since the 1st pregnancy I have always had a slight prolapse( which I had been told was v____al) and have had problems with my water works. During my recent 3rd pregnancy, the prolapse got worse. Every time my bowels opened(sorry to be so descriptive), I had a huge lump of muscle sticking out for about 2 hours afterwards. I asked for help with this on several occasions, mainly because when it happened I thought I was miscarrying( cos I'd had 3 miscarriages before my third pregnancy). It felt strange to have something coming out of my v____a during pregnancy and was very worrying. I begged and begged for a c- section( given that my second labour was only 30 mins) and I knew that I would not be able to push if this thing appeared between my legs). I was refused. When I was 7 months pregnant, the weight of the baby forced the prolapse down even further, so much so I was convinced I was in early labour and went to hospital. They insisted it was 'just a prolapse' and sent me home- although they did agree to a c section given the distress I was in.I delivered my 3rd child by c section in Dec 2005 and that was when the real problems started. For some strange reason, I started needing to empty my bowels about 10 times a day. My waterworks were not great and my periods were extremely heavy. I went to my doctor who referred me to GYn. They suggested a D&C and a scan of my v____a. I knew this was not the problem so declined and asked to be referred to a colorectal specialist. I have recently been told that I have a prolapsed bowel, and that there is very little muscle tissue left in my rectum. This, I was told, has been caused as a result of my first 2 tears being treated as 2nd degree tears when in actual fact, at least one ( possibly 2) must have been 3rd or 4rth degree. I am really angry. I have been told that the v____al prolapse!!!!!! is in fact my bowel pushing through thev____al wall and protruding through my v____a. The only way to fix this is to fit a colostomy, and try to repair the muscle and lift my bowel. The colostomy will only be reversed if the muscle replacement is successful. As well as that, I have been told that the problem with controlling my waterworks, is one that I will have to live with- cos my other problems are so major. I am only 30 years of age. It has affected my s_x life. When I have s_x, my bowel empties without me knowing. It is making me extremely paranoid and depressed. I leak faeces constantly, and find this affects my life immensely. Like you, I have desperately been trying to find other people going through the same thing. I was thinking about suing- but feel that they would blame it on unforeseeable problems with childbirth. Have you been told your case is quite strong. It is so similar to mine. I hope you are coping with what has happened to you. You just don't expect it to happen to you. I have not told anyone other than my family and my husband. I know I shouldn't be- but I am really embarra__sed by it. Please write to me whenver you can. It would be great to keep in touch. Thinking of you and understanding exactly how you feel. Trisha


acoffman113008 - November 1

I am on my third repair.


MamaBean2010 - January 2

It makes me sick that the people that are supposed to protect us, really only hurt us. I am a 21 year old who was cut severely while giving birth. I was never told about the possibility of an episiotomy (or what it was, for that matter) while I was pregnant. I went in thinking "Our bodies are made for this, I'll come out of this ok". HAHAHA. My OB gave me a 4th degree episiotomy wihtout telling ANYBODY what she was doing. Then she couldn't st_tch up her handiwork, so I ended up in an ambulance two weeks later, almost dead due to the infection from her mutilating me. I woke up the next day with a colostomy..which, in my opinion, is worse than death. My stoma was too close to my belly b___ton, so poo almost constantly leaked out and all over the place. No bag would stay on and I constantly had skin infections. I changed my bag 5 to 6 times a day (that's an entire box and I only received 2 boxes at a time), when I was only supposed to change it once or twice a week! I wanted to die everyday. I had that nasty thing for 15 weeks, and I am SOOO happy that it was reversed, but ever since the reversal, I have had horrible pain on my left side. Doctors say it's scar tissue from my intestine being cut apart and I just have to "deal with it". I have had 5 surgeries this year and I still look like a freak "down there". I don't think I will ever feel like a woman again and it makes me sick that the OB could care so little about ruining my life.



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