‘I regretted rejecting my doctor’s advice’ – Mother reveals ‘horrible’ birth experience

Priscilla Antwi Boasiako wanted to experience vaginal birth after delivering through cesarean section the last time. But she got much more than she wanted. She got anal fistula.

“It was horrible” she sat down to talk to Dromobaby, a page on Instagram dedicated to telling stories about new parents.

Mrs. Boasiako, a nurse, said her first child was 14 months old when she got pregnant with the second. Called the short interval, she said was “automatically” due to deliver through another cesarean section

“…but I wanted to try normal vagina birth against my doctor’s advice,” the nurse devised a plan.

She would ran away from the hospital and check in at a different facility.

“I ended up with anal fistula,” she expressed regret at her decision.

That decision came along with a lot of complications.

According to Priscilla, she changed her hospital in order to actualize her desire of experiencing childbirth through the vagina.

“I ran away from my hospital to a different facility to have my child and I ended up with anal fistula, it was horrible,” she said.

Enduring anal Fistula

An anal fistula is a tunnel that runs from inside the anus — the hole your body uses to get rid of solid waste — to somewhere in the skin around it. It usually follows an infection that didn’t heal the right way. Your doctor can repair the fistula, but you’ll need surgery for that.

What Causes It?

Just inside your anus are several glands that make fluid. Sometimes, they get blocked or clogged. When that happens, a bacteria buildup can create a swollen pocket of infected tissue and liquid. Doctors call this an abscess.

If you don’t treat the abscess, it’ll grow. Eventually, it’ll make its way to the outside and punch a hole in the skin somewhere near your anus so the gunk inside it can drain. The fistula is the tunnel that connects the gland to that opening. – Webmed.

Priscilla said to facilitate delivery, her vagina was widened through a procedure called episiotomy.

After she delivered successfully, it was stitched back. “But two days after I noticed it was gaping so I reported to the hospital and it was stitched again,” she recalled.

But any for a quick remedy vanished. Priscilla said she started noticing something unusual in her flow.

“Each time I changed my sanitary pad I noticed faeces in my flow, it was mixed with the blood and I noticed I was flatulating through my vagina instead.”

Another scare, another report to the hospital and another stitching.

“It was not easy for me, even to climb the theatre bed, I couldn’t…” The procedure took three long hours and after her third repair works on the vagina, the doctors gave her new rules.

“I was asked to stay off solid foods and that was a challenge for me. How was I going to feed my son?” she worried.

Thinking the woes of enduring the pains of a stitched vagina was over, Priscilla’s wound started gaping again.

“I was in tears when I saw faeces in my pad again,” her fears and frustration bubbled over again. After three stitches already without improvement, the doctors had fresh news.

“I went to the hospital and the gynaecologist told me there was no flesh to stitch again so I should endure the pain while the skin heals” the nursing mother said.

“I was torn apart” she described her emotional state which was literally her physical state too.

“…that was when I knew I should have listened to my doctor who suggested another CS,” the heavily stitched nurse rued her decision to switch hospitals.

With consistent dressing of the wound, Priscilla finally healed and underwent her fourth stitching to close the widened vagina.

Fistula is an awful condition. Sexual intimacy is next to impossible. This possibility on the four-year old marriage played on Priscilla’s mind sometimes.

“I did not want to lose my husband because I was scared it wouldn’t work and there would be no intimacy between us,” she said.

Priscilla says she eventually overcame her condition. She would sit on a bucket of warm salt solution and take medications to treat the infection which caused the fistula. She also kept nursing her wounds.

Life after surviving anal fistula

Through it all, Priscilla says, she has gone through great pain and difficulty. Finally, she is fistula-free, a wide smile developed on her face. She says she is even ready for another child.

Of course, it would be through cesarean section. She only wanted vaginal delivery because she had been told that with CS women often are not advised to have more than three children.

“Naturally I love children and so I will like to have more” she revealed what was her dream when she got married.

But this dream almost turned into a nightmare because she disregarded medical advice.

While she says she is ready for another child she added a big but. “This time I will listen to my doctor,” she said smiling

The WHO claims that fistula was largely eradicated in developed countries in the late 19th century but it still affects two to three million women in developing countries.

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