During the hours following my daughter’s birth, I thought everything had been wonderful and that midwives had done an excellent job. I was too tired, too excited and too busy to think otherwise. But as the days passed by, I realized that things were not OK and I was not OK.
When I went to the hospital to give birth, I had had contractions for two nights and two days. I went into labor fastly but I was too tired. At some point, I told the midwive ”En jaksa”. She called another midwife and the process continued. All of a sudden, I realized the second midwife had a pair of scissors in her hand and I screamed for the first time during labor because I knew it was happening: episiotomy. I said nothing. How could I? They didn’t ask, and they did not explain why. My partner says he recalls they mentioned the umbilical cord was around my daughter’s neck. But I didn’t hear that. I was giving birth… And Finnish is not my native tongue.
They explained how to take care of the wound, but they didn’t even tell me how many stitches I got.
After a couple of months had passed, I started to feel something was not right. And it came to me: they should have asked. I had the right to be told. I told the Neuvola täti about it. She took notes. Later on I went to read the birth report in Omakanta. It has just a simple ”Ädille tehtiin episiotomia”, piste. I feel now, the episiotomy was an intrusion, a violation of my body. This cannot happen. They are supposed to ask, they are supposed to keep the record. My daughter is now 15 months and I haven’t been able to have sex with my partner again. I just panick every time and remember those scissors, approaching me, and the burning sensation and the blood. I came to the conclusion that I need therapy. And I need to know, that this won’t happen again to anyone because this is Finland. In our Neuvola talks (around month 6 of pregnancy) they tell us that episiotomy is not practiced anymore in Finland. Yet, I hear stories the whole time. And it’s just sad.
I found out this campaign yesterday and I just feel relieved to be able to tell how I feel.