Hertfordshire woman spent eight months "in agony" after C-section scar became infected
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A new mum spent eight months in agony after her C-section wound became infected. Dawn Schamely, 40, had to bite down a flannel daily to manage the pain caused by the wound. It came after Dawn - who had been told she would never have children - gave birth to her son George in March 2022.
The former restaurant chef suffers from endometriosis, which doctors said would prevent her from getting pregnant. She and her husband Dan Schamely, 43, were warned her endometriosis was so advanced that there was "no possible way" she'd get pregnant.
But after suffering a surprise miscarriage in the build-up to their wedding, the couple learned that a twin had survived - which they revealed to jubilant family members on the big day itself. After George was born, Dawn, from Ware, Hertfordshire, saw no signs of her C-section scar healing, and instead the wound began "oozing and bubbling". Dawn ended up back in hospital, as it turned out that she had developed an infection.
On March 31 she had debridement surgery, to remove infected tissue from the wound, measuring 6cm-deep, 10cm-wide and 15cm-long. It had to be left open to heal and needed the dressing changed daily by Dan, who quit his job to become her full-time carer.
She said: "I didn't expect for months after my C-section to be biting down on a flannel every day because I was in so much pain. Even now, the mental scars are still there. We had to pack the wound every day which was agonising. I made Dan take George out the house when my dressings needed changing because I didn't want him to hear my screams."
Finally, after eight months of "horrific pain" the wound healed, but the mental impact has remained - and will "never go away". She is now raising awareness of birth trauma, via the Birth Trauma Association. She says this has become her "newfound passion".
Dawn said: "Birth trauma is such a taboo subject, but it needs raising in conversation because it happens - I am living proof. Even though the wound healed it had a massive impact on our relationship, Dan was scared to even hug me for seven months in case it hurt me.
"The after-effects of birth trauma are constant and quite lonely because it's difficult to understand unless you've been through it. But we have our little miracle George, and as awful as it was, I'd do it all again for him."