I've been searching for a while, but haven't found any helpful advice for my particular situation. I was hoping there would be someone out there with experience in a similar situation. I'd be grateful for any advice for how to heal from this, either physically or mentally.
Here's my situation, I'll try to cut a long, miserable story short:
My homebirth was in August 2010 (so son is 15 months). After long, unpleasant labor (silly me, I didn't expect continuous pain for 24 hours), and pushing for what seemed like forever, I ended up asking for an episiotomy, which the midwife consented to because they lost my son's heart rate. Baby was 9lbs 8oz, first birth for me. She cut me twice, says that it was smaller than a typical hospital episiotomy. After ensuring that I wasn't going to bleed to death, the midwife transferred us to the hospital within an hour of my son's birth, due to what we later found out was a heart defect. Left baby there with his father, I went to midwife's house to be stitched up. Labial tear, vaginal tear, episiotomy with some tear extentions. I went back to the hospital to be with baby.
We spent the next two weeks in the hospital for my son's surgery/recovery, which involved lots of me shuffling in agony down the halls so I could be with him. Sometime during that time, I snapped the stitches on another part of the tearing, but that loosened the stitches on the episiotomy. When it eventually "healed" about 7 weeks pp, the lips of the cut only sealed together partway up. My midwife said she wasn't able to re-stitch, referred me to an OB/CNM practice.
I also had hymenal ring fragments hanging down out of my body, getting irritated and would not heal. So, 3 months pp, went to the OB/CNM's and had one of them cut off. The second one only hangs out of my body when I sit, not when I'm lying down, so I didn't realize it needed to come off too (though probably it only does this because my vaginal opening is so much bigger now). I couldn't go back to have it removed too, because I lost my insurance and we can't afford to pay out of pocket for it. The CNM who examined me told me that the episiotomy not healing right wasn't really that bad at all, in a year at the latest I'd be back to normal, able to enjoy sex again. She made it seem like re-stitching the episiotomy wasn't even an option at that point. And that it didn't really matter anyway, since I wasn't experiencing fecal incontinence.
Well, suffice to say, that hasn't happened. The episiotomy cut, where it did not seal together is extremely sensitive still - I can't be touched there without cringing. It's not like it's agonizingly painful, it's just intense discomfort. Sex is still either uncomfortable or merely at very, very best, mildly pleasant for a few seconds, then feels like nothing. My husband is very understanding, but this is definitely causing tension in an otherwise great relationship.
I feel like I'm permanently mutilated, that my vagina's been ripped to ribbons, that my perineum is going to act like a notched plastic bag and tear straight down what little's left of it with the next pregnancy. I really want the episiotomy cut stitched back together, but it seems like it's impossible at this late date. So, do I just accept that my chance at an enjoyable sexual life ended at 25 with my first birth, or is there any hope that this will get better eventually?
Maybe the problem is "all in my head," but if so, how do I make it better?