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Mothering › Groups › February 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Episiotomy vs. tearing

Episiotomy vs. tearing - Page 2

post #21 of 49

Part of what helps get you through is the endorphins your body releases IF you are unmedicated.  Supposedly (I don't know if this is everyone's experience) it is worse if you get an epidural that doesn't work or wears off, because you don't have the protection of those endorphins and you don't have the full benefit of the epidural either.  Epidurals fail fairly frequently. 

post #22 of 49

Oh no, now i feel bad! I didn't want to scare anyone..  JessNP, you can totally do this!!   if i'm not scared after all my experiences, you shouldn't be either ;) Also, my babies have big heads (7-8lbs,but 14-15in heads).  The contractions are the work/hard part of labor - pushing doesn't usually hurt, most of the time people talk about it being a relief - sure, there is a the ring of fire - but that is just burning for a short time, its not bad at all and it means you're almost done!   pushing for me was painful with my 3rd but it was because there were problems with baby's position (it wasn't more painful than the rest labor though, just an extension of that pain), either way  i've never heard anyone say they felt the tearing - and honestly i didn't care one bit that i had torn after my baby was out! I didn't care until about 5 days out when i really wanted to get out of bed and take care of my house and my other kids ;)  -in my experience the tearing/stitches don't even hurt for the first 12 hours or so.. and babies are so cute and distracting for much longer after that.. 

post #23 of 49
Thread Starter 

It's funny...I'm not scared at all when I'm awake. I think my subconscious is working out all my fears in my dreams, lol. 

 

This is REALLY helping - all the back and forth and experiences. I know how to find the research, but really, hearing from moms that I've heard talk about other stuff is just more reassuring. Everyone's experience is different, yet you all got through it and have awesome kids as a result! THAT is what I need to hear.

 

It's funny that someone brought up oxytocin/natural painkillers. One of the big reasons I want a natural childbirth is that I want those juices flowing afterward! No matter how many traditional docs and midwives try to tell me differently, I just have this strong belief that if I mess with the flow during labor, I'm going to be more likely to suffer from post-partum depression. I really feel like part of what will help me be happy and content in the months after the birth - through the lifestyle changes, the financial juggling, the isolation, etc etc - will be knowing that I lived through labor, and I can take on just about anything after that. And a big part of that feeling is going to be hormonal! 

 

Of course, if little one thinks of something creative - like turning around at the last second with his head on his forehead, my word! - we'll do what we need to do. I'm totally fine with that, and I'm not the type to freak if my plans fall through. But for now, I want a best-case scenario front and center ^_^

 

Ok, that was off topic! Oh well.

post #24 of 49

Jess- 

wait until you're 10 centimeters before saying you quit are ready to die.  that's when you really just don't care anymore.  Contractions were WAY worse than pushing- but i had 2 back labors, which is just miserable.  pushing was really a huge relief (okay, i'll admit, my last one the labor was so short that when it came to pushing i leaned back and moaned "but i don't wanna, i just don't wanna push"  and   my back-up midwife (there were two at my homebirth) leaned over and said "that's okay honey, the baby will just crawl right out.")  i did push, it was not painful, just full-feeling.  but if i waited until the right time to push, it was a wonderful part of the entire birthing process.  i remember just talking to the baby- telling her it was going to be okay, and she was doing great and i was so happy she was coming out.  The first time was the hardest, and i don't know anyway to make it better.  but it is 100% worth it.  I second what brambleberry said two posts of hers ago-

 

"Yes, for most people it's painful, but you know it's going to be over at some point and there will be a pretty nice reward at the end love.gif.  I found that if I just let go and accepted the pain rather than fought against it, I could get through it.  It was manageable.  I labored in the jacuzzi until I started pushing and it really helped.  During pushing the most painful thing for me was when I couldn't push: when I was being checked by the nurses or when my OB was trying to get the vacuum in.  Yes, it hurt when the baby crowned, but it seemed like a shorter, more surface sort of pain, and really it's just so overshadowed in my memory by the baby arriving.  You can do it.  Billions of women have and do every day.  Without medication.  You just go though the pain and it's done."

 

somewhere i learned to embrace the pain, to just flow into it, and it stopped hurting.  it was the worst thing in the world, but it wasn't that bad.  and it wasn't unbearable (except back-labor w/ pitocin.  unacceptable.)  and if i can do it, anyone can.  

post #25 of 49

that's how I feel too-- If I can do it, anyone can!!! ;)

post #26 of 49

I had an (unwanted) episotomony with my 1st. I was pressured from the midwife to get one, because she said I was going to star tear & that we had to get that baby out now! My whole hospital experience wasn't the best - looking back I think/know/feel that if I had the mental strength to tell her no and that I was going to try pushing in a different position (other than my back) than things would have been different. FWIW, it was still an unmedicated birth. The tear & the healing process was very painful.

 

For my second, I had a very small tear. The healing process was much better - so was the whole experience (homebirth with my DD being born in the water!).

 

Jess- you can do this! Read Ina May's Guide & believe in yourself.

post #27 of 49

I was really in a panic last night, but I feel better today. I know this is off-topic, but I am still having an awful time sleeping. I fall asleep fine, but after 2 hours or so, I wake up wide awake and toss and turn all night. I've also found that I get very emotional at night - like a bedtime surge of hormones or something. Anyone else experiencing this?

 

Back to topic - I do feel better today. I find all of your experiences immensely helpful. I cannot thank you enough for sharing! Like TallToriV said,

"I know how to find the research, but really, hearing from moms that I've heard talk about other stuff is just more reassuring. Everyone's experience is different, yet you all got through it and have awesome kids as a result! THAT is what I need to hear."

 

On the other hand, I think a lot of it is fear of the unknown. Having never experienced it personally, makes it frightening. I am definitely going to buy Ina May's book. It sounds like it has helped a lot of people. I need to have faith in my body's innate ability to do this! heartbeat.gif

post #28 of 49

I havent read all the responses, and I just have personal experience to go on. I've had two second degree tears, no epi. My BFF had an epi, and she was stitched (this is her quote) "from one hole to another." She's 10 weeks PP and is still in pain, and I had sex at 7 days PP both times (slowly, but still).

 

I was told two really helpful things when I was debating it. 1) Imagine if you put your two fists together and that was your tissue trying to heal. Then imagine interlocking your fingers and if that was your tissue. Which one makes more sense to you?

2)Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Try and rip it by pulling on each side of the paper. It is hard to rip. Then if you tear a small, small tear on the top of the crease and try to rip it, you can see how easily it will rip all the way down.

 

These were done visually for me, so I dont know how much sense it will make written out, but I hope it helps :)

post #29 of 49

I suppose this video comes close:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfgIN7sJs4E

post #30 of 49
I am probably in the minority here, but i had episiotomies both times and they were not that bad. I honestly don't remember the reasoning behind eithee one (only that by that point in time both times i was ready to be done and whatever reason she gave me seemed okay at the time (even though ahe knew my prwference going in was to tear vs. being cut). Afterwards i questioned it and was upset that i allowed it to happe. Both labors were unmedicated and relatively fast (2-3 hours for dd and 6 for ds). Healing from the epi was honestly the worst part of the entire birth with dd, but in the general scheme of epi healing stories, was not bad. It took about a weekor so. The epi was ds took 2-3 days before i forgot about it.

Jess---during both pregnancies i read a ton of natural birth stories. Ina Mae has already been mentioned but i had another one that was called "adventures in natural childbirth" or something along those line...i have been meaning to look for it this time around. My preparation was always to read the stories of all the successful natural childbirths and that strategy worked for me.
post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessNP View Post
On the other hand, I think a lot of it is fear of the unknown. Having never experienced it personally, makes it frightening. I am definitely going to buy Ina May's book. It sounds like it has helped a lot of people. I need to have faith in my body's innate ability to do this! heartbeat.gif

I know exactly how you are feeling Jess! I go back and forth between being scared and being confident that my body can do this.  I'm reading Ina May's book right now and it's extremely helpful - I'm also trying to do all I can in the meantime to find ways to make the process easier on myself - exercise, RRL tea, massage, natural childbirth classes, etc are all on my list! 

post #32 of 49

Hey Jenny - What's RRL tea? 

post #33 of 49

Red Raspberry Leaf

post #34 of 49

Ohhhh...I knew that! Prego-brain strikes again! wild.gif

post #35 of 49

Just wanted to say something here about Ina May's books, which I LOVE.

I found that, during certain times of my last pregnancy, some of the stories were a little overwhelming for me.  Even though they would have a happy ending and all would be well and mama endured to the end, sometimes it made the labor seem like it would never end or would be days long and it was a little much.

 

So I really encourage anyone to get and read her books, but also to know that you (or maybe it's just me!) may need to set it aside and take a break from it if reading the birth stories makes you feel MORE overwhelmed.

post #36 of 49
Thread Starter 

Hear, hear odinsmama! I just got Ina May's guide - I needed positive stuff, as the scary dreams have really gotten rocking this week. I'm still just not scared at all when I'm awake, but clearly I have some fears to work through. But I need to take a break every now and then - and that includes movies and TV shows with any birth and/or blood. Which kinda stinks, cuz I'm loving Hell on Wheels on Netflix. O_o

post #37 of 49

good call Odinsmama!!!  i can't watch births, or read stories, or deal with any of it past first trimester!  i think i watched 2 unassisted homebirths a few years back (w/ hubby) and cried nonstop.  i'm also taking a break from intense stuff, and baseball is about as nerve-wracking as i can handle.

 

it was good to see the homebirths as that changed my husband's expectancy towards baby's arrival and mom's role.  but any other births i cover my face and hide behind pillows.  stories are worse sometimes as they give so much interesting details that i tend to personalize!  i liked reading Michael Odent a lot.  He's very soothing....  but only first trimester, so moving on.  

post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by odinsmama View Post

Just wanted to say something here about Ina May's books, which I LOVE.

I found that, during certain times of my last pregnancy, some of the stories were a little overwhelming for me.  Even though they would have a happy ending and all would be well and mama endured to the end, sometimes it made the labor seem like it would never end or would be days long and it was a little much.

 

So I really encourage anyone to get and read her books, but also to know that you (or maybe it's just me!) may need to set it aside and take a break from it if reading the birth stories makes you feel MORE overwhelmed.

 

I agree!  I found that some of the stories added to any apprehension I may have had going into it for the first time! 

post #39 of 49

I agree about Ina May's books. I like some of her work, but a lot of it made me really nervous when I was pg with DD- it was as though if I didnt remember to keep my head straight the baby would just never come out.

 

I find that when Im in labor I fall in to a fairly primal feeling- Dont touch me, dont talk to me, to f* with me, just let my body do it's job. And it hurts, and it's okay to scream. I feel like so many time NCB classes and books teach so much about how to deal with the pain (stay calm, quiet, restful, relaxed) that they forget to explain exactly.how.much.it.freaking.hurts. Everyone is different, but personally, I found a good balance of pain and release with loud noises and standing up from a squat into a crazy looking naked lady screaming in pain.

post #40 of 49

I am 100% convinced that position has much to do with tearing or not. My first natural birth (second VBAC) I pushed while lying on my side. I tore enough that the CNM did not feel comfortable NOT suturing it. My second natural birth (third VBAC) was upright, in water, pushing out a 10 lb 13 oz baby and I barely tore at all.

 

And, here's the way I have heard it put. Take two pieces of paper. Tear one clear across. Cut the other completely across with scissors. Now, which one is easier to put back together?

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