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Tearing worse in second pregnancy?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am not sure where to post this, so I am posting it here. I have a beautiful DS who is seven months old and often think of getting pregnant again (when our family is ready) and dread the M/S, but love the rest of the pregnancy. Anyhow, DS was born at 9'12 ounces with no meds by a midwife in the hospital after about an 18 hour labor (I did most at home and was in the hospital laboring less than 5 hours). I took Evening Primrose Oil orally at the end of the pregnancy, drank RRL tea, and also took PN-6 (Dr. Christopher's prenatal tea). My Mw did perineal massage with olive oil and and let the baby crown for what seemed like forever to me and my doula applied warm compresses and despite all of these efforts, I had a third degree tear. I was soooo uncomfortable after the birth and could hardly sit up to breastfeed when DS cried in the middle of the night. I sat on donuts for a week, and lived on arnica and herbal sitz baths and was so miserable. My question I guess is, is it likely that the scarred tissue that was stitched up is less likely to stretch again and I will have to contend with a major tear again or does the skin "remember" and stretch better the second time around (I guess if everything else is pretty similar such as size and position of the baby, position for pushing, perineal massage, etc..)?/ I also did prenatal yoga, but could not bring myself to do prenatal perineal massage. I just couldn't get myself to do it. I just think back to that postpartum time and couldn't even walk through the door of the hospital-had to be in a wheelchair and could barely sit in the car. I want to avoid this terrible tearing so badly in the fututre. I am thankful and blessed to have a healthy baby boy -hope I don't sound too much like a complainer. WOuld love anybody's input. TIA!
Tilly
post #2 of 11
the main point here is that every pregnancy is different or can be. your next baby may have a smaller head and you might tear, your baby might have a bigger head and might not.
a good diet will provide your body with elastin and cologin, which is what you need to stretch.
hydration alllllllll through pregnacy. squat, squat and then do it some more.
I am not a big fan of pari. massage. I think that doing Kegal exercises will help more.
the body does remember how to do it and it is not going to want to tear if it does not have to. you can do visualizations and then use the birth ball.
there are many things you can do. but reality is, that you don't know how this baby is going to come out of you. it may have a small head and thin shoulders but has its hand next to its face making it so you tear. you never know. all you can do is eat well, drink and do exercises.
post #3 of 11
I have to agree, each pregnancy is different. My first ds was 8 pounds, 1 ounce and I tore stem to stern. Like you, I remember the pain of the first month. No steps for 2 weeks (hello, the bathroom is up there) no driving for a month. Ds #2 born 8 and 1/2 years later and weighing 8 pounds 14 ounces, resulted in a tear that required 3 stitches. Somehow I managed to rip them out the first day and they didn't even bother to restitch it! This baby, though bigger, was just in a totally different postion. Next time, could be a different story again. But just because you tore badly once does not necessarily mean it will happen again.

Jerri
post #4 of 11
Birthing in a tub of water helps a lot too. At least that was my experience... Good luck to you!!
post #5 of 11
I've been VERY concerned about this same thing Tilly. My birth experience was very similar to yours...drug-free, midwife, hospital, massage with olive oil, etc., but I tore as well. Recovery was HELL!!! It was a full four weeks before I could sit comfortably in a chair for any length of time. DD is only four months old right now but DH and I are planning to start ttc when she turns 1. The Idea of tearing again terrifies me. I've been interested in waterbirth because of the pain relief, but does anyone know if it does help with preventing tearing???
post #6 of 11
Dd#1 was 9lbs and I tore quite badly, despite really careful delivery.

Dd#2 was 10lbs, natural birth, etc etc, and no tear, not one stitch.

Just my experience.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

OPtimistic for the next time!

THanks to all who shared their stories. I guess in the back of my mind I kept thinking that maybe there was something else that could have been done to prevent the tearing that I had. I hate that feeling, especially when one of the things I was so focused on was avoiding a major tear. Maybe I was too focused on it and my fear inhibited my ability to completely relax that area. Every labor and every pregnancy is different, I just didn't know if having had that area already stitched would predispose it to more tearing the future. From what you all shared, it seems like it probably won't. I will discuss with my midwife the concerns when we are pregnant again. Just one more thing, did anyone feel like everyone talked to them about the pain of labor, but no one talked about the pain of postpartum? I was in sooo much pain with the tear and some sore nipples. If I wasn't trying to get out of a chair, nurse, or go the bathroom, then I was in good shape. Too bad that only constituted about less than 20% of the day!! I feel we need to prepare mommas with this info. Sure some feel fantastic the minute they deliver, but for those of us who don't, it can be disappointing. I wish I had known-I think I would have dealt better. Hindsight 20.20, right?
post #8 of 11
I was standing up for delivery with my 2nd pregnancy. I was hardly even sore after that delivery and the soreness did not last long. The baby was one pound bigger than my first. I think delivering standing up made a big difference. I was leaning over on the hospital bed a bit, but essentially standing up.
post #9 of 11
It sounds like you and I had the same birth/recovery experience. I never even gave post partum a second thought while I was pregnant. It never occured to me that there would be an acutal "recovery" period. I just thought labor and delivery were the hard part, no one told me to expect to be in pain for weeks afterward (actually months if you count the hemmeroids). I'm still pretty traumatized over the whole thing. I agree with you 100% that pregnant women need to know that there is the possibility of having a rough recovery from childbirth. It was hard enough to deal with all the physical pain, but the fact that I completly had no clue that this might happen made it harder emotionally.
post #10 of 11
tilly

Just my $.02, but I really think you *need* to do prenatal perineal massage for this one. And you'll need to do it a lot. It will help if you have your dh do it because it will be easier for him to do it effectively. I know it is uncomfortable, and weird, and it may freak you out having your dh do it, but I think it will be worth it in the end. We started doing pm 2 weeks before my due date, 5 min every single night. My dd was 2 weeks late. I am a very tiny person and my baby was almost 8 pounds, but I didn't tear. My midwife used me as an example in her birthing classes.

We were taught in our childbirth class that, if you have never had stitches (therefore, no scar tissue) that you need to do 5 min a night for at least 2 weeks. If you do have scar tissue, you need to do 10 min a night.

I know it sounds lousy, and is probably not what you wanted to hear. Sorry about that. One positive thing about it was, my husband used that time every night to rest his head on or near my belly and talk to the baby. We actually have some sweet memories of that.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and have a wonderful birth.

peace, Beth
post #11 of 11
Another .02 worth...

Is an episiotomy definitely out of the question?

I was soooo adamant about my natural childbirth and thought I would *never* have an episiotomy. Like you, Tilly, despite the massage and laboring in water my skin just wouldn't stretch any more during my dd's crowning. The midwife kept asking me to push "just one more time". Dd was out to about her ears when my midwife gave me a small episiotomy with my consent. It was a great decision for me -- I took Tylenol for a day and sitz baths for a week (because I was told I should rather than feeling I needed to). It was actually virtually pain-free and I recovered really quickly.

Every situation is different. I never in a thousand years would have thought that an episiotomy is something I would be asking for during labor. I was *adamant* about having the most natural birth possible. If I have another baby and get to that point again I would definitely make the same choice.
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