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Vaginal stitches broke open! Help!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just gave birth to our son last Wednesday. I had an excellent natural labor and delivery but ended up having second degree tearing in a few different spots. One tear was on the inside part of my labia and is about an inch long. Well, the stitches have broken open and I am left with a gaping wound that hurts so badly. I called my OB and her nurse said that the wound will heal, I just need to keep my legs together and take sitz baths 3-4 times per day. I asked her how long it will take to heal, and she said that it may take up to 3-4 weeks!!! It hurts to move at all, it feeling like my skin is ripping open down there (which, it looks like it is). I'm missing out on more sleep due to the pain of that one tear than restlessness/nursing my new baby. All of the other stitches look like they've healed nicely and don't hurt at all. But this one is just so painful and I can't imagine keeping my legs together for 3-4 weeks! I feel like a wimp for making it through childbirth without meds and now I'm crying over one tear. Also, per the doctor's instructions, I have been taking 800mg of motrin every 8 hours. She said that it shouldn't cross over into my breastmilk, but I really hate the thought of taking so much pain medication while I'm breastfeeding. Plus, it really only takes the edge off the pain for about an hour.

Are there any natural remedies/suppliments that I can take to speed up the healing process or help with the pain? Any advice? I just feel like crying. . .

(x-posted in health and healing)
post #2 of 15
Can't you just get it repaired?? Do they refuse to re-stitch it?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I asked her if they could just restitch it and she really didn't say much. I'm going to ask about it again tomorrow. I just can't see how that wouldn't be a better option.
post #4 of 15
Sounds like the office is trying to blow you off. In my experience, the doctors offices DO blow people off post-partum, even when calling in with dangerous symptoms. Please don't allow that.
If they won't schedule an appt, show up in the office-- they all keep a few appts a day open for emergencies. If YOU think it warrants attention, demand to be seen! From what you posted, it is very possible that it has become infected. Think of it this way- if you had the same wound to any other body part, would you see a doctor?

You are not a wuss because you are in pain. Pain is the body's way of telling you something is wrong. I called the ob's office pp in pain and they blew it off. I called repeatedly and they blew it off. I had retained placenta that could have killed me, and they blew it off. I knew something was wrong, but I felt helpess and ashamed of "being weak" is the best way I could describe it. Please don't make the same mistake I did. If it turns out to be a wound you can heal from with rest, then, big deal, you "waste" an hour or two going to the office. Or it could be something that DOES need attention and the nurse on the phone just doesn't think so.
post #5 of 15
I had quite a bit of tearing when DS came rocketing out with a nuchal hand, and the worst was a tear from the labia to the urethra - my HB MW said no stitches needed, but the pain from urinating was a burning agony much worse than natural childbirth. I had an OB suture it 12 hours later and that helped a lot with the pain.

Sometimes if it's been too long since the original injury, suturing can trap bacterial in the wound, so that may be why your OB is reluctant to suture. (My stitches got infected, probably because we waited 12 hours instead of doing it immediately) But I would still definitely let your doctor know that you are having pain, and ask what your options are. Also, have them look and be sure you aren't infected. My infection wasn't recognized until a week postpartum, but I'd been having pain and fever for several days beforehand. If you feel like something isn't right - don't wait it out, and don't let them blow you off.

Oh, and I'm not usually a wimp when it comes to pain - hey, I did natural childbirth at home, no problem - but I was taking Percocet for two weeks postpartum because of how much that tear hurt. Don't be afraid to ask for pain meds if you need them.
post #6 of 15
i'm wondering if it has to do with the amount of time that has lapsed too. i know for other cuts it has to be sutured within a couple of hours...they may not be able to resuture it...i read a suggestion of the uc board about using honey...it's antibacterial, and will help keep the edges together, kind of like glue.

post #7 of 15
Get a second opinion. Since it has been a few weeks, they might suggest letting what will heal do its thing. Later the parts that have healed open would be debraded (while fully numbed the partially heal bit are scraped off) and the fresh wounds are stitched together.

But first off, get a second opinion!
post #8 of 15
I had stitches that pulled open a few days after the birth, and I went to an ob who said it was too late to restitch them.
post #9 of 15
It's way too late for re-stitching; that usually needs to take place within about 12 hours after the birth.
post #10 of 15
It's way too late for re-stitching; that usually needs to take place within about 12 hours after the birth. Otherwise we'd all wait a few days to see how things were healing up before we decided whether or not the mom needs sutures.
post #11 of 15
I second the PPs idea about putting honey on the wound. I would research it a little first because i'm not sure how exactly the whole process goes (do you leave it on, how much/how often to apply, etc), but I do know you should try to use raw honey and not the stuff they sell at the grocery store.
post #12 of 15
Also, are you doing HERBAL baths? There are many herbs that help your body to heal and help to soothe the pain. I had a labial tear with my second, then hemorraged ten days post partum. They had to do a (quite vigorous) D&C (I was awake because I have issues with general anethesia and I wanted to be around to nurse my baby post surg.), and tore my stitches out. IT WAS SOOOOO painful! But, pretty amazingly, the tear was healed completely within a week or so. I used herbal baths. You would also be wise to use some arnica, as it helps with swelling/bruising...it really can't hurt to try!

The ibuprofin is FINE, it doesn't cross the milk barrier. The baby doesn't get any. You are more likely to heal more quickly when you are feeling less pain, too. Also, ice packs can help with the pain.

Lastly, I too have heard that some midwives use honey to help wounds heal. I actually have a friend who is a bee keeper, and read an article that she sent me recently from a beekeeper magazine that talked about doctors in Great Britain using honey not only to heal general wounds, but using it on people who have wounds that just WOULD NOT heal otherwise, such as people with diabetes and leg wounds that were festering, and burn victims,and people with flesh eating bacteria. It is actually pretty darned cool! I wouldn't go get stuff from the grocery store, though, because that is pasturized, and all the "good" stuff is cooked out. I would seek out a local bee keeper with raw stuff.
post #13 of 15
Ouch! That's scary! I had a cousin who had to go back 3 times to get restitched.
post #14 of 15
You are NOT a wimp! Healing tears really can hurt terribly, and it's a very different sort of pain from labor.

My body rejected sutures after DS1 and DS2. With DS1 I did end up having *one* stitch put in to bring the sides of the episiotomy/tear together to help healing. That was at least a week after the birth. Total healing time was over 6 weeks. With DS2 the tear was in a place that would come together more easily and I told the OB not to bother with new stitches. Everything did heal up, and more quickly that time.

If I were experiencing as much pain as you are, I'd ask to be seen just so that somebody has taken a look at the wound and made sure there's not something more than the wound itself causing pain. I think I had some half-dissolved suture material poking me one time and once it was removed, it felt somewhat better.

post #15 of 15
Ouch! Same as you--I had a natural childbirth, but awful pain from healing tears for weeks afterwards. I don't know how you feel about this, but one thing that helped me was a numbing spray--I used it a lot at first. Good luck, and congrats on the new baby!
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