"it sure would be nice to be intact down there" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so tired of hearing this from friends who have had vaginal births. They just have no idea! I'm not "intact down there". I have a scar across my pelvis reminding me of one of the most frightening moments of my life, when I my baby's heart rate had dipped dangerously low. When I had to sign a paper showing that I understood that I might loose my uterus. I was so out of it and was separated from my newborn during the extended time it took to stop the bleeding and sew me up properly. I had to supplement until my milk came in and I almost could not take my baby with me when I was discharged. And to top it all off, I had an infection after the surgery and my vagina swelled up to monstrous proportions and I couldn't get up out of bed on my own for two weeks. These women were never struggling to reach their crying baby in the middle of the night, tears streaming down their faces with the pain. ARGH! This comment drives me nutty! I hope no one I know reads this.
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#2 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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sister, next time someone says that to you, i think you ought to tell them pretty much what you just told us!

i had a c/s with my first and thankfully i haven't really had anyone say that to me, but depending on my energy level at the time of said comment i think i'd try to set 'em straight.

imho that's part of the problem in the US, we have been indoctrinated into some belief that a c/s just makes it all so easy - people who haven't had a c/s seem to think it's NOT major surgery! never mind that i didn't see my baby's entire, beautiful little body til she was four days old and we were at home, that i too had to supplement because they started "cup feeding" at the hospital due to her low blood sugar... gee, they hadn't let me eat in nearly 24 hours when she was born, wonder why she had low blood sugar??

bottom line, people seem to think that somehow vaginal birth is harder than a section, so i think it's time we let 'em in on ALL of the many issues and painful problems (not just physical) that we go through with c/s. might not change their minds but maybe they'll at least stop saying idiotic things!:

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#3 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 10:44 AM
 
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I only had one baby, and I had her vaginally. I would not want a section to make it easier. Sure, I had 23 hours of pure pain (like nothing I ever experienced before or could even imagine), but recovery was easy. As soon as she was out, I was walking around doing whatever I wanted. I had a small tear, and needed a few stitches down below, but it wasn't bad at all. It felt like having sex for the first time afterwards. Sore, but tolerable. I did not need ice packs, tucks, motrin or even tylenol. I was able to take care of dd immediatly. I felt fine. Childbirth was excruciatingly painful (I had pitocin) but would prefer it again over weeks of recovery from a c-section.

DH says I was a bit looser the first time we had sex, (before the recommended 6 weeks, btw, I felt fine) but after about 10 weeks he said I was back to normal. I had some stress incontinence for the first few weeks, but now that is gone. So I consider myself "intact" down there.

Maybe my recovery was so easy b/c I had a tiny baby (5lb 13 oz) I would definately not want a section just to stay "intact" down there!
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#4 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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Isn't it wild that people actually worry about those kinds of things? From a young age, we're socialized to think that our lady bits are ugly, dirty, smelly, etc. and then after giving birth they're broken. :

Strangely enough, we don't hear our lovers complaining about them, do we?

I think it's high time we start seeing ourselves for what we are - healthy and gorgeous!! We must reclaim the beauty and wisdom of the hoo-hah!!


Oh, and tell your friends to kegel!
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#5 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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I'm "intact down there" after three kids. I don't think it benefits me or my husband that much, though. The numbness in my belly, the patch that's felt bruised for almost 11 months, and the general "weird" feeling throughout my pelvic region have left me not all that enthralled with sex. Sure - my vagina's "intact" (how does having stretched out to perform one of its major functions make it less intact???)...but the nerves around it don't appear to be...

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#6 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN
I would not want a section to make it easier. Sure, I had 23 hours of pure pain (like nothing I ever experienced before or could even imagine)
And most of us who've had sections ended up in hours and hours of labor beforehand, too - my water broke and ten hours later I couldn't stave them off at the hospital anymore, so I endured 15 hours of pitocin-induced hyperstimulated uterine ctx before finally asking for an epidural and then I still ended up with a c/s five hours after that.

Ai yi yi, my VBAC was great and I can't wait for my HBAC this fall!
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#7 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 06:18 PM
 
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Yeah, we have to stay nice and 'tight' for the menfolk...:

I actually had someone say this to me about a month after my c/s birth of DS#1. "Well, at least you're still nice and tight down there, that's what men prefer."

When I told dh about this comment, he was floored. He said, "nope, I'd rather not have had my wife go through major surgery!" He was pissed!

Besides, I was horny and ready for sex weeks early with my VBAC than I was after my c/s. :

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#8 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 06:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN
Sure, I had 23 hours of pure pain (like nothing I ever experienced before or could even imagine),
I appreciate the generally supportive sentiment, but please do not presume that c-section necessarily means avoiding the pain of labor. I had a section after two straight days of back labor without pain meds.
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#9 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 08:03 PM
 
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My vagina may be "intact", but that is about it!

I have to say that a c-section aside from the emotional trauma is the singularly worst physical experience of my life! 26 hours of labor, tetonic contractions with pitocin, ended up with an operation anyway. Boy wasn't that first stroll out of bed lovely? The precautions about the pain of bowel movements, the feeling like your insides are on fire, the potential of blood clots........

Very few people want a c-section, except if the gossip mill is to be believed the celebrity crowd. And yet there is this whole myth around a c-section being the "easy" way out. I just don't get it. And the whole patronizing thing from some women who feel like you don't really know what pain is about if you haven't had a vaginal birth. Let me tell ya', I feel like I got the pain part of the experience just fine.......
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#10 of 26 Old 06-21-2006, 08:12 PM
 
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I have all my babies vaginally. I would not wish a c section on anyone and I would not want one. I can't even imagine how painful it must be.

As for being intact...I have given birth 6 times over an intact perinium w/o a tear so...yeah I am intact.

Seriously, as for sex. Dh says things aren't as tight as they used to be, but he likes things the way they are. Remember though I have had 7 children. There really was no change after the first 4.
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#11 of 26 Old 06-24-2006, 02:26 AM
 
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Oooh I hate that comment too.

I have terrible keloid tissue so my scar will never fade. It is 7" across and 1/4" wide and red. (I used to go to the nudy beach, but now I am ashamed!)

Also, my SIL said, (she had 2 c/s), at least I'm not incontinent!

Well, sister, that catheter put pressure in all the wrong places for me and I can't laugh without peeing.

Kate: fumbling through the best years with W, L, F & V...newest arrival coming Jan '11
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#12 of 26 Old 06-25-2006, 11:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi_m
And most of us who've had sections ended up in hours and hours of labor beforehand, too - my water broke and ten hours later I couldn't stave them off at the hospital anymore, so I endured 15 hours of hyperstimulated uterine ctx before finally asking for an epidural and then I still ended up with a c/s five hours after that.

Ai yi yi, my VBAC was great and I can't wait for my HBAC this fall!

I second that my first dc (only dc right now ) was a c-sec after 36 hours of labor!!!!!
And I tell people over and over, I'd rather go through 48, 56 or more hours of labor again than have a c-sec again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It ticks me off when people say to me "oh how awful that they (drs) made you go through 36 hours of labor, why didnt they just give you a c-section?" It seriously takes all my strength not to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELLO>>>>>>THEY DID NOT MAKE ME DO ANYTHING, natural progression....conceive....pregnancy.....labor.... ...delivery ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
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#13 of 26 Old 06-27-2006, 09:10 PM
 
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Citymama- hang in there mama, people can say the stupidest things but usually they just aren't using their brains before opening their mouths. I know that doesn't make it any better, but...well, I got a few really insensitive comments from friends and relatives and I found that if I was calm enough to educate them to the risks and realities of c/s then they did a good job sharing that info with others (my "favorite" comment was from a very good friend who honestly didn't know there were risks to a c/s!)

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(I used to go to the nudy beach, but now I am ashamed!)
mama, I'm so sorry. I had a lot of shame about by own scar for a long time...I used to be happy as a clam when nude but after the c/s I couldn't bear the thought of exposing my belly to anyone (and it's still hard). It's taken a long time and healing has come from odd places (like the Dove ad with the c/s mama), but one thing that really helped was finding an amazing "belly necklace" to wear while nude. Sort of a security blanket I could wear to the beach! I hope you find your healing...

Be pretty! Be practical! Be Pagan! Visit Pagan Hearth & Home!
 mama to lady.gif(4/05), hearts.gif(6/07vbac), diaper.gif(8/09vbac), and babygirl.gif (9/11vbac)

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#14 of 26 Old 06-28-2006, 08:37 PM
 
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Hah! I had dd1 by c/s after pushing for 5 hours. I was more swollen, and for many months longer, "down there" after her than after the vbac.
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#15 of 26 Old 06-28-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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I've heard this as well from a few friends. A couple of times I yanked my pants and undies down just enough to show them my c/s scar. They shut up then.
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#16 of 26 Old 06-28-2006, 09:13 PM
 
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Our vaginas are not used up crummy elastics that 'give out' after giving birth vaginally .. . grrrrrrrrrr. I have had two vaginal births one baby was 9 lbs 8oz and the 2nd was 10 lb 2 oz. Just as 'tight' as ever !!!!!
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#17 of 26 Old 07-01-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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Oh I agree with all of you!! I had a vaginal birth for my first and a c-section for my 2nd. I had a 2nd degree tear with my first, but I would take that any day over recovering from my c-section!!! Once I got home, I found it nearly impossible to get out of bed because I had nothing to really hang on to (side rails were nice at the hospital!). Also, my incision didn't fully close and my husband had to pack it twice a day until it healed enough for my OB to stitch it closed. Trying to take care of a baby and and my older child, not to mention returning to nursing clinicals within a week of my c-section was horrible. Of course, it didn't help that the school's policy was for no narcotic pain meds during clinicals...meant I was stuck with popping Ibuprofen for those 8 hours. Hopefully this PG will result in a VBAC!
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#18 of 26 Old 07-19-2006, 04:38 AM
 
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Oooh, that is a really creepy thing to say!

One thing that did make me feel better after my c/s though, was when a relative who had emergency c-sec for her twins said "our babies have the roundest heads!"-- My mom labored with me for over 9 hours and I look like such a conehead in my newborn and baptism pics!
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#19 of 26 Old 07-19-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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KatieMare,
I am glad you liked that comment. I guess it depends on who you are though. My 42 hours of labor resulted in emergency cesarean. My sister said "Well at least he doesn't have that cone-headed thing going." Considering my pain, anger, shock and trauma, I thought this was the most shallow, stupid thing I ever heard.

People are truely idiots. We all are sometimes. What is helpful to remember is that they are not trying to be stupid or cruel. Sometimes they even think they are being nice. It's hard to let it go though.
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#20 of 26 Old 07-21-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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Bah, after 23 hours in labor, being born with his hand beside his head (which is what resulted in my 2nd degree internal tear), my first son had a perfectly normal head. No cone head at all! So not every vaginal birth results in a cone-head.

I can sympathize with your anger and agree, people are idiots. During both my pregnancies, everyone I worked with thought I was crazy for not wanting an IV, an epidural, and a "regular" doctor (I had CNMs for both births).
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#21 of 26 Old 07-22-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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It ticks me off when people say to me "oh how awful that they (drs) made you go through 36 hours of labor, why didnt they just give you a c-section?"
I have a friend who is just outraged over the fact that "they labored" me for 33 hours hours before sectioning me with my first. Labored me? WTH? But then, this is the woman who chose an elective primary cesarean because she didnt want her hemorrhoids getting any worse by pushing.
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#22 of 26 Old 07-22-2006, 06:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MommytoTwo
But then, this is the woman who chose an elective primary cesarean because she didnt want her hemorrhoids getting any worse by pushing.
I think elective primary cesarean is very unwise in any case, but from what I have heard (never had 'em myself! ) hemorrhoids are awful. Given the lack of informed consent about the true risks of cesarean, I can totally see where a person who trusted the mainstream establishment and already had issues "down there" could be misled into thinking this was a reasonable trade-off. I guess I'm just saying don't tit for tat with judgment towards other women.
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#23 of 26 Old 07-23-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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There's a c/s mama in the Dove ads? Hm, I guess not in Canada - or I haven't seen it!

Kate: fumbling through the best years with W, L, F & V...newest arrival coming Jan '11
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#24 of 26 Old 07-24-2006, 03:19 AM
 
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Hmm, I actually know a woman who is preparing for her third c-section who is quite proud of the fact that she didn't get "torn up" down there. I got torn up bad with my VBA2C (her head didn't mold at all), ripped up & down both. I have a scar on my left labium because that's where I needed stitches. I still prefer that to the c-sections. My vagina seems to work just fine too; God knows hubby's not complaining!

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#25 of 26 Old 07-24-2006, 03:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen6
My vagina may be "intact", but that is about it!

I have to say that a c-section aside from the emotional trauma is the singularly worst physical experience of my life! 26 hours of labor, tetonic contractions with pitocin, ended up with an operation anyway. Boy wasn't that first stroll out of bed lovely? The precautions about the pain of bowel movements, the feeling like your insides are on fire, the potential of blood clots........

Very few people want a c-section, except if the gossip mill is to be believed the celebrity crowd. And yet there is this whole myth around a c-section being the "easy" way out. I just don't get it. And the whole patronizing thing from some women who feel like you don't really know what pain is about if you haven't had a vaginal birth. Let me tell ya', I feel like I got the pain part of the experience just fine.......
:

I am looking into HBAC for any future kiddos.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#26 of 26 Old 07-31-2006, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR
KatieMare,
I am glad you liked that comment. I guess it depends on who you are though. My 42 hours of labor resulted in emergency cesarean. My sister said "Well at least he doesn't have that cone-headed thing going." Considering my pain, anger, shock and trauma, I thought this was the most shallow, stupid thing I ever heard.

People are truely idiots. We all are sometimes. What is helpful to remember is that they are not trying to be stupid or cruel. Sometimes they even think they are being nice. It's hard to let it go though.
Yeah, I think the reason I didn't mind it is because she wasn't happy having had a c-sec either; she was bonding with me in a way that other women couldn't. And, she's family, she knows what would/wouldn't tick me off!

After I had a m/c, there were also those certain things that people say, which, coming from one person can be taken entirely differently than if the exact same thing was said by someone else. Whether or not a person is speaking from experience makes a big difference for me when it comes to such personal feelings. And, yes, people (myself included) are idiots.
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