Talk to me about tearing--what does it feel like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I'm curious (not pregnant, just curious!). If you tore during birth, what did it feel like?

I ask because I've always wondered if women specifically notice tearing, or if it just feels like part of the regular pain of pushing. In some birth stories I've read, I got the impression that the women didn't even realise they'd torn until the midwife checked them later. Is that usually the case? With Rowan my MW wasn't sure if I'd torn or not (nuchal hand presentation), and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to know. (I hadn't; I mean, she checked, she didn't just guess! But one of the first things she said after Rowan was born was 'I'm not sure if we managed to save your perineum', which come to think of it wasn't the most tactfully-worded statement on the planet).

Thanks for indulging my impertinence! : When I hear "I had a second-degree tear" it sound horrifically painful, but women bring it up so casually. Then again, women are weird... we can describe the most tortuous childbirths in undramatic, matter-of-fact terms. So one never knows.

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#2 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 03:03 AM
 
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I tore quite a bit both times, and didn't notice any specific tearing sensation. I didn't know if I'd torn (or how much) until the midwife checked me out.
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#3 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 03:04 AM
 
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I had an epi, so I can't speak for the 'pain' of a tear... but i felt it for sure. The Dr. said she wanted to to an episiotomy, but I refused, so she just took my skin and when I pushed, she stretched it over the head... I felt a little rip. I ended up getting a 2nd degree, but nothing too big. My tailbone ached after the birth and i didn't even notice the tear really. It was after all has healed that I can feel the scar tissue.

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#4 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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I didn't have any tearing on the perineum, but I didn't feel the labial tearing as any separate sensation.

The stitches, however, felt like wire. It was the weirdest thing. I could have sworn that my midwife was sewing me up with a strand of metal. It was like I could feel the "squeak" as the sutures went through.

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#5 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 03:34 AM
 
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I tore with dd and not with ds. Didn't really feel that different....

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#6 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 04:33 AM
 
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I had a very minor tear, but I didn't feel anything. I didn't even know I'd torn until my midwife told me. As I was tearing, when DS2 crowned, I could feel my skin stretching beyond its capability, but the actual tearing, I didn't feel. I think it's due to the waterbirth...or maybe because my tailbone broke at the exact same moment, so I was more overwhelmed with the feeling of being whacked in the butt with a cement block than with my piddly little tear.
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#7 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 05:23 AM
 
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I tore in two spots (one was my labia) and I had no idea until the doctor told me she was going to start stitching up the tears. I was completely shocked when she said that.

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#8 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 05:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootpoetry View Post
I had a very minor tear, but I didn't feel anything. I didn't even know I'd torn until my midwife told me. As I was tearing, when DS2 crowned, I could feel my skin stretching beyond its capability, but the actual tearing, I didn't feel. I think it's due to the waterbirth...or maybe because my tailbone broke at the exact same moment, so I was more overwhelmed with the feeling of being whacked in the butt with a cement block than with my piddly little tear.
right behind you sista! The tear was 3rd degree, but I didn't feel it and had no idea until the MW checked about 1/2 after birth.

I didn't feel any pain on the way to the hospital. And I got a local for the stitches so no pain there.

It was close to 24hrs later when I got sensation down there. The stitches never bothered me (cept when sneezing...whoops). It was the 'roids and my poor poor tailbone :

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#9 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 08:35 AM
 
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4th degree perineal tear...yes I felt it. A horrible burning!! I've been told that the baby's head usually causes enough pressure to "block" (don't know how) the pain. But my babe's head was sideways. The doc did an episiotomy so he could turn her head and I ripped. I felt it for weeks!!

I had smaller tears with subsiquent kids and didn't even notice. It was just part of the general soreness afterwards and healed very quickly.

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#10 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 09:09 AM
 
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I had a large second degree tear. To be honest, I have no idea if I felt actually tearing or not. The worst part was the repair afterwards when the LA only worked on one side and the OB refused to do anything about it besides tell me that it was all in my mind, just relax.
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#11 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 09:13 AM
 
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I had a 2nd degree tear and suspected I tore when it happened, but it didn't hurt at all. I had very mild burning when she crowned, but no pain at all. For some reason I stupidly pushed really hard just as this happened (hadn't pushed consciously at all before this) and felt a sort of "pop" and knew her head had come out and then she flew out all at once basically.

I didn't think about the tear again until going to the bathroom maybe 30 mins later and tried to pat myself clean/dry and it felt like 2 extra pieces of skin hanging there! Ugh! That's when I realised it was my torn genitals :

It seemed to take forever to stitch up and I was pretty sore for a while after, so definitely the recovery was worse than the event itself.
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#12 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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I am not able to distinguish between the burn of the stretching and the specific tearing. It burned just as much when the head emerged (which I did not tear) and when his body emerged, where I did tear thanks to the hand on his chin. I thought the burning was uncomfortable, and reasonably painful, but not as painful as the contractions I was having at the time!

I only needed 3 stitches inside, my mw left the outer part of the tear alone, so it must not have been too bad. We credit birthing in the water for that!

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#13 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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I tore both times and only felt it the second time. Both births were unmedicated but with DS1 I was flat on my back and pushing for 2 hours. I tore in my perrineum (sp?). I think everything was just completely numb by then. With DS2 I was upright and pushed for 40 mins or so. This time I had inner labial tearing and I felt it. It made me jump. When he was crowning I tried to ease him out and slow it down but I could tell he wasn't fitting. I was in the birth pool but jumped out as he crowned. On my way to the bed I had a contraction and squatted and out he popped. I felt a sharp pain where I tore so I jumped a bit. It didn't hurt very bad after the inital rip.

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#14 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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I could feel the tearing in my labia. I felt the skin splitting apart. The stretching didn't burn it just felt like fullness.

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#15 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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I tore pretty badly with all 3 of my births. I didn't notice anything unusual. Just the pressure of the baby coming out.
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#16 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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Second degree tear, didn't notice a thing! The mw warned me she was about to give the analgesic for stitching, and apologized, but I didn't feel that either...
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#17 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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With my oldest, they cut me. I could feel that and it felt (and sounded) just like something being cut with scissors. With my youngest, I tore and definitly felt it. I'd requested not having an episiotomy and totally regret it. The recovery of my episiotomy was much better than my tear.
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#18 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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Isn't it funny how our experiences differ? Awesome. I had an episiotomy with my first and tore badly with my second, and I'll take tearing any day. My perineum hurt for like five seconds while I tore, but the episiotomy hurt afterward for a year.
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#19 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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Had an episiotimy and 4th degree tear with #1 but didn't feel a thing due to the epidural.

Had a slight nick with #2 and didn't feel it.

Had a small tear with #3 but didn't feel it.
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#20 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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I had a 3rd degree tear & didn't have a clue it happened until I asked. The stitching up was definitely the worst part - it felt like it took forever.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#21 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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With ds#1 I pushed with him for 3+ hours. I was so numb down there that I had no idea that I tore when he came out. The first push that he came down onto my perineum I did feel a little burning but he was crowning on and off for an hour so by the time that he actually came out I had no idea. I just remember the nurse typing in the notes and asking the Dr. if my tear would be classified as 3rd or 4th? That's when I said, "I tore?"

Then with ds#2 I had a very slight tear, 1st degree but other than the ring of fire (he came out in 30 min.s, much faster-was also posterior) I didn't notice and my recovery was phenomenal, so much easier.

With dd she came out in 3 pushes, I had a cyst in my vagina which they said I wouldn't feel (and I didn't) but it would make my pushing sensation much stronger which it DID. I tore again slightly, 1st degree, with her and I felt a ring of fire when she came out and that was a waterbirth but nothing unusual beyond that.
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#22 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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I had a 2nd degree perineal tear with DD which I didn't feel happen.

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#23 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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I didn't feel it at all until the next day. I actually thought I got away scott free LOL. The anesthetic my mw used to stitch me up was pretty strong. To be completely honest with you, the next several weeks of my life were excruciating. I spent a lot of time whimpering in a sitz bath and taking lots of Tylenol. Going to the bathroom was hell and I am terrified of tearing again next time. Sorry but that is the truth for me. I think one of the greatest injustices in life is that some women don't tear during childbirth LOL.

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#24 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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I tore all three times, but very minor tears.

Honestly, I didn't feel them at all. Or, I wasn't aware of them as some distinct seperate event. I was busy with intense contractions, pushing, wanting to get the baby out. Of all the parts of labor I went through, the tearing was so minor that I didn't even notice it when it happened (I *did* notice after the birth )
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#25 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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I had minor perineal tears with both- really didn't notice till after they were born.
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#26 of 49 Old 12-14-2008, 08:04 PM
 
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I ended up having an epidural - and didn't know I had torn. I had a 3rd degree tear and close to 30 stitches.

What was painful for me was the first time I went to the bathroom (#2) after delivery. It stretched my stitches terribly and I remember sitting on the toilet holding DH's hand in tears because it was so painful.

I also develeped what my OB later told me was "skin tags" after my tear started to heal. Some of my skin was bunched up between the stitches and was painful each time DH and I made love (Note...this was like 2 months postpartum) and sometimes when I would use the loo. My OB told me it would eventually fall of on it's own due to friction or he could remove it. I opted to wait it out, because I didn't feel like being numbed down there again and then restitched. It took 6 months before that went away entirely.

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#27 of 49 Old 12-15-2008, 05:22 AM
 
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I've torn with all three births. I wasn't aware of any of the tears until it came time to stitch me up.

Homeschooling Mom of 4 boys: 10/02, 6/04, 3/06, 2/09
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#28 of 49 Old 12-15-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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Didn't notice at all.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#29 of 49 Old 12-15-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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I didn't feel myself tear either time. Both were second degree tears. My understanding is that part of it is that blood has been pushed out of the area so there's less sensation.

Mostly, though, I would just say that (for me) it all hurt so much that there was no way I was going to specifically notice something else painful that was happening. It all hurt a lot.

The second time I was in so much pain that I pushed pretty darn hard and I knew I was probably tearing and I didn't care. I just needed it to be O.V.E.R.!
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#30 of 49 Old 12-15-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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I had a 1st degree tear. It was small - MW said she normally wouldn't have bothered to suture it, but it was continuing to bleed, so she put in about 2 stitches.

I had no idea I'd torn. BUT... I kept hearing how painful "The Ring of Fire" is - so I was expecting a lot of pain there. Actually, my "ring of fire" wasn't all that bad. Yeah, it hurt, but it didn't last long & honestly, I guess I had expected it to be torture - so since I was expecting the worst, it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. Ha - I think the way my mind is, things are just always worse in my head than in reality.

Although, as his head was born, I did say, "Fu** Fu** Fu**" repeatedly & real quick.
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