Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Minneapolis USA
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w/ my homebirth, I was suprised at how intense the urge to pee was--but I couldn't at first.
I was freaked out, tried sitting on the toilet w/ rnning water, then tried to pee in the shower w/ a hand-held shower head aimed at my bottom...still no pee.
My homebirth mws offered their catheterization services to calm me (I'm the kind of person that didn't get mad/annoyed at their suggestion, rather, I saw it as a tool & helpful) but by the time I got out of the shower, went upstairs (baby was born on the couch!) to my freshly turned-down bed with my newborn, I tried to pee again and lo and behold--I did, and I could w/ no prob.
Yes, my tissues were swollen, and I'm sure after having a head press on my urethra and tissues my body was a little confused. AND because I was well-hydrated, I'm sure I did have some pee in my bladder.
For me, I just needed to wait 10-15 minutes, relax about peeing (I felt like I had to pee right away so that my uterus could effictivly involute--but that was not a "real" concern; it was a worry I made in my own head.)
Ice packs help reduce the swelling, which is why my mws made some for me and they were ready immidiately post-partum.
I think the human mouth/lips are a good metaphor for the vagina/labia area--it doesn't take much of a punch to cause one's face to really swell up and hurt, and at the same time, the vast blood supply helps things heal very quickly. So in my opinion, pushing out a baby is like getting a physical smack.
A little 'slap' can cause things to swell up, as in my case, and a big ol' punch would cause more swelling (as in klothos case, for example.)
So, like others have said, it is quite unlikely you would endure such severe perineal trauma, birthing safe and sound at home.
And what if you did have some crazy wierd tear or swelling or whatever in your immidiate post-partum? That's okay!
Fears and worries about homebirth are all a part of the journey to home birth, in my opinion. And I am also of the opinion that those "what if's" need to be answered.
Do you have a midwife/GYN that you see for well-woman check-ups? Who noticed the tear--is that a doc that you could talk to about if you homebirth and need assistance post-partum? Talk to your homebirth midwife about your worries, too--maybe she's had experience with the rare tear that needs assitance.
I have a friend who had a HBAC and did tear (in the water, what the heck, but I guess baby flew out of there) and did have to go to the hosptial for stitches. When she told me, I thought it sounded like a huge nightmare--but it wasn't.....her babe was right there, a skilled OB/GYN surgeon fixed her up, she was fed and the GYN ward nurses were wonderful and kind and proud of her homebirth---WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT!?!?!
(And remember this woman was HBAC, after a classicly unpleasant c-sec birth w/ #1--Pit drip, AROM, oh baby's head isn't moving down, blah blah blah, so she's not a hospital fan AT ALL.)
Empower yourself--"oh jeez, what IF something bad happens" is very different than "boy, I sure don't want X to happen, but if it did, I will do A, B, C, and things will be okay."
Good luck to you on this wonderful journey!!!