Episiotomy or tearing? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 35 Old 12-17-2003, 04:57 PM
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Thanks for your replies. I'm *hoping* my ob will be the one I get to keep. I have lots to discuss with her- but I got her name from a midwife I talked to. (Opted against homebirth b/c can't afford it and both of my other kids were born at 35 weeks- midwives won't deliver that early anyway, if history repeats itself.)

This will be a different ob and hospital than I used last time. With dd, I was cut, didn't know any better, but w/ds I said I didn't want one and wasn't cut and didn't tear. I'm sure I can do it again, as long as I have a supportive ob.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#32 of 35 Old 12-17-2003, 05:34 PM
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My mw gave me an episiotomy. I had been pushing for about 8 hours (that's what my husband says, anyway, I can barely remember it.) I really didn't want one. When she said she was going to give me one, I yelled "Crap! Crap!" and started to push really hard. (no, I didn't yell sh*t, don't you think that's kind of weird?) I thought maybe I could finally push the baby out before she made the cut. But she was very speedy and very gentle and very accurate, so she did make the cut first.

It healed okay, I guess. I mean, it was still bleeding a little when she examined me at the six week post partum exam. It didn't particularly sting afterward. It does seem to have fully healed and everything feels normal to me now.

I don't think the baby was in distress when she did it. On the other hand, it was forty-four @##*$*^# hours of stupid pitocin and other interventions. (Water broke, labor didn't start.) I think she was getting nervous. Part of the reason I chose the midwifery was to avoid pitocin, an epidural, and an episiotomy. They almost never cut, I think they said in less than 1% of their births when I asked.

OTOH, an OB would have insisted on a c-section at the beginning of those 44 hours. I'd rather recover from an episiotomy than a c-section.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#33 of 35 Old 12-17-2003, 05:40 PM
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I had an episiotomy with my first because her heartrate had gone down for awhile (the cord was around her neck). I had the most awful recovery after her birth. I could not sit for a week. While I was still in the hospital I was extremely swollen. PP recovery was worse than the labor and I didn't have any drugs during labor.

WIth my second I ended up tearing in two spots. I had a few stitches, but my recovery was so much easier. I did not get as swollen and I could sit with very little discomfort. I would rather tear than have an episiotomy.

With this next baby I hope to not have either happen, but if the OB suggests and episiotomy I will tell them to keep the scissors away and that I don't mind tearing a little.

I'm impressed with you mamas that had big babies and did not tear, good for you! I didn't have big babies and did tear with my second
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#34 of 35 Old 12-17-2003, 06:00 PM
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I am first in line to complain and blame OBs, but Kerry makes a good point.

Originally posted by hypno-teacher
[W]hat you also need to know is that "to be sure you won't get one" is not a doctor issue, it's your reponsibility if indeed you don't want one.
This POV is also shared by Ina May Gaskin in her latest book, Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth where she writes:
As long as women go on accepting episiotomies, doctors will continue to cut them.
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#35 of 35 Old 12-17-2003, 06:07 PM
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I had a huge episiotomy with my first birth because he was a forcepts delivery. It took over a year to heal.

For my latest birth I did not want an episiotomy at all and told the midwife I would rather tear.

However, as the baby was crowing my midwife told me she wanted to do an episiotomy and I said no. She said she would respect my decision, but she warned that it looked as though I was going to tear all the way to my clitoris because I was not stretching at all. I agreed and she made a very small cut that took only a few stitches and healed very fast.

I discussed the situation fully with my midwife later and she said she had never seen a perineum so resistant to stretching. She said I had so much scar tissue from my previous episiotomy during my first birth that I was just not stretchy. She also told me that she almost never does episiotomies and tried very hard using oil and massage to help me stretch, but to no avail.

So, for me, I think it was better to be cut then to tear.
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