Or do I? What do they do anyway? Will I be fine going through life without one?
Here's my story (or skip to the part titled SO HERE'S MY CURRENT SITUATION
My first child, Skanda, was born at home. I hired a midwife who had lots of experience. It was my first birth and I didn't feel confident in my body and the birthing experience so I trusted her to help me make decisions that would be best for me and the baby and in line with natural birth. She even loaned me Spiritual Midwifery. But when it came time to have the baby, she seemed to be pushing to hurry it up. She kept suggesting that she break my water even though I didn't really like the idea. She said I was almost complete but the water was bulging and I said I wanted to wait. But the anticipation was too much. Everyone around wanted me to just get it over with. So fine. I told her to break the water. Then I was complete. So what? I didn't feel any urge to push. Everyone around me wanted to meet the baby. They kept asking me when I was going to push the baby out. I said I was tired and laid on my back on my bed to rest. And my midwife held up my leg and asked me to try pushing. I tried. She said it was working. She encouraged me to tuck my chin down and hold my breath and push while she counted. The other midwife held my other leg. It HURT!! My labor had been virtually painless, but it HURT to push. I didn't like it. They said they could see the baby and I was almost there. So I gave a might push and his head was out. I was hurting and pushing seemed easy even though I never felt any urge. There was no cord or anything in the way and I thought the worst was over since his head was out. Then I gave one heaving push and the rest of him came barreling out including an elbow that tore right through my perineum. I have pics of the birth. The assisting midwife had her hands there and was attempting to support me, but I guess it didn't matter.
So the midwife tried to stitch me up after the placenta came out. There was a lot of blood from the tear. And then there was even more blood. She turned pale and said we were going to have to transport me to the hospital. She had punctured an artery while trying to suture me. I guess I have an artery pretty close tot he surface.
She notified the on-call surgeon before we even arrived at the hospital. But he didn't come, despite multiple pages, for about 2 hours. I had a hematoma the size of a walnut when I arrived at the hospital and it was bigger than a softball by the time he got around to draining it and sewing me up. It took me 10 weeks to brave sex and 6 months before I could sit right.
Next birth: I had a different midwife in Hawaii - the most awesome midwife in the world. I had the baby in water. I was so scared to push. She stroked my hair back and told me that I didn't have to push. And I didn't. Nadia came right out into the birth pool in about 10 minutes without much work on my part. I had a tiny tear on my old scar and Roxanne put one stitch in to help it heal but the stitch fell out a few days later. It healed up just fine.
Next birth: I wanted to have the baby in water but I couldn't get into a comfortable position and felt my pushing was not at all productive. Intellectually, I didn't want to push. I knew from my last birth that babies come out whether you push them out or not. But mentally, I was tired and I could feel the pressure of my baby and thought a few pushes and she would be out and we could rest. Then I decided to get out of the water and rest first. I woke up from a short nap in front of the fireplace and decided I was going to push her out. I was pushing. It hurt. She wasn't coming out. I thought I should squat to help her out but didn't want to tear. I tried sitting up with the midwives supporting my legs but it still wasn't working.
Finally, I was getting really frustrated so I asked my midwife to feel around. She was surprised to feel that the baby had moved up and the cervix was still soft, but over her head again. Before my nap, I had felt and her head was right there, practically out. While the midwife's fingers were in there, I had the strangest sensation. The baby started head butting my cervix and then she wiggled her head around some. I sat up on my knees and leaned over the couch and gave some mighty pushes and she was out. I was so exhausted that I couldn't even catch her or pick her up.
After I delivered the placenta and baby was all wrapped up and mommy and daddy were cuddling up with her, my midwife Ann examined my area. She saw no tears. My perineum was intact. She brought me a mirror. I was very happy. I didn't even feel that sore. There was a tiny bit of stinging by my anus when I urinated but I thought maybe it was a stretched area because I had felt strain there when I was pushing.
For a few days after the birth, I felt great. I even started thinking of having sex. And then it started getting sore by the end of the week. I called my midwife and let her know. I self examined but didn't have a mirror and felt my perineum was very separated. The length of the area was about half as long as it used to be. At my two week check up, she looked and was taken aback by what she saw. My perineum had separated along the scar on the outside and into my vagina. It didn't look raw. It was smooth and healed looking, only a tiny bit pink. She got me a mirror and we looked in amazement. She said that stitching it would do no good because it looked healed. She suggested I wait and see how it healed but that it could take months to see any change. My insurance was running out in 2 months so we decided it might be good to get an OB/GYN to look at it.
SO HERE'S MY CURRENT SITUATION:
The gynecologist examined me and noticed a rectocele. The mucosa between the vagina and rectum seemed to have a very small hole and wasn't healing properly. This was exactly where the hematoma was at my first child's birth. He suggested that he shave it and it would heal properly. At the same time, he could rough up the scar tissue that had separated and stitch it back together. That was 3 weeks ago.
One week post surgery - and it was a rough surgery with a difficult recovery and more pain than expected - I could feel things were healing.
One and a half weeks post surgery, I could feel spots where the dissolvable stitches had already dissolved. Then I felt again and there was a gap. It had separated!!
Two weeks post surgery, I have an appointment with my gynecologist and he sees that there is a gap in part of the area that was stitched up. He tells me to stop lifting things and try to take it easier. I do. I haven't even been taking the kids to the library or walking much. I'm doing the best I can to keep my legs together.
Today, three weeks post surgery. My perineum is gone. The scar has completely separated again!! It hurts too
What do i do? Is a gynecologist the only one qualified to look at this issue? Is there another type of specialist I'm supposed to see? I"m taking vitamin E to try to help my skin be elastic. He noticed some redness and thought I might be developing an infection so prescribed antibiotics (that would be round 3). I didn't pick up this round of antibiotics and I'm feeling bad about it. I have been taking Grapefruit Seed Extract pills instead because I don't think it's bacterial, I think it's yeast. But last time I told him I had a yeast issue, he said it didn't look like it because there was no white discharge. *sigh*. So do I need to get this stitched up again?? I am feeling like there must be some sort of reason it keeps separating. Do I need to see a chiro? Could something have prolapsed and is putting pressure on that area making it separate? Or does my perineum just want to be split? Maybe I've started a new body modification trend.
I'm feeling so disconnected and vulnerable