Tell me about your experience being stitched up after birth - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-08-2008, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd love to hear some experiences from those of you who got stitches...how bad was it? Who did it...midwife,doctor,ER? How long did it take? What kind of pain medicine did they give you? Could you still feel anything? What was the healing process/after care like? Now that it's after the fact are you glad you let them do it?

In my exhaustion after days of labor I chose not to have some pretty bad tears stitched up after my daughter's birth. However this time around if I do tear again, due to how bad I'm already torn down there from dd's birth I think it will be necessary to get stitches this time. I am a huge pain wimp when it comes to needles or pretty much any kind of pain that is "unnatural," if that makes sense. If I tear I know in the long run I will be better off having it repaired this time, but I also know that the only way I will do it is if I prepare myself ahead of time.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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A midwife stitched me up afterwards; I barely felt the painkiller shot (don't remember what it was), let alone the stitches. Aftercare process was basically the same you'd do without stitches, and they dissoved after a week or so.

My tissue pulled apart some even with the stitches, though everything is still functional; it just looks a little different. Still, without the stitches I think it would have been a pretty big tear to walk around with. I'm glad I got them.

Really they weren't a big deal at all -- took maybe three minutes, didn't hurt, and helped the healing process.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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nak

i had a barely 2nd degree ... stitching was pretty easy. my mw gave me a novacaine shot before. i flt a little bit of tugging and pinching but no pain. healed up really easy ... by the time the normal swelling was down the stitches were slightly tender but thats it. we dtd around 3-4 weeks pp .. had to go slow but no pain or anything like that

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Old 06-08-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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Hey... I recognize you from another forum, lol.

I had an epis with my first (still angry about that) and I had a first degree tear with my second. I had local lidocaine with both for the repair.

With my second birth, the nurse said she thought they'd have to do a repair. (It was at a birthing center... I delivered in water, got out of the water, cleaned up, breastfed, etc before they did the repair.) I remember almost starting to cry when the nurse said she thought I needed a repair. I'm a wimp about those things too! The nurse was hugging me and telling me it'd be okay and wouldn't take long.

Honestly, the shots of numbing medicine burn. But only for a second and it's not that bad. The stitches don't hurt after the numbing. I could kinda feel tugging but nothing painful. It was rough just having to be in MORE pain after already having dealt with so much pain.

I am glad I had the repair, though. They said for small tears that they would let them heal naturally, but you had to be careful about how you sat, walked, etc. It was nice not having to worry with that at all because it was stitched.

I'd go for the repair. It's like two seconds of additional pain. Not really that bad in the scheme of things. And the repair didn't take long either time. Less than ten minutes probably. But the numbing was the only bad part of it.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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i had a 1st degree tear with dd1. at least they said it was a 1st deg, i'm not sure i believed her. i have a scar from it. it was an ob that stitched me up. she gave me a local and told me to tell her if i felt anything and she would give me more. i don't really remember how long it took. i told her i could feel her stitching and she told me she was almost done and didn't give me anything else. it really hurt.

i guess it took me about 3 weeks to be able to sit without hurting.

after my hb i had no stiches at all and just a skid mark. much easier to heal from.

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Old 06-08-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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1st delivery: had the epidural in still--still wasn't working great--did feel some of it, hurt. hurt a LOT for a while (2nd degree epis).

last delivery: they gave a small shot of numbing in the area, didn't feel a thing beyond that (ouch!) and the stitches never hurt or bothered me at all (minor 1st degree tear).
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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I had a 2nd degree tear stitched, and wish I hadn't. It healed funny (dimples on your cheeks are cute, dimples in your perineum are not!) and the OB was extremely brutal (not just during the stitching part though) and caused a lot of bruising and nerve damage on my labia and clitoris with the clamps.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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I had 2 or 3 stitches after my hb. I was in bed with dd nursing and completely blissed out post-birth. When the mws gave me a shot of painkiller I winced, but I was joking about how wierd the stitches felt through my numb skin. I think I probably sounded like I was high! (Oh, wait, I guess I kind of was!) I blabbed on and on about how happy I was that I was comfy in my own bed for the stitches and they didn't bother me at all.

I think it took a long time for it to heal completely, though. Sex made the scar hurt a little unless there was PLENTY of moisture down there. Once my period came back (at 19 months) it was like it had completely healed overnight. All of a sudden, it didn't hurt anymore at all! I don't think that would have been any different if it had healed naturally, though.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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I don't even remember the numbing shot hurting. I think at that point my body was pretty numbed up down there on its own allready. It didn't bother me much at the time. She left the end of the tear unstitched and that part hurt the worse afterward. I can't emagine healing from a tear without stitches. Allthough she did do a pretty bad job of stitching me evenly. Grrrr..

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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I don't remember how bad I tore (they did have to cut me) but whenever she cut me it didn't hurt at all, to my amazement! They squirted something on it whenever they were stitching me up and afterwards and until it healed I never felt a thing. I felt pretty lucky after all the horror stories I heard about it.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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I simply leaned back on our sofa while my midwife stitched away. She used a local numbing agent, and as I recall it burned a little going in. But in comparison to the intense sensations of birthing, it barely registered. I watched the stiching with a little hand mirror, 'cuz I like to know what's happening to my body. The whole deal, including me stopping MW to ask questions, took maybe ten minutes.

I took it very easy for the first two weeks after the birth, basically staying in bed with my babe, and I think that helped with the healing process. I also used a peri bottle with an herbal solution on the wound whenever I used the bathroom, and frequently applied an herbal salve. The stitches dissolved on their own in a few weeks. I never felt a need to use pain medication, 'tho I would have been open to it had I been hurting. It took a good 12 weeks before I really felt ready to DTD again, but that had as much to do with being exhausted as a new mom as it did with the tear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ooey View Post
I'd love to hear some experiences from those of you who got stitches...how bad was it? Who did it...midwife,doctor,ER? How long did it take? What kind of pain medicine did they give you? Could you still feel anything? What was the healing process/after care like? Now that it's after the fact are you glad you let them do it?

In my exhaustion after days of labor I chose not to have some pretty bad tears stitched up after my daughter's birth. However this time around if I do tear again, due to how bad I'm already torn down there from dd's birth I think it will be necessary to get stitches this time. I am a huge pain wimp when it comes to needles or pretty much any kind of pain that is "unnatural," if that makes sense. If I tear I know in the long run I will be better off having it repaired this time, but I also know that the only way I will do it is if I prepare myself ahead of time.
I relate so much to that. For me, the most challenging part of the whole stiching process was making the decision in a state of otherwoldliness/euphoria/exhaustion after giving birth. My MW recommended the stiches, but left the choice up to me. I nearly said "no" but thought to look to DH and ask him "what would I decide if weren't in such a volitile state?" He said "I think you'd go ahead and get the stitches." I'm really glad that I had him there--he knows me so well, he was able to stand in and help me make the choice that I would normally have made on my own.

Now nearly a year since the birth, I feel vibrant and whole. I feel that it's really unlikely that I'll tear again should I have more children, but if I do, it won't be a big deal. Good birthing Ooey!
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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I had a 2nd degree tear and my OB could tell I was going to tear while I was pushing so she gave me a shot of lidocaine or something before it tore and I didn't feel the shot or tear. It took about 10 minutes to stitch up and she had to give me another shot cuz I could still feel on one end but it wasn't that bad compared to just having pushed out a 9lb baby with no epidural lol. Healing it was mostly itchy and stung a little but didn't hurt at all after about a week.

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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First birth I had an epidural, suffered a 2nd degree tear, epidural was wearing off but the Obstetrician refused to give me local anaesthetic while repairing me in order to punish me (I can't be arsed to go into details but it was harsh). It hurt.

Second birth, was transferred in for suspected 3rd degree, turned out to be a very long 2nd degree verging on 3rd degree, had to have a few local anaesthetic shots AND gas and air (local anaesthetic doesn't work as well on me as it should). Felt tugging, pinching etc but didn't really care thanks to the G+A.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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ok.. my first birth wa in 1995 so it was a horror. the cut me open to do a forceps delivery ( iwas 19 and didnt know better) then stitched me back up. i heard the doc say he was doing a husbands stitch.. which is an extra stitch to make it tighter. sex hurt for years.
my 2nd birth was last year.... no tears at all. completely vaginal birth. no forceps or anything. i did get an epidural though. and the 2nd baby was a lb bigger than the first.
sometimes you can avoid tearing if you take it easy pushing the head and if you have a midwife who knows how to strtch it just right (perineal massage). sometimes they can hook their finger in and move the perineum over the chin so it doesnt tear.
i would google it.

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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I had a couple of stitches after my 3rd baby. The perineum is numb for a while after the birth due to trauma and shock......the blood supply is cut off....so you really do not feel much. It healed quickly, within two weeks.

It was a first degree, skin tear. Not much of anything anyway; it was up to me to be stitched and I said, "Yes!".

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post
ok.. my first birth wa in 1995 so it was a horror. the cut me open to do a forceps delivery ( iwas 19 and didnt know better) then stitched me back up. i heard the doc say he was doing a husbands stitch.. which is an extra stitch to make it tighter. sex hurt for years.
:

Quote:
my 2nd birth was last year.... no tears at all. completely vaginal birth. no forceps or anything. i did get an epidural though. and the 2nd baby was a lb bigger than the first.
sometimes you can avoid tearing if you take it easy pushing the head and if you have a midwife who knows how to strtch it just right (perineal massage). sometimes they can hook their finger in and move the perineum over the chin so it doesnt tear.
i would google it.
I'm going to try my best to be in a good position, take it slow and listen to my body as I push the baby out. But honestly with what I've got to work with I'm thinking it's very likely I will tear at least a little bit no matter what preventative measures I take. *TMI* My upper left labia/lip is split in two, I have a huge bartolin's gland cyst on the lower labia and my perineum actually has a hole in in it, from I guess bursting open but not actually tearing all the way through during my DDs birth. It's only connected by a thin piece, and if that piece tears I will have a huge flap of perineum just hanging there. That is why I'm thinking I may HAVE to go for the stitches this time, no matter how horrible it may be or how much I prefer to heal naturally
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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I don't remember being stitched back up that much (very vaguely) for a 2nd degree tear. I was very very out of it. I know I was given a local but I don't remember feeling a thing. I was even given a stitch on my cervix.

After my second, faster birth, I was awake and aware of everything going on. I had a 2nd degree tear again and they insisted on stitching it up. I said fine, but the local (novocaine) never took. Ow.

I did heal up very well at least, and didn't tear again, even after having a bigger baby at home. I was almost given an episiotomy the first birth, and I'm thankful that didn't happen.

FWIW I had residents doing the procedure both times.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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Well, local doesn't work on me down there apparently. With my first two the numbing hurt really bad and I felt every stitch. With #3 I had a skid mark and with #4 I refused the ONE stitch the midwife felt I **really** needed.

IMO, the difference between needing stitches and not was "hold your breath pushing". Breathe and push only when your body tells you too.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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IMO, the difference between needing stitches and not was "hold your breath pushing". Breathe and push only when your body tells you too.
: The mom's positioning while pushing also has an impact.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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Well, yeah, and having a sticky-shouldered baby that necessitated two full-size adult midwife hands in my vagina along with my baby's big ol' head had an impact as well.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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I had no pushing instinct this time. really. had it the last time.

and this time my baby had no heartbeat at times, so I really did need to hold my breath and push. I wish very much it could have been different.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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I had Frankenstein stitches -- the full length of my perineum, up to my urethra, and out through one labia. I know for me they called in a couple of plastic surgeons to figure out what to put where and it took seemingly a short century, but honestly I was a little too distracted by the presence of my son to really remember more. Healing was not a problem -- no complications, quick, not a lot of discomfort, reasonable swelling, and no noticeable scar tissue or otherwise tightness. I'm guessing that might have something to do with having had specialists? I'm definitely going to ask my OB with this baby if it's possible to by default arrange to call in the plastic surgeons if there's any tearing requiring more than just a few straightforward stitches.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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With my 2nd birth, I had an epidural and didn't feel anything. With the 3rd, I don't remember if they gave me a painkiller or not but it didn't hurt to be stitched.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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Both of my deliveries were uncomplicated and resulted in the "need" for one or two stitches (both were 10 lb babies mind you). I am pretty sure that she did lidocaine during my pushing?? because I don't remember it afterward, so I really didn't feel that. I do remember her actually doing the stitch (or two) but don't remember it hurting.

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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I got 4 stitches by my midwife after this most recent homebirth. She used dermaplast to numb it. It hurt a bit, but I just had a baby so this pain was easier to cope with. It was over quickly.

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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My first childbirth experience was very bad--lots of tearing, lots and lots of blood, the whole deal. I wasn't prepared for it at all, so it is good that you are thinking of this now. Do whatever you need to do in order to avoid tearing. Make a plan, do perineal massage, push in a reasonable way.... all of those things should help.

In my case, I didn't do any of those things--not smart! I had a significant amount of tearing and after I had my DD my OB was trying to stitch me up in the delivery room. It really hurt despite the shot of pain stuff I had, and I let him know it. Eventually he decided to put me under general anesthesia, maybe just to shut me up. I ended up having enough stitches that my doctor couldn't even tell me later exactly how many there were, he just answered "a LOT."

I had a lot of pain for awhile and had a difficult time getting around for a couple of months, but eventually my body started to recover and I bounced back to normal. I have internal vaginal scarring but nothing that interferes with my daily life or my sex life in any way. Now, almost four years later, it's a distant memory. I do wish I had been more prepared at the moment, though; I think perhaps I could have avoided some unnecessary pain and tearing during birth.

Good luck; I think if you think about it in advance, it can make your experience much better than it would be otherwise.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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I had an OBGYN attended hospital birth and was induced with Pitocin for my first. Of course, I also "needed" an episiotomy. It took a few minutes to stitch up, and I remember feeling it, though I am pretty sure I had some sort of pain medication for that (though, not the actual birth). The stitching didn't hurt, I just felt it.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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I had a severe tear after my drug-free birth at a free-standing birth center w/ a MW. She injected a local anesthetic (I was still pretty "numb" down there immediately after birth anyhow) and stitched me up there on the bed. I had about 10 stitches, I don't remember. I was in a lot of pain for the next month or so. I had an infection about 3 days after birth and it was excruciating. I think one of the greatest injustices in life is that some women don't tear during delivery

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Old 06-09-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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with ds i was in a hosp. my ob tried massage and stretching but finally admitted that i was going to tear up into my urethra and gave me a pressure epi. i don't remember the stiches, my pain shot or anything.

with dd i was in the water and i could feel myself tearing. the mw tried to stretch it down (being blind) but i still tore....sideways. i remember the shot a little bit and extra pulling and lots of activity. at one point she said that an extra piece of skin was there and she could cut it off or just leave it..i left it no reason why...

i have to say that my pressure epi was SOOO much nicer! it was sewn up really really well and was just way better than tearing sideways. i still feel funny and kinda lopsided with some weird skin and my recovery was longer with the 2nd (although who knows if it was cause i already had a family!).

when we have another i am torn (haha!) between being in the water (loved it!) or being out and getting a nice clean "tear". i KNOW i am going to tear...seems to be a way of birth for me!
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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with ds i was in a hosp. my ob tried massage and stretching but finally admitted that i was going to tear up into my urethra and gave me a pressure epi. i don't remember the stiches, my pain shot or anything.

with dd i was in the water and i could feel myself tearing. the mw tried to stretch it down (being blind) but i still tore....sideways. i remember the shot a little bit and extra pulling and lots of activity. at one point she said that an extra piece of skin was there and she could cut it off or just leave it..i left it no reason why...

i have to say that my pressure epi was SOOO much nicer! it was sewn up really really well and was just way better than tearing sideways. i still feel funny and kinda lopsided with some weird skin and my recovery was longer with the 2nd (although who knows if it was cause i already had a family!).

when we have another i am torn (haha!) between being in the water (loved it!) or being out and getting a nice clean "tear". i KNOW i am going to tear...seems to be a way of birth for me!
can you explain what a "pressure epi" is?
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