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#31 of 54 Old 08-25-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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I haven't experience either (sniffle), but my mom would talk quite a bit about it. To me (and her) it's like when kids have ear infections, and MDs say "oh you must have tubes put in so there's no rupture".

Um, OK. So you go in and poke a hole in the eardrum to put a tube in, so that you don't possibly have a hole happen in your eardrum. Makes no sense.

But the tube is done with anesthetic and is *controlled*, unlike a "rupture" (which may or may not happen). But the end result is pretty much the same.

Just doesn't make much sense to me, to do something surgical lest something happen naturally.
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#32 of 54 Old 08-25-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessedwinter View Post
I've had both and would MUCH rather tear. Women just don't know how excruciating an episiotomy is to recover from, unless they've had one. My tears had virtually no recovery time.
I've had both. They were about the same to me, healing wise.

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#33 of 54 Old 08-25-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Birth is a total loss of control. Heck PARENTING is a loss of control. You no longer, once pregnant, have full control over your body, your hormones, your mind. Once the baby is here you have a million things to consider before you get to your own needs. I did not PEE alone for nearly 7 weeks!

So a tear, yet another uncontrolled thing happening, is just terrible! Can't we be cut? If we MUST be damaged there from that, at least the doctor, who is trained and is not in labour and has special tools etc. and can SEE what they are doing could do a small cut, and then i won't get this uncontrolled rip in me.

Medical care during birth is about controlling outcomes. Many many women cannot imagine that one can so completely lose control and be ok. We are control-mad in modern life. A cut done by a medical professional, they erroneously imagine, MUST MUST MUST be better than a tear that no-one is in charge of.
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#34 of 54 Old 08-25-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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its an ignorant statement. period. im not calling the person ignorant but the sentiment that an epis. is better than natural tearing is just ignorant. they cause greater degree tears than would otherwise exist in most cases.
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#35 of 54 Old 08-25-2008, 10:14 PM
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I had a 2nd degree tear. From what I understand, tears are also not as deep as a cut, and also with the irreg. edges, are therefore easier to stitch + heal. My mw never even thought to cut. I'm not sure if the tear was from the head pushing out or the nuchal hand/arm which was delivered manually, or that I pushed to hard and fast for fear of a 3rd cs... took a long time to get my tushie back to normal though (will it ever be?!?) LOL!

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#36 of 54 Old 08-25-2008, 10:24 PM
 
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Who was it. . . Shiela Kitzenger, maybe? who pointed out the an episiotomy is the only surgery done with a dull object (scissors). I have had an episiotomy which tore to nearly 4th degree and it was horrific. I mean *weeks* before I could sit comfortably and nearly a year before sex was anything special.

With my second (completely unmedicated, homebirth) I tore slightly along the epi scar, but healing from that was a snap. Give me a tear any day over the long slice with bruised tissues from the scissors on either side. (Shudder!!!)

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#37 of 54 Old 08-26-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I don't remember where I read this, but some place described an episiotomy as "a guaranteed second degree tear done to avoid a possible first degree tear maybe extending into a third degree tear."

Mind you, considering coached pushing, I'd bet that doctors do see a lot more tearing.
yeah that! my mom is convinced women cant have babies with episiotomies and that a tear would be horrible! when i tried to explain to her that id sooner take my chances with the possibility of a tear than with the gaurantee of a big cut from an episiotomy, she just wasnt having it. its like brainwashing, seriously... im glad to see this topic here, its been on my mind for a while.
complete lack of logic
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#38 of 54 Old 08-26-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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I did get cut...and still had a nasty 4th degree tear that had my OB call in a consult to stitch up right. He did a great repair job, but I can't help but wonder if the epi actually CAUSED the tear.
There is a large body of evidence suggesting that cutting the skin effects the "structural integrity" and leads to worse tearing.
I've had 3 babes since, 2 over 9lbs..and the first time was the only time I tore at all.

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#39 of 54 Old 08-26-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rogelito's Mommy View Post
I always wondered about this...I never new much about weather it was better to tear or have an episiotomy. I had a natural birth and tore and got some stitches. It did not heal well on its own at all. I went back for my 6 wk pp check up and the thought of anyone touching anything anywhere down there scared the crap out of me. The midwife took one look and said, "Oh, that's not what we were going for." and called in the OB.
This sounds...weird. I wonder if they were trying out some new stitching technique on you or something? The way she put that sounds like something was going on that you weren't aware of, yk?

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#40 of 54 Old 08-26-2008, 11:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
Definitely ignorance.
I was ignorant at one point about it - but mostly, it was the fear of birth in general. I was terrified of losing control of the situation, and I'd much rather tell them to cut me than have them cut me without my prior consent.
I even fricken wrote it in my birthplan. Luckily, I wouldn't let them anywhere near me with scissors, but I did tear with my first in the lithomy position.
The shoddy suture job left me long lasting issues.
I'm so grateful I did not end up with an epi.


I UCed with my second, and I've never looked back.
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#41 of 54 Old 08-26-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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I dont know but I was scared to death of being cut and my dr. (a fill in) did it without even telling me. My husband watched and said he went from one hole all the way to the other (tmi I know). And mann could I feel it. It took him about 30 minutes to stitch me up and I could see just how far he cut me. There was NO way I needed that. I had been pushing for 10 minutes ON MY BACK when he decided to do this... no decline in heart rate or anything. The next push, her whole body came out cause I was so cut up. UGH makes me mad!
OMG I'm sorry!!!

IA that it is advertising. I hear that women who've had episiotomies have more issues with sensations down below.

I definitely agree that lithotomy position and forcing mom to push are detrimental and can cause or worsen tearing. Ouch!!!

ETA: I was going to ask if the average ob was doing perineal massages or some other technique to prevent tearing, but I think I already know the answer.
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#42 of 54 Old 08-26-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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This thread makes me wonder...

My Dr. cut me as well.

I was induced due to pre-e. Those pit contractions ramped everything up soo fast. My labor progressed super fast once things got going, after I hit 5 cm it took less than 30 minutes to get to ten. I then pushed for twenty minutes. DS came out so fast that DH said it looked like he was shot out of a cannon. Afterwards it took 15 stitches to sew me back up.

What would have happened in this case if I had flat out refused the episiotomy? Would I have torn badly due to giving birth so fast, or would I have ended up with "skid marks" or a small tear?

Jackie, Catholic mama to Elijah (6/07) & Gabriel (2/10) and our angel baby, m/c 7/29/12. Expecting someone new in October 2014!
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#43 of 54 Old 08-27-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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I had a friend, a nurse, with a very medicalized opinion of birth, wanting an episiotomy cause in her medically trained mind (also an ER nurse) found it was easier to stitch a straight line than a jagged tear.... so her ER stitching came to L & D. Thankfully I was able to educate her out of it, she ended up not needing one anyway!
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#44 of 54 Old 08-27-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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I just wanted to say, I've also had both, and the 2nd-degree tear was WAY better than being cut! It healed so much faster (no stitches)!

Can I also say, after being cut (1st baby), it was months before I said okay to *doing the deed* and even then it was SO painful. (Even a year after the birth it was painful!) After having a tear, I only wanted to wait 5 weeks before being ready to dtd, and there was no pain.

Mama to dd born 7/2005, dd born 12/2007 and dd born 11/2009.
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#45 of 54 Old 08-27-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by honeybunch2k8 View Post

ETA: I was going to ask if the average ob was doing perineal massages or some other technique to prevent tearing, but I think I already know the answer.
My OB is 'smarter than the average bear' -- he doesn't do epis (or rarely does them). And is absolutely on-board with NCB, extended breastfeeding, doesn't like to induce ("It's best for babies to cook 'til they're ready") ... I read the horror stories here about OBs and MWs who are really medical-minded, interventionist and patronizing and feel so glad I have my OB.

He does do perineal massage during the deliveries, as needed. I had a small tear with my first birth (no stitches) and 'skid marks' with my second - despite very quick labors with both.

I fear that my OB is not the norm.

Not all who wander are lost.
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#46 of 54 Old 08-27-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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*shudder* I can't imagine preferring a cut over a tear. Yes, tearing is not fun, but the very idea of someone chopping into my genitals with scissors is terrifying to me! I had a small tear with DS2's birth and it didn't need stitches, it was able to heal on its own. I definitely couldn't have said the same for an epi! In fact, it was one of my deciding factors in staying out of the hospital!
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#47 of 54 Old 08-27-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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ETA: I was going to ask if the average ob was doing perineal massages or some other technique to prevent tearing, but I think I already know the answer.
I had to reply to this, even though I can barely make it through this thread. The OB I had thought perineal massage was jamming his fingers in me and prying my vagina open as fast as he could without warning. And the cut me while i was screaming no. Yeah, anyone who says they would rather be cut... well, if it happens to them, they may eat their words. I watched in the mirror. Took a long time to heal. And I'm freaking that baby #2 is going to split the scar open Thankfully, new OB (single practitioner!!!) does not do epis! : So, in the event of a non-UC birth, I feel like my body will be respected.

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#48 of 54 Old 08-28-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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Haven't read all the replies but adding my two cents

My OB said that only a sadist would recommend tearing over an episiotomy.
"Tears NEVER heal properly"
He went on to say how he weekly has to repair women with 4th degree, prolapse issues etc.
He did not answer when I asked if these women had had episiotomies or not.
He did not answer when I asked how regularly he found them to be necessary.

I told him my research showed differently but stopped short of telling him the WHO recommendations because I could see that his mind was more or less made up. Next visit I'm going with the documents in hand, important passages highlighted.

I know that injuries can and do occur when giving birth but give me the facts rationally, don't try to scare me into seeing things your way.

I have also made an appointment with the local midwife.
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#49 of 54 Old 08-30-2008, 06:55 AM
 
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I just wanted to say, I've also had both, and the 2nd-degree tear was WAY better than being cut! It healed so much faster (no stitches)!

Can I also say, after being cut (1st baby), it was months before I said okay to *doing the deed* and even then it was SO painful. (Even a year after the birth it was painful!) After having a tear, I only wanted to wait 5 weeks before being ready to dtd, and there was no pain.


Thixle and Elanorh, I'm glad y'all found some good OBs!
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#50 of 54 Old 09-01-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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I was very upset about my episiotomy. It was given to me without my consent and I had even done research and knew that an episiotomy should be avoided.

I figured the doctor would at least have to ask first because I thought everything required informed consent.

Boy was I ignorant.

I ended up taking almost a year to fully heal from my episiotomy. And I am smaller down there than I was before because of how she sewed me up.

There were many other things that I would have changed if I could go back but because of all the misinformation out there, I fell into the traps (epidural and pitocin for example.) All I know is that I am much happier UPing and UCing because I don't need to "rely" on some biased, money hungry doctor for information.

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#51 of 54 Old 09-01-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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Can I also say, after being cut (1st baby), it was months before I said okay to *doing the deed* and even then it was SO painful. (Even a year after the birth it was painful!)
I had the exact same experience.

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#52 of 54 Old 09-02-2008, 02:41 AM
 
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I never thought that an episiotomy sounded like a good idea. From the time I first heard about one (sometime in my early teens) it was my greatest fear about childbirth. When it came to having my baby, deep down I knew I wanted a homebirth, but I just didn't have it in me at the time to fight for it. I was given an episiotomy without even being asked. I had hardly been pushing for more than 10 or 15 min. The baby wasn't THAT big though, the doctor kept acting like 8lbs was more than a woman could handle.

I regret many parts of my birth, but the episiotomy tops it all. The pain from it was excruciating. I could barely sit up, which made nursing very difficult. Within the first week some of the stitches ripped out leaving a gaping hole. I was horrified. I felt violated from being cut. I was so ashamed it was nearly a year before I was ready to look to see if it had healed, and I was terrified of having sex again or even letting my husband near this part of me that had been in my mind disfigured. At my 2 week postpartum appointment the doctor used silver nitrate to cauterize the opening. It helped a little but 2 weeks later it had to be done again. The pain from the cauterization was horrific, almost as bad as when I first came home from the hospital. It hurt to walk or sit or exist. At 8 weeks postpartum it still hadn't healed and I started to think it never would. I swear that little cut has caused me so much physical pain and so much mental anguish. I would have preferred to tear, I think even if the outcome had been the same because at least then my body would have been allowed to do what it needed to do, rather than having somebody else impose their will on my body. Does that make sense? Really I think the shame and feelings of violation that came with being cut were the worst part of the whole experience. I am also worried now that the scar tissue there will make it harder for my body to stretch and more likely to tear the next time I give birth.

Jennifer, mama to darling dancing Juliette, and sweet baby Jameson
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#53 of 54 Old 09-02-2008, 07:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by FraggleLover View Post
Haven't read all the replies but adding my two cents

My OB said that only a sadist would recommend tearing over an episiotomy.
"Tears NEVER heal properly"
He went on to say how he weekly has to repair women with 4th degree, prolapse issues etc.
He did not answer when I asked if these women had had episiotomies or not.
He did not answer when I asked how regularly he found them to be necessary.
Don't think I'd go back to him...

I also wonder how many of these women are on their backs giving birth - no room for the baby to come out and of course they are going to tear. My MIL had a 4th degree with dh... she was flat on her back with a breech!

No cuts here, thankfully! I tore enough with 3rd child to need a couple of stitches but it healed just fine and I had no complications from it with the fourth birth and she was nearly 10 lbs.

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#54 of 54 Old 09-02-2008, 08:20 AM
 
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when i got pregnant, my MIL (who was shocked i gave birth naturally, but whatever, lol) was telling me about her niece's deliveries, and how the doctor used mineral oil to keep her from tearing, and she didnt understand why they just didnt do an episiotomy because its "just easier and only takes about a week to heal"

she seriously thought it was better to have an epis than to NOT TEAR AT ALL! :

Artie, mom to Riley 3/22/08 and a surprise due Oct 2011!
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