Vaginal Tearing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 10-23-2009, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A week ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, she was born at home. Labor was only 6 hours long and although it was intense it wasnt painful. The birth was amazing and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! However, I had heavy bleeding after birth and was wisked to the hospital 20 minutes after birth to the ER. I suffered several deep lacerations they called them, aka tears in the vagina. My cervix is fine, no tears and I didnt even have a skidmark on the outside. Just the vagina. They had to put me to sleep and give me a spinal block in order to go in a stitch it. A week later and I am still extremely sore and the swelling is just now going down. I have to say I am now terrified of this happening again with the next baby and also worried that because the tearing is in the vagina that sex wont ever be the same again.
Has anyone ever had vaginal tearing? Any words of advice, encouragement? Did you have it happen again with the next birth? My aunt is a OB nurse and she said I could have scar tissue now from the stitching, what does that mean? Is it a bad thing?
The birth was so beautiful and i feel so bad that I cant enjoy this and look back with Good feelings about her birth because of the recovery.
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#2 of 24 Old 10-24-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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yes, I had pretty significant tearing. Sex is just the same, if not better than before the birth! I do feel a sort of tightness or pulling sensation from the scars, but it doesn't interfere with my life. From a cosmetic standpoint I'm a mess down there. But really, who cares? I don't know if you've ever had surgery, but if you have you know how long it takes for your tissues to recover. Give your body time to rest, and make sure your dp understands that you need time to feel better before you resume relations! I try to warn every pregnant woman and new mom I know that it takes a very, very long time for your vagina to recover from birth(like a year or more!). It's something that nobody talks about. Congrats on your baby!
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#3 of 24 Old 10-28-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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I had horrible tears from my sons birth, both internal and external. It was awful.

Give yourself alot of time to heal - but if your pain persists for more than you think it should go to your midwife and demand they look at you. I was in pain for 12long long weeks - I have tons of granular tissue and needed to have silver nitrate put on it. They numbed me for that procedure b/c there was so much.

I'm never having a baby again b/c the recovery was so terrible. I couldn't have sex until my son was 8months old - it still hurts if we do it in the wrong position.

I hope that your recovery goes much more smoothly than mine!
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#4 of 24 Old 10-29-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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First of all..you're one week out..give yourself a little break. I was an emotional mess at one week. I remembering sobbing for the sole reason that my vagina was ripped open. That thought really bothered me.

I had a deep vaginal tear. I bleed a lot after birth. My midwife called in the specialist to help stitch me up. It was sore and painful for awhile. At first sex (8 weeks pp) was uncomfortable. It generally took a little while to get warmed up when we would start the intercourse (this sounds silly) but after a minute or two I would enjoy it again. Around 6 months pp everything was feeling much better. Now at a year it is better than ever. I definitely recommend lubrication. Tell your midwives if you have lots of pain. You can be dried out while breast feeding and if normal lube doesn't work they can prescribe a lube with hormones in it. I also recommend seeing a physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor and all that. I just saw one for my diastasis recti and she checked out my vagina and sure enough I am all tensed up around my scar etc, making sex difficult. It was just fascinating. So don't despair if it is painful. It doesn't have to be and people can help you!

I am nervous about what will happen with my tear and my next birth. Not enough to stop me from having another baby.

Congratulations on your labor and your new baby!!!!!! Let time heal you and don't think too much while those hormones are flying around. It is dangerous

I have boys! My first baby boy was born 10/08 and my second baby boy was born 7/12

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#5 of 24 Old 10-29-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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I tore pretty badly. At a year out things are looking/feeling pretty normal down there - not quite the same but not at all terrible. At 6 weeks pp I had granulated tissue removed - that made a HUGE difference & from there things finished healing very quickly. I also had some more granulated tissue removed at 3 mos pp but that was not painful (much to my ob's surprise).

I was VERY worried that I was doomed to tear so dramatically with every birth but my ob was very comforting. He said that there really is no way to predict it & that rarely does he see someone tear severely twice.

Enjoy your baby & give yourself time to heal.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#6 of 24 Old 10-29-2009, 07:39 PM
 
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I had a small vaginal tear and things were still REALLY swollen and ouchy several weeks later. give it time and don't worry.

Stinkerton 12/10/01 9lbs8oz, induced to c/s; Little Man 5/20/03 7lbs11oz, r c/s, fear of another labor; Jillybean 11/18/07 10lbs8oz 37cm head, induced VBA2C; and the Wee Beastie, 9lbs8oz, 35cm head, rpt VBA2C
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#7 of 24 Old 11-01-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I had several vaginal tears, dr. stitched me for alost 80 minutes after the birth. In fact, he stitched, then cut out his stitches, made some cuts and stitched me up in two layers. I am SOOO grateful. The sex is better; dh and I are happy he did such a good job.
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#8 of 24 Old 11-01-2009, 07:21 PM
 
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I second checking with the doctor and getting a prescription for an estrogen cream to make the tissue more pliable - my doctor did this for me and it helped. I had an episiotomy (baby #1). This time around, I only had a small tear (baby #3), and it started healing much faster after I put neosporin on it (dramatically faster). The stuff says for external use only though, so I wouldn't go putting it up in your vagina. My tear is in my perineum. My last tear (baby #2) was in the same spot as this time but I tore into my vagina some, through my inner labia. It healed without stitches and hasn't caused me any problems or extra pain, except for a little pulling/pinching at times. Nothing to ruin sex, believe me! Hope you heal quickly, try not to worry about it, I've wasted too many babymoons worrying about my body and how well it's going to recover, most likely you will be fine!

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#9 of 24 Old 11-02-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing your experiences! Makes me feel better to know im not alone. I had never heard of inside tearing and staying intact on the outside before it happened to me.
The swelling is almost completely gone and its really not sore anymore unless i walk alot. I can feel the stitches now and its kinda itchy inside but for the most part the pain is gone and im 2 weeks pp. So hopefully thats a good sign that its healing good?
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#10 of 24 Old 11-18-2009, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So im 4-1/2 weeks pp now and feel good for the most part. However i still get a feeling like achy almost whenever i stand too long or walk too long or when i "push" for poo on the toilet. How long does this feeling last? And how long does it take the stitches to dissolve?
Also my bowels are still messed up, i am still taking stool softners just to be able to go. A friend of mine is 10 weeks pp and she said she still takes stool softners and she didnt have near the tramatic delivery i did.
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#11 of 24 Old 11-18-2009, 02:04 PM
 
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I have some vaginal tearing, in addition to perineal tearing. It took a long time for sex to feel good again (almost a year), but I think a lot of that had to do with BFing. BFing can make your vaginal tissues really dry and thin and stiff. Once DD dropped a few nursing sessions, things got better FAST. And now, almost 2 1/2 years later, sex is better than it ever was pre-pregnancy.

As for the stool softeners, I took them for about 2 mo. pp because of the same sensations you describe. I was also taking a prenatal vitamin that contained iron, which made things worse. If you are taking any iron supplements, you might want to stop (as long as your iron levels are okay).

Mom to retired nursling Lily (6/22/07) and wife to my wonderful DH since 3/19/05
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#12 of 24 Old 11-18-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mrscompgeek View Post
So im 4-1/2 weeks pp now and feel good for the most part. However i still get a feeling like achy almost whenever i stand too long or walk too long or when i "push" for poo on the toilet. How long does this feeling last? And how long does it take the stitches to dissolve?
Also my bowels are still messed up, i am still taking stool softners just to be able to go. A friend of mine is 10 weeks pp and she said she still takes stool softners and she didnt have near the tramatic delivery i did.
My bowels were completely messed up after I had my son. It was nuts and I was really frantic about it because I didn't want my lovely hemmoroids to get worse. I did everything. Fiber, flaxseed, stool softeners, probiotcs. I finally took Miralax , at my midwives suggestion, to flush it out and start over. This helped but I had to stay on my diet regimin and I still needed stool softeners once in awhile. It wasn't until 6 mos pp when I gave up gluten/wheat that I returned to normal. After that I didn't need my crazy fiber packed diet anymore. Now I can tolerate some wheat products every day but I know my limit. For example, pizza kills me. I have no idea why. I don't think I was like this before my baby.

I second getting off the iron supplement. Those wrecked my innards.

I highly recommend drinking tons and tons of water to create loose stool. I also had to do this before I cut back on wheat.

Good luck to you. This part sucks. Nobody ever warns you about pp bowel issues.

I have boys! My first baby boy was born 10/08 and my second baby boy was born 7/12

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#13 of 24 Old 11-18-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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I can't comment on the vaginal tearing, but I did have a similar experience - a perfect homebirth followed by an ambulance ride to L&D for a retained placenta with velementous cord insertion, resulting in a severed vessel and hemmorage. That was 2.5 years ago and I can now look back on my birth and enjoy the beautiful memories of that event - it is no longer overshadowed by the chaos that came after.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#14 of 24 Old 11-26-2009, 10:05 PM
 
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I had an overzealous OB who wouldn't get his hands out of the way as my son was crowning, so I had all sorts of tearing both internal and external. My perineum was still raw 3 months PP and painful at 4 months. I also had a bad labial tear that still occasionally aches at 8 months PP. I even nicknamed my vagina "trench warfare"

There were two things that helped immensely with my healing. The first was doing kegels to strengthen my pelvic floor. Those muscles take quite a beating from having a baby pass through. The other thing was having sex again. I was too terrified to try it before 5.5 months PP and even then thought it was going to be too painful. It was uncomfortable, but not painful. It's like the stimulation down there kicked my body into gear about healing up those scars. I still get some tenderness during sex and soreness after, but it has been improving very quickly.

On a side note, a lot of PPs have mentioned the post-baby dryness. Funny thing, I used to need lube before baby but definitely don't need it after
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#15 of 24 Old 12-16-2009, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Had my 6 week check up with a dr and he said everything healed nicely. I was dreading the pap smear cause the thought of anyone messing down there made me cringe but it was actually a lot less painful then before i gave birth. I did notice that toward the front kinda burned when he was doing the pap..maybe something to do with the tears??
Im 8 weeks pp now and not feeling bad at all..still feel achiness when i push to go poo and if i stand alot.
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#16 of 24 Old 01-03-2010, 06:41 AM
 
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It just takes time, mama. I had a big tear with my DD, and had some granular tissue removed at 6 wks PP (big help!).

It's important to understand that your body needs time to heal. One thing I'm very vocal about is that we just don't talk enough about how much you need to heal after birth. I was SUPER active and strong all the way through my pregnancy, and I never expected how much recovery it would take afterwards. I was really hard on myself as a result. We're expecting to pop out our baby, snap back into our old shape, and be super-woman. Your body took 9 months to get to full term. Just delivering and changing your body status back to "not pregnant" is a HUGE change, then add a tear onto that? Time, mama, time. At LEAST plan for a "fourth trimester" if not more.

Co-sleeping, Breastfeeding, EC'ing, Baby-wearing, Homebirthing mama to two fabulous girls 6/2007 and 8/2010
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#17 of 24 Old 01-06-2010, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Im with ya! i was really active during pregnancy and the few weeks after birth I was stuck on the couch cause it hurt too much to move and it drove me nuts!!

I had a 6 week checkup with my backup dr and he said I healed fine and never mentioned anything about granular tissue removal or anything like that.I see a bunch of people have had to go back in at 6 weeks and have tissue removed or have it caturized (?) or something like that? I assume since he didnt mention anything about it that I dont need it correct? Did you dr say something or did you ask about it?
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#18 of 24 Old 01-11-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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Sounds like you're healing great. My granular tissue issue was something that was visible and irritating. It doesn't sound like you are having a problem. It's when tissue heals funny, not something that happens to EVERYONE. If you haven't noticed, and your providers haven't noticed, you probably don't have any. Hooray!

Look into the pelvic floor strengthening...that sounds like some weakness you're describing in terms of standing a lot and pooping.

Co-sleeping, Breastfeeding, EC'ing, Baby-wearing, Homebirthing mama to two fabulous girls 6/2007 and 8/2010
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#19 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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It's important to understand that your body needs time to heal. One thing I'm very vocal about is that we just don't talk enough about how much you need to heal after birth. I was SUPER active and strong all the way through my pregnancy, and I never expected how much recovery it would take afterwards. I was really hard on myself as a result. We're expecting to pop out our baby, snap back into our old shape, and be super-woman. Your body took 9 months to get to full term. Just delivering and changing your body status back to "not pregnant" is a HUGE change, then add a tear onto that? Time, mama, time. At LEAST plan for a "fourth trimester" if not more.
THIS. I had a pleasant, uneventful pregnancy, a difficult (though not traumatic) birth, and a perineal tear that my MW described as "barely 2nd degree." But I was completely shocked at how wrecked I felt in the weeks after birth. I feel like it's something we just don't talk about, and I was completely unprepared for how I'd feel. Birth was hard, but I felt like I was able to prepare myself for it - while I felt totally unprepared for the pain that came afterwards.

That being said, every week I felt a little better, and now, 10 weeks pp, I feel pretty good. Still not "back to normal," but loads better than before. So I agree - trust in your body and give it a chance to heal.
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#20 of 24 Old 05-19-2010, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE-
I finally got a chance to chat with my midwife! Here is what she had to say-
The urge to push is different in every woman,and is different in each birth for some women. If the baby has a hand up, the urge to push can be deflected and not nearly as strong, and in those cases, women just have to push anyway. There is a lot of merit in gentle exhalation pushing, but not everyone can do it, and not in every case. Everything is individual. We are concerned about women pushing when they get the urge because of the cervix. If you push before the cervix is gone, then you can swell the cervix and that slows everything down and can be very uncomfortable. I'm sure that I checked to make sure your cervix was gone.
The reason her heart rate went down is because she had cord compression somewhere along the cord. That is the only reason for the heart rate drop. If the baby is about to be born, then it is not a problem, but if you wait and it takes a while to birth the baby, then you will end up with a very depressed baby who may need resuscitation. It is a judgement call about whether to wait, or whether to encourage the mother to push to get the baby out. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the mom's perineum for the baby's sake. Sometimes even the midwife has to do an episiotomy to get the baby out safely.
We never know a head of time who is going to tear and who isn't. Many women look like they are going to tear, but sometimes they don't. It is a combination of nutrition, genetics,tissue integrity, whether or not the baby has a hand up, and sometimes speed of birth that causes the tearing. Another woman in the same situation as you may not have torn at all, or she may have torn worse.
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#21 of 24 Old 05-20-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Not the answer I was hoping for. I wanted to hear, "no, this will never happen again:. I had a vaginal tear that turned into a hematoma the size of a grapefruit. I had to go home with a cathader in because it blocked me up from the swelling. After the OB took out the dried blood a week later, I was back to normal and had sex at 6 weeks pp. Ouch does not even cut it.... But, after a couple times I was fine. 5 years later I still feel a stinging, pulling sensation every now and then. But, I am so scared to get pregnant this fall because of that. I really want a home birth but what if this happens again?? That pain was worse than contractions for me. I'm glad you are doing good now.

SAHM to my DD 4/05 aka-chloequestionasker and TTC #2 this fall
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#22 of 24 Old 05-24-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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i tore on the inside only as well. they told me it was about as long as a pinky finger and a button hole through to the rectum. it took them two hours to stitch me. 8 mos out things are decent down there. not like before but OK.

i was wondering who squatted for birth? i used a birthing stool as this was the ONLY comfortable position for me. my doula and a midwife i know think that first time moms and squatting during childbirth cause more tears. i also pushed pretty hard because it felt better to do this also.
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#23 of 24 Old 06-29-2010, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bumpe for any updates?
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#24 of 24 Old 07-26-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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I also had a vaginal tear during my homebirth, pretty sure to was due to the trauma of her birth (shoulder dystocia). It was a 2nd degree tear, and I was incredibly swollen and in SO MUCH PAIN for a few days after. I swear, the first day or so, it felt like I was recovering from another c-section (my first was a c/s, this was a VBAC) because I could barely walk or get out of bed without assistance! I took pain meds for a few days.

I was afraid to have sex for a while after (about 3 months)... but when we did, it felt... fine! It doesn't give me any problems at all. I have tried to look in a mirror and find any scar tissue, etc, but I couldn't see anything.

I am glad you were able to hear from your MW! I hope it helps you process things more.

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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