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#1 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Your perineum, tears, things of that nature. I think we are gonna start perineal massage, but I have been having so much pressure & soreness down there already & the baby isn't even coming out yet! I feel like I'll freak when it gets to that point. I mean I know it all stretches, but ouch if I'm having pain there already WTH is pushing a head out gonna be like. Does or did anyone else feel the same way & for those of you who have had a vaginal birth is it as bad as I'm thinking??? As a doula I've attended so many births and it just seems like a non issue to all the moms I've been with, but I am just freaking out about it, lol.

Mrs. (28) Wife to the Mr. (26) Mama to K (10g) & J (5b). Expecting #3 10/10. Hoping for a HBA2C.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 12:34 PM
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ddcc and YMMV's not worth worrying about.

i had 2nd degree tears both times, but didn't bother getting them stitched. with #1 i had the ring of fire, but honestly it was just a part of what i was feeling. There was mostly pressure, a bit of burning, a bit of achey-ness where the joints in my pelvis are... The burning was a pretty small part of it. When the baby's head is there the nerves don't report back like they do the rest of the time, there is so much pressure the sensations are sort of distant or numbed. With #2 i didn't have any burning or ring of fire at all, just immense pressure and the weird feeling of her against my ischial spines (which i never felt the first time at all).

Afterwards you are so absorbed by the baby you just get on with things, between milk coming in, lochia, massive fluid loss (with the peeing and sweating) a sore perineum was just a small part of the recovery too. I do think that it's a very common thing to worry about coming up to birth, there are only a few times in your life you will stretch that big, for sure. But for me anyway, it's one of those things i realised after i worried about it AND it happened (the tearing) that it just wasn't a big deal.
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#3 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 12:47 PM
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Well, I'm worried about it because I had a bad 2nd degree tear last time (it required multiple stitches of both the muscle layer and skin layer), and it took forever to heal from (particularly enough to DTD--I think it was about 6 mos). It didn't really hurt when it happened, though, because I had gotten a pudendal block. That was the only pain medication I got during the whole labor/birth, and it was because I had been pushing for almost 4 hours at that point, and I was getting exhausted, and the OB tried lubrication and stretching the perineum before doing the block, but it was very painful and it seemed like I was going to tear, so she suggested (and my doula agreed) the block would be a good idea. Maybe I wouldn't have torn so badly if I didn't have the block, but after 4 hours of hard pushing I was practically ready for them to try to yank DD out with forceps, so I was willing to do anything they thought would help.

I have read that being in a side-lying or hands and knees position when the baby crowns can greatly reduce the risk of tearing, so I am going to try that this time--anything to get the full downward weight of the baby's head off the perineum. Perineal massage/stretching is also recommended for several weeks before birth, so I'm going to start doing that now, too.

Mom to sweet DD 8/08, and adorable DS 10/20/10
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#4 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 12:53 PM
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With my vba2c I had an episiotomy that tore (3rd degree, so I had to get 2 stiches in my rectum). I was prepared for hell from what I've read about 3rd degree tears, but honestly I recovered really well from it and didn't have any problems. Of course I hope to avoid that this time, but I'm not terribly worried. I don't really remember the ring of fire itself, I just remember thinking the whole time how much it all sucked and that I would never do it again. But here I am Those feelings fade and as soon as she was out I was estatic and pretty much forgot the pain.
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#5 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 12:56 PM
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Oh, and I think I've decided to skip the perineal massage. It does not sound like fun and honestly, I'm not convinced it does much good.
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#6 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 05:36 PM
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With my first I had an episiotomy that required a couple stitches and after that I was worried about tearing. I had minor tears with my next two births and the last birth nothing. Never had to get stitches. With all three births after the episiotomy I begged my husband to 'support my perineum' during crowning. It eased so much of the pressure/pain from the 'ring of fire' and I believe it prevented worse (or any) damage.

E & K (13yrs) and our flock of 6!

"Hey little one, why don't you go get cleaned up, you look like a country bumkin."
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#7 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 06:04 PM
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I would gently up my nutrients that help with skin integrity. Two that I focus on are zinc and vit c.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#8 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 08:07 PM
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One thing you can do that's helpful before labor is to gently stretch your perineum by sitting on a ball like a tennis ball (though that's pretty hard; you can find softer and a bit larger balls in the pet section of most stores) right in that area. To make it even softer, sit on it while sitting on a yoga ball. You don't want it to hurt, to be attacking yourself so to speak, but it does help to loosen up the tissue.
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