Mothering Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story ahead, be forewarned:<br><br>
When I had my son, I was in labor for 21 hours and used the birth tub quite a bit. When it came time to push, I was too tired to get out, so a waterbirth it was. My husband, a doula, and my midwife's apprentice were there (midwife didn't make it), but they were all pretty hands-off - which was fine with me, but when I was pushing in the tub it was hard for anybody to see how close the baby was to crowning so nobody was really coaching me with my pushing, and I was just pushing as hard as I could because I was ready to be D.O.N.E. and I didn't realize that I would end up pushing the head out so quickly. I ended up with a smallish 2nd degree tear from not taking it easy while pushing the head out.<br><br>
When my midwife got to my house and took a look at the tear, she gave me the option to stitch, do nothing, or use Dermabond. I was really opposed to stitching, but I didn't want to be confined to bed with my knees glued together for the next two weeks either, so I went with Dermabond. It worked well and I was healing fine with no complications. Then after a few weeks I made the stupid mistake of thinking that I was fine enough to not take any more stool softener, and I ended up straining a lot to go to the bathroom and popping the skin back open (muscle stayed together). It still hurt and was bleeding a bit at every BM after several weeks so my midwife had me do some herbal sitz baths a few times a day. They were soothing, but the skin still didn't heal. There was just a flap kind of thing that formed instead of the two skin edges healing together, and it wouldn't reattach or heal. Then we thought maybe it was just that the position of the wound made it constantly moist and maybe using a barrier cream like diaper ointment would help. That also didn't work.<br><br>
So finally at 3 months post partum I came across someone on MDC that had the same kind of thing happen to her with the skin flap and she said that her midwife cut off the flap and she healed fine after that. I called my midwife and had her remove it for me. She didn't like how much of a "well" it left so she put in one stitch to make sure that everything would hold together the right way and it wouldn't just form another flap. The local anesthesia did not work at ALL, so it was excruciatingly painful. I did finally feel better once the soreness went away though, so I thought the whole ordeal was over...<br><br>
...until recently: I had a lot of irritation and discomfort in perineal area and when I finally looked in a mirror to get a better look at what was going on, I saw that the stitch was still there and had grown out a little. It never dissolved. So it was poking me and probably getting tugged at a bit and causing the discomfort. I got it removed last week, and I feel MUCH better now, although with a nice hard lump of scar tissue where my stitch was.<br><br>
So here's my issue: I do NOT want to tear again next time, after everything I went through this time. If I have a tear that can't be repaired with Dermabond, I don't trust my body to heal properly without stitches, but at the same time I am terrified of being stitched up and feeling it all again, plus I know now that my body doesn't dissolve the stitches like it's supposed to. Getting the stitch removed was painful too, so having more than one sounds torturous. I know tearing is unavoidable sometimes, but I want to do anything I can to prevent it. My midwife said that if she does warm oil compresses on the perineum during pushing, hardly anybody tears. The problem with that is that it's not possible to do under water. I don't exactly have my heart set on another waterbirth, but I guess it's hard for me to imagine giving birth any other way since waterbirth is all I know. It was so calm and peaceful for both me and the baby.<br><br>
Did anybody else have a water birth and then a "dry" birth later on? How different is it? Did you tear with your water birth and then not with the dry one (or have less severe tearing with it)? Would vitamin E oil on the scar prior to my next birth (whenever I can get pregnant again, that is...I'm hoping sooner rather than later, but it's not looking good) help soften it some so it might be less likely to tear again?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,129 Posts
Awhile back, someone here posted a link to a study that showed that oil compresses and perineal massage actually CONTRIBUTE to tearing in labor, so I wouldn't think that would be a good idea. I don't think that water makes you tear more either, IIRC. I think it's just a matter of going slow and easy and the positioning and size of your babe. My MW did tell me that it does make your tissues more likely to tear if you are still breastfeeding when you go into labor, due to your hormones thinning and weakening the tissues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,671 Posts
I think that being in the water for too long, at too high temps, can predispose you to tearing. Best to get in 30-45 minutes, get out until your fingers are no longer pruny, then back in, temp around 95-97.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My midwife doesn't do massage - she says it just creates swelling. But she swears by warm castor oil compresses. I had a teeny tiny baby (5 lb 12 oz, with a 12 1/2" head) and although he started out OP, he had turned by the time he crowned. I don't see him still being nursing when I have my next baby. He's already down to twice a day and I have basically no milk anymore.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StacyL</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10745144"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Awhile back, someone here posted a link to a study that showed that oil compresses and perineal massage actually CONTRIBUTE to tearing in labor, so I wouldn't think that would be a good idea. I don't think that water makes you tear more either, IIRC. I think it's just a matter of going slow and easy and the positioning and size of your babe. My MW did tell me that it does make your tissues more likely to tear if you are still breastfeeding when you go into labor, due to your hormones thinning and weakening the tissues.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got in right before I started pushing, and I pushed for 50 minutes, so I wasn't in the water TOO terribly long, but definitely more than 30 minutes. The water was probably about the temp you stated too, because we had to get out right after the birth because it wasn't warm enough for the baby. I think the biggest factor in my tearing was that I just pushed too hard while he was crowning and didn't let my tissues stretch enough. And then all the problems with healing have left me with a nice hard lump of scar tissue that I'm afraid won't hold up next time no matter how slow I go.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nashvillemidwife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10745405"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that being in the water for too long, at too high temps, can predispose you to tearing. Best to get in 30-45 minutes, get out until your fingers are no longer pruny, then back in, temp around 95-97.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,129 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lc81002</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10745646"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I got in right before I started pushing, and I pushed for 50 minutes, so I wasn't in the water TOO terribly long, but definitely more than 30 minutes. The water was probably about the temp you stated too, because we had to get out right after the birth because it wasn't warm enough for the baby. I think the biggest factor in my tearing was that I just pushed too hard while he was crowning and didn't let my tissues stretch enough. And then all the problems with healing have left me with a nice hard lump of scar tissue that I'm afraid won't hold up next time no matter how slow I go.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Interesting. I had a small tear with my first that was stitched. It held up just fine in my second birth where I had a 10 lb. 2 oz. baby with a 15 1/4" head and I didn't tear, but the MW gave me a tiny superficial cut on the other side after his head was out because he had mild shoulder dystocia. It didn't need to be glued or stitched and it healed just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Well, since you've been through birth, now you know when the head is crowing and you probably don't need as much coaching. When you feel that, you will instinctively and from experience, know not to push the baby out of there.<br>
When I gave birth in the tub, I had my arms leaning over the side of the pool and was on my knees... it was more comfy for me but as a bonus it was easy for my midwife to see. I think that b/c of your experience, you don't need to worry about how the midwife will coach you, I think you'll just know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rrandle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10770660"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, since you've been through birth, now you know when the head is crowing and you probably don't need as much coaching. When you feel that, you will instinctively and from experience, know not to push the baby out of there.<br>
When I gave birth in the tub, I had my arms leaning over the side of the pool and was on my knees... it was more comfy for me but as a bonus it was easy for my midwife to see. I think that b/c of your experience, you don't need to worry about how the midwife will coach you, I think you'll just know.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I started out pushing like that, but I was too tired to stay in that position and I had to keep fighting the urge to bring my legs together. It was easier for me to relax when I pushed my feet against the side and leaned back against my husband. Hopefully I will know instinctively what is happening next time and I won't be so tired that I will just keep pushing anyway to get it overwith.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top