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Well, I had a larger perenial tear that I didn't want my home birth midwife to suture because I'm afraid of needles... (I know, don't even ask,
)

She said that it would mend on its own if I kept the area clean, dry, and kept my legs together as much as humanly possible.

It healed, but the two sides of the tear healed separately instead of mending back together. Let's just say it's kind of strange barely having a perenium down there.

On the plus side, I gave birth to my son two years later who was a pound heavier than my daugther and I had no issues at all... not even swelling or a skid mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! What do you mean by "strange"? Does it bother you in any way? Does it just look weird? Are there any side effects as far as you are concerned?

Please, more responses, if you have anything at all to say about this subject!!
 

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nak

Very small tear. No stitches. Felt back to normal within days. Did use cold packs and a special tea of sitz bath herbs from birth with love in a peri bottle pp, which felt really good (also used some of this stuff in my bath water). Cold packs were pads soaked in the sitz bath herbs and frozen.
 

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I had a small tear to one side with dd2. It took about 2 weeks to heal and now I can't even tell where it was. It helped to apply neosporin with pain relief ointment. I was not so much after the anti-germ part as the pain relief part. It wasn't bad though. It healed much better than my episiotomy that I had with dd1.
 

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I just mean it's strange to have my genitalia so "differently" permanently altered down there. It doesn't affect our sex life and there's no pain or discomfort... although it was slightly tender down there for a good long while. By slightly tender, I mean just that... it didn't affect sex or anything... just that particular area of my perenium was very very sensitive to touch and didn't feel totally healed for a few years.
 

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I had a peri-urethral tear with DS1 that healed just fine, but left my lip separated (turns out my mother had this exact same tear with me and also has a lip separated - weird). I can't feel it and it doesn't interfere with anything and it healed great.

With DS2 I had a slightly larger perineal tear (damn those kids with their arms up!) that could have used a stitch, but I was more afraid of a stitch because I've heard that they can cause more discomfort. I kept my legs together as much as I could (it is hard to nurse a baby on the bed with your legs together, I found) and for awhile I was concerned that it would not heal together. The tear was also not very straight, so there was a concern that it would come apart in one section, which is what I thought was happening. It was shaped sort of like a question mark, only backwards and the round, notchy part looked like it could maybe not stay together. But it all healed just fine and I've been having sex just fine since 6 weeks pp.
 

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With my first I had a 1st degree tear that was sutured and it hurt FOREVER. Second time I had a small tear that went up and a slighter larger (MW said she guessed you could call it 1st degree) that went down. The up tear felt fine within a couple of days but then I fell, spread my legs and poped it back open so it hurt again for a few more days. The bottom tear hurt for about 3 weeks but is fine now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone, and for your follow-up Candi.

I tore with this last birth, but I was told that I had not torn. I thought it looked very weird, but I guessed that it must just be what it is supposed to look like after stretching so much. (With my first I had a tear that WAS sutured so I didn't have a good comparison.)

Now I'm having a very hard time dealing with it. I feel like I was mutilated or something. I'm really depressed about it. There's no question in my mind that I would have wanted to be sutured if I had known I had torn. I would have gone to the hospital and had them do it if nothing else. But I was told by a very experienced midwife that I had no tear. I was even told that I didn't have to worry about keeping my legs together because there was no tear, so I never gave a thought to that.

I am hoping that with more responses, and hearing about how many women have imperfect perineums and are just fine, I can maybe come to terms with this. I don't know why I'm so upset, because sex is painless (as of 4 weeks pp) and I've had orgasms without a problem, and the only way I know anything is different is if I look with a mirror. (And a couple of times I've felt a funny little flap of skin when I'm wiping myself.) When I do look, though, I feel horrible. My dh says I should just not look... sounds reasonable I guess!

Anyway thanks again and I'd love more responses too! I just want to know as much about it as possible!
 

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I had two small tears, one on each side. I'm not sure whre exactly, because you couldn't pay me enough to check down there! :p I was too afraid of seeing that area not looking like it should, ya know?

I was not prepared for the healing, I thought, "I recovered from a c-section, I can do anything! " lol.
After a few days, i didn't even notice the tears, that is, until I peed. It stung really bad when I peed. I had to hold the lips apart, and lean forward when I peed. Peri bottles didn't help. I started to apply a healing balm my midwife makes [for diaper rashes and cracked nipples] and it felt soo good.
I used an ice diaper [open a disposable diaper at the top back part, to make a little pocket. Insert crushed ice. Apply to perenium. And that too felt soooo good.
I also used pure raw honey on my pads and that helped soothe the area too.
By about two weeks, I was healed.
[I'm almost 4 weeks post partum now] I still have't looked yet, to see if I can find the tears or if they look different or what. But I'm fine now, and I don't anticipate it having an effect on our sex life, when that time comes. :p
 

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With my first I had a 2nd degree tear back and a tear up the left labia. The doc stitched me up for 30 horrible minutes, the healing took a long time, and things are still not "right" down there. My perineum's a little tight, my labia has a notch, and there's an odd flap of skin in my vagina. 4.5 years later I still am sad to see that damage. I think that is a normal feeling. It's mixed up with some bad feelings about the way DS's birth was handled too, so...
Anyway, with my second I had a small tear that was left alone. It healed perfectly and never gave me a problem and I can't even find it now.

So, from someone who's had tears that were stitched and tears that weren't--there is no guarantee that stitching would have made you happier with the end results. However, I would be sure to bring it up with your MW because obviously she missed something and you feel very hurt by that. She needs to know and you may feel better after talking about it with her.

Good luck healing, mama.
 

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After my DS's birth, I was told I had a "very small labial tear" and that they didn't recommend stitching it. I asked if it would cause any problems and they said that it was, "only cosmetic." Anyway, I really regret not having it stitched. I feel genitally mutilated and sometimes if I start thinking about it too much during sex, it really makes me feel incredibly bad/sad. I hate that it happened and how it was handled.

For more details, I do NOT consider it to have been a "very small labial tear." My clitoral hood is actually detached from one side of the inner labia (the labia looks "ripped" to me and is just not attached). It healed improperly, became painfully infected, adhered excruciatingly to the labia (but wasn't healed like that--just *stuck* in the wrong place). I was incredibly uncomfortable for several weeks--constantly abraded. But, I guess in theory it is "only cosmetic" now, because there is *no* impairment in sexual function at all and no other irritation or anything. I really regret the no-stitching though, because I feel "ugly" there and it really bugs me. It cast a huge shadow on my babymoon and I still feel mad at myself for not telling the doctor that I felt like I was tearing upward when the baby was crowning (I had no CLUE at the time that you even could tear that direction and I ignored my own body's signals that something bad was happening). I had no perineal tearing at all and no perineal discomfort after the birth that I noticed (I was so incredibly focused on the horrible clitoral pain that I could have missed it I suppose). No troubles with having a BM, etc. Everything felt normal perineally and *terrible* up front.


Molly
with baggage two years later...
 

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Though i myself didn't tear (thanks to lots and lots of hot tub water and st. johns wort oil during crowning) I have heard of women using herbal comfry poultices to mend tears. It is also a major ingredient in many salves you could use. Comfrey is amazingly healing and application should be closely monitored as it can do too good a job!
 

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nak

I tore front and back. it took about a week for the front tear to heal and about three weeks for the back tear to heal. ~1/2 inch tear back...thought Neosporin would help...yup, it helped start a small yeast infection. THAT HURT!

Sitz baths and bags of frozen peas were both heavenly.

I still have the scars, although the front scar is hardly anything. Back scar is still separated but will continue to heal up.

Think of them as battle scars that no man can match!
 

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I had a first degree Y shaped tear in the perineal area with my dd. I was somewhat traumatized by the stitching (I felt the last 2 stitches go in and the midwife accidentally pulled some pubic hair...which was as painful as the stitches).

I wouldn't look at it for a very long time and didn't like to touch it at all. The dissovable stitches seemed to stay in forever (my midwife even offered to remove them for me...I declined) and were quite uncomfortable. It took awhile to love that part of my body again...I had always liked the feeling of that part of my body prior to birth...but I did eventually begin to look and touch again. The scar is not all that visible, but I can feel it (it's still a little tender 2 years later).

Treat yourself gently and give it some time. I didn't think I would find peace with my "alteration" but I eventually did.

Christa
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the responses, everybody. I'm feeling a little more indifferently about it... which is a lot better than how I was feeling.

I do need to talk to the midwife about it. As soon as I work up the nerve. For some reason it makes me really nervous to think about that.
 

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I had a clitorial tear down there and my ob/ gyn did not stitch it up, when i got home and actually looked at it I noticed that it was torn on one side and that they hadnt stitched it up. The only stitches i had were on the inside i didnt tear where the baby came out of which is weird, i tore on the inside. But my ob/gyn said that if they had to go back in and stitch it, it would be more painful. That is a tender area down there. So unless its a really big tear I wouldnt worry about having it stitched up. By the way I just had a baby almost 2 weeks ago and im feeling alot better than the day that i came home.
 
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