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When You Tear Down There: How to Heal, Cope & Learn to Laugh About it Later

By Amalah

catherine%20connors.jpg
Pregnant Amalah listening to Her Bad Mother (cradling baby Jasper) at Blogher. Image by jdlasica.

Okay, guys. This week’s topic is probably not a fun one. Probably not a lunchtime one, either. We’re talking tears and episiotomies and stitches and the not-so-glorious aftereffects of vaginal childbirth. So…yeah. Put down the lo mein. Since this is another one of those topics that I do not have any personal experience with (my stitches are a little higher north, in a less-delicate area), I decided to interview the Internet’s very own Queen of the Frankenvulva, Catherine Conners of Her Bad Mother. I was pregnant when I first read her account of Speed Racer Childbirth, and yes, it scared the everloving crap out of me but I survived and so did she and so will you. So buck up, little campers. And for those of you with similar battle scars, I salute you, and (as always) encourage you to offer your own insights in the comments section.

Q. Well. So. This marks an important first for me, both as a writer and as a human being, as I don’t believe I’ve ever asked someone specifically about the state of her vagina. But, hey, tell me about what happened to your vagina.

Well, it actually happened to my vaginal tissue and perineal muscles and – ahem – anus. Which, no, I wouldn’t have known to make those distinction either, if it hadn’t been torn to shreds and someone had to say OH HAI WE NEED TO REPAIR YOUR PERINEUM AREA.

What happened, in the most basic and non-descriptive terms: my second child, my son Jasper, came really, really fast. Like, crowned while we were speeding down the highway to the hospital fast. They call it “precipitous labor” — labor that takes less than 3 hours. In my case, 3 hours would have been a luxury. First contraction to baby exploding out of my parts: 40 minutes. Yes, it’s terrifying. And yes, that exploding part: TRUE. When a baby comes really fast, there’s no time for the birth canal to adapt to his passage. Normally, the canal (down on through the ol’ tunnel we call the vagina) graaaaadually expands to accommodate the giant creature comin’ on out of your belly. So do your lady parts, such that although some tearing (or episiotomy, which is cutting, which: shudder) is pretty normal. But when baby makes a speedy exit, he basically just blasts his way out. Makes his own exit. TEARS YOU A NEW ASSHOLE. For reals.

Which they had to surgically repair right there, right after baby blasted out. Oh, don’t worry, they gave me a little topical freezing. And a Tylenol. And when one of the doctors accidentally stitched his finger to my vulva, I didn’t even notice, because I was already screaming.

Q. Oh. My. God. How do you recover from something like that, both physically and mentally? Because DUDE.

SLOWLY. Seriously. VERY SLOWLY. It was a borderline fourth degree tear, which means that although it could have been worse, it couldn’t have been *much* worse.

The doctors and nurses told me that I was likely going to experience some measure of post-traumatic shock, which I totally did. For the nethers: lots and lots and lots of ice. And painkillers: lots and lots of painkillers. And believe me when I say that I consumed my body weight in colace, because I was TERRIFIED of shitting. TERRIFIED.

I had to stay off my feet for about five weeks after the birth, so that it would heal. That kind of sucked, but when you`re terrified of moving your legs apart, long strolls aren’t really on the agenda.

Q. Again: God. Also: Oh. My. What kind of follow-up medical care did you need? What’s the “usual” recovery time?

As I said, I had to stay off my feet for about five weeks, but I had a pretty serious tear. Ordinary tears (of the sort that I had with my first pregnancy) heal pretty quickly, and you don’t have to go on bed rest or anything, but a blast site needs special care and tending.

But there was some added difficulty — the repair wasn’t perfectly done (which my doctor said was totally understandable, given that it was done in emergency circumstances. “There would have been lots of blood,” she said, unnecessarily. “It would have been difficult for them to see what they were doing.” Which is why Doogie Howser stitched his finger to my parts, I suppose) which meant that I was uncomfortable for longer than I might otherwise have been, because it didn’t heal properly.

AWESOME.

Q. I cannot even believe I’m going to ask this, but…sex? Yay? Nay?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

That took MONTHS. It was advised against, but seriously, like you’re going to be tempted when your nethers are held together by a sloppy cross-stitch. For a few weeks I told my husband that I was never having sex again. Thankfully, he didn’t believe me.

Q. I’m picturing some poor pregnant woman out there, shaking with absolute terror, wishing she could unread everything that’s she’s just read.. Any words of advice for her or tips to avoid this level of damage?

I know. I felt terribly after I posted the story at my blog, because a lot of the early comments were all OH MAH GAWD AM NEVER HAVING BABEEZ EVER. But seriously, third and fourth degree tears are rare — precipitous births are also rare, occurring in something like less than 2% of all births — and if your birth is otherwise straightforward, you probably won’t even notice. Especially if you get the drugs — which I couldn’t, because my nether-blaster baby came too fast — you won’t feel it, but even if you don’t, you probably won’t even be aware of the moment of tearing. I mean, I just remember that the whole thing hurt, not that there was a blast.

For me, it was the surgery-without-anesthesia afterward that was most traumatic (and the almost-giving-birth-on-the-highway); I don`t remember any specifics like oh hai there goes mah anus! And most regular tears heal pretty quickly. And seriously, if you’re worried about whether you’ll be up for sex and tennis within a week or two of having birth, you’re an alien and you’ll probably hatch your offspring and so none of this applies to you.

Some midwives and doulas recommend perineal massage to get the area ready for all the stretching that it’s going to have to do, but I don’t know that I would have been up for that even had I known how my labor was going to play out. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried. But seriously, there’s so much going in labor that’s uncomfortable that under ordinary circumstances you’re really not singling any one thing out to be bothered by. And end of the day, when they put your baby arms and he looks at you and your heart explodes, nothing else matters.


You can read more about Catherine’s Adventures in Torn-Up-Nethersland here and here and here, but she does occasionally talk about other things. Actually, she mostly talks about other things. Funny, thought-provoking, brilliant things. But oh, come on. Y’all don’t need ME to tell you how great she it. It’s CATHERINE.

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Della
Guest

*Bows to the awesomeness that is Catherine* [moment of silence] As someone who had tearing requiring stitches, I remember hearing the doc say “second degree” but at the time I didn’t know whether it was an ascending or descending scale (in other words, is a high number more urgent, or a low number?) and stuff. So, I looked it up. =========================== Here is a bit of something off a medical site, just so you understand exactly what the levels are: First degree: Injury to perineal skin only Second degree: Injury to perineum involving perineal muscles but not involving the anal… Read more »

Molly Chase
Guest

I recently wrote a little about my episiotomy at my own blog. To sum it up: I didn’t mind it. I figure the baby’s coming out somehow, and I’d rather have a nice, neat, surgically-repaired cut than to tear from bellybutton to butthole. Given the size of my kid’s head, and the four pushes that it took him to go from safely ensconsed up by my cervix to crowning, one or the other was pretty much inevitable.
I’m pregnant again now, and I totally choose the episiotomy, again. Mostly based on what I just read here. Yowza.

Loukia
Guest

OH MY GOD is right. What a traumatic experience! I can’t imagine the pain… eek!

alexa
Guest
alexa

wow that sounds horrible. So horribly horrible. I physically recoiled from the monitor many times.
I had an episiotomy. As others mentioned, I didn’t feel getting it, but it hurt a lot when they were sewing it up. Most have that might have been my misconception that once the baby is out the pain goes away. That isn’t true.

Karen
Guest

Wow…and ouch. That brought back some very painful memories I had forced way out of my head. Just thinking about my 3rd degree Episiotomy confirms I am indeed crazy to want another baby! I agree with most of the comments in that I didn’t feel the cut. I had a 9 lb. 2 ounce HUGE bundle of love with linebacker shoulders. The doctor told me the tear was going to be worse that the cut and asked what I wanted to do…which at the time didn’t matter because, hello! I just wanted to get him out. So he did what… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

My favorite bloggers in one space, this is too exciting– even if it is a horrific subject. Huge respect to Catherine for getting through that and being able to talk about it so honestly and candidly. She is my hero. I’ve always wanted to talk about my vajayjay on the internet, so I figure now is my chance! Hooray! I had an emergency episiotomy with a ventouse delivery that was expertly stitched up after my 10 pounder blasted into the world (to be honest, I didn’t even notice the stitching up part after such a painful delivery). Then we had… Read more »

Jess
Guest

Sweet christ on bicycle this is enough to keep me from ever having kids…maybe I should stop reading this section of Amalah blogging….
**shudder**

She Likes Purple
Guest

I want to buy Catherine a stiff, stiff drink. I just had my first baby three months ago (to the day!) and my actual labor experience (post-epidural, which is probably the KEY here, right?) was so minor compared to this, I’m almost embarrassed to share, but I guess it’s important to show that every mother’s experience is different. I pushed for all of 15 minutes before my son came out, easily and smoothly. He was 7 lbs, 2 oz. There was a slight tear that she stitched up quickly and painlessly. I felt physically fine the very next day, although… Read more »

Joy
Guest
Joy

I had a fourth degree tear with my first child, thanks to his stuck shoulders, and needing a vacuum assist to get him out, STAT. I would have ended up with a section, but I heard the one doctor reply to the other that it was too late for a section. So, out came baby. Fast, messy, and with all the force I could muster. I felt it, but the repair after was worse. I think, because, my baby was out safe and sound and I was actually concentrating on myself again. (Maybe I should have concentrated on my husband,… Read more »

sasspizzazz
Guest

I haven’t had kids, but I’m not going to let this completely scare me away, so don’t worry too much about frightening people, Amy and Catherine.
Mostly I’m grateful that someone has alerted me to this possibility. I mean, I knew about episiotomies and stuff, but HulkSmash Babies were not something I was familiar with. I know Catherine said that some people recommend ‘perineal massage,’ but do you think it’s enough if I just try to learn how to do a split and work on that every day for the next 10 years, until I have a baby?

just can't say
Guest
just can't say

Okay, this is all making me really grateful for the minor tears I had with #1 and #2. My problem is that I have, um, a big lump of scar tissue. I asked my OB about it and she merrily said “Well, maybe you won’t get the cover of Vagina Magazine!” Ha ha ha hahahahaha….until I realized how many magazines actually contain such shots. Anyway, my husband has never mentioned this giant lump of scar tissue but I can hardly stand to feel it, it give me the creeps so bad. Would I, could I, ever get that repaired?

Kathleen
Guest
Kathleen

I’ll second the thought than the epidural has to make this so much better, although I now know that I had it lucky (4th degree?? eek.). My son was born three months ago, and the belief in our hospital is that “natural” (hah) tears are now better, so no episiotomy for me. And I never heard a degree applied to mine — because it went the OTHER direction. Um, yeah. The stitching didn’t hurt (yay epidural!), but I was broken from my baby-on-my-belly bliss to hear the doctor mutter something about “a real 3D issue down here”. Didn’t know what… Read more »

Katherine Williamson
Guest

After reading the post and the comments my lady bits hurt. I guess I was just a lucky one who had a little tiny tear with my first and no tear with my second. After reading this there is not a chance in hell of having a 3rd.

Jaelithe
Guest

I also had a labial tear. 2nd degree. I did not feel it happening, either; I wasn’t on any medication but the tearing really doesn’t feel any different then the rest of the oh my God a human being is coming out of my lady bits situation. The stitching hurt, but not that much. I was annoyed more than anything that they wouldn’t let me hold the baby during the stitching. I hadn’t seen him yet – not even a glimpse of his face – and the whole time I was saying, “Hi, my baby? Where is my baby? Can… Read more »

Liz@thisfullhouse
Guest

I don’t believe that I have blogged about it, EVER, but…yeah…tearing “down there” is not fun. Especially, having it happen to you, 4 times. Like it did, me. But, I survived and am delurking in the hopes that I can help moms-to-be realize that there is life “after tearing” and that it is not the worst that has ever happened to me. A very close second, but certainly not as bad as having a hemorrhoid burst inside me. But, that’s ANOTHER story that I’m not quite ready to elaborate on, publicly. You’re welcome!

wn
Guest

WOW, I am incredibly glad to find this link…I’ve never written about my experience on my own blog…because, well, um, it’s difficult to write about a broken vajajay. I had an experience similar to Kathleen’s except I didn’t opt for the “clipping” afterwards. I now have a little flap that I like to call “flappy”…and have officially ruled out a career in porn (although I’m sure I could find a fetishist somewhere). The only point in which I differ from others significantly is that the Doctors MISSED my tear…which was 3 inches, BTW. I went home after a week in… Read more »

AK
Guest
AK

I’ve read Jasper’s entry into the world story before and it always reminds me how glad I am to have had the epidural! (Catherine you are a super hero!) I will never forget the midwife saying, “Oops.” Which is EXACTLY what you want to hear just as your child’s head is showing up. No one ever really explained how bad it was, they downplayed it when I asked, but I realized later that my labia was shredded. I think that would need more than the 6 little stitches they claimed I had. By the time my 6 week appointment rolled… Read more »

Goldfish
Guest
Goldfish

My labors took 30+ hours. They sucked. But the benefit? In the words of my midwife: “You could drive a semi-truck through there.” Classy, I know. But it beats a 3rd-degree tear. Sympathies.

britt
Guest
britt

hey so my ten pound baby got stuck halfway out of my vagina, and was too smushed up in that piece to breathe and so the doc grabbed her by the arm and yanked her out of my body to save her life. unfortunately my vagina was collateral damage, which was okay because at that point i was willing to remove her myself with a dull butter knife and a spatula if it meant GETTING THE BEAST OUT OF MY BODY FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD!!!!!!!
my next child (11 pounds) was a c/s and i would choose that anyday.

Danielle
Guest
Danielle

My only baby (so far) turned 5 mos. this week and I did have an episiotomy. I was at a “Yay! Natural childbirth!!” hospital, but had a more traditional doctor, so I did have an episiotomy. She told me right before she was going to do it and I still couldn’t distinguish it from the more generalized vaginal childbirth pain. The stitches did hurt going in, but I was more concerned with the fact that they’d just called in the neonatal nurse practitioner because they were saying my son had a grunt and three spots on his head where the… Read more »

elle
Guest
elle

Hi Ladies, as a med student rotating through OBGYN for 8 weeks, I came to a number of personal conclusions re:vaginal tearing. Obviously this is all my own opinion, but I went along picking up tidbits for myself for the (hopefully) eventual birth of my own children. They are- 1)strength in pelvic floor muscles may lead to less plasticity during labor, which leads to more tearing, but in the end it’s better for recovery overall. 2) (Please don’t hate me here, just my limited observations) Doctors are way better at suturing up the tears than midwives. I think it is… Read more »

Mindy
Guest
Mindy

For the ladies out there that they say letting you “naturally tear” is a good thing….I had a 3rd degree natural tear after 26 hours of labor with my daughter (1st child) who was 8 lbs 13 oz and 22 inches long. I did not feel the tear, however I recall 4 people watching the dr stitch me up while I cried and cried and screamed (all of which I did not do during labor at any time, labor was cake compared to the stitching), and 45 min later they were still not sure. It was ok. I had an… Read more »

Catherine
Guest
Catherine

This a great topic Amy!! I had a CS also and haven’t experienced the vag tearing like most of you lucky ladies. As much fun as it sounds, I am kinda feeling a little better about the whole midsection being cut open thing. Hoping for a vaginal birth next time though and this is definitely some food for thought.
Liz, the bursting hemorrhoid sounds like hell on earth.

Amelia
Guest

I had precipitous labor with my 9 lb 3 oz baby boy – 45 minutes from water breaking to baby in arms – and I had an episiotomy to keep from tearing in what the doctor said “looked like 3 places.” Then, he wouldn’t tell me how many stiches, but it felt like a lot. I didn’t have time for drugs, and the doctor didn’t even notify me about the episiotomy, just pulled out the scissors and did it. The scar runs to within a millimeter of my anus. I will say, I didn’t notice the pain from the cut… Read more »

Tracy
Guest

I, too, had an episiotomy. Didn’t plan on it, but considering how much the very small tears hurt in comparison – I’m so glad my Dr. made that choice rather than have a serious tear. I had a 3rd degree laceration. It hurt. No lie. But I was up and walking around almost immediately. The smaller tears were really what got me. I was able to go into the Dr.’s office and she used a little chemical cotterizing wand to help them heal up (seriously NOT fun, plan on going immediatly home and sitting in a nice warm bath) but… Read more »

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

I too had a similar situation. Only mine was a true 4th degree laceration with 54 stiches afterwards to sew it up. I did not have an epidural and can remember VIVIDLY the exact moment that I tore. Afterwards, my husband said that he had never witnessed something that looked as painful as that. It took me about 6 weeks before I could sit down probably and about 6 – 8 months before I was “back to normal”. Unfortunately, I think the pain of the entire situation made it some-what difficult for me to bond right away with the baby… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

All I can say is: thank God for the epidural. They had to vacuum out my little 9 pounder because his heart rate kept dropping, but I never felt any pain because I had a REALLLLLY NIIIICE epidural. I had wanted to try natural childbirth, but I am SO glad I chickened out because I ended up with a 3rd degree tear. It took the doctor longer to stitch me up than it did to pop out the kiddo. I didn’t feel any of it, though (until later…ouch!). So, next baby, oh yeah, bring on the epidural. You know, just… Read more »

Kathleen
Guest
Kathleen

Yes, Tracy, VIVA LA ICE DIAPER.
But forget about the nurses – teach/have someone teach your **partner** how to make these… because then you can have them on going home. (Note – you can also just fill the diaper (or a nursing pad, for other sore items) with water and freeze. Not as clean, but easier if you’re low on ice.)
Although, when you start moving around – hard to keep in your drawers (especially if you didn’t steal enough mesh underpants).. so still, don’t forget the Dermoplast.

Della
Guest

Re: ice diapers…. Save yourself some time! If you are giving birth at a hospital, ask for ICE PACK SANITARY PADS. It’s like the biggest, fattest pad ever (you “crack” it to start the chemical reaction before you put it in the panties), and it is absorbant enough to accomodate the lochia (postpartum bleeding), and it gets VERY cold, enough to make things feel better and help swelling go down, but the cold part is contained safely within the pad (as opposed to ice in a diaper sitting directly on your skin). Since it’s also a pad specifically made for… Read more »

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

I had a second-degree tear, but it went to the FRONT. All the way to the front, right into the most sensitive bits. I didn’t even know you could tear in that direction. The pain started to fade at around 6 weeks, but up until then sitting was excruciating.
I did not have an episiotomy, but I hear they can help prevent anterior tears like mine. Which means I’ll be asking about one if I ever work up the nerve to have another baby.

Nicole R.
Guest

I enjoyed this story — I mean, not “enjoyed,” but found it valuable and well-told. My sympathies to everyone who has suffered a tear. There’s a belief that epidurals actually lead to tearing because they deaden the natural instinct to push, so the woman giving birth isn’t sure how hard to push and, most importantly, when to slow down or even stop pushing. Also being on your back with your legs up in the air is supposed to be a tear-prone position, and this position is usually required for epidural use. Even though I had two unmedicated births, in my… Read more »

Nicki
Guest
Nicki

This is great! I was so freaked out by my experience that I totally posted it on my blog. I needed to just get it out of my system! I have no idea why more women don’t detail their experiences, so much of pregnancy and childbirth are sugar-coated and romanticized. I love my son, don’t get me wrong, and I would not change any of it for the world, but so many things remain unsaid! And for who’s benefit I wonder?? I had my son a month ago, he was 7 pounds, 10oz. I found pregnancy itself to be a… Read more »

geek anachronism
Guest
geek anachronism

I’m a week out from my first birth – 37 weeks 4 days and the ‘little’ girl was 7 pounds 5 ounces…I had a second degree tear and a first degree as well as some grazing. During the pregnancy I was so terrified of tearing. So terrified. But I read Catherine’s story and strangely, it made me feel better! She coped, I can too. I talked to my mother as well and she’d had an episiotomy, so I felt far less scared than I had previously. My labour, even though I was induced early, was quick (5 and a half… Read more »

Tara
Guest

Like many on here, I never shared my most personal details on my own blog, but do have advice for others: 1. Before the birth, I was HUGELY anti-episiotomy. But after so much work trying unsuccessfully to finish pushing the baby out, that one little slice made all the difference and she came shooting forward. I wound up being grateful for the assist. 2. I didn’t exactly have labial tears, but had a couple of tears in the area. A bit closer to a VERY sensitive spot, ifyouknowwhatImean. The doctors and nurses never mentioned it, and eventually I had to… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

I had a homebirth, a 6lb 8oz baby, and a 4th degree tear. I had a 12 hour labor and in the end he exited so quickly that he broke his nose. They put me under for my repair. The surgeon told me she had never seen a tear so bad, and that she could fit her fist in the cavity.
It took over 4 months to heal.
I would take it over an episiotomy any day.

Tara
Guest
Tara

I had natural childbirth, with my second son. It was what it was, and I think I did a really good job during labor–I toughed it out, but after Luke was put up onto my chest, I noticed they were doing their stich work…yay. I expected in my mind for it to take about 10 minutes give or take a few. My friend had labor about 6 months before I did, and I remember her stiching taking about that long…well, I wish I never had any expectations with the whole sewing time thing!! I had two 2nd degree tears, one… Read more »

sarasmiles
Guest
sarasmiles

Difficult delivery of a 1st baby. 4th degree epi, and vacuum extrac. Baby had the meconium and also shoulder was stuck. Baby born 6.5 Lb not big at all, I had too many stitches. Never healed. Need Surgery now to repair. And to think, I had told OB I wanted a planned C section. She said too many risks. it is a serious surgery. Imagine..I delivered vag, to AVOID a surgery!!!

Mary
Guest
Mary

I had an unmedicated birth with an hour and a half of pushing on my hands and knees. As far as preventing tears, I think that’s a pretty good position – better than on your back. I had a small tear (took 4 stiches to repair), but like other people said, I had no idea I tore. An eight pound baby coming out of your hoo-ha is going to hurt whether you tear or not, so I really had no clue I tore until the midwife told me. She also told me I had a scrape. Basically, the skin of… Read more »

regina
Guest
regina

I was in similar situation, though ended up with only a 2ND degree tear. My little one showed up about 1 hour after the “oh shit I’m in labor” moment. My midwife literally got here in time to catch a head! I’m currently 6 days PP and looking forward to being able to get out of bed … Eventually

Megsie
Guest
Megsie

Stumbled across this site by accident. I had a 26hr labour, two episiotomies, four failed ventouse and finally forceps to get my 10 pounder out. the doctor turned my epidural off 2 hours before the birth so i could feel the pushes,  I had fourth degree tears which were stitched without any pain relief. (When they put the baby on me I said GET IT AWAY) It took me years to recover and I’ll always have uneven, bumpy “bits” and there’s a part of me that’s still angry. The doctor was a butcher. I had a ceasar for no 2… Read more »

Ashley Manning
Guest
Ashley Manning

Hey! How’s it going? I was reading and thought I’d leave a little comment. About 4 weeks ago I gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL baby girl, who was two weeks early. I was in labor for 14 hours, yes that’s right, 14 hours. She weighed 6 lbs 8 oz. I got 4th degree tears. I must say that I gave birth without the Epidural. The birth itself was not painful, but the contractions were horrible. I was lucky not to feel the contractions until I was 9 cm dilated. My Dr calls me a super woman… Ha. My daughter was… Read more »

summer
Guest
summer

i had a quick labour with my last baby #3 3hrs and cause she was so quick she shot out like a bullet i had a 3rd degree tear. im 20 wks atm so im freaking out!!! will i be more likely to go quicker and tear worse? oh and i forgot to mention that i am prone to having big babies!

Erin
Guest
Erin

Maggie I’m really sorry this happened to you! I had a second degree episiotomy and a really bad stitch job that took two months to heal. It absolutely affected me and I believe the pain/healing time contributed to my postpartum depression. I had a precipitous labor, too and a complete ass of an on-call doctor, so every time I felt pain in my stitches I felt re-violated. I always figured a tear would have been better, but after reading other tear stories from precipitous mamas, maybe I was wrong. 

megan
Guest
megan

my larbor was so fast I tore up not down and he came out brusied and that’s how he stayed for 5 weeks and here it is 9 weeks later and i’m still like a golf ball down there I have not healed at all my larbor was just 1 hour 40 mins no time for pain meds so I gave birth with no pain killers tore so bad and gave birth to a 9 pound 8 ouces 21 1/2 in baby.,,, I feel so swollen walking using the bath room everything he tore me all the way to the… Read more »

Isabel Kallman
Admin

please go see your doctor again about this to ensure that you heal properly. sending you healing thoughts.

Gail
Guest
Gail

Wow, so glad (but sorry) to hear other stories. I am almost 5 months postpartum now and still dealing with my tear. I was a week late so my Dr wanted to induce. As soon as my contractions started, they were 1-2 mins apart. I wanted to try it as natural as possible at first rather than jump straight for the epidural. Well those contractions went on for 21 hours. 21! I had at that point been up for almost 3 days straight. I was exhausted and the end didn’t seen to be best and

Gail
Guest
Gail

…not sure what happened, didn’t mean to hit publish yet, damn auto correct… Anyway, the end didn’t seen to be near so after 21 hours I asked for an epidural. That wasn’t fun, but the best decision I made. Epidural= liquid gold. Long story short, 15 hrs AFTER that, it was time to push. I pushed for about an hour. I felt no one really was paying attention to me and I didn’t know what the f I was doing so I was just pushing as hard as I could with every contraction. Well apparently at some point you’re not… Read more »

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

I have recently seen a doctor about vaginal tearing. Her recommendation was warm baths and Aquaphur Healing Cream. This stuff really works. At first I checked all the sitesto see what I could possibly do. On a couple of the sites women said to use a small amount of peroxide in your sitz bath….. dont do that. The doc said peroxide breaks down the healing properties… hope this helps. Did a great deal for me.

Jade
Guest

Ahhh it’s so refreshing to read this post as well as all of the comments. No one really prepares you for how hard recovery is – I had an amazing pregnancy, a pretty standard birth (in my opinion as I have nothing to compare it to), but suffered third degree tears. I’m happy I decided to have the epidural as they were stitching me up for 45 minutes after birth… And this was after the main doctor have his speech on how they do all they can to protect the area from tearing. And my baby was just under 8… Read more »

Ashley
Guest
Ashley

Gosh. I loved reading all of these so much. What an encouragement. Thought I’d add my story to the mix. My daughter was born at home with a midwife after about 20 hours of labor and 6 hours of hard labor. She definitely blasted out, it only took one push after she crowned and our midwife was scrambling to catch her she shot out so fast. She was a healthy beautiful baby and I got to spend the first few hours either resting on my chest. When my midwife went to sitch me up, the tearing was worse than they… Read more »

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

I am so glad I’m not alone. My baby is 6 months old and I had pretty much the EXACT experience you are describing, minus the dr. stitching his finger to me. (OH GOD) Of course, I can add one thing. They sewed my anus up too tight and now I feel like I’m going to die every time I pass a bowel. I go back in: Yeahhhh…. these things can happen, it will just take longer for you to heal, we won’t go back in and enlarge you.  I’m also in the pretty small percentile of moms who got… Read more »

Leah Bartow
Guest
Leah Bartow

Yup. I just had my little boy 5 weeks ago today. I actually tore up, not down. In all honesty it still hurts to sit decent. I have my 6 week on the 11th. I’m probably going to beg my Dr to tell my bf that I have to wait til Christmas for sex cause from what I’ve been reading…it could even take longer for it to not hurt. I also breastfeed so I’m dry as the Sahara anyways. Kudos to anyone willing to have more babies after something like this! I want more…but I felt nothing. They kept saying… Read more »