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Calling all Raggedies - the THIRD Ragged Bits thread. Childbirth injuries, sphincter problems, fistulae... all welcome.

(830 Posts)
Jacksmania Fri 26-Oct-12 19:08:26

First thread here, May 2008 to June 2009.

Second thread here, June 2009 to Oct 2012.

Welcome everyone with ragged bits due to childbirth. We're sorry you had to find us, but we promise to hold your hand and listen.

There is no TMI here and nothing is too gross, too embarrassing or too horrible.

<lays out tea tray, buffet and alcoholic bar>

All welcome.

Jacksmania Tue 13-Nov-12 21:00:43

You're doing so well!! smile I'm so happy for you.

Having a tough week myself. Baaaaaaad case of nerves. Specialist gynae appt coming up on Friday. Will discuss my prolapse, the polyp my GP found at my last smear, my irregular cycles and where to go from here. Am feeling anxious and fraught and am being horrible to my poor DH because I'm just so bloody scared of another op and everything that goes with it... but also want it sorted.
Gah.

WhodveThought Wed 14-Nov-12 20:19:39

Jacks-good luck with the waiting and the appointment. I am right there with you holding your hand in terror of more surgery. Hugs.

thing1andthing2 Wed 14-Nov-12 21:02:59

Poor you Jacks. Hope your gynae is super nice and you can get something sorted out. Let us know how it goes.

Jacksmania Wed 14-Nov-12 22:13:15

She is lovely, she did my first repair (the internal one from thread one, I think, in 2009). Thank goodness for that.
I will definitely keep you all posted. Thanks for the handholding, I really need it.

belindarose Fri 16-Nov-12 08:12:59

Hello, I think this thread may be my spiritual home. I'm only four months post childbirth so possibly it's just a matter of time, but I'm definitely not back to 'normal'. Have plucked up the courage to see GP this morning but very embarrassed to tell her I can't control farts at all and they're constant. And that I'm terrified of pooing myself (although it hasn't happened yet - but many near misses). And I need to poo many times a day, when before DC2 it was only once.

I've been doing the exercises. What shall I say to the GP?

cravingcake Fri 16-Nov-12 13:49:57

Belindarose - hope your appointment was ok. The hardest bit is often making the appointment so well done. What have they suggested?

Jacks - hope your appointment goes well and you wont need more surgery. I've got my fingers crossed for you.

Thing - great to hear you are doing better.

I've finally got my appointment for gynae consultant in 2 weeks time, feeling a bit nervous but quite looking forward to it in a way so I can hopefully get some answers as to what extent my defect is and what my options are. The unknownness of it all is what I'm struggling to deal with.

thing1andthing2 Sat 17-Nov-12 08:43:34

Hi everyone! Just checking into to see how jacks got on with her appointment!
Belinda! hi! <waves>. How did your appointment go? Did you manage to speak to the doc about your problem? What response did you get? Did you have a tear that needed stitching? Maybe you didn't get stitched properly, that's what happened to me, I just had a quick cut and restitch and am recovering well.
Hope everyone else is well.

belindarose Sat 17-Nov-12 08:46:48

Thanks. GP didn't seem to think there was much of a problem when she examined me, so is referring to physio in the first instance. It wasn't hard in the end. She was very nice and I had the baby to distract me.

thing1andthing2 Sat 17-Nov-12 09:15:19

Oh and Belinda, yes yes to the pelvic floor exercises! Could you ask for a referral to a specialist physio? She can check you are doing the exercises right and give you feedback on your muscle tone. I'm still seeing mine and I find her very helpful.

thing1andthing2 Sat 17-Nov-12 09:21:48

Hi again, sorry I cross posted! Great that you've got a physio referral.
Just be aware that GPs don't have specialist knowledge of birth injuries so if you're not happy with the improvement following physio press for a referral to a specialist pelvic floor gynaecologist. They will have a much better idea if what you are experiencing is "normal" or not. Well, in my experience anyway. When I saw my gynae he immediately picked up on my sore, non stretchy perineum which every other HCP had said looked fine and normal.

Midgetm Sat 17-Nov-12 15:43:15

<pops head round door, runs away, wishes hadn't run as now everything feels like it falling out so comes back again>

Hoping I can find some shreds of positivity after doctor google scared the crap bad choice of phrase out of me.

2 DC's one month pp and the the doctor thinks I have a prolapse. I think it may be my bladder. Goes back in with PFE and rest. Totally bereft. Everything feels wrong. Hoping that as I am so soon after delivery this may get better. please someone say it might

Had recurring uti's bad constipation and what a thought was a varicose vein in pregnancy but wonder if this was all the beginning of the problem. Begged my consultant for a c-section as this was my worst fear.

GP says looks like a prolapse, to do PFE and go back at 6 weeks. I wanted to get some wisdom from you lovely people.

Is there any chance this can clear up as I am so soon after delivery? Or am I deluding myself.

Should I be pushing for referral straight to physio as my logic tells me it won't just go away in its own with a bit of clenching... Already having problems with urgency and walking feels uncomfortable as feels like things could drop out.

Will I ever be able to run, exercise, lift my bloody children and have sex again? Trying to be positive but feel mortified. Ordered the HAB it DVD and going to try my best to fix this but really need to hear from other people to shift this feeling of doom... I feel broken.

Jacksmania Sat 17-Nov-12 16:28:54

<gently leads midgetm by the hand to the very comfy Raggedy Room Couch, offers tea/coffee/--alcoholic beverage of choice-- and a hand to hold>

IMO it is pretty soon after birth but if it feels all wrong to you then push for a referral straight away. Especially if you live somewhere where there can be long waits for referrals. Nothing wrong with getting ahead of the game - if it then turns out you don't need the specialist, it's easy enough to cancel and someone else can have your appointment.

I don't know if you read back through the two previous nearly full threads if you have that kind of time I'm jealous, or you have baaaaaaad insomnia but I had one of those trainwreck births, and had what you're describing - the feeling that everything was falling out, plus incontinence. It does get better with PFE. I promise you it does. You do need to be diligent about them, though, if you only do them every few weeks... not so much smile

What I'd suggest, though, is (without freaking yourself out) to monitor your progress carefully and be honest with yourself about how well or how badly you're doing. Denial does not help here. And if you have the feeling that it's all still fairly pear shaped after 6 months, really go after a specialist referral. 6 months sounds and does occasionally feel like a long time, I do get that. But that's a fair length of time to see if conservative measures will help.

Hang in there smile

Jacksmania Sat 17-Nov-12 16:51:30

Hit post too soon - oops.

Thank you so much to everyone who asked after my appointment yesterday.

Most of you weren't on the old thread so I'll briefly bore you with bits of my backstory - you know the physical details (long second stage, forceps, 3rd/4th degree tear, urinary and bowel incontinency. Had my first (internal repair) in 2009 when DS was a year old, when they repaired my vaginal wall which was a horrendous mess of scar tissue. Second (external) repair late 2010, scar revision of episiotomy and fixing my shredded labia. My uterus was prolapsing mildly, and those symptoms worsened in the last year or so, to the point where I asked my GP for a referral back to my lovely surgeon in September.
I had PTSD quite badly after DS's birth. Also terrible anxiety, for which I've had lots of treatment. Most of the time it's under control. At times like yesterday it does rear its ugly head.

If it weren't for the fact that I have to see her when I'm having problems, I would really enjoy spending time with my surgeon. Really, she's the kindest person I've ever come across - recognized me straight away and gave me a hug - to the surprise of the young resident she had with her grin

BTW - I'm in Canada, not the UK, so if I'm using unfamiliar terms please let me know.
A resident is what we call young doctors who have finished medical school (4 years after a 4-year uni degree), have done their internship (first year after medical school) and are pursuing a specialty (usually another 4 or 5 years, depending. Family medicine would be 2 years, general surgery 4 years, specialist fields 5 years and up, followed, possibly, by what's called a fellowship).

Lovely young resident is specializing in OB/GYN and had, conveniently for me, done her rounds in urogynaecology already so was very familiar with prolapse issues. The clinical part of me really enjoyed listening to the interplay between her and my lovely Dr. Williams, as they mutually educated each other about different things. The hurt broken part of me was of course mildly freaking out sad
Anyway, apparently the polyp my GP found at my smear appointment a few weeks ago is no big deal, it's on the cervix and can easily be removed, and is just a polyp. Dr. Williams offered to remove it right then and there but the thought sent me into mild hysterics, so she said we'd book a different appointment and she'd sedate me a bit and then remove it. <phew>

Testing for a prolapse is really very uncomfortable. I avoid bearing down heavily as much as I can so to actually have to do it and feel my uterus kind of squidging downward is... not great. Eventually after much rummaging around, we discussed options, which are to leave it alone until it really falls out, which they did not recommend, and referring me to a urogynaecologist surgeon to get it fixed. Obviously I picked option B.

Interestingly, the old way of fixing it used to be a hysterectomy, with "trimming" of excess tissue in the vagina. However, given my age (43) and activity level (quite active) that wouldn't be a good choice because with only the cervix left in place, there's not much tissue to fix to the top of the vaginal vault, so if that rips off due to heavy physical exertion, you're essentially hooped as the cervix will then flop down and prolapse into the vagina. And then the repair is challenging. Newer methods appear to be leaving the uterus in place, hauling it upwards, attaching a sort of mesh, as they do for repairing groin hernias, and attaching all that to the front of the sacrum (the flat bone in the small of the back). Which should be fairly bomb-proof.

So, there we are. Referral being initiated, who knows how long the wait is, though. Polyp going to be removed some time in December or January and I will be back for more hand-holding for that!!!

Sorry this turned into such a long story but as I was typing it out I realized it was quite therapeutic to get it out. Feel free to just skim smile

Emotionally I just felt shattered after the appointment. Although it can all be fixed and both doctors were lovely I just wanted to curl up in a ball and wail. I hate this. I hate being broken, and having to have more surgery, and feeling like I have to keep it all in and be the "together" person everyone thinks I am. i do have friends in RL and they're lovely but I just hate talking about all this.

Thanks if you've read this far.

thing1andthing2 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:20:26

Oh jacks I'm so sorry to hear you are in for more surgery. I totally get what you mean about the broken body thing too. I hate it too. I feel so angry all the time and don't know where to direct my anger! It's not nice anticipating more surgery and more recovery time, especially with little children to look after. Big big hugs and lots of hands to hold, I really feel for you. I also hate the rummaging and poking and prodding that goes with these injuries. It's just so sore. And so unsexy, like your vag becomes something medical not something intimate. I found it so hard to get over that (I still haven't).

I looked at my vulva in the mirror yesterday. I think I've coped by just compartmentalising it as not part of me, just something that's not me but which needs fixing. Yesterday I looked at it and it just looked.... Normal? It looked ok, just like a vulva, but a bit red. I think I felt a slight shift to feeling like it is part of me. Maybe I'll get a sex drive one day? Although I think I am going to need some therapy to really get back to anything regular.

BTW, A resident is called a registrar in the UK.

ChasedByBees Sun 18-Nov-12 08:04:54

So sorry to hear you're booked in for more surgery Jacks but pleased you have a lovely surgeon and a plan of action. I hope getting it out here helped.

Midgetm and Belinda, welcome (but sorry you're here too if you know what I mean).

cravingcake Sun 18-Nov-12 08:54:07

Jacks sorry to hear you need more surgery. Its so exhausting some days so not surprised you want to curl up in a ball & hide. I get that too sad and i've not even had surgery yet but definitely feel like part of me is broken (and today its all throbbing and painful).

Midgetm Sun 18-Nov-12 10:08:46

Thanks for the welcome everyone and thank for the wine jacks. I have done a lot of back reading now and I doff my hat at you ladies, you have all been through so much. It was really helpful and made me feel a bit more honest about my symptoms. And made me more driven to sort this mess out and maybe be brave enough to look properly rather than rummage last time I looked I looked like a baboon.

I am pretty sure it is a prolapse just not sure what! The tear i had was pretty much healed so to suddenly get worse was really crap. I as well as something hanging Out i Also have bulges in a couple of places (near my bum) and of course piles. The ironic thing is I used to have a pelvic floor of steel - think this didn't help me when it came to pushing as used to holding it up, not letting it out. But maybe this will help with recovery desperately grasps at straws whilst grasping jacks hands too

Thanks Again for the welcome and making me feel less alone. And sorry for all the crap you have all been through, it has helped me gain much needed perspective.

Jacksmania Mon 19-Nov-12 05:49:56

Thanks for all your kind words everyone. I'm a bit more resigned to it today. Couldn't sleep last night thinking about everything and was going over in my mind how Dr Williams described the prolapse repair procedure and it made me feel quite ill to think this was actually going to happen to me sad
It's all rather shit, isn't it sad

Anyway, it's nice to have people I can talk to about it, although I'm sorry we all gave to be here.
More wine, anyone?

I haven't really been able to bring myself to tell DH in detail about the appointment. I'm not sure why. He's lovely and supportive. Unjust think that maybe I don't want to say the words aloud - it makes it all so dreadfully real.

How are all your DHs/DPs dealing with your various troubles?

Jacksmania Mon 19-Nov-12 05:53:10

*have to be here
Not "gave". Stupid autocorrect.
Although not nearly as funny as on another thread where "muslins on the sofa" was corrected to "Muslims on a sofa". The poster hastens to clarify that what she found on the sofa was spit-up cloths, not a welcoming committee from the local mosque grin
I was completely helpless with giggles reading, when DH asked what was so funny I could only manage to flap my hands and wheeze grin

Midgetm Mon 19-Nov-12 11:05:58

Oh jacks hope you managed to get some shut eye. It took 24 hours after my doctors appointment to tell DH it was a prolapse. And then I kind of whispered it. And he doesn't really know what I mean but neither do I at this stage. I think everyone will understand what you mean. DH is the only person in rl I have told. And not in any detail.I think it may stay that way for now.

Hardly surprising that you are freaking out about more surgery. Positivity is great when you can find it but sometimes (especially now) you need a great big freak out. Life can throw more than its fair share of shit at people.

Just wanted to hold your hand and offer wine even though it is a tad early here. I succumbed to the Wine for real last night as was throwing myself a pity party.

Trying to pull my socks up and my pelvic floor today and take positive action. Ordered HAB it DVD and got physio referral from GP. Gp was lovely told me early days, try and remain positive and not to over do it. Luckily I just spoke to him so no examination to depress me. Still none the wiser in what the hell is hanging out. Seems trivial after all you are going through, will remind self when next pity party comes along but still have the really nice chateau neuf anyway

whizmum Mon 19-Nov-12 12:37:57

Hi - a quick one as I am off to my ballet class.

I have read all of this thread and half the previous one and have been inspired to see if there is something that can be done with my pelvic floor. I have not been able to poo normally since the birth of DS1 (he is 21 blush) and have made an appointment with 'nice' GP. Unfortunately, I cannot see the 'gynae' GP as she now spends her time at their other surgery (I cannot keep up with the comings and goings of that place!) and have to wait until the 30th sad

I had a tear in the back vaginal wall and fanjo skin up to clitoris, as a result of pushing when I was told to during fast first delivery (3H 15mins - the 15 mins was waiting for the placenta) and DS coming out with his hand over his head. And IMHO, the mw trying to get him out too quickly.

W

ps - 8 years of ballet and contemporary dance have helped with muscle tone, and also with knackered tummy - result of being slim and having twins.

Jacksmania Mon 19-Nov-12 19:10:06

Bleurgh. BLEURGH!!!
Had to go back to GP this morning to get smear re-done. Lovely GP, one of my favourite people. Cried on her shoulder about how crap I'm feeling about all this. Which helped. But then when she re-did my smear test (it couldn't be read last time) of course she had to touch the polyp on my cervix, and it started to bleed. And bleed. And it's still bleeding. Not gushing, just seeping, and it will stop, but I'm achy and crampy and just really unhappy.
sad

Did someone say cake?

If not, they should have.

Midgetm Mon 19-Nov-12 20:42:10

Cake?

Jacksmania Mon 19-Nov-12 20:51:14

Thanks - don't mind if I do grin

what kind am I having?

Midgetm Tue 20-Nov-12 09:12:44

Chocolate cup cakes and carrot cake? Just got my Hab it DVD. Feel tiny but if hope. Hope is good

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