I'm starting to think about a second baby... with DS1, I had a really lovely and almost painless labour and almost delivery in the birth pool, but he got stuck at around eyebrow level while I was pushing him out, which led to the discovery that I had a rigid perineum and needed an episitotomy. DS was born next to the pool two pushes later. It was fine and healed well and quickly, but next time I'd love to deliver in the pool (all else being well) and avoid the cut. Has anyone else had a rigid perineum first time round but managed to deliver without an episiotomy? Did you tear badly if so? Would you choose the tear over the cut again? Thanks so much.
I think for you, perineal massage would be really helpful. You are likely to be stretchier this time around but massage will promote this. It will also make you feel familiar with the sensation of the stretching.That will make you feel more control and confidence.
I think (not a medical expert) that you're also more likely to tear along the old episiotomy scar next time around as it's already weakened, so a new cut hopefully won't be necessary. Hoping so anyway as also want to avoid another episiotomy next time around.
Marking my place in case someone knowledgeable comes along!
Thanks, guys. Did perennial massage obsessively last time but sadly to no avail! Was wondering about an Epi-No this time (one of those balloon things) - I did email them and ask if they thought it would help and they said "yes", but I suppose as they're selling them they would say that!
I was wondering if I would tear along the scar this time - would rather tear and be able to deliver in the pool, really.
Oddly, getting DS out to eyebrow level wasn't painful at all - he just got firmly stuck at that point!
just wanted to tell you I recall no significant difference between healing of a cut and a tear along the scar second time around. I do remember though that the cut directed the pressure toward my anus first time but with the second I had an unpleasant sensation that my clitoris was going to tear, (but didn't.) I'm considering the epi-no to help get my head around the experience in preparation for next time. (currently 16 weeks with number 3.)
I had an episiotomy with first baby. Was totally unprepared for it and took me ages to get over the fact that I had been cut in such a ahem sensitive place!! Fast forward 3 years and I was terrified of a repeat performance.
This time baby decided to make a very speedy entrance and I had a tear along my scar. From my experience it was way easier to deal with and healing was much quicker. Pain free in fact!
So, in answer to your question, I would choose to tear rather than an episiotomy.
Thanks, Maldive. Glad you healed so well. I actually found the cut surprisingly untramatic - what really bothered me was having to clamber out of a pool with my son half out of me - I was terrified of slipping and hurting him. I am so keen to deliver in the water next time. Thanks.