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

(961 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.

FrillyMummy Fri 01-Mar-13 10:47:55

That gel sounds amazing! Maybe I should try it. Can you buy it or is it prescription only?

cardamomginger Fri 01-Mar-13 14:04:22

Prescription only, I'm afraid.

Jacksmania Fri 01-Mar-13 17:03:01

<waves at all and sundry, especially cardamomginger - lovely to see you>

choppet - sorry love, but holy shit!!!!! Even having been on three Ragged Bits threads now, your story shocked me.

Will be back with a more useful post later, just wanted to say hi, and also to say that cyee who started the first Ragged Bits thread is having her third DF by elCS on Monday so let's all send her loving thoughts for that day. thanks

Jacksmania Fri 01-Mar-13 17:03:55

Cyee is having her third daughter, not a third DF, whatever that might be blush - oops!

shine85 Fri 01-Mar-13 17:27:23

Choppet, that is awful! Did you complain? I would never let anyone get away with something like that, it's just not right.

I just came out the toilet and there was blood. Bright red bloody discharge. Not too much, not too little either. I don't know what it is, but it's not a period. I'm taking the pill back to back to prevent that. <br />
It started after my op when they removed the vaginal pack from me. I don't even know why the gynae inserted the pack. In a letter to my gp he said I had vaginal scarring and that I complained of vaginal pain...which I did not and didn't even know about the vaginal scarring. He didn't discuss this with me. As far as I knew,I was going in for a cut and re stitch. <br />
It's two weeks today since the op and I'm not healed. stitches are oozing and doctor wouldn't tell me if they were open or not.

I see the gynae on Tuesday. I don't know what to say to him. I do NOT want a repeat of last time. All those infections and granulation tissue.
I love my little girl so, so much but I'm beginning to wish I'd never fallen pregnant. What if I never fix and won't be able to take care of her? I'm scared.

cravingcake Fri 01-Mar-13 18:16:36

Oh Shine you really are having a rough time. As far as what to say to gynae on Tuesday, say exactly what you have said here, that you don't want a repeat of last time.

Bright red blood would indicate that its fresh, not 'old' like it had been hanging about for a bit so wouldn't have thought it was period blood IYKWIM. Maybe try calling your ooh doctor or NHS direct for a bit of guidance, or do you have a contact number for aftercare. As its now wine o'clock on a Friday its unlikely you will get an answer on that but you may be able to leave a message and they could call you back tomorrow <grasping at straws>

You definitely need chocolate. Lots of chocolate. And a big (((hug))))

FrillyMummy Sat 02-Mar-13 00:13:20

Oh shine how rotten sad I don't know what to say except you will heal eventually. It will all be ok and you will be able took after your daughter. I'm so so sorry you are going through this. It must be so rotten. <wine> winewinebrewbrew

Insecure24 Sat 02-Mar-13 05:50:56

Shine have you got a lot of help at home during the day? I remember feeling that for the first 4 months after dd being born I was useless to everyone, couldn't even sit down barely! I also alone because i was younger than a lot of mums and didnt feel i had many people to openly talk to about it all (Im 25 now!). But then about 2/3 weeks after my restitch suddenly a light switched and I didn't need painkillers, I could hold dd, bathe her etc and it really felt like a cloud had lifted. I'm still having problems with sex and dd is 2.9 now but that's nothing to do with anything anatomically down below that's my own psychological fear which I'm getting help. You WILL heal, you just need to rest and don't compare your recovery to other peoples.

Jacksmania Sat 02-Mar-13 16:07:45

Oh shine, I wish I had an answer for you. I'm sorry I'm banging on about this but have you tried salt baths? They really helped with getting my stitches healed and stopped oozing and discharge.
Sorry to sound like a fanatic but I found them so helpful.

choppet Sat 02-Mar-13 19:49:58

Thanks for all the kind words ladies. Shine, you poor chicken, i know exactly how you feel, I felt like that for ages that I couldnt care for my little boy properly and was a failure despite trying my best...Dont compare yourself to others as those who have had a straightforward time are in a total different category to are doing amazingly well and are a great example to your little one of courage and determination xxx

cardamomginger Sat 02-Mar-13 21:48:31

Hi Jacks - nice to see you too! I was away from the threads for a while, as it all got too much for me. But am back now! Lovely news about cyee. Really wish her well.

Shine. So sorry sad. Have they swabbed you for thrush? This can mess about with the stitches a bit and make things bleed. Could it be a loose stitch that's aggravating things? Could it be breakthrough bleeding from the pill? I did back-to-back packs once, and it was never enough to 'hold' it back indefinitely. I never got a proper period, but I got bloody discharge. I had my third op almost 3 weeks ago and even though the uterus wasn't involved (this time!), I always gets bits of bloody discharge for a quite a few weeks afterwards. And the first few periods are horrible. I think my body just really objects to being messed about with like this! I really hope it is nothing serious.

And I know what you mean when you said that it might have been better if you had never got pregnant. I was having similar thoughts only last night. I love my DD so so so much. And I'd do anything for her. But if I'd known that this would be the deal, I doubt I would have wanted to try for a baby. That doesn't mean that I wish her away, or wish she hadn't been born. Although it's hard not to feel guilty for thinking what I did. XX

TheNewStatesman Mon 04-Mar-13 02:27:53

"The treatment I received in hospital post natally was appalling, at one point (3 days after all of this) being told to 'get out of bed and feed your baby'. "

Jesus, this makes me angry. Had they got rid of the well-baby nursery at your hospital? I hear that this is very common in Irish hospitals recently.

EauRouge Mon 04-Mar-13 12:22:33

Afternoon all. I had a reply from the hospital today about the letter I'd sent- 5 pages of excuses. Wish I hadn't bothered now sad I've got another counsellor appointment on Wed but think it will be my last one. It was her idea to write to the hospital and it's just made me feel a million times worse.

On the bright side my fanjo appears to be fine and I've got my 6 week check next week! I need to start thinking about contraception soon, it's almost time to get back in the saddle.

cardamomginger Mon 04-Mar-13 12:48:49

Eau - I had the same thing. Pages of excuses and it made me feel dreadful. I showed a consultant who was treating me for the birth injuries their letter and he thought their position was a load of weasily nonsense. So I wrote back. I even quoted the manufacturers guidelines for the suture they had used to show they had used the wrong one. More excuses and patronising rubbish in return. One of the things I was told was that it is so easy for patients to get confused when they hear conflicting advice about what actually is the correct thing to do. [sangry]
They are always going to do this and they will never say anything even remotely along the lines of 'maybe we could have done something a bit differently', in case you decide to sue them. They are never even going to apologise in case that is construed as evidence of responsibility.
I thought about it for a while afterwards - whether it would have been better not to have written to them, because their replies really did upset me very much. On balance I think I am glad I wrote because the maternity unit needed to know that the birth had been catastrophic for me.
I'm really really sorry though. Hugs XX

cardamomginger Mon 04-Mar-13 12:54:44

As for your counsellor's advice to write - I think they don't always understand how hospital bureaucracy works. I had one counsellor, who I dumped, suggest that I sue, because that would make me feel better. I had to very patiently explain to her exactly what the long and traumatic legal procedure would involve and the stresses it would place on me. I further explained that even cases where the damage sustained is far far worse than mine and far far more easily attributable to the cock up of a particular doctor (I was thinking of a case I;d found about some poor woman who'd ended up with a permanent colostomy bag, and I think unable to have more children) had failed at the first attempt and had ended up settling out of court.
Is it this suggestion that is making you think you should sack her? What sort of counselling are you having? Some find straightfoward 'talking about' it helpful. Others have benefited from CBT. I'm having EMDR, which is a specific trauma therapy.

EauRouge Mon 04-Mar-13 13:03:58

Thanks, cardamom, I really appreciate you replying. I think the whole maternity care system in this country is fucked and I don't have the time or energy to do anything about it. I'd rather just draw a line under it now and get on with my life, I can accept that we will have 2 children instead of the 3 we originally planned.

I'm just having NHS counselling. She's really nice but I don't think she can help me. I just need to know that I'm not always going to feel like this.

cardamomginger Mon 04-Mar-13 13:20:36

Fucked beyond belief!! One of my huge bug bears is maternity services discharge women at a point when the full extent of birth injuries and trauma may very well not have become apparent. The information that they impart and use to make decisions concerning care, based on audit and individual professional experience, is not, in my opinion, long term enough.

As far as my hospital was concerned, I was a roaring success. First time 'older' mother, and all I had was an epidural and only sustained a second-degree tear and a bleed just the right side of a PPH. Discharged the next day. Woo hoo - high five everyone!! Well no - rectocele, cytocele, uterine prolapse, enterocele, detatched pubo-rectalis, displaced coccyx, pain, infection, mobility problems, PTSD..... So far I've had three gynae operations and 2 procedures on my back.

NONE of this gets back to the unit where I delivered, so they will record me as a success in their audits. Makes me really angry.

cardamomginger Mon 04-Mar-13 13:22:40

was so <<grr>> I forgot the double incontinence....

EauRouge Mon 04-Mar-13 13:30:08

It's so shit, isn't it? And the MWs just refuse to accept that it's anything less than perfect.

I can't decide whether to read the letter again or just burn the fucking thing. One of the things that bothered me about the birth is that the MWs kept telling me how I felt and wouldn't listen to me when I disagreed. The letter is just more of the same.

cardamomginger Mon 04-Mar-13 13:38:57

Yup sad. I've got a friend who is a MW. Very senior, with about 25 years experience. She's adamant that she has never heard of anything like what's happened to me. Ever. I asked her how would she ever find out what truly happened to any of her patients 3, 6, 12 months down the line. She couldn't answer me. And why this sodding obsession with VB? Why is that the ultimate success? It's almost like the holy grail - to be achieved no matter what the costs to the individual woman.

If I were you I'd hang on to the letter for now. But in a drawer far, far away where you won't come across it. You might want to come back to it at some point. Or you might want to devise a more satisfying ritual burning....

WhodveThought Tue 05-Mar-13 01:30:57

Cardamomginger-'And why this sodding obsession with VB?' THIS. THIS THIS THIS is what drives me so crazy.

I was told that the disastrous birth I had was preferable to a c-section because I had 'avoided surgery'. Well, I disagree on two counts to that statement. I didn't 'avoid surgery' as they spent an hour stitching me back together while I spilled blood like nobody's business. And 2 years on I have fecal incontinence, rectocele, rectal prolapse, PTSD, I have lost track of the tests I've had done and specialists I have seen. Plus! It looks like I will have had THREE corrective surgeries because of their wretched insistence on VB.

Why do they do this? I wish I could drag these MW and doctors to this forum and make them look at the reality of their decision making.

Whoa. Turns out I had a bit to say about that!

Jacksmania Tue 05-Mar-13 02:24:58

<applauds whodvethought>

I like what you have to say.

When I confronted my MW about her massive mismanagement of my labour and birth (6 months postpartum, when the extent of the damage was just becoming obvious) her best defense was... (drum roll)... "I wanted to spare you a scar on your uterus".

Fuck me sideways. I'm feeling a bit emotional today (have had kind of a shit couple of days) and if she was in front of me right now, I'd have to scream at her that her ridiculous agenda, five years later, is going to result in me having a scar on my belly and guess what, you old cow, no fucking uterus AT ALL!!!

Agh. Sorry. Having a hard day.
I made the mistake of browsing Active Convos and there's a thread in AIBU titled "Competitive Births". The OP was very upset because she'd had shit births herself and a friend of hers had sneezed out a baby (how lovely for her, honestly) but then started lecturing the OP saying that if she (the OP) had only done XYZ, she could have had lovely births herself.
I know that's a pile of shite. But it hits that nerve, that one that rears its ugly head and asks if I could have done better. If I could have done something different. If I had only held out longer, and refused the epidural. If only, if only, if fucking only.
I thought I'd worked through this, I really did... but right now I'm hurting all over again, wondering how much is my fault, and if any of this could have been avoided.

<bangs head on table>

Jacksmania Tue 05-Mar-13 02:26:44

Sorry, spilled a bit more there than I meant to.
<stiffens upper lip>

On a happy note: Cyee's little DD was born via elCS today (March 4, it's still today here) and when she messaged me baby was nursing happily grin grin grin
<wipes away happy tear>

Jacksmania Tue 05-Mar-13 02:30:54

Oh, one more thing:

I was contacted by a journalist via PM last week (I think that's actually a no-no but I didn't want to be a cow and say so, since she'd posted on one of the Ragged threads about her own troubles) asking if anyone on this thread would like to be interviewed for the DM, and talk about any ongoing issues after the kind of birth that landed all of us on this thread.

I declined the interview because she said whoever spoke with her would likely have to consent to being identified by name, and I'm not doing that. I have a very unique name, I am the only one in the world with my name as far as I can tell, and if any potential clients Googled me professionally, my name would come up on top, and I really don't want anyone to click on and find out all about my ragged bits right along with my office address hmm.

If anyone is interested, PM me, I can put you in touch with her.

EauRouge Tue 05-Mar-13 09:04:52

I also have a unique name. Am slightly tempted though because if there's one thing that'll put my step-dad off buying the DM it's reading about my vagina over his morning toast grin

I'm with you all on this. If I ever have the misfortune to get pregnant again then I will be camping out on the consultant's doorstep until they agree to an ELCS. I know it can be riskier but I am not bloody going through labour again. No way. I don't trust the NHS to keep me and my baby safe through natural labour.

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