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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.

Jacksmania Sat 06-Jul-13 22:31:04

Ok, here's the Allan quote:

NicholasTeakozy Thu 06-Jun-13 20:33:21
Tell them you're going to bring her up to believe in Allan.

NicholasTeakozy Thu 06-Jun-13 20:33:59
Fuckity bollocks. Allah blush

Jacksmania Sat 06-Jul-13 22:31:47

And here's the link to the whole thread. Bloody hilarious.

NovemberAli Thu 18-Jul-13 19:24:31

Hello all, would appreciate some advice if people have experienced similar.
I had a 3rd degree tear with Dd1 nearly 3 years ago now. Fortunately the repair went well and I didn't have any problems with it. I'm now 23 weeks with Dc2 and have recently been experiencing the joys of pregnancy constipation. After a few episodes of (apols TMI) straining my scar and perineal area have become quite sore and painful.

I'm now getting concerned about how I'm going to manage pushing in labour if it's under this much pressure just from going to the loo and worried about tearing again.

Has anybody else found otherwise healed old scars becoming painful again in subsequent pregnancies and how did you deal with it?

cravingcake Thu 18-Jul-13 20:00:38

Hi there, I had a 4th degree tear 21 months ago and am now 11 weeks pregnant with my 2nd baby. Its great news that your repair went well.

I cant offer much advice for you as I'm behind you in my pregnancy but I am well aware that the added weight and pressure of carrying a baby could easily make the existing scars and area more tender than most would experience.

Take lactulose (I think this is ok for pregnancy, prob best to check) to help soften your poo and this should help with the strain. Other things that help are raisins, dried apricots & prunes and loads of water.

I will be having an elcs (as recommended by my consultants) but I can completely understand your concerns. Maybe it could be worth trying perennial massage to help the scar tissue stretch. Could you look into different birthing options, like positions that minimise tearing, or maybe a birthing pool, or even consider an elcs. Definitely speak with your midwife about your concerns to see what suggestions they come up with. I understand that the reason a lot of people tear is due to pushing when they shouldn't be & not being told by the midwife when to push effectively, or the baby coming really fast.

Sorry I cant be of much more help.

cookiewuk Fri 19-Jul-13 12:31:14

Hi people its wonderful to find this thread and see the support you give each other.
Im not sure I qualify to be here as I had a pretty good albeit extremely fast birth with dc2 8 weeks ago. I didnt tear or require any 'help' but since I got brave enough to have a little feel and look down there recently Im pretty sure things aren't right. The entrance is quite gapey though i guess that's to be expected but just inside the tissue feels very bulgey and lumpy and there are pockets of skin. blush
Im going to see my Gp today so any idea what could be wrong and what to expect? Thank you

cravingcake Fri 19-Jul-13 14:15:06

Hi cookiewuk firstly, yes you do qualify to be here, so don't think otherwise. Some of us have had massively life changing injury's and others have had some more minor ones but either way your bits are still ragged, not what they were and you need advice, so you have come to the right place. smile

I'm not an expert but my guess would be the bulgy and lumpy could be where you may have been grazed internally, or even some bruising. Even a straight forward birth is not exactly gentle on the whole area.

What to expect from the gp will be an internal examination and depending on what they can see they will refer you to a gynae consultant for a more thorough look. This could take a couple of weeks before you see them. If you get told that everything is normal and its just a bit of bruising and swelling which will go down, trust your instincts and if it doesn't feel right within the time frame they say, go back to another gp for a second opinion.

Good luck.

littlelinney Fri 19-Jul-13 16:09:05

Hello ladies.

I just wanted to say what an inspiration it's been reading through this thread. I really admire you all. Now my raggedy story is just beginning. And I'm new and don't know how to change names so I'm trusting you :-)

I'm really sorry if this turns out to be a looong post.

Dd is our first baby. She was 6lbs 8oz born and currently cruising the 9th centile. She's 4 months old today. I had 2nd degree tear that my midwife said she couldn't stitch (too complicated maybe? Dunno!) so after a lot of trying to get a doctor onto the midwife led unit out comes the ward manager to my rescue and stitches me up.

After being told by midwives and health visitors that I could direct my questions to our GP at 6 week check I was denied a 6 week check. So I made a 6 week GP spot and got put on the pill.

DH and I attempted to do the deed, and it hurt like dante's bottom level of hell. DH had a good look at me and said down there I looked ok, not raggedy at all. So off I trot back to the GP where I again do not get examined and am given menopause lube. Which did not help.

So 2 days ago I got a lamp and a mirror and told myself to be brave. I found the problem.

You know that bit of skin that holds your lip to your gum near your bottom teeth? Well, that's a frenulum. Men have one on their boy bit too. Well, I have a ward manager made one, a tiny thing, but a tiny thing acting like a piece of floss at the bottom of my...hole.

I'm sorry if I'm describing it badly. It's going to need cutting if I'm ever to perform wifely duties again (it's been almost a year thanks to hyperemesis, DH is just about coping, but I can tell it's really bothering him).

I'm petrified. I've cried on and off since I sat with that mirror between my legs. I am one of the biggest wusses to walk the earth. I am back to the GP on Tuesday to tell him where to shove his menopause lube (I'm 24) but I just can't bear the thought of anything surgical down there when it's so sore. I can't land on the loo too eagerly or I'm stuck there whining to myself for a few minutes.

Thanks for listening. Can anyone honestly say the pain was not as bad as they thought?

cravingcake Fri 19-Jul-13 18:51:18

Hi littlelinney well done for seeing your gp, and being brave enough to look for yourself.

I had a skin tag on my perennium which was 'man made' from stitching up after my tear and was extremely painful as it was full of nerve endings. I recently had this removed, under a local anesthetic. Took 20 mins for the op, 3 days of pain, a week of discomfort and by 3 weeks post op it was completely healed enough for sex to be comfortable again. I imagine it would be a similar sort of time frame for what you describe. And the pain is managable with paracetamol & ibuprofen which are both fine if breastfeeding.

littlelinney Sun 21-Jul-13 20:12:34

Thank you cravingcake.

I'm still really nervous blush. I will stock up on pain killers and be brave!!

cravingcake Tue 23-Jul-13 07:31:26

Good luck for your GP appointment littlelinney come back and let us know how you get on.

Jacksmania Tue 23-Jul-13 19:03:26

Hi littlelinney - I hope it went ok, here's another hand to hold.

Sorry I've been a bit absent, RL quite busy right now. Will check back!

Jacksmania Tue 23-Jul-13 19:05:27

And cookiewuk, good luck to you too - have you been to the GP yet? It's normal for things to look a bit funny down there even months after (a friend described her nethers as "looking like a torn rubber boot" - yeeeeeouch!!!!) but if you're at all concerned, I would push to be examined and not just dismissed with "what did you expect after 8 weeks".
<offers hand to hold>

littlelinney Fri 26-Jul-13 12:48:08

Hello everyone.

So I went to the GP. DH came out of work for half an hour to come with me. The GP had a student with him but she appeared more interested in facebook on her smartphone than me, so that wasn't so bad. he wasn't my usual GP. So he examined me and it REALLY hurt. And then....prescribed me cream. -Sits with blank face-

He said put it on twice a day for a week and
Then if it's gone great if not I'll need it operating on.

It's a steroid cream, which has 'for external use only' plastered all over it which scares me because it's soo close to being internal I'm sure a bit does go in. Anyway steroid creams thin skin so I can see his logic but if he thinks it's going to dissolve where they stitched me together I'm scared I'm going to dissolve away down there! blush

frissonpink Fri 26-Jul-13 13:00:59

Can I join?

Nearly 9 month old dd here. Had an induction, arm, epidural (which part failed), baby was back to back, finally generous episiotomy and forceps. Whole thing lasted nearly 4 days without sleep and a lot of drugs for pain.

Anyway. I think i'm getting delayed PND..can that happen? I'm still not right somehow down below. I was totally numb at the back end for nearly a month and was told it might be nerve damage as a result of the epidural. However, I also still have complete lack of control over no 2's! I get the sensation I need to go then about 30 secs to get to a toilet. sad

The whole Royal baby and how glamourous and seemingly 'undamaged' Kate looked on emerging the hospital just made me so mad. Ridiculous. Why would I wish a bad birth on someone else!? Also had a couple of friends who've recently had c sections (planned) and I've hated the way that mutual friends have made comments such as 'poor thing having a c section, now that is painful' etc etc and then just to me, 'well you had a natural birth, as nature intended, you're so lucky'

I don't feel lucky at all! I wish I'd had a lovely planned c section. ( I know they're not lovely at all, but hopefully you all know what I mean)

Is it even worth going back to the docs? I got fobbed off last time.

Anyone got any ideas what might be wrong with me?

cravingcake Fri 26-Jul-13 17:28:12

Littlelinney could you speak to the pharmacist about your concerns about applying the cream. I would suggest giving it a go but to either try applying it very carefully with a mirror, or enlisting the help of your other half to ensure it only goes on a tiny area. I wouldn't have thought it will dissolve the stitched area but may help 'weaken' the skin which may reduce the pain. Then again it may not.

Welcome frissonpink Of course you can join. Firstly, yes PND can hit a bit later, especially when you had a traumatic birth. I would definitely say go to the doctor but ask to see a different doctor than last time and ask if you can be referred to a specialist gynae consultant. Stress to them your urgency of when you need a poo and hopefully that will help. I don't know what it might be that is wrong sorry, I'm not medical in any way. I completely understand the way you feel when someone says well you had a 'natural birth' - my answer to anyone who says that is well my DS was dragged out with the giant salad tongs, my bits were torn in half, he got stuck along the way, there were about 30 people in the room and I spent an hour in surgery afterwards being stitched up so you tell me what was natural about that.

Regarding the whole Royal Baby.... well its a touchy subject for all of us on this thread. Every single one of us who didn't have the 'text book birth' will have relived our own labour experience and brought back a lot of unpleasant memories. And I would put money on that all of us would have said something along the lines of I wasn't even out of bed, able to walk, let alone put on make up and heels 24 hours after giving birth.

frissonpink Fri 26-Jul-13 19:29:57

Giant salad tongs grin Thank you, that made me smile!!

Luckily I didn't see them, but I did see the massacre of blood all around and the doctor with her foot up on the bed pulling as though she was trying to move a bus!!

As for 24 hrs afterwards, well I was wearing a nappy (literally, a maxi tena lady pad, HUGE thing!) and black joggers and was walking, sorry, no crawling along, like John Wayne. With a 'ouch' for every step. The thought of being able to wear a floaty light coloured dress...!

SkiSchoolRun Fri 26-Jul-13 19:40:14


I have just spotted this thread in active convos. Wish I knew it was here!

I'm off on hols tonight so this is to mark my place. I will unload my 4.5yo traumas soon if you don't mind.

Anyone got any ideas how I can ever not have a painful coccyx? It ha hurt ever since the bastard forceps.

Jacksmania Sat 27-Jul-13 21:51:31

Hi everyone,

welcome frissonpink and SkiSchoolRun!

LittleLinney, even though steroid cream does say "for external use only", the vaginal opening is a sort of "external and internal" area, so if a little bit of the cream goes inside, it will do no harm. Steroids help to soften scar tissue, and reduce inflammation. They don't really do much where there is neither of those. Honestly, give it a try, it will be ok.

SSR, have you had your insides checked by a pelvic floor physio? The coccyx can become misaligned from a shit birth, and since literally every part of your pelvic floor attached to the coccyx (the entire pelvic sling terminates there), having a wonky coccyx can really give you a pain in the arse.
Have a fun holiday, and yes, do unload when you're ready. We're here to hold hands and pass tissues.

frissonpink, I too am a victim of the giant salad tongs. And it took me a while to realize I had PTSD - mid-April, I think? And DS was born mid-Feb. It can take a while to really register.
I don't think that you have problems holding in poo from the epidural, I think it's probably (hopefully temporary) nerve damage from the episiotomy and forceps. Damage to the pudendal nerve can cause urge incontinence. Scar tissue in the area further complicates things.
Do go back to the GP, and do not take "no" for an answer. Ask for a referral to a pelvic floor physio and a gynae surgeon. I find explaining symptoms in graphic detail, such as, in your case "if I got the urge to go right now, I would likely poo all over your nice shiny office floor", tends to work, as does the phrase " you are not listening, and you're minimising my concerns. I find that very patronising. My problems are serious, and I am not leaving this office until I get a referral." Also, taking someone with you who can do the "I am not budging until this is sorted" face is a very good idea.

This has been a shit week of epic proportions. As cravingcake said, the Royal Birth has really dragged up a lot of shit for those of us who've had traumatic births. I had a pretty good rant on the private FB group we've created, because I needed to let off steam and unload some ugly thoughts and feelings, and since MN can be searched by everyone, I didn't want to do it here. Not that I would ever wish I shit birth on anyone, but having it rubbed in my face that the DoC obviously had a stellar birth, and had medical staff tripping over themselves to ensure that it all went well, was a bitter pill to swallow. We should all, every single one of us, have access to that kind of care and attention, and in a lot of cases, the damage done to women on this thread was due to less than stellar care. I find that very hard to take.

frissonpink Sun 28-Jul-13 20:54:21

Jacksmania Thank you. I have made an appointment for this Thursday, and I shall insist. I did get told it was likely to be nerve damage, but never for a minute did I think it would last this long!

I'm glad I'm not the only one about the DoC sad

The headline today in the Daily Mail literally made me angry, as though I'm less of a trooper because I didn't every pain killer known to man and left the hospital waddling/barely walking upright holding onto DH for dear life, whilst she swanned out in a beautiful dress!

11 hours' labour and all natural! How serene Kate sailed through a textbook delivery as she goes through the perfect birth she was hoping for Duchess of Cambridge gave birth without recourse to powerful painkillers. Her calm demeanour is said to have moved the seven-strong medical team

Meanwhile, my own mother tells me I'm irrational and of course it's normal that her birth was like that, because I 'made a drama' out of mine sad

Jacksmania Sun 28-Jul-13 22:53:59

11 hours of labour. I could cry. I could just cry.

5 1/2 years on, and reading this kind of crap still makes me feel like an utter failure.

I can't even explain the sadness and rage I feel right now.

And yet, when I heard that the DoC was in labour, I felt sorry for her. The sheer monumental pressure on her to perform, and knowing that she was going to be judged for how well she did giving birth.
Well, it looks like she did perform, and good for her. Wonderful for her.

If only her performance wasn't plastered all over the media, to rip the heart out of all of us who fell short of the ideal.

We are heading out on holiday tomorrow - I'm on the West Coast of Canada, and we're driving in MIL's camper halfway across the country to meet up with all of DH's relatives (we counted yesterday, 75 of them) for a family reunion. Internet connection may be a bit sketchy, so if I'm not on for a few days, don't worry, I haven't bashed my brains out on a wall in utter rage and frustration, I will hopefully be having a fantastic holiday smile

((((((((((((((((((((((*HUGS*)))))))))))))))))))))))))) to all of us, I think we need them.

cravingcake Mon 29-Jul-13 12:38:09

Jacks big ((((((HUGS)))))) back for you - and everyone else who wants one. Enjoy the reunion and I hope you have a great holiday.

LittleBoyBlues Thu 29-Aug-13 10:44:22

Hi, not sure if anyone's still attached to this thread but there's so little out there on this subject, so i hope this is still a gathering point.

i'm just a bit ragged, i think, i daren't look tbh! but i've an on going issue that i dread taking to the Dr unless i have to.
DS was born in Dec, was at the pushing stage for hours, he seemed a bit stuck though mw could see him. no interventions luckily. 3rd degree tear at the last minute. i was told it was 'only just 3rd degree' and then when being stitched up that it was 'a very interesting tear' and second opinions were sought as they were stitching me. the stitch job was admired by various mws and Drs through follow up checks so i presumed all to be well. i've still no idea what the tear was/is like other than this.
onto today: i can't poo without bleeding, and quite alot of pain. Even ones that don't seem too bad the toilet water's full of blood.
is this normal?
any suggestions what it might be?
is it just a matter of time to heal?

TIA if anyone's out there...

whydidnobodytellme Sun 01-Sep-13 09:18:59

Hi - i have been referred to this thread from another one i started yesterday. I would be so grateful to hear from anyone with 4th degree tears / repairs and who has to deal with some fecal / anal incontinence, especially if you have been through pregnancy, childbirth/c-section and motherhood in this condition. I am in a slightly different position but with similar problems and I'm told it's comparable. I am so worried. Here is my thread:

cravingcake Sun 01-Sep-13 20:54:04

Welcome LittleBoyBlues and whydidnobodytellme Firstly sorry you had to find us. We are a slow moving thread but we are all happy to offer our advice, support and share our situations.

Briefly my background is I had a 4th degree tear during my son's birth, along with a generous episiotomy and have suffered PTSD, PND and occasional incontinence. I am currently 19 weeks pregnant with DC2.

Littleboyblues, I would say have a look. I was nervous looking for the first time but was surprised by how well things looked and had healed considering the trauma that area had been through. You need to see your gp about what you are experiencing and if you can describe more to the gp i.e. lumps, swelling, areas which are more painful/tender than others it may help and you will feel more confident when speaking to them. They should refer you to a gynae consultant fairly quickly as bleeding like that is not normal or something you should be putting up with.

whydidnobodytellme, I've read your other thread and really feel for you. I am in a situation which may give you some hope. My DS is now 22 months old and I have suffered with occasional incontinence since his birth. I know how embarrassing it is and how no-one in real life understands unless they are in the same situation. I am yet to buy any tena lady and have the same amount of control over my bowels, other than needing to wee a lot more which is standard for anyone who is pregnant. I do pelvic floor exercises all the time they are just part of my life now and always will be. I have been advised to have an elcs which I will be doing. The recovery (I'm told by many) is a lot easier than an emergency C-section and considering it took nearly a year to feel anywhere near normal after my 'natural' birth I think this is the sensible choice. Please ask any questions you want to know, I will do my best to answer honestly. I do think I got away quite lightly considering the severity of my tear. Previously to becoming pregnant I did not require any surgery to fix things but I will be ensuring I see the consultants after the birth to make sure the weight of the pregnancy hasn't put any new strain on the area. I do have a prolapse also which will require surgery afterwards but for now it is just a discomfort I can put up with.

cardamomginger Sun 01-Sep-13 21:31:11

Hi whydidnobodytellme. Just had a read through of your post on this thread and on your other thread. I am so so sorry. I was left with double incontinence after multiple serious birth injuries. I didn't have a 4th degree tear, but my anal sphincters were damaged and have been left weak.

Most of your questions, I can't answer - I won't be contemplating a second child. I read that you are in London, however, and if you have private health insurance, it might be worth trying to get a referral to Dr Ruwen Fernando at the Lindo Wing. He is an obstetrician/gynae with a special interest in the rectal side of things. Only if you wanted another opinion, of course. I've seen him several times for specialist tests at the request of my surgeon Vik Khullar, also at the Lindo. 'Normally' I'd advise someone to see Vik in preference, but he'd just refer straight to Ruwen.

Have you had specialist physio input? Ruwen advised me to do biofeedback to strength the muscles. I see an excellent women's health/gynae physio at St John's and St Elizabeth's hospital. The sort of stuff she helps with is not just the usual PFEs, that are often of limited use in cases of very severe damage. She's had me using an electronic stimulator. She says there is a similar device for the anal sphincter. For a variety of reasons, many physical and some psychological, I haven't gone down that road yet, so I can't comment on how effective it is. But even in a case of an incomplete sphincter, as long as there is some 'live' muscle that can fire up, I see no reason why it can't be strengthened. And this type of probe thing may help.

If you want any contact details, or to ask any questions, please do PM me.

Littleboyblues. Oh dear sad. No, that's not right. You need to get a referral to a gynae who specialises in pelvic floor repairs. I'm so sorry. sad.

Skischoolrun. Ouch!! I damaged my coccyx and pelvis when I gave birth to DD (no forceps though). In the short term, I'd say invest in a coccyx cushion which is a wedge shaped cushion with a section cut out at the back. This takes the pressure off your coccyx. After over 4 years, any bruising should have gone down! Sounds like you could have displaced it. If I were you I'd see the GP and ask for a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon. They should do an x-ray and possibly an MRI to see what's going on. I wouldn't bother faffing about with physio. Not at this stage. In my case, he thought I had fractured it, but it turned out I'd just displaced it. I had two lots of steroid injections and manipulation in theatre under anaesthesia. That, getting my birth injuries fixed, and increasing my core strength has made things LOADS better.

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