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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 02-Feb-13 16:55:50

Hi shine85, and welcome - although we're sorry you've had to find us. Ouch, I'm just cringing and squeezing my legs together for you! sad
I think several posters on this thread have had their perineum refashioned, someone just last week (EauRouge, I think?) so read back a bit - and if they haven't updated, we'll PM them! smile
I've had what they call a scar revision here (I'm in Canada), and it wasn't too bad. It was done under GA, but I went home the same day. Was pretty sore for a few days (ouch ouch ouch!) - so do take your pain meds!! - but I was up and walking around (slowly) in about three days, and back to work in two weeks.
Congratulations on your baby, but I really feel for you. You must be so uncomfortable. sad

nearlymumofone Thu 07-Feb-13 22:11:44

Hello All.

Firstly- sorry that this is very insignificant in the grand scheme of things, when I read the traumas everyone else on here has gone through- but I thought you may be able to shed some light/advise.

I have 2dcs. Dc1 was born over 2 years ago- vaginal delivery with an episiotomy and stitches. I thought everything went pretty well. Until I was pg with dc2- and about 4 months into the pregnancy had mild anal incontinence issues. I informed midwife and consultant advised on a c-section as the incontinence may have been due to a 'missed tear' the first time round. Since having dc2 I have had various tests, and am waiting for results of the last lot. But one thing has been concerning me- during dc1's birth the midwife had her fingers up my bum for what felt like most of the 'pushing' stage (which went on for at least a couple of hours). When I was pushing she said push into her fingers- which she'd put up my bum. Obviously I was a novice to childbirth and out of my head with pain and thought nothing of it at the time. It is only with these now issues I have that I wonder if that in itself could have caused the trauma that has lead to problems rather than a missed tear. And is it normal at all for the midwife to do this??? On reflection it doesn't seem right AT ALL.

Anyway- bit of a weird one- but just wondered if anyone had any clue.....?


EauRouge Fri 08-Feb-13 08:15:49

Hello shine, I had my op just over a week ago now and I'm already almost back to normal. It still gets a bit sore if I move the wrong way but mostly it's fine. It's got to that healing stage where it's really bloody itchy hmm so I think my stitches will probably come out soon. The op was really much easier than I thought it was going to be and about a billion times easier and less painful than recovering from childbirth.

nearly, I have never, ever heard of a MW sticking their fingers up women's bottoms. It sounds very odd to me. Have you seen your birth notes? I would ask a MW next time you see one. I hope you get some good news when you get your results.

Jacksmania Sat 09-Feb-13 18:22:39

EauRouge!!! <snogs>
I'm so glad it went well for you. I found the same as you, the op was much easier than recovering from JB's birth. Ugh @ itchy stitches - it's so hard not to scratch but FFS don't!!! shockgrin

Nearly - my midwife put her hand in my vagina all the way up to her armpit it felt like to help me focus my pushing. I couldn't feel much due to epidural.
I haven't heard of a MW putting her finger in your bum to help focus pushing but at this point nothing I've heard about childbirth shocks me anymore so, while I might not know exactly why she'd do that, it doesn't seem utterly improbable, IYSWIM.
FWIW, I don't think that having her fingers in there could have done the damage you've spoken of. I mean, people have bumsex all the time (well, I don't know about all the time but you know what I mean) and it doesn't seem to cause incontinence? I mean, a penis is bigger than a finger or two. Disclaimer: I might be talking shite - I really have no idea.

I think your consultant is more likely to be correct, that it was a missed tear. Sometimes - this happened to me - a tear can extend backwards internally and not actually be seen from the outside. And once you add internal pressure from a subsequent pregnancy, I can see where that might stress your sphincter muscle.

I hope your tests come back with some sort of a conclusion. Please update us! This thread tends to move slowly - we don't seem to be a chatty lot sometimes at others, we have parties with carrots and wine but someone checks in sooner or later.

smellysocksandchickenpox Sat 09-Feb-13 19:14:17

hello! thanks for pointing me in the direction of this thread jacksmania!

I'm 3wks PP, only a cut equivalent 2nd degree tear, stitches looked good initially, then started to go a bit tits up! gaping and hard and lumpy, stiches have been cut to let it heal more naturally, which at first seemed to work well, but then a sort of cavity/tunnel thing appeared.

feel a bit tearful about the reaction from MWs, one was good, one didn't want to even look, and the other didn't understand that I wasn't worried about pain NOW! I can cope with that, what was worrying me was how it was going to heal long term - she didn't seem to think that worrying about never being able to have sex again was a sensible thing for a 7 day PP woman to be thinking/talking about! All of them just wanted to discharge me back to my gp, so I was discharged at just over 2 weeks. Been to the doc who cut the top stitch (but didn't realise it was a running stich and tried to pull the stich out - OUCH!!!!)

Doc wanted me to take antibiotics as a preventative thing but I refused as am breast feeding (and taking antibiotics while BFing my first child gave the baby horrible thrush) so she said I have to keep a close eye on it to look out for infection, but some days I can't bear to look! one day it seems to be healing, the next it's opening up again and I'm in tears again

I know i've gotten off lightly, its more the brush off from the MWs that has upset me, that plus the fact that I feel like all of this is because I made the wrong decision - I let them break my waters and that led to the baby getting distressed and vontouse and the cut - I should have asked to wait and see how things progressed, waters don't HAVE to break! some babies are born in their bag of waters - the birth was lovely till then I was coping with just hypnobirthing and DS's HR was fab etc

Jacksmania Sat 09-Feb-13 20:07:26

That's so shit sad

One thing that really stood out in your post was this: "plus the fact that I feel like all of this is because I made the wrong decision" - NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

This is NOT your fault!!!

I'm sorry, I get very upset and passionate about things like this because of what happened with my DS's birth - but seriously - no one should have to be their own midwife or doctor when they're in labour!! I do think that we have, in ideal circumstances, some control over what happens in labour, but when things go a bit fruit-shaped, you are the astronaut being flown by the space ship, and making rational decisions is very very very difficult, if not impossible.

I am happy to be corrected on this, and will be the first to admit my experience has influenced my opinion, but I also know I'm not the only who feels that way.

Do NOT blame yourself.

It was your MW's job to make good decisions for you. And no-one has a crystal ball, and not all decisions end up being good ones, even with the best of intentions.

<and breathe> blush

As for your poor bits, they do look horrible when mangled, don't they? I'd almost say go by how it feels to sit and move around, rather than look or feel with your hand. It all just feels so wrong for a while.

I'd talk to the GP again when you see him or her. And really stress, if you can bring yourself to, how upset you were by how the midwives handled your aftercare.

IF, in the long run, you end up needing or wanting a scar revision (which is what they call it here, I'm in Canada) or refashioning, if you read EauRouge's post above, and a few more, you'll see it's not that bad. Which doesn't in any way mitigate what's happened to you.

Come vent any time.

SilentMammoth Sat 09-Feb-13 20:12:28

Hello, I've lurked a bit but wondering if anyone had suggestions?

My first baby was born with a third degree tear, I had fenton procedure six months later but seven years on still not continent of wind and sometimes stool.

It's rubbish.

I am pregnant again and in what I suspect to be totally unrelated wayhgave found I'm getting really bad cramps and diarrhoea with bread/pasta. I'm trying to cut out but seems unpredictable. My question is , are there any medicines it's ok to take to stop this happening, as I would be utterly mortified.

Thank you.

Jacksmania Sat 09-Feb-13 20:18:27

Hello Silent, I'm sorry but have no immediate idea - will have a think. Will be back, we have DS's birthday party this afternoon.

SilentMammoth Sat 09-Feb-13 20:20:24

Thank you jack mania, I do appreciate that.

smellysocksandchickenpox Sat 09-Feb-13 20:34:47

I've no idea silentmammouth but hopefully someone will be along soon who does

I'll have a read back jacksmania, at first I was really panicing that I would miss the window for repairs, it took 3 midwife appointments before one explained that if repairs were to be done, they'd be done later once it had healed of sorts, which was a relief because I was really worried that letting it heal "wrong" would be a disaster long term, I just wish the first midwive I'd talked to about it had explained this!

They were also not reassuring about the fact that I was still loosing pieces of membrane when they discharged me, which again wouldn't be happening if I'd said no to the artificial breaking of waters and left him to be born in the bag (which is also apparently very good luck in some cultures!) But you're right, I couldn't be my own midwife - I hadn't really thought about it like that, we have it drummed into us at antenatal class etc to be empowered and to question decisions but in labour I think that sometimes really you just want to let go a bit and go with it and let someone else do the thinking!

There was no emergency that required the waters to be broken, it was just to speed things up. If we'd have left it it is quite likely that his heart rate would't have dipped, he'd have had no vontouse, he'd have had delayed cord claming (which we'd requested) and I wouldn't have needed to be cut. Typing all this while I have a healthy snoozing baby draped over my arm does make this all feel like a bit of a 1st world problem though! blush

smellysocksandchickenpox Sat 09-Feb-13 20:35:40

p.s. happy birthday jacksmania's DS grin

shine85 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:43:43

Hello again!

Let me begin by apologising. I am so sorry I didn't get to reply! How rude of me to come looking for help here and not replying soon after. Press accept my sincere apologies!

Anyway, I have read back as much as possible and it's always helpful to read other peoples experiences. I still have my scar and my surgery is due to take place this Friday, the 15th. I am simply terrified! Not so much of the surgery itself but mainly of the general anaesthetic. I'm not sure how I feel about being put to sleep and people taking knives on me. Plus, I very rarely vomit (I didn't even have a single episode of morning sickness!) and I hear GAs make you feel nauseous. I hate the feeling of throwing scares me! And I have so many questions that it's all boggled in my mind. I need some serious hand holding, ladies. please make me feel better sad

Jacksmania Mon 11-Feb-13 20:10:47

<offers hand to hold>

Nobody likes vomiting envy <-- sick face
But I've had four ops under GA and not once have I felt nauseous from the anaesthetic. For me it's the pain relief after that upsets my stomach so with my (please, god) last big op coming up, I'll need to speak with my surgeon to see what we can come up with. I'm allergic to codeine so any of the mid-range pain relief options are out for me. It's either ibuprofen & paracetamol, or narcotics envy.

Anyway, enough about me. And me telling you that GA isn't a big deal won't help you. It is scary - I feel like a veteran now but I still get a bit scared of being put under.

Don't worry about posting and not coming back for a few days. This isn't a super-fast moving thread. Sometimes it can take a bit of patience waiting for a reply, even smile

EauRouge Mon 11-Feb-13 20:14:32

I will hold your hand! I felt the exact same way a couple of weeks ago. Tomorrow it will be 2 weeks since my op.

The GA was the bit that scared me the most too, I'd never had one before. I was scared that I'd be sick or that I wouldn't wake up at all. I was even scared that the canula thing in my hand would really hurt blush But it was all so easy. The anaesthetist was really nice. When she started putting the stuff in my hand I felt a weird sensation in my chest a couple of seconds later and I said how odd it felt. And that was it! I don't even remember falling asleep.

I think they are very used to having nervous first-timers and I felt very well looked after.

I didn't feel sick at all when I came around, there was no headache and not much drowsiness. I would say I felt completely back to normal after about 30 mins (before that just a bit dopey). I stuck to the rules of not eating or drinking anything beforehand so that probably helped. I was given some local injections when I was still under GA to help with the pain but a couple of paracetomol did the job just fine after that wore off.

Everyone reassured me how easy the GA was before I went in and I didn't believe them- but they were so right grin

Hope that helps a bit. What other questions have you got?

smellysocksandchickenpox Mon 11-Feb-13 20:28:34

hi shine, I've had a GA for something else, it is scary before hand but it was actually a fairly pleasant sensation and works really quickly

Jacksmania Mon 11-Feb-13 23:03:12

The only thing I really intensely dislike about GA is that I find I "lose" the next few days. I mean that several weeks later I can barely remember the 48 hours following the op. Probably not a bad thing but it bugs me.

May I just say thanks thanks thanks to all of you on this thread. You're a great bunch. thanks

shine85 Tue 12-Feb-13 11:41:52

I feel lots better reading your views and thoughts, ladies. Thank you! I'm just being a weakling,I know. Eaurouge, thanks so much for your story, it really helped. And thanks to everyone else who has shared and helped too.
I did have other questions, but they were all silly questions like am I allowed lip balm because I have dry lips.
Jacksmania, when is your surgery? We'll all be there holding your hand. In fact, we'll all hold each others' hands smile
Will keep you all posted.

EauRouge Tue 12-Feb-13 11:47:14

I used a smear of vaseline on my lips before I left for the op, it had no ill effects on me although I don't know what the official recommendations are.

There aren't any silly questions if you've never done it before! Better to be prepared than waste time worrying over something that might be really simple to answer.

smellysocksandchickenpox Tue 12-Feb-13 12:26:06

do NOT put vaseline on your lips, it has parafin in it, if you get put on a high concentration of oxygen via face mask it is flamable and people have had burnt lips from it!

EauRouge Tue 12-Feb-13 12:28:14

There you go then, that's the official advice! I think mine had all gone by the time I had my op, it was a good couple of hours beforehand. Best be on the safe side though.

smellysocksandchickenpox Tue 12-Feb-13 12:32:44

(same would go for most oil based lip balms I think, a water based lotion would be okay)

EauRouge Tue 12-Feb-13 12:35:25

Bit worried that they never told me that before the op!

smellysocksandchickenpox Tue 12-Feb-13 12:43:56

well it is rare and hospitals used to stock vaseline for dry lips, I only know because there were burns at my local hospital so they're quite hot on it, the hospital I had my op in though didn't mention it

shine85 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:55:58

Wow that's pretty scary. Thanks for that!

Jacksmania Tue 12-Feb-13 15:15:42

Oh eek, I've never heard that about Vaseline!! shock

I don't know when my surgery will be. When I saw the consultant a month ago he said the surgical wait list was about a year, and that they would call me a month before. He did say if he could do it sooner, he would - but I don't know if that was just a platitude.

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