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Continued support for SPHINCTER INJURIES, FISTULAE and other CHILDBIRTH INJURIES - the Ragged Bits Thread

(953 Posts)
Jacksmama Mon 22-Jun-09 20:12:52

Hi all,
old thread here.

Cyee started this thread in May 2008 after her op, and it's been a haven of support for so many of us who have injuries to our bits from childbirth. Especially with respect to sphincter injuries, fistulae and incontinence after childbirth, there seems to be such a lack of support for women, and the entire subject seems to be taboo. It's as if most MD's think that "a certain amount of damage is to be expected after birth and you just have to live with it". Well, that is simply not the case - and this attitude is unacceptable.

There are all kinds of Ragged Bits stories on this thread. Be aware that THERE IS NO "TMI" HERE grin - this is the one place where you can spill it all. If you read through the old thread, which is nearly full, you'll see that someone, somewhere, has probably experienced it - whatever it is! So don't be embarrassed or ashamed... we'll tell our poo stories if you'll tell yours.

And also - there are success stories here. Several of us who have been through the medical mill have been successfully "repaired" and are "fully functional", so to speak wink or even expecting again. In those cases, please join us for Pervwatch - the "after action" report for anyone who is once again venturing into marital relations! grin

Welcome everyone. We're sorry you had to find us, but we're glad you're here.

Jacksmama Mon 22-Jun-09 20:19:11

<breaks out champagne to toast new thread>

Bolly, Veuve Clicquot or Taittinger, anyone?

["nothing but the best for the Raggy Dolls" emoticon]

Cyee Mon 22-Jun-09 20:57:20

Awwwww Jacksmama! Fantastic first post And the second is pretty darned good as well

I'm raising my glass of chilled orange <pah> to celebrate this new thread.

Who'd have though we'd make it this far?!

Sawyer64 Mon 22-Jun-09 22:00:44

Cheers Jacksmama and Cyee et

DMCT Mon 22-Jun-09 23:15:07

I'm on the lemonade today, had a bit too much over the weekend, but good intro Jacksmama, cheers.

RuinedandUpset as Cyee said I had my baby in England and had my op there too, I have since moved back to Ireland. I will try and help you if I can, if it is the Republic you are in, I dont know much about the system there (even though I am from there),I live in the North now.

I will e-mail you and try and help all I can.

jmontan27 Tue 23-Jun-09 18:43:32

Great intro - mine's a pint of Guinness, as bizarrely it's the only alcohol that doesn't make me feel sick since having DS1!grin

It's also great to be able to click on the thread and for it to load immediately - stopped me shouting at my computer for the time being!

ThingOne Tue 23-Jun-09 23:52:37

I'm on holiday and should be in bed and not mumsnetting. But I'll raise you a holiday snifter, hic, to the new thread.

kentmumtj Wed 24-Jun-09 11:24:26

hi all
gosh ive been busy reading up on everyone

cheers all i just gotta remeber to post on this one not the old one grin


still a no goer im afraid it er wont fit in as such if you get my drift so ive been back to my doc who is reffering me back to my surgeon as she believes ive been sown too tight and sadly it means another op which i really really really really dont want.

but dont want to never be able to have sex again either so unless surgeon comes up with another suggestion guess thats where i will be heading

im wishing i never had op if im honest.

Cyee Wed 24-Jun-09 12:47:55

Oh Kentmumj - sorry to hear you might need another op. Hopefully it won't be as bad as previous ops. But completely appreciate another op is absolutely not what you'd want Take care.

kentmumtj Wed 24-Jun-09 14:33:31

thanks cyee it is so not what i want im guessing it will be less painful and hoepfully a quicker recovery time but am just having a bit of a down day as all of us do because im fed up with it juts feeling so uncomfortable down there.

I decided to go back to the gym today and found sitting on the bike or any of the equipment which meant i had to spread my legs and sit astride any seat just so uncomfortable.

I have been looking up dilators but again i just dont fancy it ......... any of it.

enough moaning i guess im lucky ot have a dh that has the patience of a saint.

it is a beautiful day today and im going to meet a friend for lunch which will be nice

Cyee Wed 24-Jun-09 19:36:30

Hope you had a nice lunch. Yes, fingers crossed the procedure to loosen you up won't be too bad.

I'd steer clear of the dilators for now. My physio wasn't very pro any of the electronic devices for stretching/widening and/or toning pelvic floors, especially if not used under professional supervision.

Take care of yourself and big squeeze to your DH for being fab.

DMCT Wed 24-Jun-09 21:42:40

God, I have been given dilators, gynae consultant said some I have vaginismus...great i know. Prefer not to think about it. And I dont fancy it much either and havent really used them. But it never entered my head that physically it might be too small...they said anatomically everything is perfect/near perfect.....

Kentmumtj, did they def say that was the reason? Did they ever suggest vaginismus? Im sure they know what they are doing though, and will only do an op if necessary. It's all a friggin pain in the a*se

Your DH who is prob like my DH neglected,(hope you dont mind me sayig the latter)and are both probably FAB as Cyee said, bring on SAINTHOOD.

kentmumtj Thu 25-Jun-09 10:02:01

well thats just what my GP said i guess i will have to wait til my surgeon has a good look and probably probe..........grrr i do hate all of this.

im confused as to exactly what it can be
before my op i had no problems associated with sex so guess all was well pre op.
since op weve only attempted actual penetration 3 times and each time i was very relaxed and everything was fine right up until that moment ........then it all ended.
My dh couldnt actually enter me it just wouldnt go in blush sorry for being quite graffic

the last time was the worst as we tried for a while and it just couldnt and i was very sore for about 4/5 days after. the place where it is so sore is at the back where it meets my perinium its like toughing an electric socket it send pain shooting through me.

My dh and i have both tried to examine the area lol and it looks ok bit red. to me it feels as though it is pulled together quite tightly and im still uncomfortable down there.
i did wonder if it was a nreve or something like that as it is sore to touch.

guess i will have to wait until i see my consultant.

personally i reckon they mucked up right at the end of my op when stitching up after they had to change surgeons as the one stitching me up put the needle through his finger shock then the other surgeon finished stitching me and i think they may have added an extra stitch or something

so you havent heard good things about the dilators then????

i really dont fancy them if im honest

DMCT Thu 25-Jun-09 11:22:44

Well my consultant seemed to think the wonderful box of dilators would sort the prob out in time...I'm just not v good at even attempting to use them and the largest size one - scares the living daylights out of me - even to look at. I have tried using the small one (twice)and hey presto it went in, round of applause, but i just dont know. It says not to attempt sex until after I have used all of the sizes - which makes me feel sick..cause that last one ...

If it was a stitch or two that needed fixing, it would be a v small op and then you'd be as happy as larry. So you know it might not be that bad. But what were those surgeons up to 'putting the needle through his finger', crazy.

We also have attempted a couple of times, usually after a few btls of vino - but no joy, and i usually end up v sore for the next few days. I also find it v sore at the back near the perinium but not in the way you described, just awfully sore.

I'm thinking of joing the NUNS

DMCT Thu 25-Jun-09 11:24:48

RuinedAndUpset I havent heard from you, hope you are alright.

RuinedandUpset Fri 26-Jun-09 00:28:07

Hi DMCT, I'm reading all these messages and well it seems that what has happened to me is different. Your stories are awful but I'm not handling this well at all, it feels like 20 years since I had my forceps delivery and my womanhood was stolen. I'm so nervous about telling my story and if telling it will ever benefit anyone else or could even harm me more emotionally. I have used and am using lots of horrible devices and they don't work. None of these things are small and are all out of a horror film as well as being a waste of time, money and so disappointing. I am very much changed down below sizewise and I don't know if there is any physical contact during sex or is it nerve sensation damage but a telling detail is that tampons (extra large)don't work anymore. What I'm told by the majority of medical professionals is that I'm not that big (I don't believe them)and surgery is risky and probably won't help. Today I had a scare, I realised that I hadn't urinated in over 12 hours and thought I might end up in A&E. Anyway life is miserable, even though my children are beautiful if I had known what was ahead of me I wouldn't have had them. You hear all these answers from well meaning people "some people don't get them easy" "sex is not important and sure if he is satisfied isn't that enough" "at least the children are fine and healthy" "didn't you know that you are never the same again after childbirth" and the most common "the good weather will cheer you up" What can you say to that?

kentmumtj Fri 26-Jun-09 09:34:17

ruinedandupset i agree that some people make very stupid and insensitive comments they are usually made by people who have not experienced any problems following childbirth, i think it is disgraceful that the medical profession is not helping is it possible for you to be refered to another consultant or something like that, maybe a second opinion.

i know how you feel when you talk about hindsight and what you may or may not have done differently i too am feeling i wouldnt have had the operation i have had as i feel my problems are worse since the op. Sex within a relationship is important but if for what ever reason it cant happen it is hard as it is part of being together. it doesnt mean everything but is still a massive loss to not be able to.

you sound very low have you been to your GP to discuss not only the physical problems but how your feeling emotionally and psychologically?

DMCT nuns i was acyually thinking of sending dh to become a monk........come to think of it he probably thinks he is already living in a monestory (is that how its spelt) hmm

hope alls well with everyone else..gosh the news this morning about Michael Jackson think thats left a lot of people shocked.

well i have a day off work today and plan on lying on the sofa watching a film of some sort before tidying up (boring) then going out to meet a friend later in the day. i do like Fridays smile

DMCT Fri 26-Jun-09 11:40:01

Ruinedandupset, You know I had a fair few of those comments thrown my way aswell. And it has taken me a long time to get to feeling a bit more positive about myself and my body. For me (this is not the same for everyone), I feel the op has given me a little more respect back. After the birth of my son, i spent 2 hours in theatre being repaired (obviously not a good repair). When I got home and weeeks later when i eventually had the courage to loo with a mirror, i was horrified. My midwife said it doesnt look the same as before but things change, and to explain to my husband etc the way things were down below (she was actually very nice, but thank God I wasn't convinced i had to live with the way I was). I was nothing but distraught. I had incontinence aswell so i felt so far from normal and 'a woman', only people who have been there can understand.

When I had my apps with the anal rectal consultant things started to move forward, however noone was concerned with my other parts. I eventually got referred to a gynae consulant (with alot of pushing from my husband) , who said physio would help(hilarious)and said it wasn't that bad. I got another referral, I couldnt live like that. The nxt consultant could see the prob, to put it politely she said it was asymmetrical, in other words, an oval with a triangle on the side. I never attempted sex in that state, as i was too upset at that time. But now after the op (both surgeons did it at same time) it's back to normal, except i haven't gotton round to trying it out properly yet, but mentally and emotionally i feel a good bit better.

I dont know if this ramble helps at all, Im sure something can be done though. But I know how you feel when you say if you'd knew you wouldnt have done it. Neither would I, I love my son dearly, but if I had of known i would not have had him. I also will not be having any more, I have been advisewd not tto. I am grateful gfor my lil beautiful son, but my body has endured enough, and it will eventually get back to normal, like you will too. take care.

DMCT Fri 26-Jun-09 11:42:14

Kentmumtj, enjoy your day off!!! I have a lil helper up out of bed trying to type a tthe same time must go. smile

Cyee Fri 26-Jun-09 13:14:48

RuinedandUpset - I agree with Kentmumtj and think you should speak to your doc, not just about the injury but about how you're feeling emotionally. In England there's a Birth Trauma Association with a helpline and other support and it does sound like something like this might really help you.

People do make totally unhelpful comments and there's generally (esp in parts of Ireland) a view that you get your chin up and be thankful for your baby. Even 'normal' births can cause trauma and depression never mind a situation where your very womanhood and physical function is so compromised. I know talking about it is hideous (I avoided my doc for a time) but maybe worth a try? Have you had counselling or anything like that? I know it can be amazing for trauma recovery in situations like this. I know it can feel like you might fall apart if you start talking about it... so it can be hard to see talking as a 'good thing'.

Sorry if this isn't the help you're looking for - please stay on this thread if it's helpful.

Kentmumtj - Enjoy your day off - I'm jealous!

I work in the media so have lots of knackered people wandering around who've been in since 1am working on the Michael Jackson story!


Have a good weekend everyone.

RuinedandUpset Fri 26-Jun-09 16:43:26

Hi DMCT, the first part of your story is very similar to mine so far. There is a possibility of bowel surgery but no one yet will go near the other bits. I am getting poorer all the time seeing countless medical professionals. Everyone offers anti-Ds though as if that will fix the damage. Outside looks bad enough,(they say well healed) I've watched the external stitches unravel leaving me even bigger and the bruising take over 9 months to fade. The CBT counselling is ongoing and I've contacted every organisation I can find. Hi Kentmumtj, I wonder what op you had done? Was it a prolapse repair as I am told that it has a 30% failure rate and the recovery is at least 3 months of doing absolutely nothing.

Hulla Fri 26-Jun-09 17:48:00

Hello everyone, just checking back into say hi. I haven't had time to read this thread yet. DD needs a bath and I am trying to cook dinner. I'll catch up over the weekend and post again.

No updates from me, still waiting for my colorectal referral to come through.

I am going to see friends and their 2 week old baby tomorrow. As we're going out for lunch and not dinner, I am having a glass of wine. Do you know how long its been since I have had alcohol in RL and not virtual champagne (still very grateful!).

Ok, I'm off. Hope you're all ok!!

DMCT Fri 26-Jun-09 22:14:37

I just read my last thread, and i feel guilty for saying i wouldnt have had my baby, but now that ihave him i love him to bits. If i'd stuck to my guns and had a c-section initially - which i thought i wanted, cause i was a bit worries, I might have been alright...

Cyee have a good weekend, Im on the black stuff, have a preggers friend here with me tonight - no horror stories to her though.grin

Sawyer64 Fri 26-Jun-09 22:23:45

Hi RuinedandUpset, I've been on this thread,but a little way back.I think Kentmumtj had the same Op as me IIRC. I had a Rectocele which is a weakness in the wall which allows the womb to lie backwards,which then makes doing a Poo difficult as theres no muscle strength to push. The opposite to this,and more usual is a Cystocele which is where the womb lays forward onto the bladderwall,thus causing an urgency with weeing,and sometimes no control on trying to hold it.

I think we have all been told the statistics of failure before our ops,but unless they were over 50% IMO,it was worth the gamble.Most surgery is successful.

The 3 months is an ideal,after a week you can potter about,doing small light jobs,with plenty of rest in between.I was governed by my own discomfort levels,if I ached,I rested.

I went back to work after 2 weeks,as I work part time,and yes this was a little early,but I took things really easy. Everyones Recovery time is different,I can now say,although its took me closer to 12 weeks,that my Op has been a success.Most of the people posting on here,have eventually found the strength to have the surgery offered,and have found their injuries/problems improved.
I hope that you get the treatment you need,and although its so obviously hell for you at the moment,that you will eventually reach a place where you are healed and happy.

kentmumtj Sat 27-Jun-09 00:24:03

ruinedandupset as sawyer said i had a rectocele although ive also been told i may need the cystocele as well but for some reason they onyl did one op which doesnt make sense to me as they had me up on the table.

I was off work for 6 weeks as i had repeated infections and this delayed the initial healing. I found the op to be horrible if im honest, for me it was very very painful for at least 2 weeks post op. dont think i could sit down til about week 5 and even then it was sitting down very gently just like after having a baby. In fact siting down now is still uncomfortable for me and the area is still tender and sore and as i previously mentioned this may be because they have stitched me too tight.

i think my op has been a success on some parts but seems to have caused me problems that i didnt have before.

i hope it time i will look back and be glad i went for it but i am def not there yet.

Another thing which does worry me is i have to go and have a colposcopy and biopsy on 10th July and im sooo dreading it. What worrys me is how on earth are they going to 'opne me up' with a speculum when i cant even .......well you know what i cant do blush

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