- 4 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
Many of you sat on the edge of your seats wincing and gagging as you read my birth story a few months ago, which ended with me getting a 4th degree tear, aka “I just tore from my V to my A,” aka my daughter gave me a vaganus.
I had my final post-partum doctor visit yesterday, over three months after DD’s birth, and wanted to share a complete update on how my recovery turned out! Mostly because I know many of you were terrified by my birth story, and I want to tell you that it really really REALLY wasn’t as bad as it sounded!
For the first weeks after the delivery, I felt great. I was taking a whole cornucopia of prescription drugs, most of which were stool softeners. I was also on a Motrin regimen that I stuck to religiously to keep any swelling at bay. I was doing epsom salt butt baths twice daily, both to keep the region clean (since I wasn’t allowed to wipe or wash it in the shower) and to keep down swelling. I returned the donut pillow we’d bought unused, and I didn’t use the ice pack pads that they gave me at the hospital, because the Motrin and salt baths kept the swelling down enough to not need them. I also didn’t need to make use of the bottle of Percocet they sent me home with. Saving that for a rainy day
At two weeks post-partum, I had a doctors’ appointment with the OB who had stitched me up, and he declared my recovery to be going famously. He said the area looked like it was healing well, and he pushed gently against the tear from inside my vjj and said he didn’t feel any holes or anything. Since I hadn’t been pooping out my veej, I wasn’t surprised by this, but I was still glad to hear it! I was also given permission to put toilet paper within 10 feet of my ass, and to start washing normally in the shower.
At three and a half weeks post-partum, I went for a slow jog with the baby and felt fine. I mean, I was horribly out of shape, but my arse felt fine. So I got a little cocky and stopped taking my Motrin and stool softeners; I quit the salt baths (which were down to once a day at that point) and stopped putting the MediHoney ointment on the scar.
Shouldn’t have done that. Four and a half weeks post-partum was the only time I felt any pain. Too Much Information alert: I had a Bridesmaid or Best Man that was a little hard, and when I wiped, there was blood. I had flown a little too close to the sun in thinking my recovery was complete. So, back onto the whole regimen I went! Motrin, salt baths, and enough stool softeners to give a caveman diarrhea. Within a few days, I felt fine again.
At six weeks post-partum I went back to see that same OB, and he told me I could drop all parts of the recovery regimen, as the area had healed completely. He did a rectal exam, which was pretty unpleasant, but also ended with a clean bill of health. He said that the sphincter muscles had completely healed up and were plenty strong enough to keep me from experiencing any of the dreaded bowel incontinence. I will admit that in the first few weeks after the birth, farts would sometimes sneak out without permission, but that problem was almost gone by 6 weeks. I was even cleared to have sex
The doc also referred me to the Uro-GYN clinic, which was the appointment I had yesterday. That clinic has the tools to do an ultrasound inside my arsehole to make sure there aren’t any holes or weak spots. But, as it turned out, they didn’t even need to do that, as I wasn’t having any symptoms such as leaking stool or farting uncontrollably.
So. Where does that leave me? I definitely have a scar down there. I haven’t looked at it, but I can clearly feel it whenever I shower. My butthole is not shaped the same as it used to be — the bottom part of it bulges a little bit with scar tissue. So even though I feel the same as I always did, I will still constantly be reminded that this did, in fact, happen to me. Darling Husband and I cannot have sex in the position we call “lazy bang”, where you both lie on your sides and do it from behind. His penis pushes too hard against the scar tissue and it hurts me. Who knows how long it will be before this position rejoins our repertoire. It may never. And lord knows I won’t be a three-hole gal at any point in my life either!
I also have some tough decisions to make when it comes to my next pregnancy (because yes, I do plan on having more children!). Scar tissue tears more easily than intact flesh, so if I have a vaginal birth, I might tear again. And if I tear this badly again, I might not have the same luck in healing as I did this time. So I’d need to decide between an elective C-section, or rolling the dice on tearing my ass open a second time. I honestly don’t know which I’ll choose; luckily, I have a long time to think about it.
All in all, I’d say that this experience wasn’t that bad. IT WASN’T THAT BAD. I feel like I need to say that over and over again, because I know plenty of people use stories like mine as a reason not to have children at all, or to skip the labor part and go straight to C-section land. I have never had a C-section, but based on the recovery that I experienced, I think I would have had a MUCH harder time if they’d cut open my abdominal wall. I use that a lot. My asshole? Ehh. I can take it or leave it.
And meanwhile, just imagine how much I can embarrass my daughter when she gets older with a bunch of “pain in the ass” jokes! “You were a pain in my ass when you were born, and you’ve been a pain in my ass ever since.” Oh man. I can’t wait.