Disclaimer: This could be a TMI post to anyone reading this… so this is your time to keep scrolling if you don’t want to learn about my not so normal child birth healing. You’ve been forewarned. Continue at your own risk. But don’t worry though, I tried to make it funny.
When I went into labour with my daughter it lasted almost 3 days. I had sever back labor and the app we used to time my contractions kept telling us to to go the hospital, so we listened and we went to the hospital… 3 times actually… and finally on the third visit I was admitted! Mainly only due to me throwing up blood but I was admitted and we were happy about it! If you’re wondering why I was throwing up blood, in all honesty we still don’t know and no one seemed overly worried about it? I was always against getting morphine, except that was pre-labor-pains-me who really had no idea what was about to happen. I ended up getting two shots and I am not even sorry about it!
When we were finally admitted to labour and delivery my contractions were so painful but I wasn’t very dilated so a nurse had me straddle a toilet while my lower back was rubbed to help increase labor… well it took maybe 40 seconds of that before I tapped out and asked for an epidural. Since you need to deliver your child within so many hours after getting one, they also induced me with oxytocin. That night neither my husband nor I slept, but in the early morning when my epidural began to wear off my body started to aggressively shake every few minutes. Which made me happy to know I wasn’t feeling the full extent of them because wow did they seem like they could have been pretty painful! They topped up my epidural and hours later I was given the green light to start pushing.
Now for some reason pushing was never something I thought about beforehand. Why? I have no idea, but when the nurse told me I would be pulling my own legs back, bearing down and pushing for 10 seconds then resting for a minute I thought she was speaking another language and frankly off her rocker! That is not similar to the stories my friends has told me at all! Also little did I realize that my epidural had fully worn off and though I was confused why it was so damn painful, I followed through with her advise and 3 hours an 45 minutes later our beautiful daughter was born. During the crowning phase I am pretty sure anyone in labour around our room was terrified more due to me screaming at the top of my lungs. My daughter had pooped in the womb so she was rushed off quickly to be cleaned up but when they came to place her on my chest, that was when my very first inclination that my epidural had worn off and knowing so became a reality.
As they put a needle through my lady bits to sew me up… I screamed out loud and yelled I can feel that! So my daughter was there on my chest and I was legit wondering… wait why am I feeling this. How come I felt ALL of it…. wait… why are they sewing up so damn high???? I looked over at my mom and before even thinking said… mom I think they just sewed up my clit! I asked the doctor if I had torn badly (after they locally froze me down there) and the doctor said I had second degree tears but it wasn’t bad. I didn’t ask anymore questions mainly due to pure exhaustion and being so out of it, and basically replied… oh okay…?
They tell you that you shouldn’t have a bowel movement for a few days and they prescribe you a laxative. Well… pregnant me has the inside workings of an extremely regular person in that department and the next morning while still in the hospital… I had one. I don’t think I have ever been more terrified of a number 2 in my entire life! I was actually screaming from the bathroom at my husband in complete horror. I didn’t know where stitches were, everything was swollen and I was so sore and exhausted from delivery I had no strength. It honestly probably wasn’t my most attractive moment and I really do not wish that upon anyone!
A few days later I started to feel this heart beat of pain between my legs. It would get so bad when I would stand for too long that I would have to lay down and put my feet up to make it go away. People would be visiting and I would casually lay down and elevate my legs like this was normal and all post delivery mothers did this. This lasted for a few months but I just chalked it up to “healing” because what did I know? A week after delivering, you know that lovely water bottle they give you to flush out your who-ha… well it stopped feeling heavenly and began to burn like something fierce. When I would pee I would cry out in pain too because it burned and hurt so much. I would have to hold on to something and brace myself before I did my business. I thought maybe they tore my pee hole or something when they took the cathader out or I pushed too hard and damaged myself down there? The pain got so bad and it hurt so badly that I did what everyone tells you not to do… I got a mirror out and looked. Aside from feeling like my lady bits were horribly disfigured and broken I somehow managed to look around with shaky hands and it looked like parts that were supposed to be attached… weren’t. So I went to the emergency room after my daughter fell asleep that night.
When I got to the check-in desk I started to bawl my eyes out when asked what was wrong. I told them I had just delivered my daughter the week before and something was wrong down there and I was in so much pain. I told them I think parts aren’t attached where they are supposed to be and to please help me. They admitted me and finally the doctor came in… I cried to him and the nurse too, and told them what had been happening. Well… after the absolute most terrifying exam I have EVER experienced… he simply just looked at me and said… you tore up and it’s a sensitive area. You’re just going to have to wait it out. Oh… okay? Wait, what???? … you can tear up? Like that is even a thing????
Stunned I went home and told my husband. After, I went onto Google extensively trying to figure out why I had not even known this was a thing. Aside from scary pictures I really didn’t get far with my search. Weeks passed… my stitches were healed but I could hardly touch the area. I also had this new skin flap down there and that’s when I realized where I tore did not heal back together and the skin was just dangling freely in the wind. It would get snagged and pulled and was frankly gross to look at, embarrassing and painful. Finally my follow up exam was finally here, so I went to that appointment with more questions than anything.
While she examined me, she told me that I had torn twice upwards and that the stitches must of all came out soon after birth on the one near my urethra. I actually jolted up and was like… wait so had the ER doctor actually cleaned me up and looked closer down there… he could have stitched me up right then and there and this wouldn’t even be an issue? She said yup. Then she confirmed that it burned so much because I just had raw open skin that just healed all on it’s own and that’s why it took so long to heal and was still painful. Okay well… one question solved? Then we moved to the second tear just a little farther down… I guess I had tore my labia minora right in half and she suspected I tore a nerve and that’s what was causing me the heart beat pain. Blood would gather in my nether regions and put pressure on the torn nerve. She put some sort of chemical freezing thing on it, told me if I still had issues in 6 months to come back… and that was that.
Over the next 6 months I became super insecure about my new lip flap. Like was I supposed to just accept this new appendage and welcome it openly and just embrace it? Do I give it a name? Are we friends or foes? I began asking anyone I knew who given birth and not one of them had ever experienced this. Not one. Because why on earth would normal things happen to me? So I did what anyone would do in my situation… I anonymous posted in a Facebook moms group asking for help by anyone who had experienced something similar. Luckily I wasn’t the only one and a few women gave me helpful advise. Which basically was – go back and demand my lip get reattached. I’m not an aggressive person but I was ready to fight for lip flap justice!
I booked an appointment with my Obgyn and went there ready to battle for my lady bits. Thankfully he was actually very approving of me having surgery to fix it and it was also covered under health care! I got all worked up for nothing and the appointment left me feeling relieved. One day soonish I would be flap free! A lady lip win in my books! I had to wait a while to get a surgery day but it finally came and though I’ve never had surgery before… I was more relieved it was happening than anything. While at the hospital my doctor told me I was going to have labiaplasty and that it would be easier for healing with less complications to just cut off the skin. I told him he was free to do whatever he needed to do; we agreed and I was lights out.
When I woke up from my anesthesia, I guess I asked the nurse if my vagina was less flappy. She laughed and told me yes and apparently I was so thrilled about it I clapped my hands?? Healing took about 2 weeks and though it looks a bit different… like I am missing 3 quarters of my lady lip… I am more than happy with the results. My next pap smear will probably be interesting because all I think about when I see it myself is… one of these things is not like the other… and it makes me laugh. My doctor did a really good job too and aside from clearly missing most of a labia, you wouldn’t be the wiser that it was there in the first place. Or maybe you would since I can’t even remember what my pre-delivery symmetrical lips even looked like? Regardless I am one happy gal!
So ladies… my advise to you is… if you do tear at all- ask some questions about where and how many places. Don’t pull a me, and just smile and nod because if you do have complications healing – for your own personal sake – it’s better to know what’s going on down there than not. No one wants a detached lip flap… I sure as hell know I didn’t, but am now spreading vaginal awareness when ever needed.