Vaginal Tears & Postpartum Blessings
CAUTION – LONG POST ABOUT TOPICS PEOPLE PROBABLY DON’T WANT TO READ ABOUT. JUST PUTTING IT OUT THERE.
I can finally urinate like a normal person again! Too much? Oh well. It’s pretty much of the highlight of my day now considering I was purposely avoiding bathrooms for a week sooooooo yeah. I’m happy about it!
BUT I thought I’d share my adventures in the Postpartum blessings world since I was able to experience just a little bit of it.
BUT FIRST, WHO WANTS TO TALK ABOUT VAGINAL TEARS?!
Ok WHAT EXACTLY IS A VAGINAL TEAR?
A spontaneous (doctor didn’t make a the cut) laceration that occurs between the vagina & rectum while pushing your bundle of joy out. The vagina has to stretch enough to allow said bundle to come through. Hopefully it’ll stretch enough but tears are pretty often.
Sounds awesome. WHAT ARE THE ODDS IT’LL HAPPEN TO ME?
Fairly high First time Mommas (hello!) already have a 95% chance since the tissue is less flexible. Other factors are being overweight, having a fast birth, the position of the baby (if they’re facing up, they’ll place more pressure on the bottom or your vagina) or having a vacuum assisted delivery. GOOD NEWS? After your first delivery, your tissue is more flexible so the chances decrease!
Lovely. WHAT TYPES OF TEARS ARE THERE?
First-degree: Just in the lining of the vagina. No muscle but may involve some stitches (this was mine)
Second-degree: Most frequent tear. Vaginal lining & tissue tears. Requires more stitches
Third-degree: Deeper laceration into the muscles that make up your anal sphincter (haha I’m childish). Your Dr will have to sew each layer to support it
Fourth-degree: Equivalent to first through third degrees plus tearing through the rectal lining (because that sounds awesome). Least common tear, however third & fourth ARE most common if baby’s shoulder get stuck or a vacuum is used.
Umm HOW DO I RECOVER FROM THAT!?
-First & Second Degree
Alright so I can speak personally about recovery, at least from a first-degree tear. According to articles, discomfort is expected for the first 2 degrees – especially when sitting straight up & letting gravity do it’s job by applying pressure when sitting. Peeing, pooping, sneezing, laughing – all of that will be SO uncomfortable. Ways to get through the days will be listed further below..However by the second week, the laceration should be healed however the tissues will still be fragile (continue to hold off on the sexy time for a few weeks too unless you want to relive it all over again).
-Third & Fourth Degree
This healing will obviously take longer than a couple weeks – those weeks will pretty much be pain filled. Peeing, pooping, sneezing, even sex will be uncomfortable lasting up to several months! This is because these kinds of severe tears cause pelvic floor dysfunction & will delay all of those ‘normal’ functions. Pretty much – any & everything having to deal with South of your Border is going to be weird & just really make your life Hell. Don’t hold back when telling your Dr!
Alrighty IS IT POSSIBLE TO AVOID OR DECREASE THE SEVERITY OF THE TEAR?
Thank goodness, yes!
- Try to get in a position that puts less pressure on your vaginal floor – for example: upright squatting, hands & knees, side-lying & forward leaning positions have great reviews.
- Take the lead when pushing. Momma’s will do just enough to feel the baby move & allow the time for her vagina to stretch. Otherwise, being told to push while someone counts, there’s additional pressure & stress. Makes sense & will DEFINITELY be telling my Doula I push on MY count
- Placing a warm towel under you when pushing
- 4-6 weeks before your due date, start practicing 10-15 minute vaginal massages daily. SAY WHAT!? Ok, before you start to think this is weird, think about it. Massaging with a water based lubricant is thought to often make the tissue more flexible, like a muscle! Makes sense, right!?
Good to know! I’ve heard about episiotomies. SHOULD I ASK FOR ONE AHEAD OF TIME?
GIRL NOOOOO! First off, an episiotomy is an incision made by your Dr inside of the vagina to the rectum to widen the opening. This also may worsen the healing process & sometimes isn’t even necessary! If it happens on it’s own, let it. Don’t jump that gun.
Padsicles, Sitz Baths & numbing sprays, oh my! Let’s do this!
So I honestly had NO IDEA what a padsicle was. The name itself is ridiculous but these are HEEEEAVEEEEEN! Shout-out to KA for giving me her ‘recipe’ (they’re all pretty much the same but she she’s the one that introduced me to these blessing so she gets the credit! ) Tutorial below:
Paper Towels: Something to wipe your hands off with after rubbing the Aloe Vera on the pad.
Pads: Unless you want to worry about the pieces of paper being frozen to the pad after folding them then having to worry about getting your hands sticky again when putting the pad on, get pads without wings. LARGE AS POSSIBLE – it’ll feel like a diaper but girl, you won’t be mad at it.
Aloe Vera: Acts like a gentle ice cube & soothes the burning sensation
Witch Hazel: Helps with inflammation
Lavender: Calming scent to reduce anxiety, emotional stress & helps additionally with healing burns & wounds
Foil: To wrap up your finished pads & contain them together in the freeze
- Open a few pads partially, not removing them from the plastic. I opened 6 at a time so I didn’t have to clean off my hands after each pad.
- Liberally apply Aloe Vera all over inside & spread front to back with fingers. Not just in the middle – FRONT to BACK!
- One quick line of Witch Hazel down the middle
- Few drops of Lavender throughout the pad
- Once all open pads have Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel & Lavender applied, close back up like you opened it, stack 2 on top of each other & wrap in foil
- Place in freezer until you want to use – thaw for a couple minutes before using or you’ll give yourself a brainfreeze. Not kidding
- Change as often as you want
SITZ BATH –
Matt & I were told about this blessing of a Sitz Bath when leaving the hospital. I had no idea what they were – I envisioned a bedpan, especially when they said I could buy one at CVS. My expectations weren’t far off. Essentially, it’s a cheap bidet – it’s a plastic bowl that sits in your toilet. After filling 3/4 with warm water (so crucial it’s warm), you attach the IV looking bag to either the front or back, whichever you choose, also fill with warm water & spray your lady bits while urinating.
It’s pretty much the best thing in the world. It got to the point where when I had to leave the house & go to work, I brought the bag with me because it helped SO much. I personally stopped using the Bath itself & just used the bag.
I learned my ‘method’ over trails haha. First pull pants down to ankles, pull shirt up so I could put the tube from the bag down the middle of my chest (yes, I know I looked stupid. Matt walked in on me once & started laughing LOL). From there, fill the bottom of the bag with warm water (you’ll figure out what your prefered temp is) & hold the bag low so you don’t spray water on yourself just standing at the sink (also learned that one). Sit your booty on the toilet, hold the tube to your liking & raise the bag. Little version of Heaven – you’re welcome. *Also doing this in the middle of the night was hilarious*
I was later told about buying a peri bottle because it’s obviously easier to transport but essentially does the same things. FYI the warm water dilutes & relaxes your bits making the discomfort a LITTLE more manageable. Also hopping in the shower every time you want to pee works awesome too!
NUMBING SPRAY / DERMOPLAST –
So this was probably the most uncomfortable one for me (surprisingly the Sitz Bath was my favorite LOL). This one was a self-inflicting wound kind of deal. I used Dermoplast in the red can – hospital strength. I sprayed this sucker right on my laceration until I knew I was hitting it (hence the self-inflicting part). EVERY TIME I USED THIS, I ended up jumping around the bathroom trying to escape the pain. HOWEVER, this stuff absolutely works.
My order of products every time I peed was Sitz Bath, Dermoplast then Padsicle. Can you imagine doing these EVERY TIME!? I can -_-
It’s been almost 2 weeks since our accident & I’m thankfully healed! Won’t be working out or having sex until next week because I don’t want to do this again until I HAVE to. However I am glad I got to find my bearings & systems now rather than with a newborn – silver lining!