Postpartum: Healing after a second degree tear

So you have had your little one and your labor and delivery was a little rougher than anticipated and you’re looking for more information on something that mom’s never tell you about…the less that glamorous recovery period after-birth.

First off I am not a doctor so this is just my experience after a very quick active phase of labor about 35 mins and baby E made her way into the world.  My birth was all natural which was semi-intentional.  It that, all natural was part of my birth plan – however when shit got real and the pain hit all at once…I was totally asking for drugs but wouldn’t give it to me because it was too late my baby was here.

Needless to say from the title of my posts…the quick labor did a number on me.  I had a second degree tear and something else the OB used a word that is unknown to me and I was too scared and tired to ask.  It took close to an hour to stitch me up and I would say I was in the 20+ stitches range.

I never thought that my birth would be quite like it was.  Second baby and I was still surprised.  Luckily, before birth I did prepare myself for some damage by buying the following items listed below (moms who were brave enough to share there stories swore by them).

Things purchased pre-baby and yes this really hurt on the inside to buy them but luckily everything was available on Amazon.

  1. A big pack of depends
  2. Tucks pads
  3. Mama’s bottom spray
  4. Dermaplast
  5. Maxi pads aka thunderpads
  6. Perineal ice packs
  7. Stool softners

The hospital should supply you with the following:

  1. A squirt bottle (However after I got home I ordered a 3-pack off Amazon because having to fill the bottle up constantly before I could pee while my baby was crying to be fed was no bueno)
  2. Perineal ice packs (take the ones from the hospital but if you have a significant tear you will want more – I honestly had to order them more than once as my recovery was rough
  3. Mesh panties
  4. Thunder pads
  5. A Sitz bath
  6. Demaplast (depends on hospital – mine gave it to me but I took a bottle to the hospital just in case)

Also note if they offer you something after delivery for pain take it!  They offered me 600mg ibuprofen and regular Tylenol that I took around the clock (I took it around the clock for at least 3 weeks).  Believe me you don’t want the pain catching up to you. Technically the hospital offered me Tylenol-3 but that’s not my scene so….

So the reason I’m writing this is that hospitals tend to not tell you a whole lot about what to expect when you get home or what is normal for recovery.  They said something like if you bleed more than quarter size clots or run a fever you should come in…great super helpful…NOT!

So here is what I experienced along with a lot of ladies on baby center…and yes everyone is different so if you heal faster that’s awesome.  I’m happy for you but really jealous to where we almost can’t be friends.

Recovery Timeline

At the hospital

At the hospital I thought I can get up and move around this is great.  I had a c-section with my first baby so just being able to get up and go to the bathroom fairly easily was a real win the first day.  I used my squirt bottle and remember thinking how can I pee out this much fluid.  Like really how can I still look this pregnant if I peed out so much fluid?  Did I really gain that much fat?

1-3 weeks

The first week being at home was interesting.  I was scared to poop as so many moms are.  However, since I took the stool softeners as advised by the hospital and moms out there everywhere it really wasn’t bad. What was bad was missing my dose of ibuprofen and realizing it mid-pee when it hurt real bad.  The first week is a blur between my nipples hurting/bleeding from breast feeding, my boobs being so engorged that I looked like Dolly, and wishing that I had a doughnut pillow to sit on.  Getting up and down from the sofa was super uncomfortable in my nether region.

At 2 weeks I thought…why am I STILL walking around like a sumo wrestler?  Why do steps suck?  Why does my toddler want me to pick him up…I just can’t my lady parts can’t handle it?  Why do my stitches feel exactly the same? Is any healing happening?  Why is sitting down and standing up so hard?  Am I bleeding too much?  I actually called the OB about this after reading about postpartum hemorrhaging.  I was told if it gets any worse or it doesn’t stop in the next couple of days come in/we will schedule a ultrasound.

3.5-8 weeks

At 3.5 weeks I felt better and my bleeding slowed down to where I could fall asleep and not fear I was going to wake up to me bleeding out somewhere.  Thank goodness!  Things finally started to feel better.  I didn’t have to walk like a sumo wrestler and some of my stitches felt like they had healed.  However, all of my stitches had not healed and I still needed to take ibuprofen for the pain.  Sitting was easier but occasionally I would feel like my stitches were being pulled.

4-5 weeks out I still felt the same as I did at 3.5 weeks.  At 6 weeks I felt sore sometimes when I walked but it wasn’t bad.

At my postpartum appointment (6 weeks) the OB said for the most part I had healed (no more stitches) but I still needed to wait 2 weeks to be back to normal.  Which translated to you can work out, take a bath, but you need to wait for hubby time.  I was also told that breastfeeding can make things take longer to heal because your body is focusing on making milk.

All in all if I had another baby I would still go the VBAC/no meds route.


Leave a Reply