The day my pregnancy was confirmed, I was thrilled and relieved! Relieved because we had been trying to get pregnant for three years and it finally happened. By this time, however, we had already moved to a different country due to my husband’s work commitments. It had perks, though, like excellent medical facilities. But it also meant that in the absence of social support – namely my family – I’ll have to manage everything on my own. Soon, I was fretting a lot about managing myself during pregnancy and post-delivery. In a normal situation, I’d have been fine with any type of delivery. But in this scenario, I was hoping I’ll get to have a normal delivery. I had seen my older siblings struggle with bandaging their C-section areas. With no one around to do that for me, I thought a normal delivery would help me get on my feet sooner. Of course, it did. But I had no idea about the side effects it comes with until I got into it!
The Long Hours Of Labor…..
Fortunately for me, my pregnancy was complication-free. My doctor was very understanding and patient with all my concerns. It was my due date already and I was yet to experience labor pains. But when the amniotic fluid amount dropped, my doctor asked me to get admitted to the hospital the very next morning. That day, thankfully, my natural labor started minutes before I was induced. I was told I might deliver mostly in the next 6 hours. It was 7 am then. With each passing hour, as the intensity of the pain increased, my cervix refused to dilate beyond 6 cms. When it finally reached 9 and I delivered, it was 3 am (next day).
Painless Delivery Hurts Too….
When the pain had become unbearable, my doctor asked me if I’d like to go with epidural anesthesia to facilitate a painless delivery. My husband and I both agreed. The process of administering the anesthesia, however, was anything but pain-free. I was wheeled into a literally-freezing room in nothing but just my hospital gown. Each time the anesthesiologist tried to insert the tiny catheter in the space between my spine, I got jolts of stinging pain. But I was pinned down to the table by the nurses. So all I could do was bear it!
Then Came The Stitches….
From here on, the delivery did proceed without any major event. However, I was informed that a tiny cut had to be made in my lady bits to help the baby out. This is called an episiotomy. While stitching it back, the labor room doctor informed me that I had lost a lot of tissue during delivery (whatever that meant), making it difficult for her to stitch it back. But stitch back she did, after a struggle of 2 hours.
…And The Stretch
What I didn’t understand then (what the labor room doctor said), I understood later. While the stitches down there did heal in a few weeks, nothing was normal again! Soon after the area was completely healed, I realized that due to tissue loss, the doctor had to stitch together whatever ends she could get hold of. And now, even after 3 years, I struggle to poop. The slightest pressure to the area stretches the delicate skin, making it bleed at times. I’d seen a couple of doctors who gave me similar medications to treat the fungal infection, but this did not solve my problem.
My child is 4 years now and I cherish every moment with him. Having got tired of inserting pessaries and taking medications, I took a different approach to my problem. I overhauled my lifestyle – added more fruits and fiber to my diet, drank more water, and did a lot of stretching exercises, especially of the legs. This improved my condition a lot. I know that with these positive changes, one day I’ll be able to poop pain-free. My only grouse is – I wish someone had talked about this side-effect of a normal delivery earlier. While I’m on my way to solve my problem, I hope my experience helps some of you fellow mommies solve yours’ too. Stay healthy. Stay happy!