Mary Shelley Had NO IDEA

July 29, 2008

Oh, hey! Guess what this is:


Nope. Not a bunny, not a reindeer, not ‘Glory Hole with Chewing Gum (Triple J Truck Stop- Yuma, AZ, 2003),’ not ‘The Wind In My Vagina,’ not a minimalist profile of a very sad donkey (all actual suggestions, please to go read and pee yourself.) No: these are my HIDEOUS NETHERS.

That is a picture of my lady parts, as sketched by my doctor. Although I suppose that we might say that it is less art than it is an artifact of doctorglyphics: it’s an attempt by my doctor to explain to me how it was that yes, things can get worse than a fourth-degree tear sustained in an emergency delivery! That fourth-degree tear can end up with a botched repair because the surgery was performed so hastily and under such trying and messy circumstances. (So hastily that one of the attending surgeons – wait for it – stitched his finger to my parts. That, my friends, is another gruesome story for another day.) Yep: botched repair. Sloppy stitchwork. Sewn up wrong. Sewn up so wrong. Ripped and slashed in birth and then stitched up roughly into some hideous, half-healed, scarred-up mess. Monster-nethers. Frankenvulva.

Click to enlarge, if you dare. MWAH-HA-HA-HA.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall anybody ever telling me, ever, that the vaginal delivery of a baby could result in varying degrees of genital mutilation. Which, you know, is probably not surprising, given that stories about ripped anal-sphincter muscles just wouldn’t do much for the sales of those glossy pregnancy magazines. And I can’t blame my mother for not telling me, nor the Canadian education system for neglecting to cover the subject of SEX ORGAN DAMAGE in middle school sex-ed. Because, yes, that would probably have scarred me for life, and my parents and my teachers and the architects of sex-education programming in the province of British Columbia knew it. So, it’s no wonder, then, that I had no way of knowing that after giving birth I would, indeed, end up scarred for life.

Of course – of course – it was all worth it, the miraculous gift of my beautiful son – my beautiful progeny – being more than ample recompense for the damage sustained to my birthing parts, which did, after all, just do the job that Nature intended them to do (not, however, particularly effectively. JUST SAYIN) yadda yadda blah. But still. My joy at the gift that is my son does not in any way mitigate my frustration with ongoing nether-discomfort, my distress at the possibility that I will go through the rest of my life with a Frankenvulva and my determination to get it fixed and put the damage behind me (figuratively. The damage is, after all, literally behind me, and, also, below me. But whatever. Details, schmetails.) So. Is he going to hear about this at his wedding? HELL YES.

(Not really. Not unless I’m drunk, that is. Which is a possibility, I suppose. A good one.)

(Anyone who had any illusions about me being some kind of gentle and gracious soul is really, really disappointed right now, I guessing.)

(There’s no way to close this kind of post elegantly, is there?)

(The end.)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share!
  • email
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon

    { 119 comments }

    Lisa b July 31, 2008 at 8:49 am

    The facking residents (TWO??) did this to your girly bits. Ok now I am like the others with head between my knees.
    I HATE residents. Yes I know people have to learn, and god knows many have learnt on me (hello epidural puncture) but at my frankenpussy reconstruction at least the very senior experienced doc was working WITH the resident.
    Though at one point she (the doc) made a comment that she had no idea what she was doing and I (stoopidly ) in my desanguinated state made some comment about how it wasn’t even the resident who was confused and how impressed I was with that.

    wow. vag drawings bring out the oversharer in me. like sam this is all I will think of when I think of you from now on.

    Aurelia July 31, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments, but speaking as someone who had the frankenpussy from hell after my first vaginal birth, it gets better.

    The first year was meh, but after a few years, I couldn’t see the scars and everything was feeling like new.

    It’s been twelve years and the only reason it isn’t completely perfect still was because I hit menopause, and without estrogen things slacked off again down there.

    Seriously, get some vaginal estrogen cream from the Doc and use it, and do kegels, sure, but also massage the cream into the scars.

    Even the anal scars will heal…I also highly recommend using some cortisone cream. And no it won’t interfere with breastfeeding, honestly.

    Yeah TMI from me, sorry, but I felt like you needed to hear that it really isn’t permanent.

    strawberriesandwhine July 31, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I had to have a c-section, after having plaaned the whole natural, birthing centre thing. My two friends from my antenatal class who did actually manage the vaginal non-medicated thing comforted me with tales of their tears. One of them tore forwards, ie not towards her anus, but towards her urethra. Ouch. The other’s daughter had her hand up by her face, and so she tore quite substatially. That was 17 weeks ago,and both times she has attempted to have sex since then, it has torn again… ouch!!

    kittenpie July 31, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    HBM – my friend, who also had a vaginal birth with large amounts of damage and so much blood loss she was millilitres away from a transfusion, is also thinking that she might look into scheduling a C for the second. Can’t say as I blame either of you! Me, I’m going that route, too, after a C with pumpkinpie.

    clueless but hopeful mama July 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Oh my. I so feel you on this one. After Zoe was born I was SO TERRIFIED to look at my third-degree tear undercarriage. When I finally did (two weeks post birth), I cried. I could laugh or cough for the first month without my whole flapping undercarriage laughing with me. It sucked. HARD.

    I did have some amazing PT. The very nice lady used her finger to rid me of scar tissue (NOT PLEASANT but important to keep sex from being NOT PLEASANT forever.) and then some biofeedback to get my muscles up and running again. It took awhile but things are more ship shape these days.

    Good luck and for ‘gina’s sake, please keep posting on this. The world needs to know!

    iheartchocolate July 31, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I KNEW IT! I didn’t know it was yours, or about the booboos, but I knew it looked like an episiotomy.
    Why does that make me so proud?

    Terribly sorry about all that, I cannot imagine. I’ve had the stitches, but not the new accessories. I hope it heals quickly and you are back in business soon.

    This was a hilarious post, in spite of the sensitive issues involved. Just had to say that.

    Indy July 31, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    No one told me either. Luckily, I had to had a c-section. Went for one for #2 since I had heard from friends how well they recovered. Good for you for putting it out there.

    Avonlea August 1, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Ouch!! Yeah the rush is because of the blood loss potential. Right after the forceps assist birth of my son, my OB said, “Oh, shit!” Then, she reassured me while hurriedly sewing me up before I completely bled out. I lost about half my blood in a minute or so. Mine was ‘only’ a second degree tear, but still could have had dire consequences without quick sewing.

    Lisa b August 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Just ‘cuz I like the docs to keep their stories straight: I had a 4th degree tear, lost two litres of blood and it took twenty minutes to a half hour to sew my bits back together. Something I apparently should be grateful for and up to this post was not.
    thanks hbm.

    do I win the commenter most obsessed with vaginal repairs award?

    Heather August 2, 2008 at 12:31 am

    I’m de-lurking to commiserate. Frankenvulva sounds eerily familiar because I had something very similar happen with the birth of my first child.
    So, I found the post about your son’s birth. It brought back so many visceral memories from my daughter’s birth, I started feeling faint. She was born within a similar time frame – my OB called it “precipitous labor” or somesuch euphemism.
    I saw stars. While reading your post. And my daughter turns 10 soon.

    Zip n Tizzy August 2, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Oh ouch!
    I thought having a v-bac with my second would be better than a c-section. My second came flying out and it took the midwife an hour to sew me back together. I couldn’t walk for a week, but I could hold my toddler.
    I was fortunate. Part of why it took an hour was because she was very fastidious, even got another doctor to assist, and both being women, they wanted to make sure they did it right. (They knew what they were dealing with.)
    I’m really sorry for what you’re going through. Mine was all internal, so pretty straight forward. I can’t imagine the diagram made you feel any better about the situation.

    gwendomama August 2, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    i am so sorry to have missed out on the smarties. you canadians have the best candy EVAH.

    impressive, very.

    my friend had a similar situation. she was in the hospital, but they couldn’t stop her baby’s fist from making an entrance through her ass hole.

    yes, really.

    Mitzi Green August 3, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    jesus tap-dancing christ.

    that’s really all i can say as i contemplate the horror.

    Lanie August 7, 2008 at 2:25 am

    We must have had the same doctor. Fourth degree hack/tear, botched sewing, wicked scar, leading to months without sex and desperate fear of pooping. Yeah…sounds like the same M.O.

    MO Mom-bo August 13, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    My vajayjay would send yours flowers or something, but she’s too busy trying to crawl back up into herself. She’s having great difficulty, seeing as how my legs are crossed. very. tightly….

    Hugs to you and your girl junk! Feel better soon!

    Kim

    happypete January 8, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    I’m worried you may have been hacked. When I read this blog, I get a basic authentication request for my twitter account, unsolicited.

    Heidi M. April 6, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    I had my 6 week postpartum visit today (2nd baby) and had open wounds cauterized and felt some sort of odd comfort in reading your experience with this. You’re like my Franken-vaj sistah. I’m seriously re-thinking baby #3. Yikes. Thanks for the awesome and honest blog post. Made my night.

    wordnerd May 6, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about you and this story when I was dealing with this (wow, how lucky for us to be part of the same club).

    Had the left side of my labia tear off from clitoral area during emergency forcep delivery (about 3 inches)….um..ok…and then (get this, seriously)…they didn’t notice…and I went home with baby….and naturally it got infected…and then I had to find out in the ER….lovely.

    I healed (sortof) but it took MONTHS….and i mean MONTHS. My babe is now 15 months old and I am JUST beginning to stomach the idea of another pregnancy (beginning!).

    PS – I saw the pictures of Home Depot love today….*le sigh*!

    Al_Pal May 21, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Jebus!
    That’s some birth control, alright. ;p
    ;*(
    Hope your bits are feeling much better now!

    Comments on this entry are closed.

    Previous post:

    Next post: