June 2017 Moms

Tearing vs. CSection

STM's! Which is worse a tear or a CS? I had a CS with my first and had a really easy recovery. I ran a 5k at 5wks PP. I am terrified of the thought of tearing, although I'm sure it's more of the unknown. Has anyone had both experiences and preferred one over the other? 
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Re: Tearing vs. CSection

  • I've never had a c section so I cannot judge. But your recovery from it makes me a little less terrified to have one! I had a couple minor tears with my first and was feeling good in about a week or two. 
  • I had 2nd degree tearing. It healed excellently and well and I was out doing normal light exercise by 2 weeks PP. It wasn't that big of a deal. I can't imagine that recovering from surgery would compare to tearing...but having never had a CS I guess I don't know!
    JessyKVJAGinMI
  • Tearing wasn't a big deal for me. I had 4rth degree with my second and i didn't feel it happening and had no pain afterwards. 
  • It would greatly depend on the level of tear we're talking about. Most tears aren't that big of a deal or that painful, but there are always exceptions. I'm assuming you're thinking VBAC? If so, the reasoning behind why you had the c-section to begin with would probably be a big factor for me if I were making the call. If the baby was breech, etc. would be a lot different than if the baby got stuck. 
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  • Well, I had a 4th degree internal cervical tear 3rd degree vaginal wall tear and a 4th degree external tear. I ended up needing to go back to the OR for further stitching. Let's just say I wasn't fully healed for a good 8 weeks. 

    I will be having a c-section this time and I can't imagine that it will be worse then pain I experienced with DD.
  • @itsfine that sounds incredibly painful! 
  • itsfine said:
    Well, I had a 4th degree internal cervical tear 3rd degree vaginal wall tear and a 4th degree external tear. I ended up needing to go back to the OR for further stitching. Let's just say I wasn't fully healed for a good 8 weeks. 

    I will be having a c-section this time and I can't imagine that it will be worse then pain I experienced with DD.
    This is what I'm terrified of.
  • In the @itsfine boat here, sadly - stitches popped ~5 days postpartum and I needed to be restitched (WAY less comfortable when you don't have an epidural) twice and wasn't cleared for exercise until 12 weeks later. It really can go either way!
    Me 37, DH 40
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  • c1tym0m22 said:
    In the @itsfine boat here, sadly - stitches popped ~5 days postpartum and I needed to be restitched (WAY less comfortable when you don't have an epidural) twice and wasn't cleared for exercise until 12 weeks later. It really can go either way!
    I can attest to the fact that stitches sans epidural is not REMOTELY comfortable. By far the most painful part of DS' birth. 
    c1tym0m22mommyof3littles
  • itsfine said:
    Well, I had a 4th degree internal cervical tear 3rd degree vaginal wall tear and a 4th degree external tear. I ended up needing to go back to the OR for further stitching. Let's just say I wasn't fully healed for a good 8 weeks. 

    I will be having a c-section this time and I can't imagine that it will be worse then pain I experienced with DD.
    This was my BFFs experience, she had a 4th degree tear, ended up needing reconstructive surgery with DS, due to this she had a c/s the second time and said that recovery was a breeze. However, she did say that if she had experienced minimal tearing, then the vaginal recovery would win hands down.

    I haven't had a c/s, so I can draw zero comparisons.
  • DewyKDewyK member
    100 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    I had a 3rd degree tear/episiotomy with #1, a 2nd degree tear with #2, and no tearing at all with #3. My recoveries got easier each time.

    I don't have any experience with a c/s though...
    Stankonia2014
  • itsfine said:
    Well, I had a 4th degree internal cervical tear 3rd degree vaginal wall tear and a 4th degree external tear. I ended up needing to go back to the OR for further stitching. Let's just say I wasn't fully healed for a good 8 weeks. 

    I will be having a c-section this time and I can't imagine that it will be worse then pain I experienced with DD.
    This was my BFFs experience, she had a 4th degree tear, ended up needing reconstructive surgery with DS, due to this she had a c/s the second time and said that recovery was a breeze. However, she did say that if she had experienced minimal tearing, then the vaginal recovery would win hands down.

    I haven't had a c/s, so I can draw zero comparisons.
    Yep. I had reconstructive surgery too. My bottom is where near the same that it once was. RIP to my poor vagini.  My OB refuses to let me have a vaginal birth again. She said I could try it but I will end up with far worse damage. 
    Stankonia2014
  • I agree that it depends on the level of tearing. I tore with dd, but I only needed one stitch. I would much rather have that than a c section. But if I tore really badly because baby got stuck and I needed forceps or something, I would probably choose a c-section. Pushing slowly helps a lot with not tearing though. Or so I've read. Agree with @ladylolly89 about stitches pain though. I'm very thankful I only needed one, because there was no warning and that one stitch hurt!! Lol as for recovery though, I felt pretty good really quick. Even though I bled for 3 months, that was due to fibroids though. 
  • I think this is a very personal decision and everyone's experience will be so different you can't really make an educated decision based on horror or success stories of others.  Not saying you are, I like hearing experiences too so this thread is very interesting to me as wel!! I'm just saying if you are trying to decide vbac vs c section there are a lot of other factors I would take in account other than a tear vs incision pain.  Does that make sense? I would definitely talk to your doctor about all the risks and/or benefits of one type of birth or the other in your specific situation.  

    For me, I had a c section with my first due to breech position.  It wasn't bad but it was not an enjoyable experience.  I hated the feeling of the spinal, I was totally out of it the first 24 hours until I was able to get up and move.  Nursing was hard and it took 4 days for my milk to come in (which I don't blame on the c section but it's hard to say).  Recovery was difficult for me.  It definitely took the full 8 weeks to feel normal.  It was torture standing and sitting and getting up to nurse.  Sleeping sucked too.  

    I Opted to do a vbac with my second and my doctor was very supportive.  Knowing I wanted more kids also made me lean toward vbac.  I had a pain med free vaginal birth.  The on call doctor gave me an episiotomy without consent but I actually didn't feel it at all. Not sure how much I would have torn without it.  I had 7 stitches and yes getting stitched up without pain meds sucked but I'd take it any day over the feeling of a spinal and c section.  I was up walking immediately and felt amazing.  Other than a tiny bit of burning and soreness I felt great.  It was like night and day different.  All of my recovery was just better.  I can't imagine taking care of a toddler and newborn with a c section recovery.  

    I'm really excited to vbac again.  

    Of course this is just my personal experience.  If I had torn like @itsfine then I would probably have a different point of you.  That sounds painful and I hate that for you!! 

    I think in the majority of cases a tear is minor vs a csection which is a pretty major surgery.  
    devow27
  • @JessyKV All great points. I will say that despite my less-than-awesome experience, I'm still hoping to deliver vaginally this time around. (And also the odds are on my side for no popped stitches - my ob said it was the 2nd time in 20 years it had happened to one of his patients.)
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  • @itsfine, liking out of commiseration for you vag.
    itsfinemezalune
  • mrtmrt member
    Long-Lasting Membership 500 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    Never had a C-section, and I had a pretty painful recovery from an episiotomy with my first (although nothing like @itsfine )but I'd still definitely opt for that over surgery. Although that's the unknown for me. I told my husband to be prepared for me to completely lose it if they tell me I need a C-section.
    JAGinMI
  • I never had a c-section. I had some tearing  (don't know the degree) and I had to get 3-4 stitches. I healed really quickly BUT the scar tissue has effected our sex life. That area doesn't want to stretch, so DH and I have to do a little more prep work for my downstairs to be ready. Luckily, hubby is great about this but no more quickies. I find it annoying sometimes.

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  • I had a 3rd degree almost 4th degree tear with my son most likely due to his vacuum assisted birth and like others have said it took about 8 weeks to be mostly healed.  My daughter I tore as well but it was probably a 2nd degree and not near as bad as his.  I have not had a c section so I have no comparison.  
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  • 2nd degree tear and one stitch. My hemorrhoids were more uncomfortable than the tear. Easy recovery. This is such a hard thing to predict/guess/weigh in on because results are so variable. 

    @itsfine, ouch ouch ouch. How big was baby? 
  • 2nd degree tear and one stitch. My hemorrhoids were more uncomfortable than the tear. Easy recovery. This is such a hard thing to predict/guess/weigh in on because results are so variable. 

    @itsfine, ouch ouch ouch. How big was baby? 
    She was 7lb 7oz. I stopped dilating at 9.5. She stopped breathing and we needed to get her out fast. Lots of painful pushing and the use of forceps. 
  • @kahlan82, you're the first person I've heard mention the sex life issue. I swear I can feel my scar/scar tissue during sex, but I didn't know this was a real thing. I had 2nd degree tearing and stitches, but I had an epidural so no pain and no other recovery issues.
    JessicaHerron13
  • @kahlan82, you're the first person I've heard mention the sex life issue. I swear I can feel my scar/scar tissue during sex, but I didn't know this was a real thing. I had 2nd degree tearing and stitches, but I had an epidural so no pain and no other recovery issues.
    My OB-GYN said it should get better over time but that was three years ago. It's just nonstretchy and feels like it gets raw. I am so not a fan. I am interested (well worried) that tearing again is going to make it worse.

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    mamaelle27JessicaHerron13
  • kahlan82 said:
    @kahlan82, you're the first person I've heard mention the sex life issue. I swear I can feel my scar/scar tissue during sex, but I didn't know this was a real thing. I had 2nd degree tearing and stitches, but I had an epidural so no pain and no other recovery issues.
    My OB-GYN said it should get better over time but that was three years ago. It's just nonstretchy and feels like it gets raw. I am so not a fan. I am interested (well worried) that tearing again is going to make it worse.
    I have this too. It was way bad the first year. Now it's just kind of annoying sometimes. I have noticed it's almost normal again, just in time to get messed up again. Dd is almost 4. 
    mamaelle27
  • I had a vacuum and foreceps assisted birth that was med free with my first and had 4th degree tears. For me, it was hellish. The stitching from that delivery took longer than stitching me up after my second who was a c-section.  I was sore after the c-section, but not as afraid to use the bathroom as I was with the tearing. I have permanent bladder control issues from it. I probably should look into correcting that.
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  • LAMCH1980  I had a lot of tearing with my first and needed 74 stitches. My doctor keeps saying it was a fluke and wants me to do a vaginal birth again, but I am terrified because I know I have a lot of internal raised scar tissue from that delivery. If you don't mind, did your OB suggest the c-section, did it just happen due to circumstances, or did you ask due to your first experience? I am not sure if I should push more for a c-section or if I am just being a Nervous Nelly

    neludelu
  • delujm0delujm0 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited February 9
    I think just generally a CS is riskier, being major surgery and all.  Unless I had good reason to get one (breech position, physical limitations, etc) I'd always do vaginal.  But I had an easy time with DD...she was sunny side up so I had to push for 2.5 hours, but I only had a small tear (dr said between first and second degree).  Thankfully no instruments were necessary to get her out.  The stitches were annoying for a few days, and that first poop was no joke, but I felt completely normal by 2 weeks.  The pain from starting breastfeeding was way worse for me than recovery from vaginal birth.  Sex was painful for a while but i think it was mostly dryness due to breastfeeding hormones than anything...once my cycles returned it went back to normal.

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  • LAMCH1980  I had a lot of tearing with my first and needed 74 stitches. My doctor keeps saying it was a fluke and wants me to do a vaginal birth again, but I am terrified because I know I have a lot of internal raised scar tissue from that delivery. If you don't mind, did your OB suggest the c-section, did it just happen due to circumstances, or did you ask due to your first experience? I am not sure if I should push more for a c-section or if I am just being a Nervous Nelly
    I had to be induced and I failed to progress beyond 8cm. I also think that the doc was just tired of waiting. 
  • Like many pp said, I think it depends on the birth.  I had a c-section for a breech baby for my DD, and I pretty much had the easiest recovery.  I tried to do too much the first couple of weeks and had to slow down a bit, but that was the only downside I remember.  However, I know a couple of ladies who had waaaay worse c-sections and swore never again!  I am trying for VBAC this time around and I am hoping for an easy birth, but I know there could be tearing and it does scare me a bit.  I am not worried about having another scheduled c-section, and if she doesn't come by 40 weeks that is what we'll do.
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  • neludelu said:
    itsfine said:
    Well, I had a 4th degree internal cervical tear 3rd degree vaginal wall tear and a 4th degree external tear. I ended up needing to go back to the OR for further stitching. Let's just say I wasn't fully healed for a good 8 weeks. 

    I will be having a c-section this time and I can't imagine that it will be worse then pain I experienced with DD.
    This is what I'm terrified of.
    This is not the norm. I know A LOT of women who have given birth and I have never heard a story like this. Not saying it will not happen, of course, but it's like saying you aren't going to fly anymore because the plane might crash (well, maybe more common than that, but you get the point).

    I have had an episiotomy both times and they are not pleasant but I really cannot imagine that they are anything compared to my stomach being cut wide open and stitched back together! If you have a typical tear or a typical episiotomy, your recovery should not be too bad. You have to ignore the horror stories and go into this assuming you will be typical! Plus, there are lots of C/S horror stories, too, so I agree with you that you are just afraid of the unknown.


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    JessyKVlovesclimbing
  • I have a nosy question! For those of you that had traumatic first time vaginal births or horrific tears and are now considering c section instead, are you with the same doctor? Do you feel like had different or no interventions happened things would have happened differently? 
    neludelu
  • LAMCH1980LAMCH1980 member
    250 Answers Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments
    edited February 9
    LAMCH1980  I had a lot of tearing with my first and needed 74 stitches. My doctor keeps saying it was a fluke and wants me to do a vaginal birth again, but I am terrified because I know I have a lot of internal raised scar tissue from that delivery. If you don't mind, did your OB suggest the c-section, did it just happen due to circumstances, or did you ask due to your first experience? I am not sure if I should push more for a c-section or if I am just being a Nervous Nelly
    I had my first almost 17 years ago through a brand new doctor that I had found through planned parenthood. She is a very nice person, but my baby was one of the first she delivered on her own. Some choices were made that should have been different due to lack of doctor experience and also my own lack of knowledge about what could happen. We didn't have the internet at home or smart phones then! You couldn't research for days about what you would request in certain situations. It was a different world. I would have asked for a c-section after dd was stuck, but at the time it sounded so much worse. 

    It was a bad delivery, but as others say, this isn't the norm. There's more that happened, but I'm not here to scare people.  It's a new day in age... so much more is done for mother's comfort and mother and baby safety. 

    My new OB looked at the records and suggested the c-section as DS was measuring nearly 9 lbs. I have the frame of a 5' gymnast and the babies in our family are never less than 8lbs ...unfortunately it's not good for vaginal delivery and for me, this was a much more controlled, and safer way to go. 
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  • I agree with at @JAGinMI, my friend's birth was not the norm, and it was a series of missteps, ineffective pushing, shoulder dystocia, baby in distress, large baby (10+ lbs).  

    I had a 3rd degree tear with DD1, she was 9lbs, we had to use forceps, etc., but with DD2/3 I had minimal tearing and I think I would prefer tearing over c/s any day. Though I have no c/s experience to compare it to. 
    JessyKVCurlyMommy416
  • Another thing to consider is c-sections are pretty much always more blood loss. I hemorrhaged after my dd was born and everyone likes to tell me I should have had a section to prevent that. But my dr then and my new dr now both told me that a section would have been WAY worse for me because my particular bleed would not have been able to be prevented by a c section and sections cause you to lose more blood. So I probably would not have made it.
  • JessyKV In my case, it was a midwife from my practice who did not see the warning signs of a problem. By the time my doctor got there, it was too late for a c-section so he did what he had to do to save us both and I am forever grateful. I think if he was there from the beginning, he would have done a c-section and we would have avoided all the complications. I only see him now and we will insist he is the one at my delivery if I do go vaginally, he would be the one to perform a c-section, or I will insist on a new doctor because I can't even look that midwife in the face anymore without flashbacks. I think they would have to sedate me if she even stepped in my room this time, but yet again, I had an extreme case that is definitely not normal.

    JessyKV
  •  I had a c section with my first and recovery and the pain was brutal. It is a major abdominal surgery after all. I would definitely chose a tear over surgery.
    JessyKV
  • JessyKVJessyKV member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited February 9
    Thank you for sharing Teacher Mom!  Glad you like and trust the doctor.  I would probably feel the same about the midwife.  Sad you had to go through that. 

    Edit - I can't tag you for some reason.  
    Teacher Momneludelu
  • As Kylieslip24 mentioned, "Another thing to consider is c-sections are pretty much always more blood loss."
    I had a lot of blood loss with my c-section and almost needed a transfusion.  I was on iron pills forever.
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  • Thanks for all the feedback! To get a balanced opinion maybe I should ask for csection stories. This thread kinda scared me even more about a vbac. Although I do recognize that every situation is different and that regardless of how many stories I read my situation will be unique to me. 
    Waiting4Fred
  • tjvantjvan member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    This thread is terrifying.
    Waiting4Fred
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