Postpartum Surgery: Episiotomy Perineum Repair

The morning of my operation and I was feeling excited but nervous. I got dressed and ready, played with Mia in the sitting room before heading out the door. This was going to be the longest I’d ever been apart from her since birth. We were to be at Landspítali hospital for 7:30am, no breakfast before. 

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Hospital Bag

I had packed a bag with my slipper, some moisturiser and lip balm just to make me feel better post op, phone, charger, earphones (I didn’t know how long I’d be), spare underwear, spare massive pads, and my hospital paperwork. 

Prep For The Op

Checking into the Ward, I said bye to Ingimar and Mia and headed over to me bed. I was sharing with 5 other ladies but would be the first up to theatre. I was instructed to take my clothes off and get into my robe, put my belongings in a locker and go for a last pee. 

I was given some painkillers and told to get into bed. Within minutes someone came along and wheeled up to Prep Room. 

Into The Theatre

I was first in this large, empty room. The anaesthesiologist came in and put a drip in, this took two  attempts. My Consultant then came in and chatted with me briefly before I was asked to sit up, a robe was put over me and I walked into the operation room - it felt very odd. 

The room was large but full of equipment. I lay on the bed with a huge light above me. There was a lot going on around me, it was a little unnerving. A nurse was trying to line me up on the bed correctly and said “a wee bit more room” which was very out of context from an Icelander but it instantly made me feel more settled. I asked her why she said “wee bit” and she smiled and told me she had studied in Glasgow. 

Out For The Count

Things moved very quickly. My feet were put in stirrups, the anaesthetic administered and someone said “goodnight”. I was out for the count. 

After The Op

I woke up back in the recovery room, I think it was only 10am so two hours later. A nurse came over and checked I was ok and not feeling too much discomfort. I felt fine. I had had an amazing dream about a huge Mediterranean tapas platter and now I was just hungry. 

The Consultant came to speak to me but I was still out of it. I was catching up on sleep after all. She checked for bleeding and asked how I was feeling - I just felt so relieved. 

Missing Mia

I started to think about Mia and what she was up to. She would be at playgroup in Hallgrimskirkja with her Daddy, happily playing and singing away. 

Back On The Ward

After a while I was wheeled down to the ward and was finally offered some food - toast and apple juice. Not quite the stuff of my dreams but I was hungry so I grabbed it. 

There was a crazy storm brewing outside. 

An Accident?

I felt the need to pee so I nervously got up to walk to the bathroom. I felt absolutely fine, completely numb and the nurses encouraged me to get up. Up on my feet, I felt something very wet and wondered what I had just done. I looked down and I had had a large blood loss. What a mess. I buzzed for the nurse. 

I got to the toilet and she helped me clean myself up. I remember she was pregnant and I felt a little jealous of her bump and so excited for her. I was asking loads of questions - she probably thought I was a little crazy as I didn’t know her and was there as a result of my birth. But I have no regrets and do not associate what happened post birth with the birth itself. 

Numb & Heading Home

I put a fresh pair of sexy hospital pants on, layer up the massive pads and headed slowly back to bed. The Consultant came to check on me after her last operation and chatted over the surgery and my recover. She was happy with the way the surgery had gone and had put a sufficient amount of anaesthetic in the area to help with the post-op healing, and said I could head home. 

A Realistic Recovery

Going into this I had been warned that things would not necessarily look or feel the same post-op, and that it would be a long recovery but I honestly didn’t care. Anything would be better than how I had been feeling for the last 9 months. 

I was advised to take Pain killers for the next 10+ days and that I would likely have continual bleeding for a few days, which I did but my recovery was a lot better than I had expected. I went into this very positive and came out relieve, happy and grateful it had been done. I genuinely feel lucky and I think this positive mentality really helped in my recovery. 

Out And About

I went out to Costco (of all places) with Mia and Ingimar a week or so after the op and I was walking absolutely fine. I actually said to Ingimar that if I saw my Consultant, I would hug her. I am so happy to have had this procedure done and be getting back on track. 

Getting The All Clear

I had a check up at around 4 months, and that was after a fabulous summer celebrating Mia’s first birthday and our honeymoon (finally). Although the totally healing period is 6 month, my check up went well and the Consultant gave me the all clear to get back to the gym and swimming. 

This meeting gave me the chance to explain how well my recovery had gone and that I was so supportive and positive toward this procedure. It was important for me to voice this to her as we had quite a fight to have the operation done in the first place due to hospital policies. I wanted to her to know how much of a difference this had made to me and my life, and to hopefully help encourage her to help more woman to feel this good. 

I left her office after giving her a heartfelt thank you hug. 

Not 100%

Having said that I am now at the 6 month point and am not 100% but I am happy enough with the result. I feel stronger and happier, I know that the more I do - the better it will all get and that I am so much better than I was. 

Did you have an episiotomy? How did your recovery go?