OMG postpartum vaginal pain itching seriously WTF

This entire entry is about my crotch. You've been warned. I figured I would make the title of this entry all the terms I searched late last night in the hopes that some other poor soul might find this page later and gain something from it.

Just under four weeks ago, I pushed an 8 lb 12 oz baby out of my lady parts. So in the grand scheme of things I'm doing pretty well. Recently, though, things took a turn for the worse. As most of you know, we lost power late last week. While Sunday afternoon brought the return of electricity so that we could run around the house turning light switches on and off, it was also about this time that my crotch started to hurt significantly worse than it had been.

I thought things were going so well too. The horror film levels of gore had long subsided (I will never look at chicken livers the same again) and we were down to a very manageable bit of blood. But in those dark nights with no power I started noticing that I would literally be woken up by a sharp pain or burning feeling several times a night. Since sleep is a premium around here, that wasn't going to fly.

I then became convinced that my stitches had dissolved too soon and that something was torn and would never heal right on its own. I would forever have a FrankenCrotch and all those men who waggled their eyebrows at Rich in anticipation of the infamous second trimester would offer their somber condolences over his wife's war-torn nether regions. My anxiety would have to wait, though, because it was Saturday and we had no power. It's hard to investigate one's own genitalia with a hand mirror and a head lamp.

By Sunday night, things had gotten much worse. I could no longer sit without leaning up on one hip or the other. I had gone back to the cave woman hunched walk of my first days after delivery to try to relieve any pressure or friction. I couldn't sleep on my side without two giant pillows stuffed between my knees. This was officially getting old.

As we drove back from dinner Sunday night, I was in a fair amount of pain and was frustrated that things had gotten worse instead of better. It was a burning, itching, throbbing kind of pain - the kind of pain like an ear ache or an impacted wisdom tooth where it just radiates all over and you can't get away from it. I started getting all weepy in the car telling Rich how upset I was and that I didn't understand why everything had to be so sore.

He looked at me with raised eyebrows and huge eyes. "You didn't see what I saw when you gave birth. You didn't see what came out of you. You stretched tissue and strained muscles and moved bones to get that boy out of you. It's one of the reasons I said you were a superhero. It's only been three weeks. I think you just need to give it some time."

Ok, fine, so I passed a Volkswagen out of my fully blossomed flower, but that shouldn't mean I have to feel like that Volkswagen is running me over repeatedly weeks later. Adding insult to injury, on Monday I came down with some sort of cooties that made my whole body ache. Or at least ache more that some parts already were aching. I slept all day Monday, only waking up when Rich delivered a hungry infant to me and going right back to sleep once said infant was fed. By Monday night, my chills and overall body aches had waned but I still had this horrible aching, burning, itching, stabbing feeling in my crotch. So while Rich slept on my left and Ian slept on my right, I spent a good chunk of the hours from 1-3am Googling any and all of my symptoms trying to find some relief.

Around 3am I had a breakthrough when I finally found a page that didn't talk about c-section pain or episiotomy stitches itching or hemorrhoids. I finally figured out that in addition to the "normal" swelling and discomfort I should be experiencing, I had a yeast infection compounding everything else, which is what was driving me insane. The itching was leading to the burning which led to the stabbing and then the weeping. Finally an explanation! Thank you, Dr. Google!

I actually woke Rich up to tell him I figured out the root of my crotch woes. He sleepily said, "Jeez Louise, that sounds unpleasant." (Apparently 3am makes him too sleepy to curse, because I was expecting more of a "shit yeah, those hurt like a motherfucker!") It was all I could do to not drive to a drug store right then. Instead I researched home remedies to hold me over until morning. You may be interested to know that apple cider vinegar does a decent job of easing the pain until one can make it to a Walgreens. It also makes one's bathroom smell like a Carolina barbecue.

I'm literally relieved to say that while I still have a tender swollen crotch, it is no longer on fire like it was last night. And while I was a bit alarmed to discover a string coming out of me this evening, one that I didn't dare tug on or investigate its origin, I'm hoping it has done its job and my carefully trimming it did no harm.

And here's hoping by my six week follow up appointment that Volkswagen is a distant memory.