Bartholin’s, the saga continues

So that is something I never want to do again.

Last night, after almost two weeks of antibiotics, my doctor did a “marsupialization” on this horrible cyst/abscess. It’s basically a procedure where he cuts open the cyst, gets out all the awful stuff, stitches a temporary opening to allow anything else to drain. All totally gross, I know. But I feel compelled to write about it because there’s just not much information out there, especially for women who happen to be pregnant when it happens to them.

I am now 36 weeks along, so assuming the baby comes on time, there is still a chance the area will heal to allow us to try for a “normal”, vaginal birth. Although after last night’s procedure, I’ve lost a little confidence in that department.

Because of the pregnancy the surgeon used local anaesthetic, which meant this big chicken was awake and struggling to be brave throughout. At one point the nurse asked me, “Do you want to see?”

Was she kidding? Who would want to see that kind of hoo-ha carnage?

They began by checking the baby’s heartbeat with a doppler, which made me cry a little. Going strong. Then it started, strangely with an 80s hits radio station in the background, so I felt a bit like a car that had been wheeled into a backyard automotive workshop. The fact that this surgeon is a big, beefy, biker type with a gold necklace didn’t help.

The local needle hurt going in but after that I could mostly just feel pressure, except for a couple of times when I yelped and he needed to add more anaesthetic. The nurse was leaning over me, resting her arm on my belly, and after a while the baby started kicking like crazy. And then the heartburn started up, so as he was tinkering away down there I had to lift up my head to avoid throwing up everywhere.

Just to be really, really gross, I will say that once he opened up the cyst, it was 9cm, and mostly hematoma – that is, at some point it had started to bleed, and kept bleeding, and there was nowhere for the blood to go so it all coagulated. He actually kept holding up bits for me to see, which kind of raised the experience to a whole new level of hell. Did he not believe me when I told him I am a big wimp about medical things? Or maybe surgeons and nurses are just so desensitised to such things they don’t realise that everyday human beings don’t thrive on these little details.

I couldn’t help thinking as it was going on about childbirth and how this must be nothing in comparison. It was daunting.

It took more than an hour and when it was over they checked the baby again with the doppler – it took longer to find the heartbeat this time but it was there, and strong. So I shed a few tears again. And then I was wheeled out to find Rufus waiting.

Today I am holed up in bed, feeling very sooky, with a giant nappy style pad strapped to me, and an icepack. I have a mountain of pills to take, and the pain is not that bad. I have been too afraid to have a look down there. To keep me busy, I have my computer, my freelance work project, and a big pile of tiny tiny baby clothes to fold up. This last part makes me smile.






One thought on “Bartholin’s, the saga continues

  1. uuhh this sounds quite horrible. I really hope it heals up well and in time for the birth. 36 weeks along, so close. It’s scary enough as it is, can’t imagine having had this done as well. I’m 34 weeks – 35 on Friday. All is going well with the pregnancy – only I have had a massive sinus infection for the last almost 2 weeks which is a pain. Just hoping for it to go eventually without having to take antibiotics.

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