In society, the idea of what is beautiful is always evolving, especially concerning women's bodies.
There has been an evident and unsettling shift away from body variety, according to Canadian author Alex Light.
For instance, the 1950s demanded hourglass-shaped curves like those of Marilyn Monroe, yet the ’90s favoured an incredibly slender frame as represented by runway model culture such as the likes of Victoria’s Secret, the surge of the BBL (Brazilian butt lift) era popularised by the Kardashian family.
Most women and girls are unhappy with their bodies, and many of them go to extraordinary lengths to try to change them. According to recent studies, sexism is to blame for the pressure women face to spend a lot of money, time, and effort trying to meet societal standards of what beauty is.
Sammie Buck, a 21-year-old woman from Australia, shared her experience on TikTok about how she had to undergo emergency surgery after receiving “husband stitches” without her consent, from the hospital where she gave birth to her child.
The term “husband stitch” refers to an additional stitch that some women have received while having an episiotomy or vaginal rip repaired. This surgery is used to make a woman’s vaginal opening smaller after childbirth.
Health experts say it's an antiquated practice with no recognised medical purpose or advantage.
Despite having a vaginal birth, Buck recalls her pain after giving birth as being the most pain she had to go through in her entire life.
“Imagine saying this after giving birth to a whole person,” said the 21-year-old.
The single mother said on her TikTok account that her baby, Tatum, was born with his arm raised like Superman, ready to join the Avengers. She also noted that after giving birth, her vagina had the typical number of of postpartum tears.
According to Mayo Clinic, perineal lacerations or tears, commonly referred to as vaginal tears, occur during childbirth when the baby’s head is passing through the vaginal opening and is either too large for the vagina to stretch around, or is of normal size, but the vagina is stiff and difficult to extend. Experiencing tears of this kind is not unusual.
The normal healing time for skin tears that just affect the region around the vagina is a few weeks. Medical treatment is required for more severe tears. The delivery doctor is obligated to perform a thorough assessment after delivery to help identify any injuries and treat them accordingly.
If you've ever experienced childbirth or been involved in the process up until a woman gives birth, you know that the worry over how their body will appear after giving birth lasts the entire nine months.
Body changes can be both unsettling and frightening, especially in light of the diet culture’s constant barrage of ads urging us to “get our bodies back”. The truth is that after having a baby, your body will change, but that change need not be undesirable.
Buck said: “If I had an option of popping 10 watermelons out of my vagina, I’d rather do that than the healing process after getting the ‘husband stitch’, which I wasn’t made aware of. After two weeks postpartum, my fanny felt like a dead carcass, felt like it was on fire, going to fall off, and getting stung like a million bees at once.”
The hospital had advised her that the pain would subside after two weeks but had instead got worse. she said, “But I knew that this wasn't entirely normal for that period. It was so painful that it got to the point where I couldn’t even sit down for more than five minutes.
“I couldn’t stand up for more than five minutes, nor could change my own baby’s diaper because of how excruciating the pain was. My fanny was stitched and healed half shut, without my knowledge.”
Buck explained: “My fanny got infected and started to leak yellow discharge, and when the swelling subsided, my fanny didn’ look like my fanny, I had extra pain, and I felt like she was stitched up really small.”
She visited the hospital after experiencing persistent pain for two weeks. A doctor examined her and noted that the stitches were healing well but there was a yellow discharge.
The doctor performed some tests and concluded that there was likely an infection. She was given antibiotics to take for seven days, which helped with the infection but the issue remained.
“I still had a little fanny, it just felt botched.”
But saw a second doctor when the discomfort persisted and explained what had occurred, saying, “This may sound dumb, but it feels like my vagina has been stitched tighter and not in a good way, like painful tighter”.
After inspecting her, the doctor told her, shockingly, “You are 100% right, they stitched you incorrectly and they added extra stitches that don’t need to be there. I can see where your vaginal opening should be, but because it was sewn shut and allowed to heal, you now need emergency surgery to reverse the daddy stitches.”
Responding to Buck’s TikTok posts, Kayla Marie wrote: “Thank you for sharing, these stories need to be shared. And you need to report them so it never happens again. I’m so sorry, hon.”
Missy Gardiner also commented, saying, “My heart broke for you. Even with the details, I can’t imagine what you were going through. I hope you have a speedy recovery from this surgery.”