WORKING THROUGH A BIRTH RELATED INJURY
It’s all fun and games until you get a birth related injury!
To say my crotch felt broken is taking it to the extreme but seriously it can kinda happen and it can cause some serious issues post birth...
And oh hay... It kinda happened to me #anditsawesome #not
Yep, I'm being real honest I've been battling having an internal prolapse (thanks to growing and birthing 2 precious kids) and it hasn't been easy.
Most women post birth have pelvic floor issues, I mean hello a watermelon just came out of there! But what's not talked about is the strain from just being pregnant, having a c-section and the issues that can come postpartum from hormones and stress (whether activity based or emotional). Prolapse’s happen and it's time they are more widely discussed.
I am quite fit... let me rephrase that I was real fit before I got pregnant with my second, but then I was placed on moderate rest for 5 months and then I spent 6 weeks on strict bed rest... then I birthed a baby and then I rested for a what seems like an eternity.
Then I felt amazing. Like I was superwoman. Around 6 weeks I used pain as my guide and continued to power walk and started introducing some light turtle paced jogging intervals. I felt alive! More alive than I had felt in 9 months! It felt like life was finally falling back into place. To finally sweat again was my sanity and man did it feel good!
That was until this gnawing crotch heaviness started and I knew something wasn't right.
Now when I say "your crotch can fall out" ereeebody is gonna get all #nancyjudgepants but it's more like the side walls or top walls can cave in, and although they don't fall out (BUT they could!) issues can still be happening on the inside to cause you grief!
I'm not gonna lie, nor will I hang my head in shame. At 2 months postpartum I was diagnosed with a stage 2 rectocele. #fuckingsweetright It can go to stage 4 and then surgery is needed...Basically I probably pushed so hard birthing my precious peanuts that the back wall buckled. #againsosweet
So in a weird kinda momma bear way I feel "lucky" because I have 2 gorgeous babies andddddd its not "that" bad! Also my doctor says it's nothing she wouldn't expect from a woman who gave birth to 2 babies. So really I'm #normal but yet I feel like a freak and I don't want to 'just' live with a heavy vag.
The reality is... I didn't even know this could happen!!!! Women don't talk about it, because I mean it's a tad personal cause it's our bits and bobs but us ladies gotta band together. It's real #shit that this is our present for birthing babies BUT it will totally be okay (I promise!)
There's lots of safe forms of exercise, pelvic physio and ways to manage it to live life like your crotch ain't falling out!
Most doctors at 6 weeks say "how's IT feeling?" And that's it. And most of us first time or second time mamas don't know what its supposed to feel like cause after birth we are just happy we can walk! haha BUT---> If you have heaviness, pressure, having bladder leakage.. ANYTHING! Consider seeing a pelvic physio, I did and honestly I'm down to a stage 1, my symptoms are gone and things are waaaay better!
I'll be honest again. I cried for about a week on and off when I found out. Like almost a Brittney style meltdown. I cried like my 2 year old toddler saying things like "I'm ONLY 29 and my physio says I can't run until I'm done breastfeeding IF ever" and "I had such a hard pregnancy with so many scares and now I have to deal with this?" And "how will I ever chase my kids to play?" And even "your never getting any again cause I'm broken and I never want to birth a baby again" #sorryhusband
The truth is, I was fairly devastated. I felt as a personal trainer that being fit and exercising was part of my identity and that it was something in this world of "motherhood unknown" land that I could control and it was basically robbed from me during the joys and violent beating we call labour.
Motherhood can be lonely for we all have our specific trials and tribulations but your never alone, we're all in this together!!
I've since learned that it's okay, and that I'll be fine and I'm committed to being as fit as I was before. It just might take a bit more time. I'm very positive, I will heal and life will go on. I have already healed SO much in 3 months. I am proud of myself.
Postpartum and the 4th trimester takes time, it takes time to heal mentally and physically and honestly 6 weeks is VERY early to be exercising or doing anything high impact. DONT fall into these 4 weeks to a six pack challenges.. It's just NOT worth it. Your pre-prego pants can wait. No matter how badly you want them on.
I'm a personal trainer and I train gorgeous mamas and I honestly believe let your body heal. Do daily 1 hour walks, just get moving. It's not about intensity or lifting heavy. We can't see our pelvic floors, or our internal organ walls BUT if we damage them, it's a long road back or even worse when we hit menopause and our hormones change it can all fall to shit #punintended
So my message to mamas and mamas to be is, take it easy, be nice to yourself and just get your walk on. Embrace the 4th trimester, once its gone you'll realize how special it truly was. Do pelvic floor exercises, check for a separation in your abs and get in touch with a pelvic physio or a personal trainer that specializes in postpartum.
Will I be able to do more strength and more intense workouts soon... Oh heck yes and you will too. But for now get your walk on, enjoy the sunshine and do exercises that feel good (any pain STOP!!!).
It took 10 months to make your gorgeous baby.. Give yourself a year to feel back to "normal!"
You've got this, I've got this and together with lots of coffee we will make it through this wild ride of motherhood!
Other posts by Tara that you might enjoy:
Top Five Ways to Get Started Working Out
Healthy Eating Means Eating More Than Toddler Leftovers
Why it is Not Too Late to Get Fit For Summer
Simple Rules For Eating Better