WARNING: This post is very girly/mommyish and so I'm warning you now that there is TMI and uncomfortable topics discussed here. Read at your own risk!
A friend of mine with a similar problem made it recently known to me that she passionately wants to spread the word about these postpartum issues. I whole-heartedly agree with her so that is why I've chosen to write about this topic in my blog. Please pass this information on to moms and to be mamas who might benefit from this entry!
It's common knowledge that your boobs will never be the same after having a baby. At least you are told to expect sore and cracked nipples. You are informed about engorgement and leaking milk and blocked ducts. Frankly, I was so ready for terrible things to happen to my boobs that I was pleasantly surprised that things didn't get too bad in that general area once I settled into a normal nursing routine with baby number one. I happily resumed normal activity shortly after He-Man was born and all things fell back into their regular locations... only I was a bit more stacked.
After the Donut was born, I discovered a brand new postpartum issue... and it had been totally foreign to me. I had to google my symptoms online and investigate my problems on my own. I was freaked out. All I knew was that it felt like there was a baseball down there and I thought that everything was about to fall out of my body cavity. But why? What on earth happened to me?
My gynecologist investigated the situation and informed me that I had a prolapse. Actually I had three. My rectum, my bladder and my uterus were falling. She prescribed physical therapy and said that she'd not do surgery until I was finished having babies. She seemed critical of my having had another child so close to the first one (22 months apart) and she suggested waiting a while longer before having the second one. I went to one session of physical therapy but I had to discontinue the visits because they were just too costly for me. I did my kegals on my own but not nearly as often or as efficiently as they had been assigned. Slowly but surely they went away.
I'd like to add that I didn't have any trouble holding my urine or bowel movements. It just felt funny down there. The main way it affected my life was in exercise. I couldn't jump on my mini trampoline and, while I'd like to pretend that I'd been a great runner prior to my having children, I cannot. So really, I wasn't that affected. I felt really alone in the matter though. I knew NO ONE else who had experienced this horrifying feeling... or at least I didn't know of anyone. People just don't talk about it.
When the donut was about 18 months old I can honestly say the situation seemed to have fixed itself. I no longer noticed it by then. As far as I could tell all was well in the area. Then I got pregnant again. And now I've had that baby and BOY, let me tell you... the area is all but okay. It's worse this time. WAY worse.
I've learned this time around that what I have is called a cystocele and a rectocele. And that they don't usually happen in young people. They happen in old folks who are in the winter of their lives. It's scary to imagine that these conditions might not improve this time. It's not fun to imagine having surgery, which may or may not make any difference and could render worse off than before. The saddest part is wondering if I'll ever be able to perform my "wifely duties" in a way that will be pleasing to my husband. And according to my friend who is also a midwife, these conditions are insanely common. So why in the world is no one talking about them. Sure, it's awkward and uncomfortable to talk about your private parts. I agree. And I'm a little weirded out by the idea that my boyfriend from Kindergarten might be reading about my bits and pieces since I've chosen to put this on my fairly public blog. But it's worth it if I can help one other poor mama feel less alone because she has looked up her condition online because she had never heard another speak of this unmentionable circumstance.
Sure, baby Drayken is totally worth any amount of craziness in my lower region. I just wish I had some idea of what to expect a few years down the road... I just wish that there was someone who could assure me that I'll be able to feel normal again one day. But I'm grateful for the gift of self-disclosure and I sure hope that my crazy rant will bless a mama one day!