It’s only taken 8 months to get them, but finally I have some of the answers I’ve been waiting for.
If you’ve read my other post, “What they don’t tell you“, you’ll see a few of the things I’ve been experiencing since giving birth, and this is a little extension of something else I’ve had problems with. I’ve been passed pillar to post, and back again, when it comes to doctors, but I finally received a referral to see a Physiologist in April.
In my last post, I told you about struggling to hold your wind, and the importance of pelvic floor exercises. However, following all my tests and the preliminary results, nothing I had been doing would have been able to help with this at all. There are mainly 3 things that have gone wrong (all caused by childbirth) and again, I think it’s important for those who are expecting to know that things can go wrong.
I had 4 tests done to determine the working order of my back passage since I’ve had several issues with going to the toilet, or not as it happens. The first thing is that I have something called a small ‘rectocele’. This is where the the front wall of your rectum effectively bulges into the back wall of the vagina. It forms a pouch, so when you try going to the toilet, your poo gets stuck. Although she told me mine is only small, I’m having lots of problems with this at the moment, so hopefully there will be a ‘next step’.
Secondly, I have weakening of my inner sphincter muscles, also not helped by the third and final problem of irreparable nerve damage. If I try to stop myself from passing wind, I have to shift position as the nerves don’t respond correctly and don’t ‘pull up’ in the right place.
This isn’t a long post, but I still want to make women aware that things like this aren’t right, even if it seems like something very normal after childbirth.
What problems did you suffer with, or do you still suffer with?
My follow up appointment has been made for mid-July, the NHS are so slow!
This post might end up having ”too much information” for some of you, but I’m going to be brutally honest. When I was pregnant I was told of all the different things I could expect to happen to my body and yes, some of those things did happen, but there were other things which happened which I had no forewarning or idea of whatsoever. So these are my ”what they didn’t tell me’s”.
I had an assisted birth with forceps which, in itself, can bring on more problems than you’d expect. Unfortunately for me, 7 months on, I’m still not sorted and am currently waiting for an appointment to come round! Anyway, I digress as that’s a whole different blog post.
The first thing I had to do was learn to inject myself with ‘Clexane’, an anti-blood clot drug, for 7 days post birth. I think this is because I’d had an epidural and the anaesthetic had taken ages to wear off. I know some women have to inject this for a longer time than me, throughout their pregnancy even, but nonetheless, something I didn’t expect I’d be doing.
The second, and probably most obvious, was the post birth bleeding (Lochia). Some people don’t bleed for very long, others for ages. I bled for about 3 weeks. I found this so hard since I cannot bear sanitary towels of any description, and since you’re not allowed to use tampons, I had to put up with them. They made me feel so unhygienic, were uncomfortable and just generally disgusting. It also doesn’t help that I was paranoid you could hear it ‘rustling’ around. Yuck.
Incontinence is a new experience for me. I only really suffer lightly with it now, mainly when I’m playing sports or in the gym. But the first few weeks home I genuinely couldn’t hold my bladder for very long, if at all. Not only are your baby’s nappies wet, but you might be changing your underwear a lot too. And don’t even mention going for a poo – when I had the urge, I really had the urge and had to go, there and then! Don’t even think about trying to hold your wind in. All the health professionals tell you to do your pelvic floor, and you really ought to make the effort. I only did it when I remembered, and I even had reminders on my phone using a “Kegel” app.
Big milky boobies! Yes, they’re coming with a vengeance whether you choose to breastfeed or not. I did breastfeed and went from a ‘B cup’ to an ‘E cup’. Super leaky, I’d suggest putting down a maternity pad between your sheet and mattress, otherwise your milk will stain it if you leak through.
I have never lost so much hair in my life. I could literally pull out a whole handful of hair at least twice a day. You don’t lose as much hair when you’re pregnant, and it’s all glossy and shiny and lovely, so when you’ve given birth you lose everything you would’ve done, plus more! My poor hoover must have collected a good few wigs. It gets absolutely everywhere too. The only problem I’ve got now is lots of frizzy baby hair where it’s all growing back.
My episiotomy was absolutely horrendous. Not only did I have the general pain you’d get with a cut down there, unbeknownst to me, they had stitched me up wrong, although it took forever for it to actually get sorted. Sitz baths with some liquid Savlon helped as much as they could, and I found that changing sanitary towels and underwear regularly helped lots too. I never dried it with a towel after a bath/shower, I’d either air dry it with my legs open on the bed (men, this is NOT an invitation for sex, or for you to have a good look at the damage) or used a hairdryer – on a low setting please ladies!
I’m convinced I’ve had a slight prolapse, but the nurses and doctors don’t seem to think I have. It’s not protruding out or anything, but it’s just kind of there. I’m also 99% sure this is adding to the other problems I’ve got “down there” for which I’m due to attend an appointment. I just know that it’s not what was normal for me (not that I expect miracles and to have no lasting effects) and surely you know your own body, right?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what kind of things you can expect, but these are what I have experienced since having Toby.
What did you experience that you wish you’d know about before? Is it ongoing or resolved?
Everyone’s looking to shift those last few pounds of baby weight.. you know, the ones that just won’t go!
I was recently given the opportunity to review a company which has just been introduced to the UK; Body By Vi. It’s had huge success in North America and is expected to make waves here too. The challenge, providing you are on the full kit, is for you to lose 10lbs of weight or build 10lb of muscle. This stems from their belief that the secret to success lies in the first 10lbs.
I received a 3 day challenge kit which included 6 meal replacement shakes and a mix-in strawberry powder.
Day 1 – starting weight.
Now don’t laugh. I know you’re probably all thinking “What on EARTH is she doing trying to lose weight?”. Admittedly, I am lighter than I was before I became pregnant. However, I was much slimmer round the middle and had slightly fuller boobs. What I want out of this is for me to lose my post pregnancy middle spread, and THEN tone it up/build a bit of muscle.
I have to say day 1 was tough. I’m used to having a good breakfast (3 rounds of toast and a cup of tea) and I must say, as delicious as this shake was, it just didn’t fill me up. I think I was already looking for my next meal before I’d even finished it. I stuck purely with the shakes for the first day, but found that I was awfully hungry!
Day 2 was slightly better because I was prepared for the hunger, although I must admit I did eat a healthy snack between the shakes just to keep the hunger from turning me into a junk food, chocolate craving maniac scrapping around the cupboards for so much as a naughty biscuit crumb.
By day 3, I was pretty glad it was coming to an end, although I was a little bit excited to see if I’d actually lost any weight the next morning. And I had;
That’s right. I’d lost a pound in 3 days. I wasn’t disheartened, I was actually pretty happy with myself. Being slow and steady with weight loss is seen as the best way rather than, say 10lb a week, which is likely to come straight back on.
Although I did this on my own, Body by Vi’s message is that it’s about the challenge. This is what sets them apart from any other shake diet currently out there. Their statistics show that you’re more likely to lose weight if you share and join with friends/family/colleagues.
To encourage you to do the challenge, Body by Vi also run something called ‘Project 10’. Effectively you select your goal, the kit you wish to use, document it and upload an ‘I want it’ video to show this. They then pick 10 winners (5 males, 5 females) a week to win £600. See more here www.vi.co.uk/the-challenge
There appear to be, from looking at the website, lots of different flavours to cater for everyone. However, there are recipes you can make at home to make them more bearable, whether it be for the flavour or the texture etc.. Take a look at ‘Think Outside the Blender‘ and ‘ViSalus Shake Recipes‘. I think you’ll be very surprised at what you can actually make!
Personally, I don’t think this is for me. I’m far too much of a food lover to be replacing it, even if it is only for 90 days and no matter how much I want to shift these last few pounds before I can really start pumping the iron. I would however say that the shakes I had were very flavoursome (like cake mix, who doesn’t LOVE cake mix?) and I lost weight.
Do you want to take the challenge? For more information, please visit and contact firstname.lastname@example.org