Postpartum April 2023

Five months ago I gave birth to our daughter, Mara. After a successful induction due to Mara being both 9 days past her due date and an IVF baby I had a natural birth. Unfortunately, due to Mara’s size and speed she arrived after making us wait so long I had to have a surgical repair of a 3b tear. This means my return to sport and exercise will need to be slower and with physio guidance.

Amazingly, post partum even from day 2 has felt so much easier than the last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy, which I found brutal. Over my entire IVF cycle and pregnancy (which was a 13month long epic) I gained around 20kg. At 5months I still have 3kg lose to get back to my post lockdown/ pre IVF weight! As I am not afraid of taboo subjects and over sharing, I have an anterior and posterior prolapse, one from her birth and one from a violent prolonged cough a few weeks after when my pelvic floor was still trashed from birth trauma. This means no impact sports (no running or hiking) and not to carry anything (lol, Mara now weighs like 7kg), push anything or be on my feet more that 30mins at a time – these are all unrealistic for anyone let alone a mum. The good news is with lots of kegels and physio led postnatal pilates I am recovering, I even have a wee gadget I use once a month to track my pelvic floor health progress and gives me feedback on the quality of my kegels. My prolapse symptoms are lessening to slight discomfort and my ab separation is now considered normal at 2cm and do I feel more like I am in my body now, though a heavier and weaker one.

I miss running, the mountains, mountain rescue, undisturbed sleep (7 months now since I slept more that 6hrs in a row) and as much as I never want to go through all this again, I am so glad I did as Mara is awesome and we are all very much completely in love with her and being a family of three.

I don’t have much to say in this post, if you have a prolapse from a birth feel free to reach out as its quite terrifying and I found myself in some dark places coming to terms with it, but I am hoping I will get back to the hills with time, work and maybe a pessary. So far I am cycling and just trying to fit in easy family strolls and doing pilates at least once a week, every now and then I also get a pool swim or sea dip in. Feel free to follow me on strava if interested!

What I am listening to…

The Some Work, All Play podcast. I have LOVED listening to this podcast since I got pregnant as Megan Roche became pregnant at the same time and it was really comforting listening to her pregnancy, and now postpartum experiences as I was going through the same. Also this is just a really entertaining, uplifting podcast with some really interesting book and movie reviews as well as the sports science and running content. Be warned they are very American!!

What I am reading…

I am reading a couple of books atm including ‘Let my people go surfing’ the principles and philosophy of Yvon Chouinard’s company Patagonia who made headlines last year by giving away his company and any profits not reinvested inthe business going to help the planet. The other book I am reading is ‘Why mums don’t jump’ by Helen Ledwick all about breaking the taboo of pelvic floor dysfunction and getting the word out there to everyone no matter your age or if you are planning to have or had a baby to look after your pelvic floor, but also that dysfunction though prevalent (like 50% of women) is not normal. I have found the book informative and reassuring so fully recommend to anyone suffering or planning to have baby. There is also a podcast!

What we are eating!

Mara has a dairy and egg intolerance (triggers eczema) so I had to become a meat eating vegan as breastfeeding and she won’t take a bottle to formula feed. To survive I have discovered the black (super)market of vegan foods like M&S spiced iced buns to Tesco Value garlic bread. But the winner has been learning that the jar of Biscoff spread is vegan and eating it with spoon. Max is currently in love with Pip n’ Nut sweet and salty crunchy peanut butter and I can fully endorse eating that straight from the jar too!

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