Bringing My Belly Back - Testimonial
“I am a 36 year old healthy and active woman, and I had 2 children in 22 months)/within 2 years. Both births resulted in Cesarean Sections. I experienced lots of discomfort and I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to function with a scar across my pelvis. I contacted my doctors’ office who didn’t seem to understand why I was having so much trouble with my cesarean symptoms and summed it all up to maybe I was sad (post partum depression). I was very frustrated at the implication that the pain was in my head/not real and kept saying to anyone who would listen that I wasn’t sad and that I was physically in pain, and all this while also talking care of a newborn. I felt very isolated and felt as if there was a medical gap for moms post C-Section.
As expected or par for the course for most, initially, walking was difficult and painful. Sneezing, coughing and even laughing was also very painful and I would hold a pillow against my abdomen over the incision to ease the pain. Breastfeeding was also very difficult because I couldn’t twist to get the baby out of her bassinet, or lift her easily, or hold her in a comfortable position.
Most notably I experienced extreme lower back pain with acute back spasms. The spasms were so bad that I would wake up crying in the middle of the night and also to breastfeed my infant. During multiple follow up appointments, I was advised to do specific exercises, and take pain relievers. I was also prescribed muscle relaxants and Prilosec to protect my stomach from the pain killers, along with Nexium, Prilosec, and Pepto-Bismol . The pain continued on for many months and eventually I was sent to have a kidney and pelvis ultrasound. There was nothing apparent in the results so I was left on my own to consult with a pain specialist. Where it was recommended that I try massage therapy, acupuncture, and physical therapy.
Along with my back pain, I was also diagnosed with Diastasis Recti which contributed to my lower back pain and pelvic pain, especially during sex. Also, after having my children it took me a long time to regulate my bowel movements, and physically getting up and down from sitting or laying down was difficult for me. I was advised to treat with Pilates and to wear compression garments and belly bands in my daily life to help support my abs and apply pressure which is thought to help combat the pain that comes from muscle contractions. After 6 years of Pilates and other exercises (such a yoga, barre, and 2 years of kick boxing) my diastis recti was still causing a protruding bulge in the middle of my belly, that was hanging over my waist. I also couldn’t seem to build any back or core strength no matter how much I was exercising.
Finally, I pursued surgery as a treatment option. Unfortunately, even with pain and my ongoing cesarean section issues my insurance did not consider it medically necessary, even as it was effecting my daily life. After undergoing surgery, for the first time in years, I feel stronger in my core. I no longer have lower back pain or pelvic pain, and simple tasks such as a standing up from seated or lying down position are no longer difficult or painful. I am also achieving goals in my personal life as I am now pursuing my yoga teacher training with an emphasis on prenatal yoga. For the first time in years, I can feel my core and the support it gives my body and I am achieving poses that were not available to me before my surgery.”