Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Having babies broke my body

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

It was during my last period, cursing my menstrual cup's repeated and messy failures, that the sobering thought finally hit me: This might not get better. After having my third baby, my body is broken.

I don't know how much is age, or how much is particular to my body's foibles, and I don't know what I hope to accomplish by cataloging this except to offer sympathy to anyone else going through this realization.

But here are the ways my body seems to have reacted to repeated pregnancies and births:

The peeing.

That pre-baby body has gone the
way of the woolly mammoth.
Oh, the peeing. My kids think it's hilariously exasperating that I must use the restroom every half-hour. I know where every public toilet is on our usual routes, and I cannot afford to be choosy about conditions of some of the sketchier ones, as well as the hellish stretches where there is not one. I have been known to duck into an unoccupied construction zone's porta-potty. I'm not proud, but it's better than wetting myself.

Speaking of which, I have spent too much time fantasizing about ordering pee undies. They are so much moolah, though. Why so very much? Would a cloth menstrual pad be as good? Can I make my own pee-wear from old cloth diapers?

And I've had to cut way back on caffeine, or woe betide me. Again, just ask my kids about my comical dance to get the keys in the front door, race up the stairs, and make it into the bathroom before I need to throw my pants in the wash. I often lose the race.

Menstrual cup confusion.

This might or might not be related as it's a down-there situation, but what the actual heck is going on with my cervix and adjacent ladybits now? Almost every month is a game of Will My Menstrual Cup Catch Any Blood? The answer is usually, No, no, it won't. The blood will go around, adhere to the side, or do other fun things. WHERE ARE MY PARTS NOW? Did the babies MOVE them?

I've tried much troubleshooting, and I've tried both the Diva and my olde stash of Insteads. Sometimes one works; sometimes neither does. I don't get it.

If you see my cervix somewhere, be sure to tell me. It's gone rogue.

My hips forgot that they're an important part of my skeleton.

They just sometimes…whoops…let me down. My whole pelvic structure is now not girdle so much as stretched-out pantyhose.

Goodbye, skeletal integrity! You were nice while you lasted, letting me walk with confidence that my legs wouldn't randomly buckle, letting me take steps without the warm-up of waiting for my hips to—click—into place.

How long till my hip replacement surgery again?

My dear, sweet top belly.

Fight it all you want,
but your body has changed forever.
When I was pregnant, the first part of my abdomen that popped was the very top just under my boobs. It popped sooner with each successive pregnancy, and I thought it was so cute.

Until my last pregnancy was over and the pop never deflated. I still have Top Belly, three years later.

Presumably I'll always look 4-6 months pregnant, which is ideal for someone approaching menopause. Thanks for the mockery, body.

Maybe I should name it, consider it my forever-gestating fourth child. Oh, silly, sweet, lazy, never-born Top Belly.

As long as we're talking bellies, a tiger mauled my lower belly.

Look, I don't even care anymore. Stretch marks be stretch marking. My skin's elasticity and smoothness? Yeah, not getting those back.

But the sight still has the power to horrify my kids. Alrik saw me changing clothes once and pointed to my stomach with wide eyes and furrowed brow: "Oh, Mama. What HAPPENED?"

You, kid. You happened.

And you know what? I wouldn't trade any of it.

But I still get to complain…AND tell my kids it's all their fault that, YES, I have to pee again!

How has your body changed post-baby? Anything that surprised you?


Olivia said...

Stretch marks, lower abdomin flop, peeing when I cough, and I get cramps when I ovulate now in addition to period cramps. Fun!

Lauren Wayne said...

@Olivia: Yes! At least we're not alone!

Inder-ific said...

Okay, so first of all, YES. OMG YES.

But second, you should start watching the informational videos on the Femme Fusion Fitness YouTube channel if you're interested in learning more about these types of issues and how you can begin to heal them. I don't want to freak you out, but what you describe sounds like pelvic floor dysfunction, diastasis recti, and even mild prolapse (the menstrual cup issue). All scary terms, but you are NOT alone! And there are some things you can do to improve it. Happy to share more resources by email. xxoo Inder

Lauren Wayne said...

@Inder-ific: Awesome, will check that out and would love any more info you care to share! I've researched all of those as possible causes and agree they sound likely. But I also found it hard to find any affordable and effective ways to treat them.

Inder-ific said...

Her YouTube channel is totally free so it’s a great place to start! Seriously, though, I found it horrifying as well as helpful. Still, her workout videos(free) plus mutu videos (paid) have really seemed to help me after years of denial.

Inder-ific said...

Sorry it's actually FemFusion Fitness -

Start with her Q&A videos, which are awesome. She has one where she interviews a guy who does MRI imaging of prolapse, which is horrifying and super helpful. I've been doing her ab camp videos as well as her other low impact videos and I do feel like I can feel a difference in my core strength and DR.

I also bought a membership to mutumamas (they do a deep sale every black friday btw) and alternate FemFusion with those videos. But I feel like Mutu, while a great program, is totally unrealistic in what it expects of you - walk every day, do core exercises every day, etc. I can't do that, I have a full time job and two kids, so I just try to move more every day and not punish myself.

Katy Bowman is the queen of alignment and posture and how that can help or hurt your core strength, and I had some realizations regarding footwear thanks to reading her blog and book.

Anyway, there's a lot out there and you don't necessarily have to spend a ton of money! Discovering that there are forms of exercise that don't aggravate these issues was a happy discovery for me.

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