motherhood

Don’t Worry, It’s Just Your Insides Falling Out

Hmmm what to write?
You ever sit down at your computer and think, I have so many things to write about that it will take me ten years to write about them all?
That’s how I feel right now.

So, let’s just dive right in and see if I can shave off a few years.

Mothering is going well, though I’m starting to run into things I wasn’t prepared for. Things I hadn’t heard of, and I’m the type of person who absorbs people’s antidotes like a sponge. I might not remember your name, but I’ll remember your story about how you solved your dog’s flea problem with pennyroyal tea. Nobody told me that milk blisters were a thing. No one said that prolapses are as common as grass. Nobody warned me that I’d become addicted to buying cloth diapers.

Ragababe diapers… cute, no?!

OK, that last one is just personal wants – but seriously Ragababe diapers are selling for close to $40 a piece and auctioned off for over that on ebay and diaper swap sites. I must own one now to see what the fuss is all about.

Milk blisters, ouch. Bad latch, bad genes, thick milk, shake and serve. Very painful, and a quick search of Google you get a ton of references on how to treat them. KellyMom is best for all things boob related, I’ve found.

‘Nough about that, it’s making me break out into a sweat just thinking about that shooting pain.

I suppose, under all the things that are happening at my homestead the one thing that I’ve discovered is how little a woman’s after birth care is covered. I’m not talking about stitches or “don’t lift more than your baby.” I’m talking about the physical toll that birthing takes on a woman’s body and mind, then the energy that is needed to maintain the little being. And not just caffeine energy, I mean emotional, physical and psychological energy. I’ve been learning massive amounts about the woman’s body postpardum due to my prolapse. My mother, aunt and grandmother all had prolapses of one sort or another. There are three main kinds, bladder, pooper and uterine. Prolapses come in four stages, one being minor (your bladder, thought about falling over) and four being major (“stuff it back in Gladys your uterus is showing”). The fascia (interconnecting tissue in the body) gets stretched out during birth and in the breastfeeding woman it stays loosey goosey due to the hormones. In that loose phase the bladder, rectum or uterus can flop over into the birth canal and plug things up. It’s apparently not a big deal, you just gently push it out of the way if you want to have sex and if it comes out, gently push it back in with clean dry hands. Let me tell you though, if you have a prolapse, you will not be “oh, this is no big deal” when you discover it. You WILL flip your shit. Even if you have a family history of it, actually especially if you have a family history of prolapses you will flip out.

Normally, when you’re just a fine upstanding woman of the world and you feel a fleshy blockage of your lady-hole, you’ll say: Hmmmm, what is that? I feel fine, but I should definitely call my doctor. 
On the other hand, should you be a postpartum woman who is riding the waves of hormones, is adjusting to lack of sleep, becoming a milk factory, listening to a wailing baby, and the fact that her stomach muscles are still so loose she can’t sit up on her own, the added burden of discovering that your insides have fallen, will be the straw that broke the camel’s back. And the back of all his camel brethren. My journey with my prolapse has been a difficult one, mainly because I’m a stubborn mule.

After my traumatic conversation with the on call doctor at my clinic who advised me to not to have called and bothered her; she was waiting for more important things like women in labor. That following week I tattled on her to my doctor and discovered that prolapses are as common – you guessed it – as grass. Even if two weeks prior you get the “all clear” from your OB at your six week postpartum follow-up. She recommended that I rest and possibly see a urogynecologist and be fitted for a pessary and start thinking about surgery after the last kid. But, I’m a savvy devil and prior to my meeting I did a bit of research and discovered that there is physical therapy that one can do for her pelvis and the pesky prolapse. At the mention of doing pelvic physical therapy my doc said that was an even better option, she couldn’t recommend it as a course of treatment because it’s not covered by insurance. Though, for those who can afford it, should do it. Someday I’ll write a piece on why healthcare is so fucked up in this nation, but that’s for another day.

Pelvic physical therapy is spendy, but so far, worth it.

Baby’s crying… to be continued… 

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