Sylvie coming to help, check. Missy coming to help, check. The girls’ schedule written out, check. Food cooked, check. Stephen’s time off? My work time off? Pre-op? Check, check, check! Surgery????
In my late 20s, as I puffed on a wonderful cigarette, I said rather dreamily, I really, really want to run a marathon. Mmmm, exhale……..And that’s when I got into great shape. I put down smoking for another crazy addiction- running. I quit smoking, trained and ran a few marathons, started yoga…and generally stayed in good shape for years… Then, sometime later, I got pregnant with twins and gave birth to full term girls, accruing some damage along the way. I developed a hernia about half-way through the pregnancy…and then another. My stomach measured 44 weeks pregnant at 28 weeks, so one can only imagine what happened to my stomach muscles by the time I REALLY reached 38.5 weeks! I think they tried to meet up around my spine as my abdomen grew larger and larger, pushing them farther and farther away form where they once stood, strong and tight. Oh, that might have caused another hernia…
There’s the emotional and psychological transformation that accompanies mama-hood and then there’s the PHYSICAL.OH, the physical. I gained 85lbs during my pregnancy. My feet grew. My back ached. I got carpel tunnel. I nursed my girls for a year, many months of which was through painful and persistent “plugs.” It was all OK though. The girls were healthy and full-term. That’s what I wanted and I got it. I survived and in time I would just have to get back to a smaller, healthier self, right???? Maybe not marathon material, but something a teensy bit close to it?? Oh, maybe one day and maybe not. Just at least 50, 60lbs lighter and a lot stronger?
It took time. Nursing helped. Walking helped. The “Pilate’s for Dummies” helped. Yoga helped. Slowly, over time my old physical self surfaced. Albeit, a little different looking than the time before twins occupied my uterus! I lost nearly all the weight over 2 years. I got leaner, I got stronger, but still my back ached. Still my stomach muscles couldn’t contract. Still I had abdominal hernias protruding from my stomach.
I researched quite a bit before deciding on surgery. One of my yoga teachers told me I could correct the hernias (or lessen them) through yoga. The problem was I also had this abdominal separation (diastasis recti) and anything good for the hernias seems to be bad for the muscle separation. I hoped I could fix the muscle separtion and one day get the hernias repaired. One day later when I didn’t have twin toddlers totting about. The more I researched though, the more I learned how I unrealistic that option was. I needed to repair the hernias AND the muscles. If I only fixed the hernias, more than likely they would come back due to weak stomach muscles.
So I did several consultations. I found THE surgeon. I manuevered the long and arduous insurance drama. I went to several appointments. I danced the insurance tango some more. Cried lots. Was it going to happen? Would it be OK? How would the girls fare during my recovery? How was I going to be a mama to them post-op?How would I deal with work? How would we manage? Oy, oy, oy!
The day came and it went. Like all days. I went in. I had my surgery (I managed to tell everyone in the OR the bliss of Widespread Panic as I drifted to sleep). I stayed the night. I went home. I walked around like an older person. I took pain killers and emptied my drain.
I got majorly bored. I SO appreciated the help and relaxed knowing they were with people I trusted. The girls had fun visiting with family and friends. I got to know my red couch.I am still getting to know my red couch and trying to breath into this repaired body some wholesome air. For the first time in over 3 years, it is really all about healing me. Of course, mama health and happiness is KEY all the time, but right now, with an abdominal binder and swelling across 1/3 of my body I am given full permission for it to be about me.
I have slowed down physically. Maybe to catch up not only with this major surgery, but with the last few years of physical change.