or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Healing Birth Trauma › Feeling ruined months after delivery
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Feeling ruined months after delivery

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

After losing track of how many medical professionals I've seen, I have one nagging question: Can I really be only mother who hates her body because it just doesn’t work anymore? I don’t care how it looks. I don’t have the energy to care about that. Since giving birth almost nine months ago with nearly every intervention but the caesarean, I feel as if my body is ruined. My joints ache. My hips still hurt and don’t work properly. When I sit and stand, I still can feel the scars from where I tore after days of labor and three hours of pushing out my posterior child. I just feel ruined. My husband gets back from the sandbox in a couple of months, and I’m not looking forward to telling him how I am still broken. I used to be strong and physically independent, but now I just feel defeated and worthy of the garbage heap. The garden I started when we conceived looks terrible because of what has happened to me. My house is a mess. The cars are poorly maintained when I know full well how to care for them. All I want to do is escape this body, but I’m still here on the couch with a napping baby and a yard that needs mowing. Does this part ever end?

 

This has been such a trying non-recovery that I got an IUD as soon as my providers would allow. I am terrified of another pregnancy with horrible joint pain and of dealing with the postpartum period without adequate drugs or support. I had wanted a natural, non-medicated birth, but now I can’t imagine anything but surgery and drugs with this awful body of mine. Is this normal?

post #2 of 12

Wow, you poor thing! That sounds awful. I think it is unusual but not abnormal to feel the way you do. I think most people agree that it can take a year for your body to get back to normal after giving birth, and that is if everything was fairly straight forward.

 

And, don't forget, you have a baby to look after. And your on your own, did I read that right? So you can't be expected to look after a house, garden, cars *and* a baby on your own. Even if you felt better than you did before you were pregnant that would be virtually impossible.

 

As far a specific solutions

 

 - for the scars, have you tried acupuncture?  One session fixed (as in, I never felt it again) the pulling I had on one side of my caesar scar. You could also maybe try some massage with oil to help soften and loosen the tissue (if it's in a place you can reach of course)

 

- for you hips I would suggest a physio who specialises in helping post-partum women. There will be exercises you can do to help tighten and strengthen the muscles and ligaments which stabilise the pelvis which may help quite a lot. Acupuncture may also help with this too.

 

- is it possible that you may be experiencing a bit of depression? Chronic pain is very often associated with depression at some stage (and why wouldn't it be!) and will make everything worse.

 

I have to go but I'll be back. Hang in there! 

post #3 of 12

Couldn't help but respond also.  I agree with pp's thoughts.   Pain can also be made worse by depression - which can commonly start months after delivery.  Likewise, the pain can cause depression/feelings of hopelessness!  Dysthymia is a milder form of depression worth googling.

 

I've had ligament laxity issues and it wasn't until I saw a physiotherapist (who has experience with female/postpartum issues) and a massage therapist who worked on some very tight hip external rotator muscles, that I got relief from back pain.  My knees gave me problems for a while but always got better with strengthening/biking/exercise.  It's really important to shop around until you find a physio who really understands how to treat postpartum issues.

 

Are you breastfeeding?  If so, keep doing it....but bear in mind that the body still produces some hormones that keep ligaments relaxed.  My body improved after about 9 months, when my dd started taking more solids.

 

And how's your weight?  Are you back to normal yet?  That can have a huge impact on your joints (every extra pound of body weights puts an extra 4-5 lbs of force on weight-bearing joints).

 

Is your IUD the one with hormones?  If so, some women have trouble with it as it produces progesterone, which tends to "relax" the ligaments (and decrease joint stability).

 

My second baby is 4 months old now and I'm still in lots of pain.  However, my recovery is not any worse than it was with my first.  I have a friend with MS who is in a wheelchair and has a baby.  Every time I hurt, I think of her and how much more challenging she has it!


9 months post partum can be a tough time....especially if baby is not sleeping well. Keep trying, e.g. physio, massage or whatever helps.  Even if it doesn't help right away, at least you can take satisfaction in knowing you're trying to do something about it.
 
Good luck!  You're not alone.
post #4 of 12

MoreBeans, the first two replies you got were very good and both posters were much more informed than I.  All I can add is that the first year after my second son seemed extremely hard in many, many ways.  I did have a c/s and PPD and was also going from teaching full-time to being a SAHM for two years. 

 

My body hurt for much longer, it seemed, than my other c/s friends (I was 39 when he was born, but most of my mom friends are also in the "over 35 bracket").   

 

I honestly still hurt around my abdomen sometimes, but we are quite broke and I am not in a position to seek out therapies that insurance doesn't cover.  Even the ones that are covered have co-pays that are just too much, but I do see a therapist twice a month.  I, too, have felt exhausted, sore, out of whack, often overwhelmed, and let down by my body (not because of the c/s at all, just because it seems that many things just aren't the way they used to be).  I don't know what should be attributed to my age, my attitude, whether I'm just a slow healer, or what.  While I don't resent my toddler, I sometimes do resent the fact that my DH's body didn't take a hit like mine (and I am not a good-looking woman who's bemoaning the loss of some hot figure or something...I'm just average, but I don't like the way everything seems to have shifted and is sensitive).

 

All I can say is that as much as I love our toddler and feel supported by my husband, this is absolutely much harder than I ever expected.  When I see old friends who say "Oh!  You're taking two years off to stay home with your baby!  That must be so much fun!" I feel terrible.  Yes, he's adorable and funny, but I would not characterize this experience as fun.  Which also makes me feel guilty.  Ug.

 

I hope you have support from your husband.  I hope you have mom friends.  I think I would have needed to see a psychiatrist to get on meds like I used to be had it not been for my mom's groups, LLL, mom friends, and my DH.  Even so, I look back and wish I had tried an anti-depressant.  Breastfeeding, though it was hard at first, did help my bad feelings.

 

I wish you luck and some lightness. 

post #5 of 12

Oh mama! I'm sorry you are feeling like this, but it is totally normal. It took me a year to get my head back on right after my last birth (homebirth turned hospital turned c/s). The person I needed to forgive was the hardest, but once I forgave myself, everything seemed to start falling back into place.

 

 

Here's to healing your heart

post #6 of 12

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time!  A PP asked about your IUD, and I would add, on that note, that if it's the Mirena (hormonal) it might be contributing to or even causing some of your issues.  Although many doctors won't acknowledge the possibility, lots of women have reported physical and emotional side effects with the Mirena.  


Good luck to you, and best wishes.  hug.gif

post #7 of 12
I just have a second but wanted to say I felt very similar with my first baby. Third degree tear from a vacuum birth with a posterior baby. Physical therapy helped a lot with my pelvic floor pain and Chiro was great for my hips. Also massaging the scar tissue was helpful for the pain and vaginismus I developed.

On top of everything else, you're doing this all alone... That is HARD. Is there a way for you to get some time to yourself? At least time to see a pt or chiropractor? Good luck....it takes time but eventually I was free from pain....and crazy enough to go back for round two. That baby is three months old and I haven't had anything like the horrible recovery I had the first time.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

Thank you all for your kind responses. I’ve already been through physical therapy. It did help with isolating and strengthening my abdominal muscles so that I could resume some of my normal activities. The symphysis pain is nowhere near as bad as it used to be, but PT certainly hasn’t gotten me to the point that I can go hiking again or climb into a canoe. And the random midwife who saw me at my 6-weeks postpartum visit already reminded me about my weight, as if I didn’t know. I’m now about the same weight I was before becoming pregnant (i.e., chubby but not obese), but would still love to take up lifting again so that I could feel strong again. Grasping motions now hurt my hands and wrists, though. And I was hypermobile before becoming pregnant, so the copper IUD has nothing to do with my joints. Pregnancy just did frightening things to my joints, like causing my palms to splay much wider than normal as I was raking leaves. It was as if I was held together with rubber bands. That I can now carry a bucket of cat litter without feeling my ribs pulling from my sternum or a pulling in my shoulders is a relief.

 

Also, I know I’m prone to depression and have learned to live with it. My primary care manager referred me to a pain management specialist whose advice was to wean my baby so that I could take effective painkillers and perhaps try antidepressants again. If would love to have something to lessen the joint pain on my really bad days. The only OTC analgesic that does anything for me is aspirin, which was also my only pregnancy craving. Everything else works about as well as Flintstones Vitamins.

 

On my bad days, I don’t even leave the house. It takes too much out of me. If I do too much one day, I pay for it in pain for several more days. Since my husband isn’t here for physical support, I’m always running a mental tally of how much I can get away with each day. But since I don’t have any outward signs of illness or disability, I’m expected to function perfectly when I’m out shopping for groceries or dropping the baby off at hourly care so that I can get a haircut or make an appointment. I know full well that I just look lazy and out of shape to most people. I’m starting to figure there’s no point is asking my PCM about my perineal pain.

 

Caedenmomma, if anyone has questioned your feelings for your child based upon how you are faring physically, I’m sorry. The two are unrelated to each other. And yeah, a fulltime job with pay is just a different type of work. At least teaching came with intelligent peers and my amusing students. Being at home doesn't have the same rewards, and I'm getting really tired of the other mommies here on post. I frequently leave town so that I can get some mental relief and that my daughter can be in a positive environment away from military cultures. There is no connection between my feeling for my daughter and my feeling about this failing body and the treatment it received. My ire is reserved for a culture that dismisses pain as weakness of character and medical professionals who are dishonest about the effects of pregnancy and delivery. My child is an innocent, and she makes me laugh with her willfulness and own amusement with the world. I just wish I had the energy to care for her properly.

post #9 of 12

I have to share that I read "from the sandbox in a couple of months" as "from our backyard sandbox, where he's hanging out with the baby, in a few minutes" (reading on the computer with a toddler around isn't quite the same as with full concentration).  Also, you can clearly tell I'm not a military wife!  ROTFLMAO.gif

 

You are doing this alone, which means you have the hardest job on the planet.  Will write more later, but good golly.

post #10 of 12
I would start looking for a new doctor. Most pain relievers are compatible with breast feeding, especially now your babe is a bit older. And there are also antidepressants which can be taken without needing to wean.
post #11 of 12
Dear MoreBeans,
I would give you a hug if I could! My husband was in the sandbox when our daughter arrived and only half way through an 18 month stint. I had a 2nd degree episiotomy that extended to a 4th degree tear. I've had 3 repair surgeries and still occasionally have accidents. I am so angry and sad to be stuck with this body now. I'm grateful that I am so close to my dd, I've saved my anger for the doctor and nurses. I have to admit I often feel angry that my husband hasn't been physically affected by dd birth. She was 8.5 months old when he came home and he has really been trying to do his part. He's watching her right now and I'm soaking my scar in the bath.
I recently decided to get help. There were too many days where I just wanted to stay in bed and cry.
I am wondering though if there could also be a medical condition making things worse? I have fibromyalgia and arthritis and the fibro has fatigue as a symptom and my hips have hurt similar to your description for about 9 years now. My wrists used to be the most painful part of my body, and my grip got worse for a while but has sort of returned so long as I'm not having a flare up.
My husband is reserves now so we're on standard. Now we have co-pays but at least we can pick a doctor instead of bein stuck with whoever they assigned us to at the base. Do you have lidocaine cream? Sometimes it helps. If you want to pm me I have a shoulder available. I'm trying to get used to my new "unique" body too. Hope your day was good.
post #12 of 12

MoreBeans- Try finding a Webster-certified Chiropractor for the joint pain, pushing out a baby is alot of work, pushing out an OP baby is even more work. It does a number on you. A Webster-certified Chiropractor can really help with the physical pain by realigning the sacral and pelvic joints, and as some of the other ladies have suggested, try a Physiotherapist too.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreBeans View Post

 

After losing track of how many medical professionals I've seen, I have one nagging question: Can I really be only mother who hates her body because it just doesn’t work anymore? I don’t care how it looks. I don’t have the energy to care about that. Since giving birth almost nine months ago with nearly every intervention but the caesarean, I feel as if my body is ruined. My joints ache. My hips still hurt and don’t work properly. When I sit and stand, I still can feel the scars from where I tore after days of labor and three hours of pushing out my posterior child. I just feel ruined. My husband gets back from the sandbox in a couple of months, and I’m not looking forward to telling him how I am still broken. I used to be strong and physically independent, but now I just feel defeated and worthy of the garbage heap. The garden I started when we conceived looks terrible because of what has happened to me. My house is a mess. The cars are poorly maintained when I know full well how to care for them. All I want to do is escape this body, but I’m still here on the couch with a napping baby and a yard that needs mowing. Does this part ever end?

 

This has been such a trying non-recovery that I got an IUD as soon as my providers would allow. I am terrified of another pregnancy with horrible joint pain and of dealing with the postpartum period without adequate drugs or support. I had wanted a natural, non-medicated birth, but now I can’t imagine anything but surgery and drugs with this awful body of mine. Is this normal?



 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Healing Birth Trauma
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Healing Birth Trauma › Feeling ruined months after delivery