dear Softmama, I like your 6-point plan!!! And I think that a part of accepting our mother bodies is going ahead and grieving for that young maiden we all once were. You get to pout, you get to whine....you get to be sad and wish you didn't have a buldgy bladder. (However, you don't
get to freak out and sign up for surgery ASAP,
TurboCrotch I mean TurboClaudia
offered great suggestions to seek out your new best friend: your Physical Therapist Specializing in the Pelvic Floor. Personally, I got my referral from my CNM (certified nurse midwife.) She and this PT were pals. I don't know the difference between an occupational therapist vs. a physical therapist.
Your pilates and the lifting.....hmmmmmm..... I do know a lot, but I am not
an expert. But there is a wierd thing that happens, when post-partum mamas are squishy and lack muscle tone (like me!)....muscles can take on suprising tasks.
For example: I went to this physical therapist complaining of a weak pelvic floor (not so much my cystocele, though it was there.) After learning some pro kegel techniques from my pt, like to always exhale when clenching my muscles, doing different routines, my pelvic floor muscles were getting stronger...but then, their strength plateaued.
It was determined that my pelvic floor muscles couldn't get any stronger because they were doing the work of a thousand men--namely, holding me upright! Instead of using my abs, my back, my hamstrings, and my quads (front of thighs) to walk around, go up stairs, get out of a chair, I was using: only my quads and my pelvic floor.
However, the diagnosis was not "do 100 sit-ups"--oh no.....that would make things worse, by inviting my ab 6-pack to work--when really, deeper ab muscles needed to be working again. Also, various butt-muscles needed activation, with complicated exercises going up stairs a certain way and squeezing a ball between my legs on a chair doing XYZ with my arms and a therapy band, etc., yadda yadda....
In fact, my care changed from pelvic floor PT to her coworker, full-body mechanics PT, because mine was such a big ol' problem. I also had quite the separated abs during my second pregnancy--and a truly herniated bellybutton...ouch!
It is my understanding that extra weight can cause more stress on that pelvic floor, so perhaps even weight loss would cause a "grade 3" to calm down to a "grade 2". Again, this points out how silly I think it is to go removing women's sex organs...seriously--revamping the diet and getting out and walking, now that it's springtime and you can put your baby in the stroller...that could make a real difference. How completely silly for an MD to suggest surgery when a method to improve your quality of life could be that easy?
Anyway, good luck to you as you adapt to your mommy body and get okay with what your body is like now. Is it any wonder we were all hormonal and mental when we were teenagers, with puberty morphing our bodies!!! And now we morph again, as mothers.