Life is running away with me right now and I barely have time to breathe let alone write. Prepping for a holiday almost takes the pleasure of it away for me. I’m basically doing the work I would be doing then, now. It is all consuming and, after a worrying week with Artie having an allergic reaction to a substance as yet unknown, I would happily crawl into bed with a book and a sign on the door saying “Not today, thank you”.
So it came as no surprise to me really that I missed an important milestone today. A milestone which 6 months ago I could barely imagine. There were honestly times when I thought I may never reach it. That it was all just. Too. Hard.
Today is 6 months since I had my surgery. 6 months since I took a huge leap of faith in a surgeon who seemed fairly sensible and in my ability to pick myself up and dust myself off yet again. 6 months since strangers asked me if I was pregnant when I wasn’t. 6 months since I sat looking at a steamed syrup pudding on a hospital tray, desperately trying not to vomit and hoping someone would come into my room and take it away soon. And 6 months since I realised I had been squeezed into a crotchless garment that would have made a porn star blush.
It seems another world away.
I had imagined it would all be terribly hard. It was harder. I had imagined it would be painful. It was more painful than that. I had imagined it would take me longer than they said to be back on my feet. It took even longer than that. I hadn’t allowed myself to imagine the freedom of feeling like my body was my business again or of wearing something which actually fit me the way it was meant to. It has been even more wonderful than that.
I almost missed the milestone because I have been given the chance just to move on. But every single day I feel incredibly grateful for this recovered body I’m in. I have started to run again and I feel strong and capable (and unfit) and well…free. It was a big step to take, it was scary and painful and at times felt overwhelming. But, without any exaggeration, it has totally changed my life.
I always promised I’d be honest about this journey and it feels like now is the time to show the difference it has made to me. But I feel conscious that my scar might be considered gruesome by some – which is ridiculous considering it’s basically just my body now – so look away if you’re easily upset.
I’ve become so aware of other people who this has happened to and there just isn’t enough knowledge or advice out there. Women are left to deal with this because it’s “something which happens when you have babies”. But the impact on our self-confidence and self-worth can be immense and that should not just be “something which happens when you have babies”. As with anything, there are extremes. I was unlucky that I was at the extreme end of the damage I had but I was incredibly lucky that I met the right people to help me in the end. If by being open about what’s happened I can help just one person to do the same, then I will be very happy indeed.
8cm diastasis recti
No discernible gap
Blog post coming soon on this next one but it’s basically my face when I realised the difference between these two pictures!!