To recap from Part 1: The Lead Up, this is where I left off:
The morning of 22 July 2010, Ava Isabel was born and I fell in love with her from the very first glance. She was the most amazing thing in the whole world and for the first couple of hours with her I completely forgot about all the stress that had come before.
Back in the ward I was the special case because I couldn’t walk and needed round the clock care. Trying to function in general was so difficult, and then I had to learn how to breastfeed. I’m sighing out loud just thinking about the weight on my shoulders and how I truly felt. Again, I didn’t show it and basically just switched on to autopilot and put everything I had into learning how to be a new mother.
So here I am trying to recover from a cesarean but the pain in my pelvic area was unbearable. I couldn’t get in and out of bed without a nurse (or Dan) to lift my legs onto the floor and help me on to the zimmer frame. The short walk to the bathroom was excruciating.
The next day a neurosurgeon came to check on me to make sure I hadn’t done any real damage to my back when I had fallen the night before Ava was born. I was sent off to have an MRI and, fortunately the results were clear. My back was OK, just badly bruised.
I spent seven days in hospital and by the time we left to go home, my condition had not improved (even a little). I was told several times that pelvic instability could take a while to sort itself out and that hopefully within a couple of weeks I’d be back walking again. This was not the case for me. Things got much worse before they got better.
Thankfully Ava was a good sleeper, although I hadn’t slept properly for at least three months and was still struggling to get comfortable at night. Breastfeeding was really difficult as I had to ask Mum or Dan to bring Ava to me. I would feed her and they would put her back in her cot. I wasn’t able to pick her up, walk with her, bathe her and generally look after her like I should have been able. It was so frustrating and heartbreaking not to be able to do those simple things that everyone else took for granted. ‘Why me?’ was the question that constantly bounced inside my head.
Weeks passed and I was still in shocking pain and I couldn’t walk. I went to a new physiotherapist who specialised in women’s health and she helped as much as she could to relieve some of the pain. I had exercises to do but really struggled with them. Still on my frame, I just couldn’t support myself, let alone do simple exercises. I still remember Mum driving me across town and we would both cross our fingers that Ava would sleep on the way there.
Each week we went from appointment to appointment and still no-one could explain what was wrong with me. Someone suggested hydrotherapy, so off I went to give that a go. For almost two months I had classes twice a week. While Mum looked after Ava, I pushed through the pain and every now and then, managed to ‘walk’ in the pool. Just getting in and out of my bathers was a huge challenge. I could barely put my own socks on and sometimes it took me 15 minutes to get dressed and out to the car.
This went on for four and a half months and I just can’t explain the constant pain I was in. Every day it hurt to get out of bed, to try to walk, to shower, to pee, to feed Ava, even just sitting on the couch hurt. What was this raw deal I had been dealt? And why hadn’t it sorted itself like everyone said it would. If only I had known what the real problem was.
That bring us to the end of Part 2 and stay tuned for Part 3: The Diagnosis, which will be posted on Thursday.
Thanks for reading