Diastasis Recti – 1 Week Post Op

I’m a week out from surgery and doing well.

I thought I’d clear up some confusion about what exactly I had surgery for, and what that means, seeing that people have had a variety of perceptions about what I had done.

The surgery I had last week was to fix my Diastasis Recti, or abdominal muscles. I had a 15 cm (6″ separation between my abs from pregnancy) that needed to be closed.

For the past few years, particularly since Peter’s birth, I have dealt with chronic/severe back pain as a result of a weakened core because my abs were not where they should be. (I’ve attached a video below about this).

You probably don’t realize just HOW MUCH you use your abdominal muscles every day: getting up, sitting down, standing, reaching, climbing, EVERYTHING.

Right now, I have a 20″ incision from hip to hip and a 10″ incision from my rib cage down, due to repairing the damage of having triplets (muscle, skin, etc)….and No, I wouldn’t change any of this for any reason.

My incision is healing fine and isn’t causing me much, if any, pain, BUT I am not allowed to stand up straight. I have to stay in a recliner for several weeks, can’t sleep in my bed, can’t lift ANYTHING over 2lbs, I can’t drive, can’t cook or clean or do dishes. VERY STRICT RESTRICTIONS as the muscles heal back together.

Suffice it to say, I’m not leaving my house any time soon…my goal is to make it to church on Easter Sunday, but even that is a rather lofty goal.

This surgery was not a surprise and it was a long time coming. For the past two years I’ve tried alternative means of dealing with the muscle separation, but mine was just too big.

This is, unfortunately, not a surgery that most insurances cover. For some reason, insurances feel that having your muscles stitched back together is vain and a medically unnecessary surgery (ie cosmetic). Believe me, we’ve fought with them for the most of the past 2 years.

This is one of the unspoken topics of pregnancy. More women have this issue than realize, and because insurances don’t cover anything to do with it they continue to live in pain, struggling to get through daily tasks.

I have been to OBGYNs who looked at me like I have six heads, because they’ve never heard of this. I have been told by doctors, “it’s not like they can just stitch the muscles back together”. General surgeons have told me that Diastasis Recti is NEVER the cause of chronic back pain. Yea 😑

Bottom line…yes, this was major surgery. Yes, this is going to take months to recover from (3-4 months minimum to baseline, 1 year until full recovery). But, I am doing well. Things are healing nicely. I will recover from this…my biggest struggle right now is letting EVERYTHING go that I can’t do.

I’ve been sharing way more updates and detail over on my instagram account…you can find that here @JMW.Diastasis.Recti.Repair That’s where you can find all the gory pictures and gruesome details of surgery.

If you have questions….ASK ME!!! I’m more than willing to discuss this! PEOPLE NEED TO DISCUSS THIS 🙂

Good-bye Winter, Hello Spring!

It’s been quite a winter! I love winter! I love the cold and snow. I love the coziness of a fire and hot tea and hot chocolate. I have always been sad to see the forced slowness of winter, giving way to the hurried rush of spring and summer. Until this winter.

This winter has kicked my ass!!

It has been a long, hard winter. Between jobs and life changes, illness and injuries, and the over abundance of ice, it has been a slippery slope of what felt like months of failure.

In February, Matthew had an interview where I worked long before kids. The phone interview went OK, and he was asked to come in for a formal interview. Fast forward and the interview was a lot shorter than he expected it to be, and we didn’t know how to take it.

A few days later he had a missed called (on a Friday night at 8pm) from them. What the heck? He called the next day and it was a few hours before they called him back offering him the position. Everything fell into place, and he started the beginning of March.

Through the whole of February and March we have been under a constant state of sickness. I don’t think I’ve been consistently feeling well for more than a few days since Christmas. The kids had a bout of strep in February, when they were on break, and we soon discovered that Henry was SEVERELY allergic to amoxicillin: Full body rash.

We thought everyone was on the mend, but Avelyn kept complaining about a stuffiness, and sometimes pain, in her right ear. I finally took her to the doctor. She was fully convinced that she was just going to go through life partially deaf in one ear (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree of dramatics). Another ear infection.

Then Monday morning James and Elanor woke up complaining about throats, I looked and we’re back to treating kids for strep again. We can’t win. I told Matthew next year we are going to a hot, sunny beach for a week on their February break.

And me? I’m glad for sunshine and warmer days.

In February we FINALLY, after a full year of going to Albany for Drs appointments, scheduled my Diastasis Recti repair surgery for April 2nd! Of course, winter took it’s toll on me too.

In the Fall, I was right where I wanted to be. I was strong, I was at my ideal weight, all of it was right where I felt good going into surgery, but then insurance denied coverage and we had to start the process again.

Throw in my general mood this winter of feeling beaten down constantly, mentally and physically exhausted from doing and dealing with it all, and the ice, and I was not taking care of myself. I haven’t walked. I haven’t lifted. I’ve definitely not been eating right. And I’ve gained 10lbs. Not where I want to be.

At the beginning of March, I decided I was taking my life back and started lifting again and putting myself back on good eating habits, and as life would have it, I sat on the COUCH with my kids one afternoon and when I went to get up my back went into spasm.

This was nothing like I’ve EVER experienced. When I had my major back issues from the diastasis recti I could work through it, it hurt, don’t get me wrong, but I could manage.

This was something different. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t bend, I couldn’t walk. For 4 days I was unable to do anything other than lay in bed. It was muscles that abjectly REFUSED to do what I asked them to do. Talk about putting you behind!

Right now though, the sun is shining, the days are a touch warmer, there’s hope in our steps. We might just be making it through this winter after all.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blest. The soul, uneasy and confined from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.” -Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, 1733