Several months ago, I addressed the postpartum (post-twin) body situation.
I decided to write a little update, because I’ve been sort of blindsided by an update of my own. Here we are nine months postpartum:
I just took this with Photo Booth. Disregard my sit line… certainly need to work on my posture, huh? Anyway – The linea negra and stretch marks are fading, but the belly button seems to be here to stay. It’s obvious enough to show through my shirts. I also have a hard time sucking in. Like, I can’t. And I still can’t sit up from a lying-down position.
A week ago, I got to talking to a surgeon at work. I asked him if he did plastic surgery, because I wanted my belly button fixed. His response was, “What do you mean? Are you sure it’s not a hernia? Belly buttons don’t just stick out for no reason. Maybe your twins blew you out.”
While it’s obvious to me now, I dismissed that by rambling on about pregnancy and skin and outies and how it seemed simple enough to just sew the top part back in. I lifted my scrub top enough for him to see it what I meant. Don’t worry – there were several onlookers, we were in the nurses station, and my husband knows.
Here. See, doc? Right here.
He did what any doctor would do. He poked it – hard.
Ouch! That hurts!
“Have you not poked it yourself before? Do you not feel that little hole, where you can push it back in? You have a hernia.”
No way. Hernias are what happen to old people after surgery, or little boys who play too hard. And apparently – pregnant women. He also confirmed the diastasis recti I’d already suspected. Basically, my belly is a hot mess these days! I don’t want to worry about the latter just yet. He said he could see/feel a two-inch gap running vertically down my abdomen, where my muscles aren’t meeting. It’s painful at times and I feel like I’ll never be able to do a perfect sit-up again. BUT… there’s a chance that will improve and even resolve over time, and the surgical repair sounded like a cross between a c-section and a tummy tuck. There is no way on God’s green Earth that I am willingly subjecting myself to a recovery like that ever again.
But the hernia? I have a hernia?! Every time I laugh or cough or pick Ames up, I think about it. I envision my guts squirting like sausage links through my abs – or rather, whatever is currently taking up residence in their place. I find myself protectively placing my hand over my belly every time I think about it. I have a hernia?!
I know it needs to be fixed. I found this story and very much relate to it. We don’t want it getting worse over time, and it may help with some of the tenderness I’ve been chalking up to c-section recovery all this time. Umbilical hernias seem to be the least complicated type, and they’re repaired on an outpatient basis with a quick recovery. Not to mention (okay, to definitely mention) – I’ll have an innie again!
But I am a nurse. Which means, I am a terrible patient. My mind is racing a mile a minute, like who will do my surgery and should I wait until the sisters wean and will I be unconscious or just sedated? Oh, and I keep googling pictures of people with hernias.
Any experience or encouraging stories, to help a sister out?