18th January 2016

After I had my second baby, now 6 months, I really wanted to get back into running. Immediately.

The idea of waiting months to start feeling like ‘me’ again was terrifying. I wanted my body back and I wanted it yesterday.

At just 5 weeks postpartum I decided I would try to go for a run. I must have been having a burst of happy (wappy) hormones that day. I spent a good 40 minutes squeezing in and then out again of running gear that didn’t anywhere near fit me. Finally, I put on one of my husband’s T-shirts and a sports bra I could barely breathe in and headed out.

I walked for a little to begin with but feeling bold I started to jog. All was fine. I felt myself getting excited that I didn’t feel too bad. I decided to push myself, albeit at snail’s pace up a hill and knew the reward of going back down the other side would be fantastic. I’d feel elated at my acheivement just like the old days.

But as I began to bounce down that hill I was anything but excited. I suddenly felt very uncomfortable and very aware of what I instinctively knew was my pelvic floor, despite not ever knowing that much about it. It felt as if every organ in my body was pounding against it and worse than that, when I stopped to walk I now felt as if something was lodged ‘in there’ and it wouldn’t go away.

That night I manically googled various phrases about prolapse and convinced myself that’s what I was experiencing. I was thrust into a bit of a dark place for a little while, with three weeks to wait for my postpartum GP check.

Not only that but I started to convince myself my stomach was hanging out. It felt much looser than I remembered it doing after my first child and my back was agony most nights, which I was fairly sure was a lot to do with my now non existent core. Things felt bleak. I read on the internet about abdominal separation and felt certain that mine was beyond repair. I simply didn’t feel like me anymore and it was scary believing that I wouldn’t return to being that person.

When my daughter was 7 weeks old I was scouring the internet for a local trainer who I could trust to restore me. I must have searched for that word specifically as I hit upon the Jelly Belly website. As I read about the Postnatal Restore course, a tiny chink of hope set in. It was describing the exact issues I was experiencing and I remember the relief that this must mean that lots of women have these problems and importantly I could do something about them.

Over 10 weeks the course made such a difference to my life, not just physically but mentally too.

I met Jelly Belly trainer Kellie Moore, who reassured me that what I was feeling was normal and that I would get myself back again.

I met a group of lovely ladies and babies and each week was able to chat about the various physical issues we were dealing with, find people who had the same fears as me and swap advice and tips.

It took until about week 4 for me to feel the physical improvement but when I did it was suddenly very obvious. I noticed that my back didn’t ache nearly as much and I felt a little stronger. I learnt how to switch on those core muscles again and was instinctively beginning to do so quite often. Slowly but surely I was feeling better.

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Baby loved the class too!

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Let’s do this mum!

My GP had already reassured me that I was not suffering from prolapse and as the Restore course went on and I persevered with the pelvic floor exercises, the slight ‘bulge’ feeling lessened and then went away.

If I hadn’t discovered the course, I dread to think of the damage I might have done to my body by carrying on regardless. You would think that after two (quite large!) babies I might have been more sensible and have known that I needed to give my body time. But it took this exercise class to remind me of that. It really helped me to accept that it was okay for my body to be in a slightly battle-worn state and most importantly to feel confident that with the right exercises I would be able to move forward. It’s given me such a strong foundation to build upon.

Six months on I’m still holding back on the running but I’m no longer scared that I’ll never be able to do it again.

*The Jelly Belly PT website is packed with really good information on the subjects covered above, such as pelvic floor dysfunction and abdominal separation so do have a read if you are concerned about similar problems*

 

Jelly Belly's Postnatal Restore course fixed me, in more ways than one - Jelly Belly PT