For Part 1 of Anna’s pelvic health journey, CLICK HERE.
Grief, Fear, Mother
Then came March 2019.
Time stood still. Here I was growing a new life when my mom’s was potentially ending. I felt numb. Thankfully I was cleared to start seeing my pelvic PT again (cleared after the first trimester). My pelvic floor was protecting me. It was holding onto me, trying to keep me safe. Sex was getting painful again, working out was extremely hard, and I was only four months pregnant.
As my pregnancy progressed, so did my pelvic PT sessions. Even though there was the fear of the unknown of becoming a mother and my own mother’s diagnosis, my belly and pelvic floor were feeling so much better. Sex was even really good!
I will never forget being nine months pregnant and going on daily long walks with Daniel. The day I was induced, we walked and I even started to jog. I felt THAT good.
I was induced October 15, 2019. I labored for 16 hours without medication, with contractions starting at 30-45 seconds apart. I was not progressing; my adrenaline was keeping my daughter safe inside me. I got an epidural and got to see my mom for the first time. This brought me such peace, and I could feel my body finally relaxing. The doctor came in right after and said I probably wouldn’t have the baby until 2 a.m. I was so thankful because I was exhausted. 5 minutes later, the nurse came in to see what our baseline was.
I was at 9 cm within 30 minutes. The doctor came in and asked if I had any pressure down there. “Not at all”, I replied. They thought that was very strange. But after only four contractions Margaret was here!
Fast forward to my six week check up. I was given the standard clearance for exercise and sex. My mind and my body were NOT ready for either of those things. At this time I was also cleared to be seen by my pelvic PT again. During that appointment, she confirmed I needed some time since I had a second degree tear. Things felt WEIRD down there and in my stomach. I felt I wasn’t able to contract my muscles.
After several weeks of physical therapy and pelvic floor centric personal training, I was finally able to feel my body come together again. My ribs were no longer flared. My core felt centered. I felt whole. Postpartum sex was actually REALLY enjoyable and not at all painful/uncomfortable as some had described.
I am currently 15 months postpartum. My mom passed away when Margaret was 10 months old. There was a rebirth for me when Margaret was born and there was another when my mom left this earth. I have needed my pelvic PT and her team EVERY step of the way. My body continues to go back into “fight or flight” where my ribs flare, my breath stays in my chest instead of descending down into my belly and pelvic floor, and anxiety steals my peace and my presence. My PT sessions bring me back down into my body. My body feels centered and can rest, and I can deal with my day-to-day life as I need to.
Throughout my care with MOJO, my PT recommended I see a mental health professional and a dietician alongside the pelvic work. She helped me see it is worth addressing these issues from multiple angles so that I can truly heal and safely care for myself and my baby. I feel so supported and tended to, and, as a new mom, I feel that this is vital for all of us.
I do not understand why pelvic floor physical therapy is not more mainstream knowledge and importance. Pelvic health is so much more than physical health. We hold so much in and give so much (that we don’t have) out. Our bodies and our beings deserve this type of care and to be seen, to be heard, and to be understood.
Thank you MOJO Pelvic Health for bringing me back to me.
Anna Gant is a passionate advocate of MOJO Pelvic Health. Her pelvic health journey began in 2018 after miscarriage and has continued to blossom after having her daughter in 2019. Her hope is to inspire those who are feeling lost or alone while suffering from pelvic pain to find healing. You can contact Anna via Instagram @annayarbrogant