So, about me: I am a 64 yr old mother of four children all born vaginally 33 to 42 yrs ago, during the period where the "Lamaze" method of childbirth was the best way to go. My first labor was 39 hours. During the last hour I was given a "caudal injection" because it appeared the 8lb13oz baby was simply not going to be born without it! After 24 hours I sincerely wanted a Caesarian, but this hospital was very "forward thinking" (or so they thought). A C-sect was the absolute LAST resort in the early 1970s, so I labored from 10 pm July 3rd 1:30 pm July 5th. I had so wanted our baby born on the 4th of July! I gained 22 lbs with this baby, and just one week later I'd returned to my pre-pregnant weight of 105lbs. (I am only 5'1" tall.) At this famous university hospital, where I trained to be a physical therapist, they did not use fetal monitoring, nor ultrasound at that time. So my baby's heart rate was monitored only by Doppler sound and stethoscope. During the birth, I had an episiotomy (surgical cut through vaginal wall) to ease the baby's passage. From that day to this I have endured bladder problems: initially stress incontinence, worsening steadily. Following that prolonged birth, and four more pregnancies following, one ending in miscarriage, I was genuinely unable to exercise, not just due to having 4 small kids, but mostly due to unhappiness of wetting my pants lightly every time I moved or bounced. My next three babies were all 7 lbs 8 ozs, even though I did not vary my "perfect" diet from one pregnancy to the next. I didn't gain over 25 lbs with any of them. I didn't restrict my eating in any way except for eating only whole grains, an egg each day, 3 -4 glasses of skim milk, no coffee or tea or alcohol, and lots of fruits and vegetables. I had never been interested in sweets, but I did like salty chips so I kept them out of the house for decades. But the stress incontinence plagued me: no more running, jumping; no riding a horse (every bounce caused a leak) , or using the wonderful trampoline we had for 20 yrs. I leaked after every sneeze and many times after just a small cough. So of course, after 25 years of basically being unable to exercise, I gradually gained weight... after the 4th baby's birth when I was 31, I did not return to 105 lbs as I had after all the others. I kept about 5 extra pounds (to my dismay) and then gained about a lb every year until I weighed about 140 lbs, far too much on my small frame. I knew there were surgeries to repair my problem bladder, but none reported good results 5 years out, and that seemed too brief a period for me to go to so much trouble. At 47 yrs old, following a few months of severe vaginal bleeding, daily, I underwent a vaginal hysterectomy. The ObGyn at that time (1996) "corrected" a cystocele and rectocele caused by "bulges into the vaginal wall " from the weakness that began with my first child's birth. For six weeks I had no bladder leakage at all! I even went running. For six weeks I blissfully had full control of my bladder. The doctor said I could begin to run, so I used the treadmill in the PT clinic where I worked. You have to understand I had been totally unable to run or jump for 25 years. It was HEAVEN to run again, and for two more weeks this continued. Sadly, the stress incontinence returned after just a few weeks of freedom.
). Falling asleep at 2:00 am. Sorry, I'll interrupt here and resume tomorrow! I'll take some upsetting "before photos" so that you can see the situation I am in.