Diastasis Recti Update - Almost 4 Years Later...

Friday, February 24, 2017

It has been a while since I have posted anything to this blog (Hi everyone!! :-).  Crazy how the days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years when you have an almost 4 year old, work full-time, and own a fixer-upper house.  I have been getting many requests, via email or comment, that readers would like an update on the diastasis recti (DR) issues that I have faced since giving birth in 2013 so here goes nothing…

I am still fighting the fight, both physically and mentally.  Some days are better than others.  I am still incredibly insecure about my mid-section and I pretty much like to conceal it at all costs, especially at work.  I got tired of the constant stares and questions, so for the most part I wear lots of flowy types of blouses, wrap dresses, forgiving dresses, black, Spanx, etc.  

I still hate being naked and/or partially naked (i.e. a bikini) and I am constantly thinking about how unsightly my stomach is, how I hate my outtie belly button, and how the constant flexing of my ab muscles is so tiring.  I'm positive that this affects my sex life, especially in the 1.5 weeks before I get my period and I look like I am 6 months pregnant (or at least I feel like that's how I look).  I don't feel attractive and it is all because of my stomach.  My husband claims that I still look hot, but I'm not sure if he is just saying that to not make me feel bad (and because he'd still like to get some and is willing to ignore this...haha).  Sound familiar anyone??

Every year when I visit my GP or Gyn they ask me about hernia/stomach and whether or not I am going to get it fixed.  My answer is always the same... "Yes, I would LOVE more than anything to get it fixed, and I am like 99.99% positive I am one and done, but there is that .01% chance that I might change my mind so I'm leaving the door open for now."  Then they look at me like I'm nuts, smile and nod.

Lately I have been doing lots of research on getting my abs sewn back together and the hernia fixed because I am getting to the point where I feel like I either need to get it done and need to give up completely on the idea of ever having another kiddo (I could write a really long post about this, but I'll spare you all) or need to give up on the idea of ever wearing a bikini again.  I have a GYN appointment next week and when they ask me, this time I am going to ask a few more questions than I normally do: Is it cover partially/fully by insurance?  If not, how much is it?  What is the recovery like?  Will it be a full on surgery (similar to my c-section) or will it be laparoscopic?  Will I be able to eventually do core workouts again?  If I did, by a freak accident, get pregnant again, would there be any risks?

I'm sure you'd all like some pics to understand what I am talking about.  Full disclosure - besides me having a serious lack of a tan right now, I am a day or so before ovulating, so I am not super bloated like normal and it is the AM in all of these shots.  If you have DR, you know that by EOD, and especially depending on what you ate, your mid-section looks way more pregnant-like in the PM than in the AM.  I am flexing in the pics on the right and relaxed in the pics on the left.  I measured today and my DR is about 2 fingers and definitely the widest right at my belly button.  If you put a large diamond cut-out right over my belly button, that would look like the gap that I see.

Here is a little update on what I have been doing to, at the least, remain in decent shape.  While I am not training for any marathons, or even any races for that matter, I am still running a lot.  I would say I run between 25 and 35 miles a week, with my average being about 30 miles.  I do it to stay in shape and because I always seem to feel better mentally after pounding the pavement for an hour.  I also, on occasion, lift weights in my basement or do a rowing or CrossFit type of workout that my husband gives to me when the weather is crummy and I am just so sick of the treadmill.  I work out about 5-6 days a week and aim for 12k steps a day.  I haven't been doing any types of core strengthening exercises, probably because I have found the programs boring and not incredibly helpful.  

While I do not eat strictly Paleo anymore, I still eat very healthy.  I try to remain as low carb as possible for most of the day, but I usually allow myself a treat each day.  That might be a glass of wine, some organic candy, some tortilla chips, a donut (my vice!), or sometimes a few treats in a day.  My diet consists mostly of fruits, veggies, organic and/or grass-fed meats, fish, nuts, egg whites (b/c I hate the yolks still!), EVOO/coconut oil, and black coffee.  I eat very little in the way of regular dairy, processed foods, sugar, wheat, gluten, etc.  

BEGIN RANT: Oh and I should also mention that I am cresting the threshold of my mid-30s and so everything seems more difficult.  Working out, eating healthy, sleeping enough, etc.  Aging pretty much sucks.  END RANT.

I'd love comments or stories if anyone has them.  Feel free to email me or comment below.  :)

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3 Responses to “Diastasis Recti Update - Almost 4 Years Later...”

  1. Oh, girl. You poor thing! I'm sorry you're still dealing with this. It sucks to not like your own body. From an outsider's perspective, I think you look great! If I didn't know what was going on, I would have just thought that was a picture of a normal, healthy, beautiful body. But I know that you can see the difference and that's all that really matters. I hope you'll be kind to yourself and that you find a solution for this right around the corner. Hugs.

  2. I read your story and i completely understand your feeling about your body. I am five months postpartum and i have a two fingers gao. It is so frustrating when we eat healthy and exercise still our abs look like this. I have a question how long did you worked with your physiotl therapist? I heard that is the best way to fix this before surgery

    1. I worked with the PT for about 3 months. I definitely saw an improvement from my initial state, but it wasn't sustainable for me to trek across town to the PT. It's also hard to continue doing the exercises when no one is keeping track of you, so once I stopped going, admittedly, I wasn't good with continuing what she taught me. She was really great though! If she was closer, I'd probably have gone for longer. :\