In this post: June 2016, I had umbilical hernia repair surgery. At first, I was unsure of whether this was the right choice. Now, I know for sure it was.
After I had my second child, my body did not bounce back. It didn’t even try.
Each day, I woke up in pain. My hips hurt, my pubic bone was misaligned, and my parts felt all jumbled–like I was a Mr. Potato Head assembled by a 1-year-old.
This wasn’t how my postpartum life was supposed to be! I was supposed to be feeling better. At the very least, I was supposed to feel less miserable than when I was pregnant.
Instead, I just felt defeated.
When I got done with work, I would take a seat on the couch with my phone in hand. I spent all my free time researching what could possibly be causing my pain, trying different suggestions of exercises or therapies to feel better.
My free time looked like this:
- Google search.
- Read new posts that might help me get rid of my nagging hip and pelvic pain.
- Try suggestions from said posts.
- Notice no improvement or relief.
- Return to Google and try again.
As I kept searching for a cure for my pain, I came across some information on umbilical hernias. Although I was aware of my postnatal umbilical hernia, I wasn’t convinced it was the source of my pain.
However, as I read more about umbilical hernias and as I tried more and more exercises that failed to help me feel better, I started to wonder if my umbilical hernia was the root of all my hip and pelvic pain.
Do you want to learn more about umbilical hernias? Download your FREE copy of “The Beginner’s Guide to Umbilical Hernia Repair.”
To Cut or Not to Cut?
Although I’m very hesitant about surgery of any kind, I decided to look into umbilical hernia repair surgery. (It never hurts to look, right?)
When I met with the surgeon, he explained the process like this:
You’ve got this hole in your abdominal wall. Think of it like a hole in your jeans. You can try to pull the fabric back together, but unless you use something to secure it, it’s not going to stay.
However, if you place a patch on it (which for the umbilical hernia repair is a piece of mesh), you have something you can work with–something strong that has structural integrity. Similarly, if your hole is just right, you might be able to use some stitching to close the gap.
These are the two options you have when you consider umbilical hernia repair because your umbilical hernia will never ever close itself up.
After having tried so many exercises and hearing the doc explain umbilical hernias like this, I decided to have surgery. I scheduled the surgery and went on vacation.
A Very Slow-Paced Vacation
This is a picture of me and my umbilical hernia-causing fella. On this vacation, we had to carefully monitor my activity.
I could hike for a half an hour or ride in the car for four hours. Then, we had to find a spot to park so I could go lay down for an hour or so.
It created very slow-paced days, but it helped me become more determined to try a surgical repair. By the end of vacation, I still wasn’t certain surgical repair was the answer, but I knew I needed something to change so I could get back to leading the active lifestyle I was used to.
Once I healed from my umbilical hernia repair surgery, my only regret was that I hadn’t done it sooner. After my surgery, I realized my body had been at a huge deficit because of my hernia.
For over a year, I had been walking around with my internal organs slipping out through a hole in my abdominal wall. Although I knew this was happening, I didn’t realize this hernia was the cause of all my struggles and pain.
Imagine trying to carry your laundry in a basket with a hole in the bottom. Sure, you might be able to figure out a way to get your clothes from point A to point B, but it won’t be pretty. And it won’t be easy.
This is exactly like what living with an umbilical hernia is like.
Each day after my surgery, I got stronger and had more energy. My chiropractic adjustments didn’t take as long and were not as painful. But my big win–the thing that told me I was finally getting my body where I wanted it to be–was when I was able to vacuum the house and take a walk later.
My Big Win
Before my hernia repair surgery, I had to strategically plan when I would vacuum because it ended my day. Literally, after spending fifteen minutes vacuuming, my body was not able to do anything else unless I rested for two or three hours flat on my back.
I couldn’t work with my clients. I couldn’t walk around the block. Shoot, I couldn’t even sit upright in a chair or recliner without being in terrible pain.
So, when I was medically cleared to resume normal activities, I hesitantly gave it a try. I grabbed my Dyson and discovered that not only was I able to vacuum the upstairs, I was also able to vacuum the downstairs.
Plus, I wasn’t in pain and didn’t have to rest afterward. In fact, I felt so good that I decided to really push my luck and take a short walk around the block. To my amazement, I made it without any pain!
This whole experience was part of the inspiration behind the creation of this website. I want this site to be a resource for people in pain–a place where people can get ideas (and hopefully) solutions to permanently get rid of pain.
If you are contemplating having your umbilical hernia repaired, check out my post, “Should I Have My Umbilical Hernia Repaired?”
For those who have already scheduled their surgical repair, find out about the do’s and don’ts after umbilical hernia surgery before you go in for surgery. There are a couple of things you’ll want to do to prepare for your big day.
Do you still want more information about umbilical hernias? Download my FREE guide, “The Beginner’s Guide to Umbilical Hernia Repair” now!
Do you have any other questions for me about my umbilical hernia repair? Just ask in the comments below.