Lina's Story

Hi,

     My name is Lina, 34 years old, married, and I have a beautiful daughter that is about to turn 4 this November. I’m from South of Sweden, I work as a nurse and am about to take a masters in Nurse Anesthesia. I love to travel. I have lived in countries like Spain, South Africa and Costa Rica, which all have a special place in my heart. A couple of years ago, 5 to be more exact, I was very active. I did crossfit, weightlifting, muay thai and dance, mostly hip hop. I was in the best shape of my life and it felt like my body could achieve anything. I know now that I took it all for granted.

     In 2014, I got pregnant, and I had everything planned, at least I thought I did. I was going to keep working out during my pregnancy, keep my body strong to meet the physical challenge I was about to face. The hardship actually began when I reached week 18. We got an upset call in the middle of the night from my father in law, that my mother in law had a heart attack and was in the intensive care unit. She died the next day, 59 years old. Aneurysm. It was all very sudden and unexpected and my husbands whole world fell apart. There were so much focus on the pain, the funeral, etc that I missed my own symptoms. Two weeks after the devastating death of Laura, I woke up in the middle of the night with high fever and an intense lower back pain. At the Emergency room, they diagnosed me with hydronephrosis, pyelonephritis and I was close to being septic. I had an emergency surgery where I was awake the whole time and they placed a stent between my kidney and my bladder. I feared so much for my baby girl’s life, I’ve never been so scared in my adult life. This kind of stent can be painful, and for me it was. So, it does not always go as planned. I was in bed the rest of my pregnancy and with all that pain, staying positive surely was not easy. With my husband in the bubble after losing his mom, it felt like everything was falling apart at this point and the thought of my girl was the only thing that kept me going. The thought of going out with her in the stroller, go out running again, be active.

     The 7th of November she finally decided to join us. The day was finally here that I had longed for with every bone in my body for so long. The labor took 14 hours and went normally until I pushed for the last time. Everyone in the room heard the cracking sound. I can still remember it loud and clear, like when a bone breaks. I felt so much fear. Thank you Lord that my bab ygirl came out healthy.

     After a couple of hours I tried to stand up but I couldn’t control my legs. Everything felt so loose. The nurse said that it’s how it should feel, you just had a baby! At this time I asked for a doctor and an X-ray, something felt wrong, something broke! The answer I got was that the only thing that can break and make that kind of noise is the tailbone, which happens all the time. He said an x-ray was not needed. He said he just needed to go in with his hand through my rectum to adjust it again. He did just that. I have beaten myself up about this so many times. If I had only pushed harder for that X-ray.

     We were sent home the day after with painkillers and a brand new baby. My husband had to carry me into the car cause my legs couldn’t bear weight. If we had not gone through all the battles before, maybe we would have had the strength, maybe we would have understood that something was very wrong here. But there was no energy left in either of us. I woke up the next day with excessive pain over my symphysis, it can not be described in words. The next couple of months I couldn’t walk and everytime I tried I was about to fall, unable to keep my balance. I couldn’t carry my own baby, unable to lift my legs to put my pants on, they just wouldn’t react. When my husband went grocery shopping he left me on the sofa with the baby and all the things I would possibly need for diaper changing whilst he was gone. The Doctors said, it’s normal postpartum pubic pain, you need to do rehab. That first year, that’s supposed to be wonderful, spending time with your new baby, for me it was dark. She was my light. I kept smiling for her, singing to her, but my inside got darker and the feeling of not being in control of my body was horrible. That first year is a blur. I can remember some details, but my daughters first year is more or less gone from my memory. Everyday, during those first months I told myself, “I am strong, I have to fight for her sake.” I didn’t really allow myself to think about me at all. After 8 months, I could walk like 100 meters, with a limb but still, it was something. I did rehab everyday but when I leaned against a wall I could actually feel my pelvis open. I searched in desperation for others on the internet that had gone through the same thing, went to tons of doctors, but no one had heard of anything like what I was experiencing. One year passed and still no real help, and at this point people started doubting me. Friends pulled away because of too much negativity around me. I actually lost some really, really good ones. Not even my own family actually understood what I was going through. The constant, daily pain, the frustration of no one believing in you. Everyone spoke to me as if everything was normal but inside of me I was fighting the greatest battle.

     1.5 years postpartum, I came in contact with another orthopedic specialist who took more advanced X-rays, and he could without a doubt diagnose me with symphysis rupture. My pelvis actually broke during delivery. It was confirmed. I wasn’t crazy. I have such a big scar in my heart that no one (except my husband) was cheering for me when I needed it the most.

     Because of me walking around on an unstable pelvis for so long, the SI joints were affected and the pain kept on getting worse. I was passed between different doctors around the country, physiotherapists, naturopaths doing different type of rehab programs. The pain still got worse and my darkness got darker. I would lock myself in the bathroom cause I didn’t want my daughter to see me crying in total panic. I couldn’t breathe. What was going to happen to me? Was I going to be in this pain forever? Would I ever be able to run and be active again? Would I be able to become the mother I always dreamed of being? Could I ever have more babies? I was so scared because the pain was eating me up from the inside and no one had the answers for me. Alone.

         Everytime I broke down, somewhere deep inside I still had a small fire telling me not to give up. I had to rise and try again. Who was my daughter going to grow up with if I didn’t? I was exhausted from pain, losing my mind and gaining weight. But one day I finally met a magic man. A physiotherapist that told me something no one else of the specialists had said. My sacrum was all twisted, cutting in to one of my joints as a result of the unstable pelvis (or maybe as a result of the first Dr adjusting a tailbone that wasn’t even broke in the first place). He adjusted it and encouraged me to carefully go back to weightlifting. Deadlifts, squats, hipthrusters, keep your feet and balance even. Get strong. At this point I was so tired of rehab but I really had no choice. I could not accept that kind of life for myself and my family.

     I have been weightlifting for a year now and you guys, I am pain free! Now almost 4 years postpartum I can even go for a run again, I can play with my girl without being in constant pain, I can swim. I still cannot jump or do lunges, but most of the time I have decided to focus on the good and the rest will follow. I am doing everything I can to get strong again, to maybe be able to carry another baby one day, even if it scares the s#*t out of me. I believe that if you are persistent, if you have a goal, it can always be reached even though there might be a lot of bumps on the road to get there. Never lose faith in yourself even if others do. And try to use the hardship to grow. I can honestly say I’m not there yet. I’m not yet able to be thankful for everything we have been through, but maybe one day I will be.

Love, Lina

The Fire Within HerComment