Finding Hope to Recover from Prolapse and Extreme Hip Pain
Keturah is a special member of the CES family, she is a member as well as on the CES team. She is known for her many talents as well as her fabulous red lipstick. Keturah has the most incredibly uplifting way of encouraging the women in our Facebook group! She is truly a beacon of positivity and a wealth of knowledge for all things holistic. Let's hear more from her.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I feel so blessed! I have a wonderful husband and a three-year-old son who fill my life with great joy and love. We also have three cats that love to cuddle. I stay home with my son and work part-time for Dr. Sarah providing support to all of the amazing ladies in our Facebook group. I LOVE supporting the ladies in our group and am grateful to give them encouragement and hope along their own journeys. Personally, I really enjoy being creative and do a lot of knitting. I also adore tea, makeup, fashion, baking, reading, walks alone in the mountains, camping with my family, and weightlifting. I am really interested in hormone health and have many years experience in alternative health, so I also keep up with that in various ways.
How were you first introduced to Sarah and the CES Family?
I first heard of Dr. Sarah in Kellie Hart Davis’ women’s fitness group, where I was a longtime member. She interviewed Sarah about the pelvic floor. At the time, I thought it was mildly interesting, but didn’t give it serious thought. I was an amateur bodybuilder, in good physical shape, and had just gotten married. Plus, my mom had all three of my siblings at home, unassisted. Pelvic floor issues were the furthest thing from my mind. That all changed quickly. I got pregnant and physically had a really easy pregnancy. That said, we ended up having a very traumatic labor and delivery. Not only did we nearly lose our son, my pelvic floor was pretty much ripped apart from an emergency induced 36 hour labor and forceps delivery. I had an episiotomy, and sustained a third degree tear and significant vaginal canal tearing. It took 2 hours for my OB to stitch everything back together.
That sounds incredibly difficult, and yet you have come so far now and you are in level 5 of MomFit! What did you do next to help in your recovery?
Due to hip pain, I saw a pelvic floor physical therapist around 3 months postpartum. My hips hurt so badly I couldn't walk. The release work she did temporarily relieved the hip pain and pelvic floor pain. But I was still leaking, had poor posture and (unknowingly at the time) prolapse, and just overall was really hurting. I was given a deep breathing exercise for my pelvic floor and a handout with pelvic floor release exercises and leg lifts. Since my hip and leaking were both better, I thought I was good to go. But my hip pain returned full-force a year later. I also was leaking more and having to “hold it," so my pelvic floor was really tight. I went back to the same PT and was told I would basically need dry needle release work for the foreseeable future. She also told me not to lift weights and to keep doing barre classes (I felt the barre classes were contributing or aggravating to my hip pain). Not only had I spent thousands of dollars and long commutes to this PT, my hip still wasn’t healed and she wasn’t offering any real solutions. I saw another PF PT for a second opinion. But again, she mostly did release work for my pelvic floor and hip. I knew I needed more.
It can be so difficult to find great help, and many women have to travel far and spend a lot of money to find help. That is part of the reason the CES programs were created. How did you finally get in touch with Sarah?
I started searching, and remembered Dr. Sarah’s interview. I immediately booked an online consultation with her. In only 5 minutes, she had my hip pain figured out and gave me an exercise to do. She said to give it a month. A month later… my hip pain was totally gone for the first time in over a year. I knew that if she could heal my hip, she could also help me heal my pelvic floor issues and body. That’s when I signed up for a CES membership. I knew her programs were going to work. She had already proven it with my hip.
What relief you must have felt! How were you doing emotionally and physically while searching to find help and healing?
Emotionally, I didn't really struggle with my body. I simply saw it as something to solve and heal, like any other injury. Physically, I felt broken. I had leaking, prolapse, hip pain, and was hunched over like an elderly woman. However, now I am the strongest I have ever been in my adult life! Due to the level of delivery trauma incurred, I still have some passive leaking. I need to splint due to back vaginal wall laxity. But otherwise, I am 110% healed. My pelvic floor is better than ever. One of the biggest accomplishments with my healing is when I shoulder-carried my 25 lb. son up a 5-7% grade hill near our house. I felt so strong! No leaking, heaviness or pain. It was very empowering, and I knew then that I had healed.
You have accomplished so much! What programs have you been working on?
I worked through Pelvic Floor Perfect first, then Happy Hips to help further heal my prolapse and hips. I was probably 80% healed by that time. After that, I wanted to get back into shape and started MomFit. MomFit took all my healing from the other programs to the next level! It was amazing to see my body respond so positively. It was also really fun to get strong and work toward new goals like pull-ups. I took small detours in the other programs to work at little things, like shoulder strength or lower abs. But the bulk of my healing was those three programs.
How wonderful that you are feeling so strong and all the work you have put in has paid off. Have there been any surprises along your journey?
The level of care and compassion from the team. They all understood what I had been through or was struggling with, and they were always there with encouragement and solutions. I joined at 1.5 years postpartum and that entire time prior I had never felt like anyone understood. Also, the whole body approach of CES is really unique and sets it apart from everything else. I didn’t expect my arches to factor into my hip strength, or how my anterior pelvic tilt was contributing to my core weakness. It’s an incredibly intelligent program and system.
Do you have any insight for women beginning their journey of healing, anything that you feel helped you along the way?
A few things have helped.
1) Not receiving a prolapse grade. I know some women can’t avoid this. If you can tell your PT or doctor you don’t want to know your grade, do it! Not knowing my prolapse grade allowed me to freely focus on healing my body versus controlling/reducing a number. A lot of women get wrapped up in numbers, whether it is the scale or prolapse. I think this is due to the emotional connection we have with our pelvic floors. The pelvic floor is a vulnerable place, and there can be a lot emotionally tied to it. Also, our society is obsessed with body weight and clothing sizes, and I feel like that somehow bleeds over into prolapse grades and diagnosis. It’s yet another number that somehow gets confused with self worth and identity.
2) The group support! I cannot speak enough good about the group. Firstly, there is all the awesome feedback from the team, which gave me confidence I was progressing well in the exercises. Also, I was suffering with moderately severe postpartum depression and anxiety when I joined. I never really discussed it in the group. But having ladies who understood what I was going through physically gave me so much support, and I feel it helped me emotionally and mentally as well. A year later, I realized I no longer was suffering PPD/PPA and I sincerely credit the positive, loving group environment for that, as well as physically healing my pain.
3) Going all in. Everyone is different in how they approach things and problem solve. So what works for me might not work for you. That said… I treated healing like it was my job. I did the pelvic floor program 5 days a week for the first 6-8 weeks, then reduced it to 3 times a week. I used nap time or had my husband watch our son so I could focus uninterrupted (I didn’t focus well with my little one crawling over me, or worrying if he was getting into things). I really dropped inside my body and experimented with little adjustments to get the muscles working that needed to work. I poured my heart and soul into healing. I would also take little 5 minute breaks during the day to do some of the breathing exercises (those I could do with a baby underfoot). I wasn’t racing through the programs, but I also didn’t lose momentum. I was consistent and disciplined. I wanted to feel good in my body again, and I knew doing “a little here and a little there” wasn’t going to cut it for me. I believe little steps over time add up to big changes. And yet, there has to be some level of consistency and momentum to get you over the “hump” so to speak.
What did you hope to find in this program as you began, and how has that changed as you've healed?
When I began, I just wanted to be out of pain and not be afraid of standing in a puddle of my own urine in public. But then as my pelvic floor and hips healed, I wanted to get strong and back in shape. I would say my goals now are still the same. I want to continue getting stronger. I am toying with returning to bodybuilding or even powerlifting. But I also really love MomFit! So I am still playing around and seeing where I want to go. That said, I always come back to the breathing exercises, and some of the exercises like hands and knees or the iliacus pullbacks. They reset my body like nothing else after a long day.
If you could go back to the beginning and give yourself advice, what would that be?
It’s so cliché, but… it’s a journey! Being open to that and accepting where you are is such a valuable tool. It doesn’t mean you don’t make any goals. But sometimes we fight accepting what is and try to force change, believing we can only feel better when we reach X. That leads to so much frustration. When we accept where we are, I think that allows us to really take steps forward and do what is best for us. It gets us out of the anxiety loop of “what if” and wondering when X will happen. Healing takes work and time, no doubt. But don’t put your life on hold while you’re doing what you need to do to heal. I also think patience is important. It can take time to peel back the layers and heal deeply and truly. Healing is not a quick fix, overnight thing. And don't forget hope! Hope is the thing that often keeps us driving forward. Keep hoping! Keep trying! Don't give up on yourself or your healing.
Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with us and for sharing your positivity with us in the group, it is such a gift. Your outlook is inspiring and you have come so far, we look forward to seeing where you go next!