A MUM who couldn’t lift her baby without wetting herself has solved her embarrassing problem with a “vaginal facelift.”
Kirsty Spray, 45, battled to become a mum for years but was left incontinent after a giving birth to daughter Isabelle Missy with a forceps birth at 40 weeks.
PA Real Life Kirsty was left with an embarrassing problem after the birth of Isabelle
Since having the 15-minute procedure Kirsty, from Camberley, Surrey, has been able to pick her up without any problems.
Hairdresser Kirsty said: “It was horrible thinking, ‘if I go on the floor and play with Isabelle I will wet myself’. I was so embarrassed and worried all the time.”
She added: “Before the procedure, the best thing in my life had just happened to me, but I was constantly distracted, thinking, ‘Where’s the next toilet?’”
For over a year, after having Isabelle induced on November 11, 2015, at Surrey’s Frimley Park Hospital, Kirsty was forced to change her underwear at least twice a day, if she so much as lifted or played with her baby.
PA Real Life Kirsty and Paul battled for three years to have a baby
Her plight seemed especially cruel as she and her air freight director partner-of-10-years, Paul Nash, 45, had been trying to start a family together for three years, after having a stillborn baby, Michael, in April 2012.
She also had two miscarriages later that year and she suffered more heartbreak when she had a termination of a baby named Poppy, in April 2014, who suffered from a chromosome defect.
Kirsty said: “It was a long road to motherhood, a really awful time for us. Even when I was pregnant with Isabelle, at every scan I was worried the doctors were going to tell me I had lost her.
“I never thought we would have a baby and feared that Isabelle would not survive.”
PA Real Life Isabelle was born through a forceps delivery
Kirsty, who first dated Paul in high school, before drifting apart and reconnecting years later on Facebook, was given an episiotomy – where a cut is made in the area between the anus and the vagina, to make it wider – before forceps were used to deliver Isabelle.
This was after doctors became concerned during labour because she had low oxygen levels.
She said: “I only pushed three times, and with the help of the forceps, our gorgeous girl came screaming into the world.
“It was magical to hear her cry for the first time. I truly never thought that day would come.”
PA Real Life Kirsty, with Paul, when she was heavily pregnant
Born fit and healthy, weighing 6lb 7oz, they called her Isabelle Missy – with her middle name being selected in honour of Kirsty’s mum, Pat Spray who used to call her daughter’s bump “Missy” and who died of liver cancer, aged 68, just eight weeks before the birth.
After their tragic history together, Paul – who has two children from a previous relationship – and Kirsty were over the moon to meet their little girl.
Kirsty continued: “The day after she was born, I tried to go to the bathroom, but walking there I didn’t even make it to the toilet.
“I was sent home that afternoon, so had a catheter fitted, as incontinence is common after giving birth with forceps.”
After two weeks, Kirsty returned to the hospital to have the catheter removed but, back home with her baby girl, she discovered she could not even pick her up without wetting herself.
PA Real Life A scan of baby Isabelle
“I was going through incontinence pads like no one’s business. It’s the last thing you want when you have just brought a beautiful child home,” she explained.
“I couldn’t even pick Isabelle up, because my pants ended up soaking wet. Going out with her was a struggle, as even picking up her pram would set me off.”
Kirsty could only sleep for four hours a night, before having to dash to the bathroom and could not exercise – something she did six times a week before falling pregnant – without having an accident.
“It got to the point where I couldn’t speak, cough or laugh for fear or wetting myself. That meant even going out with my friends was off the table,” she recalled.
“I became paranoid, too, that I smelt of wee, and just knew I needed to do something.”
So, at the start of last year, Kirsty began researching her symptoms.
“I was not keen on surgical intervention, like a mesh, because of all the risks it held. But I came across something called a FemiLift.
PA Real Life Kirsty with baby Isabelle, who arrived after a series of heartbreaking events
“Billed as a ‘vaginal facelift,’ I saw it was a non-surgical C02 laser treatment, taking only 15 minutes – less time than a lunch-break. As far as I was concerned, I had nothing to lose. It was definitely worth a try.”
The procedure works by the doctor inserting a probe into the vagina, through which a CO2 laser is directed at the vaginal tissue.
The laser transfers light into heat energy, which stimulates collagen regeneration and thickens the skin of the vaginal wall.
After discussing the treatment with Paul, Kirsty contacted Courthouse Clinics in Marylebone, central London, and booked in for one of three appointments in February last year, costing £3,785.
Now feeling like a new woman, Kirsty said: “Finally, I can truly be the mum I have always wanted to be. I can pick Isabelle, now two, up, play with her, push her in the swings in the park – it’s changed my life.”
Why do women experience incontinence after birth?
It’s not uncommon for women to experience incontinence after childbirth.
The tissues and muscles that support your womb (uterus), bowel and bladder stretch during pregnancy. This is due to hormones and the weight of your growing baby.
These muscles and tissues are called your pelvic floor.
During birth, the pelvic floor muscles are stretched and weakened even more.
Having a weak pelvic floor makes it harder for you to squeeze the small muscles at the bottom of your bladder. This means that you may have trouble controlling when you wee. This is called stress incontinence.
Stress incontinence is common in new mums. It affects about a third of women in the first year after having their baby.
You may leak wee when you cough, sneeze, laugh or run. Lifting things can also make you wee. You may just leak a few drops, or enough to seep through your clothes.
The NHS recommend pelvic floor exercises, which can help limit this.
You can do pelvic floor exercises anywhere and at any time, either sitting or standing up:
Squeeze and draw in your anus at the same time, and close up and draw your vagina upwards
Do it quickly, tightening and releasing the muscles immediately
Then do it slowly, holding the contractions for as long as you can, but no more than 10 seconds, before you relax
Repeat each exercise 10 times, four to six times a day
You may find it helps to imagine you’re holding in a tampon or stopping yourself urinating.
Source Baby Centre/ NHS