As a mum of two small girls, a busted knee does not go down too well. When Frankie was 3 and half months I sustained painful ligament strain in the rib cage, this was caused by the weight of Frankie’s body lying across me whilst feeding during the night coupled with a persistent cough.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding affects our bodies in more ways than we would think. The hormone relaxin is present throughout our pregnancies in order to help with childbirth. A doctor told me that it stays in our systems at higher than usual levels while we breastfeed. After the rib injury, it may have been a good idea to err on the side of caution with my chosen activities.
Spring break had begun. This meant finding two weeks worth of boredom eliminating things to do for Lola. So I thought it would be a really fun idea if we went ice skating. Andrew chose to stay off the ice. He was already known as ‘the Dad who fell over arse over elbow on sports day’ he walked away from that one looking as if just been in a motorcycle accident! He was definitely erring on the side of caution this time as he wasn’t about to openly invite another injury.
I however, knew how stay upright on the ice as I’d been a skating pro at the ripe old age of 10, I’m slightly exaggerating there, but I could skate pretty well. It had only been 23 years since I’d last been, what possible harm could I get myself into…
With an initial wobble we were off. I was impressed with Lola, she took off and skated around the rink holding on to her little penguin. Once we’d been around 2 or 3 time she got brave and let go of it. Of course we were going at a snails pace, but I stayed close, she only fell on her bottom once or twice.
Eventually Lola got tired and went for a rest with Dad. At this point, I got giddy so I picked up the pace. I saw Andrew eyeballing from the side as if to say, slow down! I put my arm up and signed just one more lap as I whizzed passed. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, ‘a bit quicker’ I thought. I felt like I was gliding. Then, it happened, my balance went completely off. I came down with an almighty Splat.
I landed with my full body weight on my left knee. I felt a jolt of excruciating pain. I got up, grabbed my left knee and shrieked out , I looked up and saw a guy holding onto a snowman, he was looking at me almost smirking with a ‘I’m glad I’m not you!’ expression, I painfully grimaced my way to the rink exit holding back the expletives. We got home and the swelling had taken over. I couldn’t bend my left leg or bare any weight on it.
One X ray, one MRI, one leg brace and set of crutches later. I have a torn meniscus or Cartledge damage to you and I. Upon diagnosis I had to endure a telling off from my five year old, in a stern voice she said “Mummy, I told you, you should not have gone so fast!”
This past month I’ve been hobbling around with a leg brace on, in a fair amount of pain. Taking care of two kids, especially a six month old baby who loves to be held most of the time, has been difficult to say the least. I was advised by my doctor that I should at the very least use one crutch and hold Frankie with my free arm. Well, its been fun trying to carry a wriggly heavy baby down steep marble stairs with an immobilised leg and one crutch. Needless to say the crutch swiftly got tossed in the storage cupboard. It’s been one of those times in Dubai that in-home help really would have been a godsend.
Aside from my recent plight, I have found that when in my hour of need I have been lucky enough to find a great network of other mums who are in the same boat. I’m not sure what I’d of done without my brilliant neighbour who fetched Lola down the stairs at school pick up or offered to bring her home when things just got too painful.
Another ingenious idea to come out of Dubai is the little convenience app Instsashop, which has become my new best friend this month. Its easy to use and your groceries are brought straight to your door within an hour. Perfect for when when your laid up on the sofa with an injury, or the other Mums emergency, running out of nappies when the kids are already in bed.
So what have I learnt? I really must try to avoid these injury inducing situations. Yep, accidents do happen. You can’t avoid everything. But I can be (slightly) more sensible about things.
I think from now on ill try be a little more gentle on myself. I’ll try and remind myself I’m still a breastfeeding Mum who’s not at my pre pregnancy state of health yet. I haven’t had a full nights sleep for over six months, I should reserve my energy by doing gentler activities. Ok, who am I kidding! I guess I can just slow my pace down a bit.
For 30 minutes a day since Frankie was born I would release any tension with a yoga routine, Frankie would be asleep and it would be 30 minutes of chill time. 30 miutues doesn’t sound a lot but it would make the day better. I’m missing it terribly. There’s a lot to be said for a good old cat cow and warrior II pose to start the day.
Its safe to say ice skating is off our ‘fun things to do list’ for the foreseeable future.