Author, podcaster and women’s health advocate Stephanie Thompson is passionate about bringing awareness to the pelvic health space, especially as this month is Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Awareness Month.
Stephanie’s traumatic birthing experience nearly stopped her from having any more children. The injuries she suffered as a result of a vacuum and forceps delivery in October 2015 with daughter Elsie left Stephanie with a pelvic organ prolapse.
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This severe and life-changing injury means she cannot stand for longer than a few minutes, lift her children or any weight above five kilograms, and that she lives with chronic pain.
"After Elsie was born and for those first few months spent in agony, my husband Tom and I decided it was a 'one and we’re done' situation," Stephanie said.
"But then I remember one day looking at Elsie playing alone on the floor and thinking, but what about her? Perhaps she might like a sibling."
Once the couple made the decision to try for a second baby, Stephanie needed to unpack what had happened the first time to try to ensure it wouldn't happen again.
They met with a number of specialists who advised the couple that there were no physical reasons Stephanie could not carry and deliver another baby.
"It took us five years to fall pregnant with Elsie, but the second time around we decided that if it didn’t happen quickly, we wouldn’t keep trying, as it was too emotionally and physically draining.
"Thankfully, I found out I was pregnant just after Elsie turned one, then it became about finding the very best obstetrician and support team we could find."
Stephanie began meeting with her obstetrician Dr Simon Winder every week to closely monitor the pregnancy and talk through the birthing options.