BRIDE Kimberley Vallis looks a picture of happiness at her Rangeworthy wedding on Saturday but her smile hides the agony she was in.
Mother-of-one Kimberley, who married her partner Tony at Holy Trinity Church, is in constant excruciating pain after undergoing an operation to have a TVT bladder sling fitted in January last year.
The slight of build 29-year-old suffered incontinence after having her son Hayden, who weighed 8lb 6oz at birth and is now aged five.
“It is a subject that not many people talk about,” said Kimberley, who used to work at Edison Ford estate agents in Yate but is due to start a new job at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
“It is a bit of a taboo that people get embarrassed to discuss, but the truth of the matter is so many women suffer after giving birth. Especially if they are small like me and have had a big baby.
“Also I suffered SPD and the hormone Relaxin weakens muscles which makes it more likely for a woman to have weakened pelvic floor muscles.
“I would have accidents doing simple stuff like putting the kids into the car. I wanted to be like a regular mum and be able to jump about and play and not worry so after two years, under the care of the incontinence nurse and then physiotherapy treatment which didn’t work, I was offered the TVT mesh bladder sling.”
She said the operation had offered her real hope but had given her nothing but more problems.
“Six months after the operation I had a check up, which should have been six weeks after the operation but was delayed. By which time I had a really painful lump which was excess tape of 3-5cms of left over mesh causing the pain in my groin and in May 2015 they took out the lump. The pain however has got so much worse.
“ It is shooting electric pains, lifting heavy objects is impossible, I have to sit on a cushion to ease the pain, I struggle to drive as my clutch foot sends pain into my leg and hips.”
She said she had been so worried about getting through her wedding day in so much pain she had a steroid injection and took other painkillers.
“I had the best day,” she told the Gazette this week. “I did limp and hurt from too much dancing and walking but hey ho.”
Kimberley, who is also now stepmother to her husband’s two-year-old son Edward, is calling on other women not to have a bladder sling fitted and has joined a national Sling the Mesh campaign which opposes the procedure.
“I had this operation as I wanted to be a mother and be able to run around and play without the worry of stress urinary incontinence,” she added.
“It seemed like the perfect solution. I was warned that if I wanted another child then I would have to have a Caesarean, but I was not warned of the pain that might happen.
“I would say to anybody considering it please don’t have it done as it is not worth this much pain.”
For more information on the campaign search Sling the Mesh on Facebook.