Archive for March, 2012

Today is the Day.

March 12.

It’s here.

March 12, 2008-I am a mom.  My husband, daughter, and I make a family.

March 12, 2012-I am a mom.  My husband, daughter, and I make a family.

4 years does not change who I am to my daughter or what kind of familial unit I am a part of.

March 12, 2008-I am broken, traumatized, helpless.

March 12, 2012-I am pieced back together, stronger, advocating.

4 years makes all the difference, physically and emotionally.

Happy Birthday Dear Daughter.  Peace out of Pieces to me.  Blessings and Thanks to all who have helped me be who I am today, 4 years later.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

A Mother’s Sacrifice

I love my daughter.

I loved her before she was born, before I even knew her.

I want to make it very clear that I would do anything for her.

A mother’s sacrifice is one that does not always come willingly and with a lot of thought.  A mother’s sacrifice can be something that occurs instinctively and without hesitation.

During the course of birthing my daughter, I kept praying for a healthy baby.  When things turned traumatic, she was all I could think of.  At the time, it honestly didn’t matter to me what was happening to me, as long as she was safe.  All I wanted was her to be born healthy and remain healthy.

A mother’s sacrifice.  In my case, I sacrificed my body and mind that day.  I sacrificed my sphincter and my ability to properly defecate.  I sacrificed my brain and my ability to remain untriggered at reminders of the trauma.  I sacrificed my sense of well-being, both physically and mentally.

And I would do it again.

Recently, I read this story.  http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/06/indiana-mom-loses-legs-saving-kids-from-tornado/  This story highlights a mother’s sacrifice.  A mother who protected her children from the elements of a tornado and in the process lost her legs.   I don’t know how people feel about my comparison of this women’s life to mine, however, I truly feel a deep connection to her ability to sacrifice herself at a moment’s notice when faced with the trauma.  My trauma was not a tornado, but the feelings connected with both my trauma and the elements of a tornado are identical.  Extreme fear and helplessness caused both this mother and myself to react in a way that sacrificed our own well-being for that of our children.

The news has done a wonderful job portraying this mother’s courage and sacrifice.  Wouldn’t it be nice if, sometime in the future, the media would cover and support all types of trauma and the sacrifices that mother’s make?  Making birth trauma very real to others starts with an awareness.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Interstimcise

So, it’s March. And, I need to lose weight.  What better idea than to join the March Meltdown at my gym!

Since the birth of my daughter, in March 2008, exercise has been tricky.  Swimming, my main form of exercise, was not happening for a while (that whole fecal incontinence issue really put a damper on getting in the pool).  Anything that involved my pelvic floor (ab work, cycling)-not happening due to extreme pain.  Additionally, anything that wiggled my dislocated hip, caused me to let go of embarrassing gas, or possibly triggered my PTSD was not an ideal exercising situation.

So, I sat, and ate, and gained weight, until I weighed more than I did at my heaviest pregnancy weight.

February 2011, I joined a gym.  After years of physical therapy, and my high fiber diet, I felt that I could have a good handle on the pool situation.  I tentatively began aquasize classes, and slowly started swimming laps.  Of course, my going to the gym was always dependent on what kind of day my sphincter and mind were having.  I began to lose weight.

July/August 2011, I had my Interstim surgery.  Because of the healing time, I was out of the gym rotation for about 6 weeks.  You guessed it, I gained again.

And here we are.  March Meltdown.  Time to get serious.  Time to explore what I like to call “Interstimcise.”  This time, I am working with a personal trainer who knows about my Interstim Implant and can suggest productive, and safe, exercise that does not jiggle the implant, or put pressure on the site of incision.  Ever since I received my Interstim implant in August, I have been tentative as to how to proceed.  I have only done the low impact, aquasize classes. I am super excited to work with this trainer in an effort to learn more, burn more calories, and get back into the world of exercising with limited restrictions.

The Interstim Implant does not prevent you from exercising, however,  it is important to  proceed with the help of your Interstim provider as well as a knowledgeable trainer, so as not to disrupt the great gift that Interstim will give you.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

 

Beautiful Blogger

http://njgirl197329.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/beautiful_blogger-15b15d.jpg?w=200

Thank you njgirl197329 for the Beautiful Blogger Award. I would like to give it right back to you as well 🙂 It is really amazing being a part of a truly supportive blogging environment that recognizes passion, drive, and the need to have our voices heard.  You do a tremendous job raising awareness on your blog for TBI while being true to yourself and your feelings.  I commend you and recommend your blog to anyone and everyone dealing with life and it’s unpredictability.

Thank you, and KUDOS to you, njgirl197329, for you are a beautiful blogger too!

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Tears and Tears

Tears and Tears.  Words that sound the same, but mean very different things.  Tears (torn) and Tears (crying).  For me, there is a huge correlation between these two homophones.

When you have a baby vaginally, there is a risk that you will tear.  Recently, I came across a website that shows diagrams of vaginal tears in childbirth.  This slide show is an essential viewing point for anyone who wishes to understand visually the physical trauma of a tear.  Feel free to view here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-tears/PR00143

Although vaginal tears are common during vaginal birth, the severity of the tear and the “how to” of the repair differ.  In her blog, Dr. Amy-The Skeptical OB, Dr. Amy Tuteur talks about the ability to midwives to repair tears during vaginal birth. You can read her take on tearing here http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2012/02/vaginal-tears.html.

As a recipient of a third degree tear in a hospital setting, I am curious about the ability of my doctor to repair my tear during my forceps assisted vaginal birth.  According to the mayo clinic slide show, the repair for my tear should have been a bit more extensive and done with a little more care.  Maybe it should have even been done in an operating room rather than at the foot of my delivery bed.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-tears/PR00143&slide=4

Tears often follow tearing.  For me, the physical pain of the initial tear as well as the physical and emotional consequences that follow such a trauma created lots of tears.  It is my hope that midwives and doctors understand the long-term ramifications of diagnosing and repairing a tear correctly.  My tear was not repaired correctly, nor was I given the postpartum support necessary for the tear I sustained.  Luckily, I managed, on my own, to get to a rectal surgeon, and ultimately, to Interstim, to treat the incontinence issues that began with my tear.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Some people just don’t get it…

I have found there will always be some people who just don’t get it. They don’t get the birth trauma, they don’t get my mental illness (PTSD, anxiety), and they don’t get the severity of the physical symptoms I have (had).  They just don’t get it.  I have come to the conclusion that these people fall into one of two categories.

1.  They don’t get it because they don’t want or care to.

2.  They don’t get it because even though they want to, and try to, they just cannot understand it.

It is extremely difficult when people you love don’t get it. I would like to think that the people I love, and that love me, but “don’t get it” fall into the second category.  Even though it is often heartbreaking, I truly can understand why people “don’t get it.”  It is hard to understand something that you haven’t gone through yourself.  It is hard to understand something that is not constantly scrutinized by the media.  It is hard to understand something that is not a part of common conversation.

 

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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