Archive for April, 2012

Searching for….Interstim?

A really cool thing about WORDPRESS, the blogging site I use, is that it tracks your stats.  One stat that is particularly interesting to me is viewing the “search” words that individuals use that result in producing a link to my blog.

By far, the most used search term to reach my blog is “Interstim.”  I find this linkage very exhilarating and useful.  When I was first exploring the option of Interstim, I, like many people, turned to social media to get “the real scoop.”  Knowing how a person implanted with Interstim contemplates the surgery, experiences success, and lives with the implant is an immeasurable tool when deciding upon a life altering procedure.  

I’m happy to be that person to so many people.  I would encourage those searching my blog for information and/or with questions regarding my experiences with Interstim to either contact me directly at peace4Lauren@gmail.com, or leave a comment.  I would like to be able to relate my most positive experience with Interstim with you in a way that is meaningful to you.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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Biking-in the water?

My bike seat for land will be arriving at my house shortly, like, this week.  Glorious!  I can’t wait to strap my ham hocks onto the seat that is created to protect my tender pelvic floor.  I hope it works, fingers crossed! If you are so inclined, feel free to read my earlier post about biking.  I also hope that our weather cooperates.  I don’t know how it’s been where you live, but we have hit mid 70’s one day, snowstorm the next.  Wacky!

One place I do not need to worry about biking in the elements is the gym.  I’d like to be very clear, I’m not talking about “the spin class.”  I tried that, once, before I had my daughter.  I couldn’t walk, for days!  Hmmm, bikes at the gym, that aren’t in a land spin class?  Where are said bikes I speak of?  In the water of course!

Hydro-biking is an amazing workout for those with pelvic floor damage.  The hydro-bike allows you to “spin” and workout with limited pressure on your pelvic area.  It is an awesome resource that I am very lucky to be able to use at the weekly hydro-bike class at the gym.  Kudos to my gym for trying something new.

So, for someone who was told they would never ride a bike again, I say, I CAN and I AM bike riding! (with modifications).

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Opposing Views

I subscribe to many blogs.  As someone posts, their blog pops up in my e-mail and I am instantly privy to the blogger’s latest post.  I applaud bloggers for being open, honest, and straightforward in their views, yet, I often struggle with opposing viewpoints.

Sitting side by side in my e-mail today were two opposing blog entries.  One explored pro-natural birth, one pro-elective c-section. I know I have written on this topic before, but, I will continue to preach on. It was amazingly disconcerting to me that the blog that talked about natural birth left NO real option to explore elective c-section.  In fact, the blog talked about women needing to get over their fear of natural birth and just do it!  On the other hand, the blog that called for elective c-section recognized that the choice for a c-section may not be for everybody, but it should be a personal choice based on medical history and preference.

I am continuously baffled by the fact that women’s choices are restricted by one camp (all natural at any cost) and left to personal choice by the other (the ability to choose an elective c-section).  As I have said before, both options for birth are viable.  If  a mother has all of the literature, a competent medical professional, and a good head on her shoulders, she should be able to make a choice about her body and her baby.  It is when restrictions are placed on a choice that it becomes stigmatized and not socially acceptable.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

A List

On my yahoo homepage today I found a link to an interesting article: 8 Things You Should Never Say to a Mom.  While outlining the obvious, “you look so tired” and stating the always taboo “when are you due?” whilst not confirming the actual pregnancy, the article is a good guide for clueless friends and family for conversing with a new mother.

I offer you my own list titled

“8 Things you SHOULD say to a Mom who has Experienced Birth Trauma”

1.  How can I help?

2.  I can (insert chore here).

3.  Would you like to rest?  Do you need help with your appointments?  I can (insert time to babysit here).

4.  I can bring dinner over.

5.  If you’re interested, here’s a name of (a doctor/website/blog) that may help.

6.  I love you.

7.  I am here.

8.  Again, I love you.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

10,000 hits?

Blogging provides an outlet for my personal insights, views, and emotions.  It also provides a forum for me to spread my messages regarding birth trauma-both physical and emotional.  I have many loyal readers, both known to me personally as well as people I have never met.  I have made many new contacts-both personal and professional, for which I am grateful.

Thank you, my readers, for all the support and suggestions.

Thank you, my readers, for helping me get my blog out there.  Currently, I have had 4,099 hits on my blog.  I am extremely proud to be reaching all of those people.  My goal is to continue growing in readership.

My goal is to reach 10,000 hits on my blog by my one year Interstim Anniversary, August 5th.  

How can you, as a reader, help me reach my goals and, in turn, help spread the word about birth trauma?

*Use social media-encourage others to read my blog by posting it on your Facebook page or e-mail links.

*Talk about the blog in social circles, especially those circles that may include new mothers.

With your support, I feel that my goal of 10,000 hits by August 5th is an attainable one.  10,000 hits means that 10,000 people have been exposed to my blog, my story, and my attempt at making peace out of the pieces.  

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

Choosing Cesarean

Over my vacation I read the most amazing book, Choosing Cesarean, A Natural Birth Plan, written by Dr. Magnus Murphy and Pauline McDonagh Hull.  This book is a well written, informative, and research based text that allows women, their partners, and health care providers a fresh look at the possibility of elective c-section as a birth plan.  The book gives women the opposite perspective of most mainstream birthing literature and encourages women to make their own birth choices based on the information provided.

This book has been extremely timely and helpful in my own journey.  Eventually-I will have another child.  Eventually-I will have an elective c-section.  This book has made it much easier to explain my choice and educate others on the very real option of elective cesarean as a natural birth plan.

Check out Pauline’s blog, http://cesareandebate.blogspot.com/2012/03/choosing-cesarean-book-review-by.html, to understand her point of view more completely.

Well done Pauline and Dr. Murphy!

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Spring Cleaning

I’d like to point out-I like to keep sentimental items.  Just so we all know.  I keep things that are nostalgic to me, and believe me, I can find nostalgia in a used napkin if the story behind it is good enough.  Luckily, I have a husband that helps me to clean out, tidy up, and keep the important things so our house does not become one that is profiled on the television show “Hoarders.”

My point-keeping nostalgic items is all well and good unless you have PTSD.  Then, these items often become painful triggers and reminders of trauma.  Until now, items from my daughter’s early years have been piled and shut away without regard to organization in various bins and dressers in our basement storage.  Until now, those items were triggering, awful, reminders of all the stuff I couldn’t do, didn’t do, because of the PTSD.  Until now, the outfit that I took her home from the hospital in was a direct adrenaline rush and full-out panic attack.

Until now.  Today-I organized bins with toys and clothes that have been haphazardly piled willy nilly in our basement.  And guess what-no triggers, no tears, no anxiety.  Only nostalgia.  Nostalgia about the good times, the precious times.  I found the outfit we brought my daughter home in.  Instead of remembering the pain, fear, panic-I recalled the joy of a true miracle.

It is amazing to me that I could do this today.  Ask me about doing this 2 years ago, I would have claimed it to be an impossible task.  Just goes to show what therapy can do for you.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Relax

The ability to relax is one that is not easy when you have PTSD.  You never truly RELAX, you’re always waiting for the next trigger.  When I was in full swing of PTSD, I did go on vacation, I did take personal days, I did have days where I would do nothing-but I never really relaxed.

It’s different this year.  I’m on vacation-I’m relaxing-and I am, truly relaxed.

I also have a spotty internet connection, so stay tuned for the next update 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Automatic

When my PTSD was in full swing, I felt as if my life was on automatic.  Stumbling through the days in a zombie like fashion, I can recall the times between panic attacks as dull, scheduled, the same.  Keeping my routine while suffering with PTSD was very important to me.  Deviations from said routine were anxiety provoking, heart palpitating, sweat inducing experiences that I tried my best to avoid.

PTSD cannot turn on and off.  It’s always there, ready to pop out at any triggering moment.  I found it difficult to acquire new skills, capitalize on my old skills, and create new relationships.  I found it difficult to remember to fill my car with gas, drive new places, create a new recipe for dinner, make new friends, keep up with old friends, do housework, and many more.  In fact, I found it difficult to do anything but sit.  And even that was hard.  Sitting requires relaxing, and relaxing was something my mind could not do unless heavily medicated.

PTSD tears you apart, it tears your relationships apart, it knocks your skill level down, and it devastates your life.  It is not something you can have respite from.  It is something that is locked in your mind, waiting to pounce out when triggered.

Lots of family and friend support, and a competent EMDR therapist will help you emerge from the darkness of PTSD.  Time without therapy does nothing to cure  PTSD, in fact, it only makes it stronger.  Unless you want to be on automatic, with bouts of panic, I encourage you to seek the help you need.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren