Archive for The Purpose

Just another reason…

The first thing my physical therapist pointed out to me when I was diagnosed with symphysis pubic dysfunction, SPD, is that the mode of the baby’s arrival would be important to consider.  Already knowing that I plan to have an elective c-section based on my past experiences, she quickly added on that a c-section is the best way to deliver a baby from a mother suffering with SPD.  Thinking about this, it makes perfect sense.  Why try to force a child’s head through an area in your body that is in extreme pain?  Why try for a vaginal birth when the reality of a vaginal birth for women with SPD is the action of splitting the pelvis further apart, possibly even breaking the pelvis, and causing life long problems and discomfort?  Why not opt for the truly safer option for women with SPD, the elective cesarean and bypass the pelvic floor and further damage to that area completely?
Why, when based with the evidence of a professional, and based upon a mother’s own pain with SPD, is a vaginal birth even considered?  Well, me being me, I checked out literature and forums surrounding this very topic.  The topic of c-section with SPD versus vaginal birth.   With despair, I noted that many women, women suffering with SPD, now also are suffering with disparaging answers and discussions on forums regarding their possible choice to have a c-section.  Why is society so adamant that  vaginal birth is best?  Clearly, when a woman is suffering with SPD, c-section should be the most obvious and logical choice.  Unfortunately, the forums I encountered suggested ways to still push for a vaginal birth with this condition.  Ways that encouraged mothers to avoid a c-section at any cost. Ways that clearly were not optimal to a woman in labor.  One such suggestion was measuring how far you could put your knees apart prior to labor without essentially cracking your pelvis, creating a ribbon loop, and using the loop during labor to not surpass that width.  As a women suffering with SPD, I can assure you that the width would not be that far, thus making labor and delivery much more difficult to achieve.  In addition, delivery of a baby vaginally by a woman with SPD increases the chances for SPD in the next pregnancy.  For that matter, any traumatic vaginal birth where there is damage to the pelvis or pelvic floor results in an increased likelihood for SPD in future pregnancies.  I know this to be true as my current SPD condition is a result of my weakened pelvic floor by way of my prior forceps traumatic delivery.

I’m all for choice in birth.  However, when society dictates a decree about vaginal birth at any cost, I hesitate to agree.  There should always be an open-minded discussion regarding the mode of delivery.  One that considers the mother’s physical and emotional needs as well as the baby.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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Boo! (hoo)

Happy Halloween! Watch out for ghosts, goblins, witches, pirates, and split pelvis’? This morning I found myself back in physical therapy, with the same wonderful therapist that helped me through all of my incontinence issues and sacroiliac pain post delivery of my now 4 1/2 year old daughter.  I found myself sitting in the same chairs, in the same office, waiting for an explanation and hoping for relief from the near constant pain radiating from my pelvis and down my legs.  It didn’t take long to get the diagnosis, symphysis pubic dysfunction.  Or, in layman’s terms, a pelvis that feels split in the middle resulting in feelings of constant pressure and pain radiating down the legs and around the groin area.  Once again, a diagnosis of something that very few people talk about, which causes potential delays in diagnosis and treatment.  Luckily, I have only been experiencing symptoms for about a week.  However, when I originally went to my OBGYN’s office, the mistaken diagnosis of round ligament pain was the only explanation.  It was not until I pushed for more answers that symphysis pubic dysfunction, SPD, came out as the “official” diagnosis by way of my physical therapist.  My message, as always, if something does not feel right, don’t settle.  Keep pushing for the right diagnosis, so that you can be on the way to more effective treatment and recovery.  SPD is something that won’t go away until (hopefully) post delivery and post breastfeeding.  However, it is something that can be managed with less pain than if left untreated.  For now, I will leave you in the spirit of the day of Halloween and say BOO (hoo)!

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Celebrating my 100th post!

This is my 100th post.

I thought I should probably make it somewhat meaningful, possibly a celebration of how far I have come, or a glance at what I have become.

Or both.

Well, I have come from a place of despair, of darkness, of hopelessness, of fear.

I have become a fighter, a survivor,….. an advocate.
In March 2008, I gave birth to one of the most precious blessings in my life.  4 1/2 years ago I experienced both the best and worst day of my life.  At the same time this beautiful light entered my life, my own light went out.  I suffered both physical and emotional consequences I could not have even imagined.  My world stopped making sense.

Through my struggles my family remained by my side, supporting me in my therapies, medical testing, and surgeries.

Slowly, with time, support, and extensive therapy, I began to emerge, a stronger, better, LOUDER, advocating individual.  I fight for women’s choice in birthing options, access to timely and correct prenatal and postpartum care, and recognition of the very real devastating effects of physical and emotional birth trauma.

I am happy to announce that I have been able to take the next step in my life journey.  I am expecting.  A thought, a dream, that I could not entertain for months, years, because of the physical and emotional ramifications of my first delivery.  I am so very happy to be able to share this with you, my readers, with the very real hope that I am offering YOU hope.  Things can and will get better.  It is possible.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren (and baby bump)

You Never Know

You never know.  This has been a mantra of mine since deciding to share my experiences, and share my story.  The other day, I was catching up with a friend and I handed her my card  that outlines my blogging website and my mission.  The person beside me, a man, overheard my conversation and promptly asked me for the information, citing his daughter’s agonizing recent experience with her own childbirth.  I was happy to oblige and give him a card that I know will contain information critical for his daughter in these early postpartum days.  I commend this man for speaking out.  Yet, once again, I am overwhelmed to think of the amount of women who suffer in silence, and who do not break their silence because of social stigmas.   It is because of these very occurrences that I continue to speak, loudly, everywhere, without hesitation, because….you never know.  You never know who is listening.  You never know who you may help next.  You never know.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

I’m in the Office

I’m in the office.  The doctor’s office.  That flyer regarding Medtronic Interstim for fecal incontinence that the doctor distributes?  It highlights my words, my experiences.  What an awesome outcome from my work as advocate.

“I could feel again. I could clench again. I could CONTROL my bowel movements again.” — Lauren

As I’ve said time and time again, advocacy is my way of dealing with my birth trauma, with my fecal incontinence, with my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  OK, Advocacy and a whole lot of therapy, time, medical interventions, medications, and support helped me overcome the many obstacles that plagued me.  However, at this point in my journey, support and advocacy are all that remain in my mission to lessen the stigma of birth trauma.  It has been so very exciting to see my words in print by way of Medtronic Interstim advertising materials.  It is encouraging that my words and my experiences are being distributed to those who may need the inspiration and information.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Happy Assiversary

Today I celebrated my “assiversary.”  Yes, 1 year ago, August 5th, I had my permanent Interstim implant placed squarely in my upper right butt cheek.  1 year ago, my quality of life significantly enhanced, 1 year ago, the symptoms of fecal incontinence were erased.  And so, I celebrated. With 30 or so of my closest friends and family.  We laughed over appetizers of Nutella, chocolate covered raisins, toilet bowl bread bowl, and turtle chocolate candies. We dined upon sloppy joe, sphincter rings (onion rings), and roughage (salad and watermellon).  We talked about how far I have come, how much their support has meant to me, and how grateful I am for Interstim and the technology.  We overused phrases like “you bet your ass I’ll be there!” “that’s a big ass cake!” and “what a crappy time this is!” And we laughed and smiled at the success I have experienced in the past year.  Thank you for all who were a part of my special day.
Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Ambassador

In an effort to strengthen my advocacy with causes I believe in, I have become a volunteer patient ambassador for Medtronic Interstim.  In this capacity, I am available to chat with those interested in the therapy, those wanting to learn more about my experiences with fecal incontinence,  and those wishing to understand how Medtronic Interstim therapy for fecal incontinence has changed my life.  This free service is one that I hope many people take advantage of, especially those who need a hopeful conversation in the realm of fecal incontinence therapies.  If you are considering Interstim therapy, and would like to talk with myself or another Interstim Ambassador, use the following link to sign up.  Interstim Ambassador Program  I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Spousal Support

Having the support of loved ones during a physical or mental ailment is paramount to one’s well being and eventual recovery.  It is imperative that the support that one receives from loved ones is unconditional and without judgement.  Recently, on SHINE by Yahoo, a beautiful article outlined just how important it is to “love a shattered soul.”  The article shows spouses and loved ones unending support of their military partners, who now are afflicted with PTSD.  As you well know, PTSD does not affect those only in the military, but anyone who meets the criteria for PTSD in the face of a life threatening, or perceived life threatening situation.   It’s important that we recognize all spouses, who, in the face of this horrible illness, take on a new roles of caregiver and advocate, and commend them for their support.  So, thank you, to my husband, for all of your support.  Thank you, to the military spouses in this article who show that no one should suffer in silence and without treatment.  Thank you to any and all spouses who maintain a healthy and productive relationship with their spouse who is suffering from mental illness by promoting wellness, treatment, unending support, and unconditional love. 

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

 

Let Freedom Ring

On this 4th of July, we celebrate our freedoms. (At least in the United States we do)

I’m celebrating my freedom to:

1.  walk out of my house and know that my Interstim, years of physical therapy, and high fiber diet will keep my incontinence in check.

2.  enjoy the day free from PTSD triggers knowing that my EMDR therapy has processed all of them.

3.  recognize the fact that I am empowered because of my experiences and have the ability to advocate for myself and others.

I’m celebrating the freedom I have found in myself, with thanks and praise to those who founded our freedoms in years past and those who continue to protect our freedoms today.  Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

 

second opinion

The search history on my computer is fraught with the following terms: fecal incontinence, PTSD, childbirth, trauma, tears, Interstim.  Essentially, if someone who did not know me seized and searched my computer history, they would be inundated with my passion to understand, research, and illuminate others about topics not always talked about candidly and publicly.

Recently, I came across this gem of a program regarding the medical community and their stance and understanding of fecal incontinence.  To watch the full episode  as outlined on the website, Second Opinion, does require a time commitment, but it is well worth it if you or a loved one is suffering with fecal incontinence.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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