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,


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,



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,


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,



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,



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,


Warrior Mom

It is a universal truth that women have always given birth.  I often think about my actual birthing situation, and how I would have fared 50, 100, 500 years ago.    My conclusion is always the same; without the intervention that I had, I would have died…my daughter too.  There was just no way she was coming out on her own, forceps or c-section were needed.  There was just no way that without significant medical intervention, such as the right medication and careful monitoring postpartum, that the sustained blood loss I sustained during my postpartum hemorrhage would have been survivable in years past.

Obviously, I am truly glad that we both survived.  However, what people need to realize is that I truly believe, and believed then, was that I was, and my daughter was, in a life and death situation.  Today, there are still many “close calls” in the medical field during the birth of a child, but with the right interventions, it is a general belief that women fare a lot better than in years past.  It is important to note that although the “battle zone” in the birthing room may be one that has improved over the years, traumatic situations can still arise both in the moment and postpartum.  In reading recent message boards, comments, and blogs pertaining to PTSD following childbirth, I have found some very interesting pieces of information pertaining to the belief of the “warrior mom.”

For instance, the Aztecs, believed childbirth to be “a battle” and the mother to be “a warrior.”  It is interesting to see that this belief was part of their culture, and women were glorified in their efforts to bring a child into the world.  Today, Katherine Stone, creator of Postpartum Progress, has heralded the efforts of women as warriors in childbirth and postpartum.  She has a wide selection of postpartum “bling” in an effort to recognize women’s efforts and triumphs in seeking help and overcoming obstacles postpartum.  She is instrumental in perpetuating the belief that the Aztecs held dear so long ago, birthing women are warriors, and need to be glorified as such.
This is the personal “warrior mom” badge I chose to represent my own journey.




Thanks for reading,



My confession, I love to read. Recently, I read an awesome book, “Confessions of a Scary Mommy,” by Jill Smokler.  This book is an unbelievably honest take on all things motherhood.  It offers laughs, tears, and insights into motherhood in a way that is free of judgement and completely anonymously authentic.  This book provides a breath of fresh air, because it often expounds upon the things new mothers, and all mothers for that matter, are saying inside their skulls.  Things that are not always the things we say or think aloud.  And that, my friends, is the hilarious part, and the part that makes any new mother feel instantly part of this “scary mommy” community.

Not only is this a great book, it stems from a great blog, Scary Mommy.   Most importantly, there is a portion of this blog geared to “moms in need.”  After writing to Jill, she graciously decided to feature a link to my blog on her blog in an effort to reach those mothers who suffer in silence in regards to physical and emotional birth trauma.  Check it out!  Thanks Jill!

Thanks for Reading,


Thanks, Old Man

Dear Old Man,

Thanks.  I’ve never met you before, but yet, you felt the need to pry into my personal business.  At the gym.  While I am walking with my child in the hallway.  Thanks Old Man for asking my daughter “do you have a younger brother?” “do you have a younger sister?”  Thanks for listening and ending the conversation when she politely  said “no.” Oh wait, you felt the need to get more personal?  Thanks for asking me, and my daughter, “why not?  don’t you want to baby?”

So, I truly am in a better place with my PTSD, but this question would have sent me into a full and complete panic attack.  No wonder I avoided novel situations, or uncontrollable situations like the plague while fully involved in PTSD.  Thanks Old Man, for reinforcing my reasons I avoided everyone and everything in the throes of PTSD.  Turns out that trigger was not irrational anticipatory anxiety because people like you exist.

PTSD aside, what if I had a physical reason I could no longer have kids easily.  Oh, wait, I do have that reason.  Thanks Old Man for making me more anxious about my current physical situation.

And not to mention, there are some people in this world who do not want more kids.  What if my financial situation was such that more kids were irresponsible?  What if, god forbid, I was no longer married or with a partner who wanted kids?  What if, what if, what if?

Thanks Old Man for being a nosy busy body.  And no, you don’t get a pass just because you’re old. 

Thanks for reading,


How To: Add Fiber in your Day

As I mentioned in my earlier post, 40 grams, eating fiber is truly essential to my success with continence.  The way I look at it is that the Interstim Implant is more than helpful in getting the right nerves stimulated, and the fiber helps with the consistency and regularity of the stool.  Doing both in conjunction with each other is necessary for complete success with fecal continence.

-Adding Fiber in Your Day-

compiled by Lauren at peaceoutofpieces.com 

  • Buy Bran Buds!  These little circles of fibery goodness pack a punch.
  • Mix 1 cup of Bran Buds with yogurt, fruit, chocolate chips, nuts to achieve a parfait pleasing to your palette.
  • Mix 1 cup of Bran Buds with other small food items to create a crunchy trail mix.
  • Be daring, make a Bran Bud cookie by melting chocolate (I prefer dark chocolate chips), adding dried fruit and Bran Buds, and let set.
  • Ingest insane amounts of fiber at your breakfast by adding a crumbled high fiber granola bar, or high fiber brownie to your cup of Bran Buds and yogurt.
  • Add Bran Buds to your instant oatmeal.
  • Add Bran Buds to your other cereal.
  • Do not grind the Bran Buds up or add milk unless you like the taste of sludge or glue.

No, in no way do I get paid to endorse the Bran Buds product.  Would I enjoy that?  Sure!  Sign me up!  Regardless, Bran Buds have helped me have a better day, and they may help you too.  Give them a try 🙂

Thanks for reading,


Newer entries » · « Older entries