Posts Tagged ‘childbirth’

10 weeks

To date, there are about 10 weeks left until my planned, elective, cesarean section.  I cannot tell you how excited I am and pleased that elective cesarean is an available option for me.  To know that I am able to have another child, that I am able to commit to another pregnancy and delivery without an overwhelming sense of impending doom that the trauma I experienced before could happen again, is a complete joy.  Thankfully, the choice of elective cesarean, the choice of how I will bring forth my baby into the world, the choice of how my body will deliver new life to the world, is mine to make.  This choice is supported by my doctor, and my hospital.  This choice is, for the most part, supported by my family and friends.  Unfortunately, this choice is not readily available to all mothers, not promoted by many mothers and medical professionals, and downright denied to some pregnant individuals.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about elective cesarean and the thoughts and attitudes surrounding this mode of delivery.  Articles and comments that are part of our mainstream culture that discuss elective cesarean often focus on this delivery option as one of huge risk (to both mother and child), one that should be done only in extreme circumstances (a medical emergency that arises during a “natural” vaginal birth), and one that should never EVER be done electively.  These articles on elective c-section often focus  on the mother’s selfishness, the baby’s overwhelming ability to bond or breastfeed, and society’s disgust at the choice of operation vs. “natural” process.

Although the overwhelming amount of readily available literature regarding elective cesarean focus on the negatives, as an educated women, I am able to offer you two very excellent resources that talk about elective cesarean as a more streamlined and socially accepted choice.  The best resource that I have found on this subject is the book, Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan, by Dr. Magnus Murphy and Pauline McDonagh Hull.  Another equally compelling resource for elective cesarean, a resource that provides current up-to-date trends and support surrounding this always controversial topic is the wonderful Facebook page, Cesarean by Choice Awareness Network.  Created by another individual who rallies for women’s choice in the mode of delivery, this Facebook page promotes civil discussion and inspires those individuals looking for answers and real information about elective cesarean…without societal bias of “natural” vaginal birth.

I urge anyone even remotely interested in the subject of elective cesarean to become informed, not just by the biased media that is most readily available, but by the literature and groups that are beginning to gain more momentum in the movement for women’s choice about how to birth their children.

Thanks for reading,


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,


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,


My Daughter’s Egg Tooth

So, my daughter is hatching chicks at preschool.  She’s patiently been watching the eggs in the incubator for the last 21 days, waiting for the chick to emerge.  Last night, while brushing her teeth, she told me all about the chicks’ egg tooth.  Apparently, the egg tooth on the chick is really on the beak, and it is what the chick uses to crack the egg. This crack appeared in the egg while she was at school.  Once cracked, the chick takes time to slowly push out of the egg over the next day.  My daughter was looking forward to seeing the emerged chick and broken shell next time she entered the classroom.

I could see the wheels spinning in her head as she processed her next question. “Mom, did I have an egg tooth?”  Before I could answer, she followed up, “Mom, did I crack you?”  Quickly followed by, “Mom, did I BREAK you?” Quickly followed by, “How did I get out?”

Now, of course I would not tell a 4-year-old about the perils of birth trauma, the horrific birth experience I endured, or my battered and broken body. I’m not even ready to tell her about how babies are born without any trauma. So, instead I said, “I love you. Of course you didn’t break me like a chicken shell. It’s time for bed.”

Like most 4 year olds, this redirection of conversation worked just fine, for now.  Eventually, I’ll tell her how babies are born, and much, much, much later, about birth trauma.

Right now, it’s fine with me if her understanding is limited to her egg tooth.

Thanks for reading,


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,



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,



My “Birth Position”

So, contrary to the name of this post, I’m not here to talk about the various positions in which you actually can GIVE birth, but I would like to talk about my position ON birth.

Even though MY personal experiences cause me to champion for an elective c-section birth in a hospital with lots of numbing drugs, I fully support others positions to have a non-medicated, home, vaginal birth-or something anywhere in between.

My birth position is that women should have the choice, prenatally, and during birth, to have their babies the way that they want to have their babies while preserving the mother’s health and the child’s health through a balance of the mother’s informed wishes and competent medical professional opinion.

My birth position is that women should have ALL of the information-risks/benefits on all aspects of birth prior to the actual birth of their child.  This information should be given freely and without judgement.  A mother’s birth plan should not be judged by the competent medical professional they are working with.

My birth position is that wherever the mother decides to give birth to her child, she is surrounded by competent professionals that both can support her position AND give her the medical information necessary if emergencies arise.

I recognize that birth trauma can arise from hospital births, home births, non-medicated births, medicated births,medically assisted births, and anything else that causes the mother to feel helpless and full of fear. (remember, it’s in the eye of the beholder.)  It is not up to me to tell another which birth would be less traumatizing, it’s only up to me to share MY story and help other mothers with birth trauma explore the options right for them.

So, there’s my position ON birth.

Thanks for reading,


Come ON Dora!

Yesterday, I sat down and watched an episode of “Dora the Explorer” with my daughter in which Dora was going to become “a big sister!”  (No significance for my own personal life right now, just happened to be the next episode in the netflix queue.)

Anyways, the story starts out by Dora’s papa rushing to tell Dora to “come home right away, because Mama is going to have the baby.”  Home?  Come ON Dora, home?  How come Dora isn’t going to visit Mama at the hospital?  How come Mama has to have a homebirth?

Dora, of course, needs to follow her map to find her home.  She needs to go through the Spooky forest and the Nut farm.  (At least spooky and nutty somewhat describe my views of this episode)

When Dora arrives home, she finds ALL of her extended family there.  She then goes into her parents bedroom to find her perfectly poised mother sitting up in bed.  Come ON Dora, perfectly poised?  How come Mama doesn’t look like she has just gone through the wringer?

When Dora looks at the bassinet, she finds, not one baby, but twins!  Come ON Dora, twins?  A homebirth AND a perfectly poised mother seconds after a twin birth?

Come ON Dora.  Let’s get real here.  In no way am I saying that I want a children’s show to be graphically displaying the perils of childbirth, however, it would be nice if this show could somewhat emulate what becoming a big sister will be like for my daughter.  (when the time comes)

Thanks for reading,


Sunny Side Up

While looking at my medical records, I have made important mental notes about terminology with which I wish to impart my knowledge of in an effort to understand the causes of my trauma, the nature of my trauma, and the results of my trauma.

My daughter presented as occiput posterior.  Commonly known as “sunny-side up,” this presentation of the baby is when the baby is face down but facing your front.  The baby’s back of the head, the occipital bone, is forced against the mother’s tailbone. You can read more here:

Sunny-Side Up is not an ideal way to birth your child.  Unfortunately, the care I received during labor was not ideal either, thus compounding a sunny-side up situation.  My daughter was determined to be sunny-side up, yet I was still encouraged to push on for 3 hours, while she was in this position. Labor with a sunny-side up child is pure torture.  Instead of having some semblance or relief in-between contractions, it was actually worse between because that is where my daughter’s unrelenting head met my (now) relenting tailbone.  My hospital records indicate my doctor was out of the room during this time (in the rest area-according to my mother).  After 3 hours of the most painful pushing, the doctor tried to manually turn her by forcing both of her hands into me and twisting. (didn’t work).  Through the use of forceps, my daughter was then delivered.

The consolation…the doctor told me “you should add a pound for a sunny-side up baby, because that is what it feels like you just pushed out.”  So, does 8 pounds 14 ounces get to equal 9 pounds 14 ounces?  I don’t know if this was supposed to make me feel proud or angry at the fact that I should have OBVIOUSLY had a c-section.

Although there is nothing funny about sunny-side up positioning or traumatic childbirth, the following article from Jezebel has an excellent section about the sunny-side up experience in labor.  You can read it here: 

Thanks for reading,



One of the major traumas that I endured during the birth of my child was postpartum hemorrhage.  You can read all about it here:

To the average reader, postpartum hemorrhage is when you bleed after delivery.  In my case, after I delivered my child, she was quickly whisked away to be suctioned by NICU nurses (she had swallowed meconium) As I struggled on the table to glimpse my new baby, I began to feel completely drained.  This was the beginning of the postpartum hemorrhage.  My body just wouldn’t stop bleeding.

I feel the need to be totally honest in my posts, and, if I lose some of my readers here…I apologize. At this point of my trauma, I left my body.  Whether you believe in this phenomenon or not, I truly believe that this happened.  From my out-of-body vantage point, I saw things I couldn’t have possibly seen while laying there bleeding.  I felt calm, relaxed, and at peace-even though I saw my ravaged body lying on the table, heard the nurses shouting “she’s bleeding!, and watched the frantic scurrying of the medical personnel at my bedside.  From my out-of-body location, I could actually see my child, while holding my husband’s hand, and looking down at her. (This all “occurred” while I was bleeding on the delivery table)

The thing that “snapped” me back in was the administration of medication rectally.  I found myself lying there broken on the table.  No more bleeding, but severely weakened.

I’m not asking you to judge my experience.  I just find it amazing that the body seeks to protect, even in the most challenging times.  Had I not “gone outside myself” the fear that I would have experienced at that point could have been overwhelming.  I am grateful that my body knew what to do.

Thanks for reading,


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