Posts Tagged ‘support system’

Confessions…

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,

Lauren

Time Does NOT Erase

Kudos to PBS for honoring Memorial Day by broadcasting wonderful programming regarding soldiers, service, and PTSD.  Catching only some of it, and making a mental note to watch all of it at a later date, I was pleasantly surprised at the accuracy in the portrayal of PTSD.

As I have stated before, PTSD is not only a “soldier” issue.  However, soldiers and anyone else suffering with PTSD are often misunderstood, stigmatized, and not immediately privy to the help that they need and deserve.  This is truly unfortunate, as anyone who has suffered with this illness understands that time is the enemy.  PTSD only gets worse with time, and, being a disease that REQUIRES treatment to get through, too often it is struggled through without treatment, to continue to resurface throughout one’s lifetime.

Too often, I hear the refrain, “just give it time, you’ll get through it,” in regards to PTSD.  This thought was especially prominent during my own early struggles with PTSD.  Time does not erase PTSD, nor does it lessen the severity of PTSD.  If anything, time, without treatment, makes PTSD stronger, as more triggers develop and avoidance behaviors strengthen.

I know this diagnosis sounds particularly ominous, however, this is when we need to remember that mental illness is just that, an illness.  An illness requires treatment.  I doubt that many of us would look at a physical wound, such as a severely infected cut, and maintain the hope that “it will get better with time.”  Time without treatment, whether physical or mental is often ineffective.

I think, in looking at soldiers’ struggles throughout the years with this debilitating mental illness, we all can take note that PTSD does not go away merely with the passage of time.  It is very apparent that some soldiers who served many, many, years ago still are severely affected by PTSD.  It is not any different for other people, no matter what their profession, who suffer from PTSD.  It does not matter how many days, months, years, decades, have passed.  If you do not seek professional treatment, you will not be able to make your mind better.  Time does not erase PTSD, only treatment.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

 

I’m not a Doctor

Often, people will utilize my blog when searching for information about Interstim.  As I have stated in earlier posts, I am more than thrilled that people are finding me, my blog, and my story as a resource in an effort in getting the word out there about this life changing surgery.  However, it is important to note, I’m not a Doctor.  I have no authorization to give medical advice.  See my Disclaimer.  I can only speak to my own experiences and how the surgery has influenced my life personally.  I can also direct interested parties to the official Interstim Website to obtain a medically professional opinions.

That being said, I am obviously more than ready to share my personal story, trials, and tribulations surrounding the Interstim surgery.  Often, and understandably, people feel more comfortable privately writing to me about their questions and concerns.  I urge you to do this.  In future posts I hope to answer my most frequent questions publicly, but, rest assured, your name and other identifying information will never be revealed as I will only be compiling my answers to my most frequently asked questions in an effort to assist those who need those answers but are unwilling to ask.

So, keep asking those questions, you can e-mail me privately (peace4Lauren@gmail.com) and/or post a comment to the blog.  I promise, I will answer as truthfully as I can regarding my personal quest with the Interstim implant.  But remember, I’m not a Doctor.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

A Gift from my Daughter

For mother’s day this year, my daughter filled in a book titled “It’s all about my mom.”  By “filled in” I mean that she provided her answers and my husband scribed the words.

Besides being an awesome gift, the meaning of some of her candid responses struck me.

Some answers were definitely given from a 4 year old’s perspective.  For example:  “My Mom’s favorite flower-my daughter’s response: dandelion.”  “My mom likes to-my daughter’s response, get me a sucker at the bank!”

Other answers seemed wise beyond her years.  This answer caused me to pause, emotionally, for a very long time. “My favorite memory with my mom-my daughter’s response: when mom protected me from getting hurt.” 

After ascertaining that my husband had not fed her that response, I pondered her words. Why was this her response? Does she remember?  Does it matter if she was talking about then or now?  I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never know exactly what instance she was talking about.  I am overjoyed that my daughter knows I will protect her, knows I have protected her, and knows I will continue to protect her.  And that, my friends, is the gift that my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Happy Mother’s Day

Thank you grandmother, for having my mother.

Thank you mother, for making me.

Thank you, daughter, for making me a mother.

Mother’s everywhere are celebrating the day.  Families everywhere are singing mom’s praises.  However, with the recent question from Time Magazine, “Are you Mom enough?”, which expounds upon a mom’s ability to breastfeed well into the toddler years has cast a pall over the idea of motherhood for many moms and families.

During my time with PTSD, a question like the one above, are you mom enough?, a question that defined my ability to be “mom enough” would have torn me apart.  Even though my daughter was safe, happy, well cared for; if the media promoted a way to “be a better mom” and I was not it-the guilt and shame would crush me.

With a clearer head, and PTSD behind me, I’m here to tell you, if you are doing the best you can, and loving your child in a safe and secure environment, YOU ARE MOM ENOUGH.  Motherhood is about choices…if mom’s are making choices with the assistance of educated resources, no matter what the choice is, it should be respected.

Recently, I read an article by Dr. Amy on The Skeptical OB about the gift we can give each other for mother’s day.  I thought it so spot on, I wanted to re post it here.

Whatever your choices were that brought you to become a mother, and whatever choices you ascribe to that make you a mother, should not matter as long as they were made via education, situation, and with a loving heart.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s.  You are all mom enough.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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

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

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

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