Thursday, July 17, 2008

Joining the ranks

I was very bummed out, concerned, but mostly, validated when I came across this thing today. I had typed cesarean scar massage into google and found this Q+A type of message board. I do not vouch for anything else on the site but the voices of the post-op women was something I had not had much access to.

when I had my first section in 2000, I was somewhat new to the internet, as far as searching, and I wanted to really deny that this was me. I didnt want to bond or cry I wanted to move on and get pregnant right away again. This is common with a "bad" outcome regarding pregnancy and birth. Anyhow, it took 20 months after my first period to conceive and in retrospect I am glad.

when I had my 2nd section in 2005 I knew too much and was extraordinarily saddened by the whole thing. Extremely devastated. Extremely silenced. Extremely shunned and muted and my pain and my situation was totally and utterly and even resentfully "blown off" by almost everyone I knew, family, friends, strangers, noone wanted to deal with me or it or anything. It was made clear that the entire subject matter was just unacceptable, and the pressure building inside of me literally and figuratively started me blogging. First the guise was that I was blogging about "our days" but from the get-go I had anger and snide little slip-ins about how difficult it was with this pain, my little "profile" said some thing about how "New Mamas shouldnt be abandoned" etc. I was hurting, baaaaaaaaad. Heartbroken 24/7 was how I would describe my first year(ish?) with Charlie and the kids.

One entry I did on the "homeschooling fun times" blog was about birth and I got a lame comment from a guy friend of ours and it was that that let me know I HAD to have a whole seperate entity to write about birth and stuff and thus Breast and Belly was born, along with the other blogs that were just NOT about homeschool!

Ok what am I talking about?
Oh yeah....well anyways being self-identified as a homebirther and a homebirth advocate and not wanting to get on any kind of lists with any c section moms WHATSOEVER, I actually know remarkably little about healing and what is common and what is normal, etc. My anger and pain was too big for me to "go there" and so I just put energies all into other things birthy.

I am in pain, but without the bitterness of the surprise cesarean, but the new newness of the planned cesarean, and it is very different. It is "better" and it is not convoluted by the extraordinary weight of "WHYWHYWHYOHGODHOW COULD I HAVE AVOIDED THIS OH WHYWHY WHY DID THEY BUTCHER ME?"
Now it is like, ok, we did this, we felt it was going to happen anyhow, lets get better! All these cool and wonderful Mamas online are telling me about massages and vitamins and lets check it all out!
So I do not know if I want to be on some commiseration-ring with anyone just yet. There is so much potentially "there" with cesareans, and my story is mine, and it takes enough energy to share it with my blog and you al, I dont know if I can start up with strangers who might be coming from so many different angles and beliefs-- just give me the damn instructions, eh? Thats probably too simplistic. I have alot of unhealed stuff from my old births, too. Alot.

I am really freaking out about this family event, 2 of them actually, and I know the belief of the people on Daddy's side of the family: We dont talk about Birth and C Sections are easy-peasy even though none of us had one. ACK!

I was also TOLD, point blank, in my face, (well, not really, on my bed-phone because they didnt come to see me or the baby or the kids until the baby was almost 2 weeks old, didnt babysit didnt do anything they promised) on day THREE by my mother in law that "I am probably mostly better by now if not tomorrow for sure" (This was when 2 nurses had to help me to turn in bed to start the 10 miute process of sitting up to begin the long long walk to the bathroom bent completely over, weeping--no--SOBBING with each impossible step)

I was also told, TOLD when the baby was about 12 days old that "Well, youre all better now!" and when I looked at her, incredulously, tears pouring down my face "No, I am not, not by a long shot, " she told me that I needed to "quit takin them pills". I rolled over in bed as best as I could (that is still hard to do) and nursed until she left my bedside.

its so easy to tell people to not worry about what others think, but it still sucks to enter into a group situation where every person there has such an agenda, for lack of a better word.

I want to get better. It is scary to read about all the women who have pain years later and the ones who wrote about limited leg motion really made me think WOW, I have had hobbling right leg since 11-05, but can fake a normal gait. I just want to get better!

I feel really good today--yesterday was SO BAD I felt like I had lost 3 weeks off of my recovery, couldnt even carry Eska and walk! But today I feel good so I am NOT going to clean I am going to rest!
Charlie and Casey are squirting good, new baby wash all over their own heads out on the sidewalk, it is 8:30 am, and instead of screaming at them, OR putting in the good hour it will take to give them baths, new just gonna take a picture and let them crust over : )

Of course I am among the ranks of moms who have had cesareans. Whether I want to be or not, it is true and real. I do not want to get sucked under and start drowning in abunch of MDC crying and bashing fests, but it is no longer (too) scary to search some stuff on google here and there. It no longer makes me turn purple and cry and write big thingies about how hospitals are evil and stuff. I hope that this fact hasnt made my blog boring, I know it sure isnt what it used to be, a nice fist-pumping F-the-Hospital kind of an affair--but hopefully the true story of me is still interesting enough.

PS my own family and my own friends this time have really really been wonderful. I wanted that to be very clear. this is a daddys side o the tree deal right now, the parties and the attitudes.


Judit said...

Oh, I feel so bad Joy, I want to apologize. Reading this post it just seems dumb of me to have said (pretty much) don't worry about what others think... but I didn't, I COULDNT imagine that your in-laws not just think to themselves, but say and do things this insensitive! Those are thoughts that lead to actions like not visiting you for two weeks and not helping with babysitting and generally not acknowledging your needs and your experience. I am so sorry, Joy. It really isn't as simple as don't worry what "others" think. You are right. They're your support system that isn't. Ugh.

CNH said...

Fascinating, actually.

Your MIL is a bitch. So is mine. She told me when I was on day 5 of laying in bed sobbing after losing our first baby to miscarriage that "normal people don't do this". I was supposed to just get over it and snap out of it, apparently. Stop takin them damn pills Joy and just GET OVER your constant pain. @@

Housefairy said...

WOW CNH that is HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!


And Judit, no no no I didnt mean you at all! I tell people to ignore what people think, even though it is hard to put into practice. I LOVED your imagery of pop pop popping the little bubbles and am going to use it!
hugs to you both

Mermaid said...

The biggest and best step in your recovery was the decision you already made and that was to have a c-section with Eska, YOU were in control and YOU decided what would be best for your body. The pain is hard, physically and mentally, however you are already many steps towards healing, even though it may not feel that way right now. Have faith in yourself, keep blogging and release that energy, tell us all. You have already opened most of our eyes by telling the truth. Sending good vibes your way.

emjaybee said...

So, has ICAN been helping or hurting for you, or have you avoided them? I have mixed feelings; I've met some truly awesome people ther and also some "OMG must get pregnant again now!" types which, no, and I am still a good person if I never vag. birth. I know they don't *mean* that, but sometimes, I don't want to talk about your updcoming VBAC...I want to talk about the stuff I'm still dealing with. Also, Yahoo Groups both sucks and blows, why can't they get a decent forum with archives for Chrissakes? Anyway.

Oh and fuck those people that say stupid shit to you. Honestly. WTF is wrong with someone who sees a woman in pain and thinks "Hey, maybe she needs a hurtful comment from me! That'll fix her!" Jesus.

Kelley said...

Joy, thanks for being such a wonderful friend and calling me this afternoon just because you were worried about me. THAT is what friends are for. I will forever be grateful for your blog, no matter what it says, because it led me to you and our friendship.

(Am I being too sappy?) :)

Oh, and I so had to laugh about Charlie and Casey and the baby wash. I don't think it would be a good idea to get those two and my two together. There would be some serious fallout from those four masterminding together. Yikes!

Andrea said...

Joy -- Just a thought, but, if you were post-op from an appendectomy or something, would you really be expected to even attend family functions? I know there are expectations and there would be disappointment and etc. etc., but if you're not up to it, I vote that you just don't go!

I know it's easier said than done. I got guilted into a couple of trips to visit inlaws when my son was just a few months old, one when I'd just had a lengthy and draining miscarriage, but these trips almost put my marriage on the line. I swear, if there's another baby, we don't go anywhere if I'm not up to it.

DoulaMomma said...

People are such asshats sometimes - they (like you MIL) want women to be all better & not need anything so that they can feel comfortable. When they ask "how are you", you are supposed to say "fine", don't you know! ;-)
Having babies can be wonderful & it can be hard - it's usually both at the same time, even without having to recover from major surgery, I'm sure...too bad that most people have internalized the Hallmark version of birth & babies - that it should all be a glossy lens view of sweet bliss. If it were that way though, it would probably be pretty grim, without texture.

I have a would-be client - she has had two prior cesareans and thought she had a doctor midwife team supporting a VBA2C. They have just told her they changed their minds. She is crushed & I wish I could make this different for her. I will offer her information on making it about the birth & not the surgery, but she has every right to her feelings...of course a healthy mom & baby is the main point, but it's not the only point...I'm not expressing this well, but I trust you know what I mean. Hey - I'm all fired up now - maybe there is a blog entry in this!



DoulaMomma said...

oops - thought I'd signed my post already!