Thursday, May 14, 2009

What I know Wednesday

First pregnancies are often a "breeze", with time flying by and wishing your belly would "show", and jogging about--but the baby blows apart your entire world and life as you knew it is terrifyingly unrecognizable.
Fifth pregnancies blow apart your entire world and life as you knew it is terrifyingly unrecognizable--but the baby is a "breeze", slipping right into daily life, with time flying by as though she was always there.

Nobody else's homeschool is mine to emulate, nor should anyone try and emulate mine. At its essence, homeschooling is just family living, with the amount and frequency of book-learning to be tweeked by the parents. How could you base your family on someone else's family? And better yet, why?

I still need to connect with other mothers who have had (preferably multiple) c-sections. But I dont really want to get dragged down into the world of online depressed Mamas either right now. Reading about my other mom friends and what they are doing at a few weeks or months postpartum shows me that there is seriously, seriously something very very VERY different about my experiences from theirs, and I am not sure where to turn for this. The library books about doing little sit-ups are not what I need. Berating myself is not what I need. But I would be lying if I didnt tell you I have been crying lately about this upcoming first birthday and where I am "at". Not to be a total bitch, but it is kind of ironic that even though the cesarean rates are so high, I have very,very few real life people I know who have had one. (blatant plea for sectioned cyber friends to commiserate/reassure/share your experiences? Is anyone else still ripping and shredding and hobbled?)

****Michelle it truly sucked of me to say I didnt know anyone, and I apologize for my rude omission. I guess in some way i was referring to Moms whom I knew when they were pregnant, and had the whole pregnancies together and then they ended up with a surgical outcome and being with them through that time and aftertime--it is great but statistically surprising that through 20+ friends and families' babies they were all vaginally born.

I am a different person when I am out in nature. I need to seek this daily, no exceptions. Yesterday we didnt go on our walk and I can feel the loss of it.

If I want the clothes that I envision in my head to exist, I am going to have to just sew them myself. Mostly I want many versions of my long green skirt. It looks so be made of big triangles of fabric, lined with some thin cotton, and has a drawstring. Cant be too hard!

My dream wardrobe is getting smaller and smaller: 7 of my long skirt, in all different color themes. 7 Old Navy tall "perfect fit" T-Shirts in various colors to go with the skirts. 1 pair of dressy dark stretch jeans. 1 pair of awesome old school rock star Levis, soft and faded, button fly. A few good bras. Undies. Buckle shoes, chucks, doc martens, crocs, winter boots and my long funky socks and my rainbow of old man cardigans collection. Please donate all other ugly lame ill fitting hideous crap to charity. Thank you!

No matter how hot cranky temperamental I might get loading 1000 pound strollers over my head with sand and tiny hotwheels cars pouring into my eyes stepping into the melted popsicle puddles and bees and flies and sunburns and mud and sweat and ugly jean shorts and farmers tans---I get it now. Summer really IS better than winter. After last winter, I am officially one of those people who tells the youngsters about the sun warming their bones and such. I get it now. (and with pregnancies and newborns behind me it will only get better)


Intertwined said...

OK, so I have never had a csection.

But the twins pregnancy has seriously done a number on my body. I STILL feel like my waist is wasted (ha! very pun-y).

I've started doing yoga-actual classes away from my house-three times a week. And wow, have I noticed a huge change. I can even do crunches with only mildly feeling like I'm going to die.

It's not the same. I know. But just wanted to let you know that I get it a little bit and what's helping me come back from total ruination of my ab muscles.

Kneelingwoman said...

Joy! I have had TWO c sections; remember? Mary and Samuel? Hmmm...

emjaybee said...

Have you found your local ICAN group? Seriously. They saved my life. My (Texas) group has several multiple-c moms (some VBAC, some not). And I just had one, but it still messes with me 3 years later. The national group was the email list that I first got on right after my section. Awesome ladies all.

Barring that, if you can find a good therapist you can afford, do.

But don't go it alone, just anyone that will listen and not judge/worry/make you feel some sort of guilt (ie, family, spouse) is invaluable, wherever you get it.

CreepyUCMama said...

C sections totally suck and as you may recall I had one with my first, he just turned 4, and today I am 39 weeks pregnant with my third, and you know section still sucks, it still itches and burns and pulls and tugs, I still walk like a 90 year old lady, I have no stomach muscles, pulling stretching screaming pains trying to roll over in bed, pregnant or not, plus the hideous hanging elephant-ass like "shelf" that now droops above my bikini line, a constant and mocking reminder of the knife. I don't think women should feel bad about having c-sections, but I do think that women shouldn't be made to feel bad or weird or different just because they didn't immediately return into 6 pack, rockin ab, jogging stroller society moms in a week, a month, or even years later. I hope I never have another c-section, I don't know how you handle having had more than one, but I know you rock and I think your clothes sound awesome, I totally envy your cool cardigans and skirts as I sit around in black stretchy exercise pants and my husband's t-shirts wishing I could paint my toe nails black. Ummm.....happy belated mother's day? I swear this wasn't meant to sound negative. =)

zelda said...

Hi there,
I have been reading your blog(s) for a very long time but haven't commented until now. I believe I found "Breast and Belly" during my search for HBAC success stories a couple of years ago.

Let me start out by saying I feel like you are a kindred spirit. More times than I can count, you have successfully articulated some thought, experience,or perspective I have had too.

Many times I have wished I lived around the corner from you so we could meet for coffee, tea or an afternoon at the park.

I hope that I can help you in some way like you have helped me.

***Just so you know, I am not a depressed Internet Mom.;) Just a tired homeschool Momma with a nursling on my lap and something to share.

The Reader's Digest version of my story is this:

I have 4 children. All of them were C-Sections. All are healthy and beautiful. My oldest is 10 and the baby is almost 7 months old.

I love my children. I am grateful that they are healthy and happy and ____(Insert all the Mom Love descriptions here.)

I routinely get all the standard lines from people... e.g. "All that matters is a healthy baby."when they learn that I have had C-Sections. Unfortunately, it has meant that Momma was/is unhealthy, broken and weary in body and spirit. It IS NOT just "another way" to have a baby. It's just not that simple.

It isn't worth trying to explain that to someone who will never get it and I don't even know HOW to explain it.


My first child's birth was a traumatic hospital birth experience. (An "Emergency" C-section with a failed epidural.The anesthesia only worked on one side. A horribly painful ordeal- physically, mentally, and emotionally. Complications a week later with a blood clot and ruptured incision. High-maintenance,fussy baby. A really bad year.)

#2 was an attempted hospital VBAC
(After a Trial of Labor, there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. That would be a hospital policy "Deal breaker"... Surgery and recovery were fine. Baby was much easier. Didn't hate life. No depression.)

#3- My 1st attempted homebirth. (We ended up transporting after 22 hours of labor and a dilation of 9cm. There was concern about the possibility of cord prolapse, so we chose to go to the hospital instead of being a potential Life-or-Death-train-wreck situation. That was another traumatic experience due to the hostile hospital environment. Long,sad story.)

#4 Another attempted homebirth. (I am either headstrong or crazy... not up for discussion though...I wanted this very badly.) Another transport and C-Section. It was under different circumstances and a much better experience but this one "proved" there is something wrong with my body. (My uterus only contracted on one side. The theory is nerve damage from one of the other surgeries. Lovely.)

Some of the results/effects of those births:

I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 10 months after my first child's birth.
I weaned my breastfed baby so I could start taking a low dose of anti-depressants. It was the only thing the medical community knew to do. I haven't taken them since that first 3 month round ended and I became pregnant with #2.

I was unable to find a counselor who would take me seriously or even another C/S Birth Trauma "Survivor" (mother) for support. The local chapter of ICAN there was very small & disorganized at that time. (No returned phone calls for weeks and some other issues.)

The ICAN chapter around here was supportive on-line when I was looking for a midwife, etc a couple of years ago, but I have not met any of them IRL since the meetings are over an hour away.

The only effective (emotional) help back then was a Grief class I took as part of a Women's Ministry group. I named my grief " The Loss of a Dream", (It was the closest title on the list.)

There wasn't a "socially acceptable" name for my birth trauma. (Assault with a scalpel?) I sat there feeling guilty because I was a mess about a birth experience when some of the other ladies had cancer, had lost a child, or were widows.

It has taken many years,but I can now tell the long version of all of my birth stories without crying. Time has helped.

As with all of my birth "stuff", there are ebbs and flows. It has been a loooonnnggg process for me.

I feel like I am in a place of "acceptance" right now about all 4 births. (The stages of grief is all I can compare it to.) That doesn't mean that this is the place I will stay.

On any given day. I can be completely angry, some degree of sad, confused, full of self-pity, raw, numb, bored/disinterested, or really "okay" with it all. (As I am today.)The healing process is not quick nor predictable.

I know you understand.

Reading other people's stories gives me hope and takes away those feelings of being the "only one" who has these thoughts or feelings. I'm not one for personal journaling.

I once did an art project (A big collage that was a creative RAGE at the C-Section.) That was therapeutic. That might be something up your alley.

Well,... Before this becomes an even bigger novel, I will post it and assure you that there are others who get it.