Posts filed under ‘Birth’

Photo a Day May: Peace – 1.

So I have always wanted to take on a Photo a Day Challenge and lying here in bed realizing its May 1st made me realize that today is the perfect day to start.  So yes I am late to the draw, and already in bed, and this may not be entirely the best depiction of peace for today, it is the best for right now.  i am in bed. I just had chips and salsa. I have got a dog lying on my hip, and good books on my nightstand. Not that I have to explain myself to any of you. But life is grand. My boy is peacefully and soundly (I can assume) asleep, and while I certainly wouldn’t mind an extra cuddle or two before I close up my eyes, I am okay.  Tonight, I will find solace in the books.  ‘Cause I certainly did not find it in the anesthesiologist’s talk tonight at Royal University Hospital on coping with labour pain. Could you be anymore degrading and flippant?  Yikes. Another thought for another time my friends.

For now, peace:

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Stay tuned for the month of photos

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May 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm 2 comments

I’m back, I’m back, I’m back.

Soooooo, I’ve sort of been MIA.  I wish I could say I was soul searching and hugging my babies 24/7, but unfortunately it’s just because I have been downright tired and downright busy.  I am having a bit of a, err, time… if you will, with this back to work transition.  It’s taking its toll on me, and while I am happy to say that we are in a pretty good routine, it’s because we have to go.  Plain and simple.  If we weren’t, we would all be unravelling and it just would not be pretty.  So, routine it is and routine it has to be.  The bonus is that my boy is doing swimmingly well at daycare.  He’s a rockstar, he really is.  He makes me proud and me makes my heart beam EVERY SINGLE DAY.  What a little monkey.  Who ever thought humans could love other humans that much?  I mean, c’mon now, we all know that humans, most of the time, are kind of… ridiculous?  Annoying?  Idiotic?  Crappy?  You pick your choice word.  But nope.  Not this human, and not this love.  This is inTENSE.

Do you even know how many times I have said “I should blog about this” in the past month?  Too many, actually.  I’m sort of a dork like that.  I have been called dork, geek, nerd, what have you.  Out loud.  By more than one person.  So I just go with it, because really, that is what I am and I am alright with that.  In my books, when you call me that, you are calling me awesome, so thank you!

(By the way, this post is bound to be a bit of a wild card.  Roll with it.)

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So in the last month that I was away, while I said that I am not doing any soul searching, that is not entirely true.  I am always soul searching, and while I have a lot less time for that now (so it seems), it is all that much more important for me to do a lot of soul searching.   You see… I had a rebirth when the boy entered our lives.  Obviously I guess, right?  I think it is sort of an unspoken right but maybe not.  Anyway, I had a major one.  Huge.  Life changing, perspective shifting, all that awesome stuff.  I sort of kind of felt like I was hitting the tip of the iceberg on that journey and then blammo, thrown back into my place of employment.  It was hard.  It still is, and it might always will be.  No jonesin’ here. SO, in terms of that, because I am not living my life in a sort of free for all sense anymore, I need to be looking inward in order to look outward.  That really truly is another post for another day, but in my soul searching I have done numerous things.  Regarding self-care, it has always been really important for me to take care of every single aspect of me.  Physical, creative/spiritual, social, emotional, mental… what have you.  So as you can see above, I have learned to knit.  Oh yes I have, and what you are seeing above is my first completed project, a super spunky rainbow dishcloth to bring some much needed light to the dismal task of scrubbing crumbed up, filthy dishes.   I am also working on a scarf for myself.  In fact, I made quite a bit of progress, and then tore it all off because it was way too wide and I was not happy with it.  So back at square one we are.

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Also in terms of the creative spiritual stuff, I whipped up a bath of a post-partum herbal bath (first photo) for some dear friends who are bringing life to Earth within the next couple of days to the next couple of months.  I borrowed the recipe from this post about ‘Mother Roasting’ and it smells absolutely glorious.  I am going to package it up all prettily and give with grace.  Alongside that, I also made Mother’s Milk Tea, using a recipe from the Passionate Homemaking blog.   The benefits of the herbs in the tea are listed on the site.  I haven’t tasted it yet but I figure I probably should before I’m gifting it to others.

These projects are the beginning of one of my goals, or should I just say intentions, of 2012, which is to give homemade gifts… only.  It sounds doable but it also does sound very laborious.  It is fulfilling for me to give gifts in the first place, but it does a little something special for my heart and for my soul to give a gift that I created, so let’s hope this bandwagon keeps on chuggin’.

In terms of physical care, I have been really focusing and working on going to the gym in the mornings before work.  It does mean that I have to get up at around 5:15am to be there for 5:30, but it feels oh so very good once I am there, and even better once I am leaving there, sweaty brow and all.  6:30am and my workout is done for the day?  Day-um.  It’s hard, it really is, but not as hard as I thought it would be.  I am pretty sure I got some indirect messages that I wouldn’t be able to do it, so a slight part of the awesomeness is pride and being able to say, oh shit yeah I’m doing it.  Keeping active has always been really important to me, and so I could not jeopardize that aspect upon going back to work.  And there is no way that once I get home, bundled up, cozied up with my fam-jam, that I would be heading out to the gym to get some sweating in.  Nope.  Not happening.

Also somewhat in line with the spiritual piece, but moreso with the mental/emotional piece, is that I have sought out some counselling for myself.  Finally.  I have met with her three times so far, and it’s been alright.  She has helped me to gain some perspective on certain aspects of my life and relationships with people, and my different roles that I have taken on.  What really prompted this was going back to work and how difficult it really was and is.  I knew that I had to do something else to take care of myself, and so I reached out in this regard.  I am not sure how long I will see her or where it will go, but I only know that it is a start.  I yearn for a connection, and the age old ‘when the student is ready the teacher will come’ I guess kind of stands, and does relate.  It feels really good to lay it all out there, because I have spent the majority of my life being the one that people dump their stuff onto.  And that’s okay!  But it’s really hard not to get caught up in that.  And it’s even harder to sort of forget about yourself in that process.  Losing myself is not where I want to be.

Socially, I think sort of speaks for itself.  In this little rebirth thingy I’ve got going on, I have come to recognize the people that I genuinely need to have close by, within reach.  I need my solid supports like anybody else, but I have never felt such a strong pull towards people that I consider close to me.  You really get to know people on a different level at certain times of your life, and I truly feel blessed to have the people in my life that I do.  I think they’re all there for some reason or another, whether it’s cosmic or whether it is simply a good ol’ friendly relationship with somebody that means the world to me.  But there are people that we cross paths with in school, or in jobs, or wherever.  A lot of them come and go, but there’s those special ones.  Those special ones, who years later, are there more than they have ever been.  Those special ones shine.  Those special ones really make me wonder how after only working together sporadically for a couple months, eight years later, she’s still there.   Hold them close, people.  They’re few and far between.

Also related to pretty much every aspect of myself (and I’ve likely blogged about this too many times) is the fact that I want to and need to continue doing this regularly.  I feel good when I write.  I feel good when I share with others and engage in dialogue, and so I need to, need to, need to keep this up.  It is an outlet for me, and while I do feel censored (I hate that I do, but bottomline, I don’t tell everyone everything, and while there are things I would love to write about and have some of you read, honestly, I am not so sure how I feel about all of the world reading it.  No harsh feelings, just how it is) I do feel excited by the idea of sharing things and connecting.

So with that, I am going to more efficiently glue myself to this here couch, and zone out for a couple hours before bed.  Netflix, anyone?

January 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm 7 comments

The First Year.

 

It’s not even that I have been procrastinating, I just haven’t really had time.  The start of the first year, our lives changed dramatically, and the same goes for the start of the second year.  What a whirlwind.  I got to a point tonight where I started to feel severely overwhelmed.  I can keep my shit together, for the most part.  We’re nearing the end of back to work week 3, and it is sort of sinking in that, yup, this is how it will be for the next little while.  It is hard and draining and emotionally overwhelming.  Being AT work itself is not horrible.  My office has a window and that helps exponentially.  I think about my my boy, my love, and my pooch constantly, but the work itself?  Fine.  I am not knee deep in it yet though.  Maybe ask me in a month?

The after work part is the hardest.  At about 3pm I start to feel completely tapped out and drained.  So by the time we pick up the boy from daycare (which is going swimmingly!) and then get home, unload, put away stuff from the day, I am spent.  And that’s before supper.  I’m trying to go to bed at a decent hour, and I have to, because as of 3 days ago I made a decision to start waking up at 5am so I can be at the gym for 5:30.   But I’m still absolutely drained of energy by the end of the day.  The thought of cleaning, the thought of doing dishes, the thought of any extra responsibility tires me.  I know it will take getting used to and I am really trying to be positive.  It’s just hard.  The year I had with my boy is the year I got used to, and now it has changed again.  The post-partum adjustment period was crazy.  I remember March being a rough month.  In hindsight, it was pretty bad.   I was in a bad place and didn’t bother to seek out support aside from my immediate peeps.  Not good.  So my point, is that it took me awhile.  I thought I was awesome with change but apparently it takes me a little bit.  The only thing I can think to do, is to remind myself that this is okay.  It’s okay if I need time.

The issue I am struggling with the most is that the bulk of my energy is going to work.  I don’t think this is a bad thing, obviously.  I like my work, I enjoy what I do, and I’m passionate about it.  I put in my all when I am at work, but I have made a promise to myself that I am not carrying it home with me.  I cannot do that.  It would not be fair to me, but mostly, it would not be fair to my family.  I already am struggling with the fact that at the end of the day, when I’m spent, my fuse is shortened, my patience thinner.  I am not being the best mother that I can be.   I am not being the best partner I can be.  I am probably not being the best friend I can be either.  I know what my potential is (sorta – sometimes my modesty gets in the way) and it saddens me that I am not living up to it.  I don’t think my standards are high, it is simply a matter of routine, and getting into it.  Figuring out how to jive with this new life thing.

So technically that is part of the second year and since this is supposed to be a reflection… onward!

My first year of motherhood, eh?  I don’t even really feel like I can completely capture it appropriately with words, but I’m going to give it a shot.

For starters, the moment I birthed my boy, my life was forever transformed.  And at that point, I didn’t even realize how much that statement was going to be truer than true.  From the getgo, I fell immediately in love with this most precious little being.  (We officially 100% completely bonded on all applicable levels, not immediately, not even the next day, but I remember the moment I thought oh THIS is bonding, I thought that I was bonded before but no, THIS is it.  Before?  That was survival).  My body, our bodies, created life.  This simple fact blows my mind to this very day.  It’s not even unnatural, obviously, it’s happening by the second, worldwide.  But it’s beautiful and unreal.  It is captivating.

We began to embark on a journey of sorts.  It started out rocky.  We still hit rocky patches.  But mostly, it’s smooth.  And journeys are sort of boring when they become too consistent, right?   I am grateful and overjoyed that my boy keeps me on my toes, every second of every minute of every hour of every day.  I am not even exaggerating.  He is a busy, busy little soul, and an explorer at heart.  I am so excited to watch where his soul, his explorer capabilities take him.   Every day he makes me smile, every day he makes me laugh.  What gets me through every single work day, is knowing that at the end of it, I get to run up to the door (sometimes if I’m nice I let Kyle go), open the door handle, and see the most beautiful little face, waiting for me, reaching for me.  It warms my heart.  Honestly, sometimes so much I fear the risk of overheating.

It blows my mind the amount of stuff children learn and do in the first year of their life.  That is IN-TENSE.  Smile. Laugh. Roll over. Hold things. Sit up. Crawl. Stand up. Walk (sometimes).  Play.  Learn.  Talk.  Eat.  Drink.  Develop the strongest relationship with his pup.  ;)  The other day I was asking my little angel to give his mama a kiss, and he, without breaking his look away from the passerbys in the grocery store of course, opened up his mouth, leaned in to me, and planted the sloppiest wettest most awesome kiss ever.   It fascinates me (but not really, because I already know that children are obviously so smart, they are human friggin’ beings!) that he knows how to do this, and just picked up on it like so.   And that is only one example.  Kid blows my mind.

And as for my own personal journey from being a woman, to being a woman with a child, a mother, this little boy has changed me in ways that even I will not be able to pinpoint.  All I know is, I feel in some ways like a completely different woman, but in some (a lot) of ways, exactly the same.  There are things I get now, that I had no concept of before, mostly because I didn’t feel the need to have a concept of.  There are things I am passionate about now that were over my head before.  My ability to be assertive has increased tenfold, and along with that, I have softened up by even more.  Everything is touching, everything is special and sentimental.  A friend said to me, it’s because we have given birth, and so we feel like we have given birth to everything, and I couldn’t have said it better.  I feel like I am on a path that I was not on before.  I have hopes and dreams and passions that I want to fulfill.  The concept of health means more to me than it ever did.  I really feel like I have never worked this hard to be healthy in my life, aside maybe from when I was pregnant, because I truly felt at my healthiest then.  It is one thing to put healthy, wholesome things in our body, and to regulate how we manage our muscles and our bones.  But this here mind, this here heart, this shit needs to be in tip-top shape.  I have recognized ways in which I am not being the best person I can be.  It’s not even that I have some ridiculously high standards for myself, because I really don’t think I do.  In fact, I think that I am living my life in an even simpler way than before, if that is even possible.

I have never had as little money as I do right now, but I have never felt this happy.  Or this excited about what tomorrow, or next week, or next year, might bring.  I have never felt so connected to a little being before.  I still cannot believe I am a mother and I have a son.  I have never felt this intimate with my spouse.  There’s this super intense level of intimacy, bonding, and energy field that has developed – or maybe not so much developed as expanded – between the two of us, and how we interact with one another, and with other important people in our lives.  I have never had as many ridiculous 3am sleep-deprived arguments in my life, but I have never had as much positive growth and soul-searching either.  My life, our lives, have changed exponentially.  I can’t put it into words but as you can see – if you’ve made it this far – I have tried.  I might have different ways of doing things, or varying ideas and beliefs than before (or perhaps they are simply just interpreted as so or are just being voiced now by the new assertive me ;).  But different does not have to mean bad or negative.  I am not scared of change or growth, and I don’t want you to be either.  Look where it’s got us so far?

November 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm 3 comments

Stuff.

I don’t want this post to be a mish-mash, but unfortunately that’s what it may come down to.  I’ve spent too long wanting to do this post and just avoiding it altogether, simply because I couldn’t get my thoughts in check, and because honestly?  I thought I was being ridiculous and silly and over-reacting in a sense.  I am going to stop myself right there and not excuse any feelings, because I hate when other people do that in themselves!  Bottom line, if we think something matters, if we are bothered by something, then, it matters. 

I’ve posted the boy’s birth story with promises to myself to do another birth story from more of an analytical point of view.  I still haven’t done that, but this is a start.  Basically, in a nut shell, I was induced and (shockingly or not, depending on who you talk to) had an incredible birth experience for the most part.  I was induced with Cervadil (a cervical ripening agent) and then received Sintocinon (synthetic oxytocin).  I also had an Epidural, and while I loved it at the time, an Epidural or any medicated pain-relief would not be my first choice next go.  Considering how inductions can and often do go, I think that we were blessed, and lucky.  The boy and I were healthy throughout labouring, and the delivery pretty well went off without a fly.  My boy was born healthy as can be, and I was ecstatic.  After I gave birth, I became immersed in a world of birth, the online natural birth communities, reading about how awful and terrible interventions and pain-relief drugs can be, and how they can affect bonding and breastfeeding and the birth experience as a whole.  As much as I appreciated the information, and still do so much, I hated how I often felt like garbage after reading them.  Was it so shameful that I was induced?  I felt like I had to justify it.  I still sometimes do.  While I wish I would have been armed with more education, information, research so as to possibly avoid an induction (though high blood pressure can be SO damaging to mama and baby and I do think inductions can be medically necessary), the reality is, I was induced.  So sue me?  Except, not.

I’ve read far too much ‘all or nothing’ sentiments, but I’ve also read a lot of good, supportive information from strong communities.  However, it’s the all or nothing that gets me.  I despise how women are nearly made to feel bad if they had a good relationship with their doctor, or heaven forbid, liked their doctor.  But doctors are evil, money-hounds!  Truth is, I liked (and still like) our family doctor.  How dare I like someone who recommended an induction, I know.  The mere thought is paralyzing to some.  I don’t feel like she recommended an induction with her interests at stake (financially or convenience).  I felt supported by her, and honestly, when she came to the hospital the day I was in labour (she came 3 times I do believe), I felt calmed by her presence.   She was and still is a great support.  She spent an hour with us at our appointments, not in and out in 15 minutes.  If, for our next baby, the home birth/midwife route doesn’t work out for whatever reason, I would feel 100% confident having our doctor at the birth.  Confession: while I ‘interviewed’ her prior to deciding on her as our caregiver, there are more questions I would want to ask.  Things I’d want to clarify, and to have a good strong birth plan in place.

I think as women we need to choose our caregivers carefully.  We need to ensure that our doctor’s or midwife’s philosophy of birth matches our own, and that we will be able to feel comfortable and supported during such an extremely transformative experience.   There are great midwives and awful midwives and there are wonderful doctors and absolutely terrible doctors.  One size does not fit all, and families need to go with their gut.  What feels right?  What feels good?  Do you want to ditch the doc and find a good strong midwife, maybe birth your baby at home, maybe not?  Great, do that.  Are you fine with having your baby in a hospital attended by your doctor, not so cool with the midwife-route?  That’s fine too.  Do you feel comfortable having an unassisted birth in the comforts of your home, with only your spouse, your children, and possibly a friend or two as support?  So awesome and I support you 100%.

So, that was totally an aside, and what I meant to right about was the emotional pain that I experienced during our post-birth experience.   Like I said, I put it off for so long, because I couldn’t formulate the thoughts or the words.  I felt for so long that I was worked up about something that didn’t matter.  Sometimes I really need people to flip a new perspective on things for me so that I can give myself permission to feel and to heal.  Is that healthy, no, not necessarily all the time, but in this case, it’s what I needed and so I’m allowing myself that.

When I had the boy, after an hour of pushing, he popped out and I’m not really exaggerating.  None of this head, shoulders, rest of the body biz.  He flew out in one push, which I think is largely attributed to a) epidural and reducing sensation resulting in me not ‘going with the flow’ in terms of pushing b) strong contraction + strong push also connected to not necessarily knowing how strong I was pushing.  So needless to say, my perineum wasn’t in the best of shape.  I remember after I gave birth, I didn’t want to put my legs down.  It. hurt. so. bad.  I knew that that the on-call OB/GYN was going to be attending for ‘repairs’ (it was a partial 3rd degree tear, so our doctor referred to the OB) and the mere thought of getting ‘comfortable’ and then having to sprawl out again when the OB got there, was enough to send me packin’.  I think I eventually put my legs down, though, because it took I think 30-45 minutes for the OB to actually get there and start stitching.  I received my hospital health records a couple weeks ago, and it surprised me how long it took for them to get there, but how little time it actually took to do the repairs – 15 minutes, yet it felt like an hour at LEAST.

The main part I wanted to talk about, was not necessarily the tearing or the repairs and healing themselves.  I’ve talked about that, but I wanted to talk about the OB’s words and how they stung.  I am doing everything I can to hold myself back from apologizing for feeling what I’m feeling.  One side of my brain + heart is telling me to just get it out there, talk about it, recognize how it hurt you, and proceed to heal.  The other side is telling me to woman up, suck it up, stop making a big deal out of it, and get on with your life.  It’s ridiculous really.  It’s not holding me back from living my life, but it is something that bothers me, that makes me shudder.  One thing that does bother me about blogging about it, is that taken out of context, I don’t think the feeling, the harshness, is quite there.  And I guess I just have to be okay with that, because that is part of what this (blogging) is about.

When I was getting stitched up, it was very painful.  It is the part I remember the most (in terms of pain) about the experience.  I would have thought because I had an epidural, that it would have been a bit more numbed up, but it just wasn’t.  And so it hurt.  A lot.  I was in visible pain, squirming, but trying to stay still so they could do their thing.  It was the OB and a resident, and I believe it was the resident who did most of the repairs, with the OB pitching in here and there.  I asked how much longer, and the OB said it will be awhile.  A little bit after that, I asked him “Are you almost done?”  and his reply, the words that stung, that sting, and that took all of the power he had and threw it against me, “Do you want me to fix you up or not?”  

It’s the control thing.  The power.  He took all the power he had, as a man in authority, in power, in ‘good standing’ in the college of medicine or what have you, and used it against me.  His words bit me ,they cut a knife through the vulnerable state I was in, and they hurt my heart and they ached my soul.  A couple weeks ago I was talking to Kyle about this experience, and he put that into perspective.  I wondered for a long time why they bothered me.  I knew they were insensitive and rude, disrespectful comments to make, but to still sting 11 months later?   Last night, a dear friend and I were reminiscing about our birth experiences, and she put it into perspective again for me, as she tends to do with a lot of things, and said that while she didn’t want to assume anything, she saw his comment, his treatment of me, as emotional abuse.   I asked Kyle why he didn’t say anything, why he didn’t stand up for me, when the OB was being so completely awful.  He barely remembers the OB and that moment – his main priority at that moment was his newborn baby, whom he was so over the moon with, and supporting me, in the various stages of post-partum pain.

I’ve thought about doing a complaint about this man’s treatment towards me.  I haven’t taken any steps, and honestly, I don’t know what I would need to do, but I’m still considering it.  Why is it okay to let him make other women feel like this?  Like I said, language, words, are powerful.  I really think some caregivers ought to learn some sensitivity, empathy, and plain and simple caring for the human spirit.  Compassion isn’t that difficult to embrace is it?

I am an emotional being, and I have softened up a lot since I had the boy.  I was pretty soft before.  I’ve always been a sensitive soul, but toss in pregnancy, birthing, and being a mother into that mix and wow.  Wow.  Shit stings, you know?  I’ve spent many a year, many a decade, ignoring my feelings and truckin’ on for the sake of others, and even myself.  Easier to put a smile on sometimes, isn’t it?  I’m sure we all know about that.  I think sometimes people see me as some sort of weird pillar of strength.  I am strong, and really, it’s because I have so much strength in my life.  Family, friends, resources, things.  I have great influencers of strength, strong support networks, and people that encourage me in any way possible.  I have ‘stuff’ too.  And sometimes?  That stuff gets shoved under other stuff, and then it never comes out.  Or if it does, it manifests in ways that are maybe not as healthy as say, letting that stuff out.

 

October 6, 2011 at 10:10 am 11 comments

Offbeat Mama!

I had planned to do a post on my review of the DivaCup, however, I noticed that I got some traffic via Offbeat Mama, and realized that my post is already up!  I may have read the e-mail wrong, or perhaps there was an error in the date they told me, but, my post is up!  It is a condensed version, obviously, because the actual version is very long – but I am thrilled nonetheless and so excited to be sharing my experiences and sharing in other’s experiences as well by way of my story.

I am so thrilled, I really really am.  The response already has been absolutely incredible.  I want to reply to every single comment, and when I have a bit more time, I absolutely will.  I feel truly honoured, blessed, and lucky to be able to exchange stories, share information, and support with other parents in such a great capacity.  I have learned an insane amount about parenting, about life, and about myself as a result of birthing, the transformative experience to motherhood that it is, as well as breastfeeding, and the journey that it is.  To be able to network with others, belong to a community of like-minded individuals as well as individuals with completely different values, philosophies as myself – is incredible.  I feel like I have had the opportunity of a lifetime.

So with that, we’ll talk about the DivaCup later.  For now, I’m just going to celebrate this.  I’m going to bed one happy mama tonight.

XO, to all of you.  Through and through.

 

 

 

September 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm 4 comments

The Pelvic Floor.

Maybe I’m immature, but the ‘floor’ bit gets me giggling inside a little teeny bit.  Pelvic Floor.  Floor.  Hm.

For tonight’s once again late post (I promise I’ll get back on track soon) I just want to share an article I stumbled across last night because I think it is critical information that we are not provided openly and often.

How many times do people tell you to do your kegels?

How many times do you do your kegels, and think, Okey doke, I’ve done my part, on with my day?

This article is a very thorough and holistic look at pelvic floor health – what it affects it and what we can do to strengthen and overall improve our pelvic floor.   I’m guilty of thinking to myself on more than one occasion, Oh, I feel fine, I’ll do a few kegels and I’ll be good to go, but this article really makes me re-consider and want to re-arrange and garbage those thoughts.  I would rather not have my pelvic organs falling out of my crotch, thank you very much.

There is also a workshop/session coming up at Birth Rhythms on Understanding Pelvic Health, and I think it might be beneficial to take.  Speaking of Birth Rhythms, attended a documentary screening + ‘official’ opening of their new Pregnancy & Health Centre tonight and it was lovely.  Met a few wonderful folks and had a glorious time.  I think that there will be big things happening (heck, there already are) as a result of the work the Birth Rhythms crew is doing, and you know?  That just makes this ol’ heart very, very happy.

Incontinence, Prolapse & Pelvic Floor Health

September 25, 2011 at 12:30 am 1 comment

September 28, Mark It!

I got a very pleasant e-mail yesterday from an administrator on Offbeat Mama, and it said:

Hey Trista!  This will run on Sept.28 at 11AM PST.

And by this, she is referring to my breastfeeding story that I submitted, the same one I posted on my blog 2 months ago.   I was really surprised to get the e-mail, as I wasn’t sure if they would publish my story.  They get a ton of submissions, and obviously cannot publish all, so needless to say, I am pleasantly surprised.

By posting it on my blog, I had an amazing response.  All of your replies brought tears to my eyes.  I recognize the emotional extent of the breastfeeding journey, through and through, or at least from the perspective of someone who has had struggles, and so I kind of feel like I can say, I get it. 

I had a Facebook chat with a friend who is a Certified Lactation Educator.  We have talked extensively about breastfeeding, our journeys, and our birth experiences, and we have quite similar birth experiences and very eerily similar breastfeeding stories.   She was curious about my situation, and so was wondering if she could ask a few questions.  Of course I did not mind, anything to try to get to the root of what went on!

From what I informed her about my pregnancy and about our birth experience, she feels 95% certain that my struggles were not related to anything physiological. Of course, she cannot say for sure, but I really do respect her education, background, knowledge, and experiences with breastfeeding.  She feels that there were a whole bunch of things lined up against me, and that is what affected our journey.   So, it was more circumstantial, based on her evaluation.  What she said that sort of summed it up was:

IV fluids, epidural and pitocin cause the body to swell. The tissue in the breasts swell and prevent the ducts from releasing milk. It can cause a delay in mature milk coming in. It also contributes to severe latching problems for the baby, so they are not able to remove colostrum/milk. When the milk is not removed, feedback inhibitor of lactation builds up, and tells your body to stop making milk.

She also offered to support me next go, which is just fabulous.  When I say friend, I guess I sort of mean acquaintance (in the best way possible), and only because I feel like I know her well, but we don’t hang out real-time!  It was good to talk with her, and have her take on things.  I know it’s really hard to pinpoint any answer, and while I’ve already considered the Epidural/IV/Pitocin combo, as well as had it suggested by health care providers, it was good that echoed.  I want to feel confident for next time around, and this helps me to feel so.

Anyway, I am passionate about breastfeeding.  I consider myself a breastfeeding advocate, which probably sounds silly.  But with that being said, I consider myself a women’s rights advocate, feminist, advocate for personal choice, and with that, I think the BEST thing we can do is support women, support health care providers, and provide breastfeeding education that SO many of us have to search down on the Internet for rather than being provided it through and through, no questions asked.  This is information that should be readily available, and not just when there are issues.  Women should have access to support peoples if they need be, if THEY feel they need, and not denied when someone thinks that there is no need.  Families should be educated on all the feeding choices for their newborn/toddler/child, and make a decision from there.  Only a woman and her family knows what is best.

I am excited to be able to share my story, and to be able to heal from it, and learn from it.  I feel honoured to be able to share and support other women, and to hear other women’s stories, as heart breaking as they may be.  I really feel like I can hear people out.  I’m not a fan of “I know how you feel” because obviously, I don’t, but I feel that in this situation, I can get as close as possible, but because breastfeeding is so personal, I truly respect and honour each woman/baby/family’s personal experience.

I have learned a crap load, and would love to be a Lactation Educator so that I can fuel my passion and support others that are learning the ropes of breastfeeding.  Actually, what I really want, is to take the doula training course.  That is my next goal and I hope to achieve it by spring of 2012.  I think that’s doable.  The only thing holding me back is budget.  It’s just not in the budget.  Unfortunately, because there is a course starting up in a couple weeks that I would love to enroll in.  Thems the breaks.

So to wrap it up, on September 28 (Wednesday!) check out www.offbeatmama.com and you will see my story.  I am pretty excited by this, I really feel honoured that they will be sharing my story with the world, on a site where there is some major exposure, and a lot of really good people who read and belong to that community.  I’m really beyond thrilled.

September 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm 4 comments


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