Monday, June 30, 2014
My New Journey (TMI Alert)
"And the priest said to them 'Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.'" - Judges 18:6
Friends, this is a pretty heavy post today. I want to tell you about the new journey that I have begun. I wish it was an extremely exciting journey (like a baby!?!?), but it's more of a long, emotional, strengthening and healing journey. It's a journey that I have been hesitant to discuss because of it's nature, but I think it's time.
Most of you will remember the long and difficult birth of Piper. It wasn't too long after her birth that I began to notice some symptoms of things being not quite right "down there". After lots of research (Google was my best friend and worst enemy), I was pretty sure that I had figured out the problem through self-diagnosis and read that it could heal all on it own. To give it a year. Great! I will, and I did. The symptoms only worsened. My body did not heal on it's own.
We want more children but it hasn't happened yet, so we decided to move forward with this. 21 months after the birth of my child, I finally got up the nerve (and got so fed up of the symptoms) to see a doctor about the problem. It was just over a week ago, and the surgeon took one look at me and knew the problem. Although the diagnosis was worse that I had thought, the procedure to fix it seemed simple and doable. This was both encouraging and painful at the same time. To actually hear that you are "broken" does not feel good. To have my husband sitting in the room with me hearing about my problems and what attention they require... well, that will definitely make the wedding vows "for better or worse, in sickness and in health" run through your mind.
Without getting into too much detail, the birth of my child damaged my body so badly that it requires reconstructive surgery, and *hopefully* the surgery will indeed fix it. The surgery requires a few days in the hospital and a long healing process. I am expecting to spend about 3 weeks on the couch, unable to sit or walk. Then another few weeks with no lifting and minimal body movements. It basically sounds like recovering from birthing a baby, but harder and without the crying newborn (thank goodness). And that is all if this surgery fixes the problem. If not, additional surgeries and healing will be required. And lastly, because of this surgery, any additional babies we have will need to be born via scheduled c-section. I know, I know, that really works people up, but I'll talk more about that another time.
This is not the path I envisioned myself taking. This is not part of the life that I planned for myself. Invasive, painful surgery that also inhibits my ability to birth.
But over the last week and a half, I have had to see this from another point of view. I AM NOT A VICTIM. Yes, this horrible thing has happened to me and I could dwell on it, but I already tried that. When I dwell on it, all I feel is anxiety and fear. All I can think about is surgery and pain and the "what ifs". But when I decide to take it head-on and "attack" the problem, there isn't much fear left. I think what scares me the most is that I have absolutely no control over this. I cannot workout more, eat better, make more money, go back in time, or do ANYTHING to fix this myself. It is out of my control. But my mindset and my choices CAN be in my control.
I have a friend, Sharon, who handles every change in her life as if it is just another phase. She flows gently through pregnancy, job changes, traveling, and trials as if it is a river that she floats on. It is all a part of life, and she joyfully accepts it all. I want to be more like her.
I have spent the time since my appointment going through so many feelings and emotions. I have let myself feel the hurt of "things lost" (aka natural childbirth), I have stayed awake in fear while reading stories of failed procedures, I have felt rest and peace about my decision. And then today, they called to schedule the surgery and it all came back.
I have already cried today, and I am sure there will be more tears in the future. Probably lots of them! But there is nothing that I will go through that my God has not already walked through and experienced. This is not a surprise to him. And I hope, oh I hope, that I can remain teachable. There is a purpose for this pain and suffering, and there will be an end, and I can't wait to see what is on the other side.
I have not shared details in this post because I have some readers who probably don't want to know (Hi Grandpa!), but please know that I am open to discuss my condition and the surgery. Just send me a message! I want to share this because I am sure I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE. Having this issue makes me feel so isolated and alone, and I didn't have anyone to really talk to about it. I recently found a group on Facebook that has been so nice to be able to discuss our problems without embarrassment or judgement!
I am sharing this because maybe you have something from your childbirth that sounds similar but are too afraid to talk about and don't know who to ask. ASK ME! As I researched, I couldn't find hardly any blogs, forums, ANYTHING that had women discussing this- only the medical journals! Oh, and for the record, many of these stated that this condition is only present in 3rd world countries, and has been cured in America! HA! I know a group of about 300 ladies that would protest that pretty heavily. But I am walking through this now, and I wouldn't mind the company. I have always wanted to live an open life so that my experiences could impact someone else, or give them encouragement as they walked through their trials.
This is part of life. This is part of birth. This is part of learning and part of MY healing process. I am not seeking your sympathy, but I am eager to see why God chose me and what will come of this. I will continue to pray that this process will not only heal my body, but heal my spirit as well.
"There is nothing the nearness of Christ can't heal"- Mike Wells