Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Preparing For Surgery

Many of you read my post a few weeks ago about needing some reconstructive surgery due to trauma from childbirth. If you didn't, you can see it here. I haven't posted much since then for a few reasons. Mostly because this has pretty much been the only thing on my mind lately and I know you all don't want to hear constantly about it! I've also been packing, cleaning, and doing some things around the house because I know I will be down for a long time. And I'm trying so hard to cherish the last few days before surgery going swimming, carrying my toddler, meeting with mommy friends, going out, and spending time with my husband because I know it will be awhile before I'm able to get back to "life".

Surgery is on Monday. Like, THIS Monday. I'm trying not to think about how close it is because then I get all nervous and worked up and ruin my own day with anxiety and fear. Today while driving home from a mommy playdate (let's be real here... the hangouts are for US, not the kids), I heard a little voice whisper to me "lean in". Just LEAN IN. There isn't a pain that Jesus hasn't felt; isn't a fear that he hasn't had. Help me lean in, Jesus. I believe, but help me in my unbelief.

Anyway, back to prep, while that stays on my mind for the next 6 days (but no one is counting). The hospital called me today to ask some demographic questions, and the woman told me that a nurse would call tomorrow with prep information. Wow, it's getting real, so I better get ready. I started to put my hospital bag together, because I am expected to be in the hospital at least 2 nights. Here's what I came up with...

In no particular order- I have included a robe, a couple comfortable shirts, a pair of sweat pants and a pair of soft shorts, socks (NEW socks! yay! It's like Christmas!), slippers, flip flops, face care stuff, my toiletries, pillow, blanket, water bottle, bag of snacks (more for Hubby than me), bag of recovery pads/depends, ear plugs, ginger chews (for nausea), Arnica, and lavender and peppermint essential oils.

I will also probably throw in a book (because I'll be hanging out doing absolutely nothing, I'm sure!), toothbrush, have my hubby make a playlist, phone charger, etc.

So for anyone who has had an in-patient procedure and hospital stay, am I missing anything? What else will I need that I don't have? What will I not need? I'm quite certain that they hospital will be providing all pain meds, numbing agents, etc. until I go home. After that, I'll have to send hubby to Walgreens to get the embarrassing stuff!

Anyway, you may hear from me again before surgery, maybe not. I'm going to try to fit in a few more fun things over the next few days, and on Sunday I get to do an at-home cleanse in preparation. Oh boy! Deep breaths, we're almost there.

Let's do this.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

We All Have Our "Better"

Here is a quick post from my friend Carly. We met when we were both enormously pregnant, and we have kept in touch over the last 2 years. This is a little insight into what she is learning and walking through on her journey as a mother. Let's all continue to support each other.

"When you know better, you do better." 
Maya Angelou 

 I tried to dig to the bottom of the context of this quote and was instead bombarded with legions of posts from various blogs, online groups, and message boards regarding choices in parenting and how many use this quote as not only their parenting compass, but a 'gentle' way of recommending that what you are doing with your child is hopelessly, utterly wrong. Have you ever considered.....maybe my "better" isn't your "better"? 

 I have been through so many seasons in life. Haven't we all? Fortunately, I have gained some perspective from those. I have been broke and living off of fish sticks and canned ravioli. I have been a working, single mom with not exactly a load of free time or patience. I have been a stay at home mom to an intense baby that taught me more about lacking free time and patience than being a working, single mom ever did. As a result of seasons, we make choices. 

My current season is being at home full time with two children under two years old. That intense baby is now a very mobile, intense toddler. My experience with him greatly impacted my choices with his younger sister. Having to be a present and attentive parent to two children simultaneously impacted my choices with both children. Only having two arms and two legs impacts the choices I make every day. Yet I am bombarded with what I "should" choose because this person or that person knows that I "know better".

 I do know better. 

 I know better that, for me, these are the choices that are in line with the goals my family has, all people and categories of impact considered. I have a diverse group of friends who are all over the spectrum regarding their choices, based on the goals THEY have within their familial units. I had all of the answers, too. I understand the need to spread the gospel of my amazing experiences and informational finds, because, heaven forbid, that person doesn't have access to Google and would "miss out".

 I realize how very wrong I was. I realize now that there isn't one answer for everyone in any category, and that I am showing more wisdom when I am silent because I don't know everything, as opposed to saying something because I believe I do.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

We Are All Struggling With Something (A Follow-up Post)

Yesterday I wrote a post about my physical issues since giving birth. It was a post that was very revealing and made me extremely vulnerable. You wouldn't even imagine the responses that I received!

In the last 24 hours, I have talked to at least 25 women about their own issues postpartum, and I've heard from dozens of others giving support, prayers, and thanking me for sharing something so personal. I even received a bouquet of flowers from an old friend today! What a beautiful surprise to open my door to! And thus, the first tears of the day!

Thank you Melissa and Takashi!
As I pushed the "publish" button yesterday, I was so nervous I was shaking. How would people take this? Would the response be positive or negative? I had to walk away from the computer. When I came back I was pleasantly surprised, and after spending hours on the computer answering emails, messages, comments, and text messages.... I went to bed feeling peaceful.

Here is what I have learned in the last 24 hours... we are all struggling with something. We are all looking for answers and support, and many times we are too afraid or embarrassed to mention it. I wouldn't be where I am today if a pregnant friend of mine hadn't overheard my situation and said "I work for a urologist! We deal with this stuff all the time!" and she referred me to my surgeon. I had no intention of telling her my problems, because I didn't want her to fear her impending birth. And here she is, part of my healing process.

 I learned about so many postpartum issues yesterday, and most of these women didn't even have the symptoms that I have! Which also showed me the vast array of postpartum issues that many of us suffer, and mostly in silence. Some of these women had procedures or surgeries scheduled, and others were still contemplating when to see a doctor. Some were fresh off of birth (within a few months) and wanted to make sure they weren't experiencing something "wrong". Some women simply wanted to let me know that I am not alone.

I said more than once "although our problems our different, our feelings are the same!". Embarrassment. Hurt. Anger. Helpless. Loss. Fear. Uncertainty. Disgusting. Broken.

Talking to another friend today, she said it perfectly "birth often leaves behind it's mark". And it sure does. I know that none of us regret the road we have walked and the things we have endured for our babies. But let's start TALKING about it. My pregnant friends have said that they want to know these things- they want to know what it's like to deliver a baby, what your postpartum body is like, how things feel. One of them said "why are there NO blogs or books about this!?!". I don't know. Let's change that.

I encourage you to bring up your issues with your friends and family. It doesn't matter if they are physical, mental, emotional, spiritual... someone may have the answer. Just like I never planned on telling my pregnant friend about my symptoms, when she held the answer the whole time!

Thanks for supporting me and walking this road with me. I look forward to keeping in touch with those that I have talked to, and walk your journey with you as well!