Swollen

10-30-15

Yep, there’s definitely a monthly pattern.

According to my menstrual calendar phone app, today was cycle day 10.  My “predicted fertile days” are the next 4 days, based on my average cycle length (28 days).  Day 14 is the expected ovulation day.

Anyway, this happened last month, too:  I started feeling more “swollen” in my vaginal area in the days leading up to ovulation.  At first I mistook it for a slight worsening of my prolapse symptoms, but today I realized that it’s not really that…

You see, today it was obvious that even part of my labia majora was swollen (an area that is clearly outside of the borders of my prolapsed anatomy).  This was the first month that I noticed that.  Obviously, if all the tissues down there are full of fluid, then it would make sense that I might feel a bit more pressure during this time of the month.

This is an important discovery:

Increased pressure due to generalized swelling in the days before ovulation does not equal a worsening of whatever degree of prolapse that I have.

As I get in tune with my body with each passing month, I feel more and more at ease.  I trust my body to respond the way it’s supposed to.  Peace is found in predictable patterns.

I am healed.

I Forgot

10-29-15

Two days ago I posted about how I basically never get a break from the annoying sensations in my perineum.  My prolapse symptoms are relatively mild, and the sensations aren’t painful, but it sure would be NICE to feel…

NOTHING.

It’s been over 14 months since I went about my days not noticing my vagina all the time.  Ah…those were the days!  Lack of awareness = Peace!

To be truthful, I have enjoyed a few joyful instances when I stopped in my tracks and realized– in shock and delight– that a few minutes had indeed passed during which my persistent discomfort momentarily disappeared (in more than one case this was facilitated by an alcoholic drink, by the way).

Fleeting moments.  Nothing more.

Today was a day like many recent days.  I felt “decent,” but never without symptoms.  Same as always, I could “feel my vagina” at all times.  But it’s not a big deal.

After I took my boy to play at the park, we went to the grocery store.  And as I was pushing the shopping cart out to the car, I realized that I’d stopped thinking about my perineum.  I hadn’t stopped feeling the pressure sensation, but my attention had fully turned elsewhere for a few minutes.

I thought at that moment…I forgot about my vagina.  It was different than realizing that I momentarily stopped having the sensation.  I hadn’t stopped feeling the feeling.  The feeling was still there.  Yet somehow I was able to forget about it.

Am I making sense?  I’m not sure.

Just know that this was definitely a new and good experience for me today!  It gives me hope that I’ll have more of those reprieves.

I am healed.

 

Dear Pudendal Nerve

10-27-15

For this blog post, I’m going to write a letter…

Dear Pudendal Nerve,

Can you please tone it down for 5 minutes, already?

I know you’re there, delivering sensory information from my perineum, up to my brain.  Yeah, I get it, you’re doing your job.  But can’t you just take a break every once in a while?

You see, the information you deliver is NOT USEFUL to me.  Got it?  When you incessantly signal my brain with the message, “pressure, pressure,” it DOESN’T HELP me.

When you send a message, please consider that I only need to be alerted when there’s a real PROBLEM.  I don’t consider it to be a problem unless something is actually falling out of me…OKAY?

So I don’t need you acting like a broken record!  Hello…it’s annoying, so stop!  I don’t need you telling me every second (when I’m standing up) that certain organs in my pelvic region are slightly off-kilter.  I mean…what I am supposed to DO that I’m not already doing?

Hmm?

I really want to work with you on this, because you know that I do appreciate all the good sensations you bring.  Thank you so much for those.  Please know that I’m grateful!

But, pudendal nerve, can we just agree on some new terms?  Can you please transmit all pleasurable sensations but only transmit the uncomfortable/painful sensations that denote a serious situation?

I don’t want you to waste your energy, and I don’t want to be burdened with having to process a lot of low level “noise.”  Why don’t you relax?  You don’t have to work so hard…really!  Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

Finding Peace

P.S.  I am healed, so it really is okay to stop!

 

So Fortunate

10-25-15

Today I went to work again.  It was only my 4th full day of work since I started my maternity leave in early August of 2014 (i.e. over one year ago).  Amazing.

Today I thought about how very fortunate I am.

Before my baby’s birth, I was hoping that our new family of 3 would be able to live on one income (plus a good bit of savings) so that I could stay home for at least 6 months, if not longer.

At the time, the only deciding factor was money.

But– I obviously had NO way of anticipating just how debilitated I’d feel for sooo many months after my (horrific) childbirth.

It would have been COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE for me to go back to work at 3 months post-partum.  It would have been HORRIBLE to imagine trying to work at 6 months post-partum.  And, even at 9 months post-partum (!), I was not at all physically capable of performing my job…even on a PRN (as needed) basis.

That’s the truth!

Even at 1 year post-partum, I didn’t feel 100% ready.  Yet, I was eager to find out if I could “tolerate” working just a little bit.  I started putting the wheels in motion…

I returned to work in September 2015, just before my baby turned 13 months old.  (I planned to work just ~1 day per week.)  If you recall, I had a decent first day back.  But…I cried the next day.

Now my boy is 14 months old (time is really ticking).  Another month has passed.

Today I was able to perform my job just fine.  Things aren’t perfect.  I’m not feeling “normal.”  But I can work!

I’m so lucky that I had the luxury of being able to stay home for as long as I wanted to.  I was able to take care of my baby AND take care of myself in that year.  Despite my struggles, in many ways it was a peaceful year.  Things could have been so much worse!

Every day I have a lot to be thankful for.  I don’t ever forget it.

I am healed.

Evening Adjustments

10-24-15

adjustment
noun ad·just·ment \ə-ˈjəs(t)-mənt\
: a small change that improves something or makes it work better

I think I’ve mentioned before that evening is the time of day when I’m likely to have my “worst” prolapse symptoms.  I put that word in quotes because these days nothing is feeling that bad, but I’m just saying that it gets relatively worse at that time.

It must be due to end-of-day fatigue and the cumulative effect of various moves that I make throughout the day in sub-optimal form.  Let’s face it:  it’s impossible to maintain perfect Whole Woman posture during every single daily activity.

But– every evening, I have the opportunity to give myself an “adjustment.”  For many months now, I’ve been in the habit of taking my showers at about 7 PM.  My husband plays with our son after dinner while I disappear for ~30 minutes.

In the shower, I do some jiggling.  I learned about this on the Whole Woman forum.  While standing, I bend forward with butt out, tailbone up with my hands propped on my legs, right above my knees.  I allow my belly to hang down, completely flaccid.  This brings my pelvic organs into their optimal positions.

I jiggle in this position and I’m still trying to figure out how best to coordinate my breath during the jiggling.  Should I jiggle after an out breath?  Should I try to breathe in and out while jiggling?  I’m experimenting to see what works the best.

After my shower, I then dry off and go lie down on my bed for maybe 10-15 minutes.  I position myself on my back with hips propped up a little.

That’s it.  That’s my evening adjustment.

I do find that this “small change” definitely improves my prolapse symptoms, which gives me a nice, positive “oomph” to get me through ’til bedtime.  Truthfully, on days when I did feel a LOT worse than I do now, I’d spend that post-shower “rest time” doing a “healing, breathing meditation.”

I should keep doing that now.  It was wonderful.

I certainly don’t miss those (fortunately few) days when I felt discouraged enough that I needed to cry for a while in my bed!  Yet, somehow I always gained a degree of peace and hope from a good cry.

I try to adjust my attitude when I adjust my pelvic organs.

I am healed.