Thankful

November 27, 2015

Today is the day after Thanksgiving (in the USA).  I’m thankful for so much, but I’ll mention just a few things here…

I remember last year at this time.  I was only ~3 months post-partum (PP) then, instead of 1 year plus 3 months PP now.  I’m thankful for the extra year!! I feel sooo much better physically this year than last.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since my baby’s first Thanksgiving, and it’ll soon be his second Christmas.  I thought about this a few days ago– that I’m entering this holiday season feeling so much more joyful than last year.

I love my baby at every age.  Each age– month by month– is precious for various reasons.  But it seems like each month I LIKE my boy’s age even better than the last.  On the one hand, I try to remember how tiny, immobile, and helpless he was as a newborn.  It seems like so long ago.  A part of me wants to relive that fleeting time again.

Yet, I love to see how strong, agile and secure he is as a young toddler.  It’s so awesome to see the person that he IS being revealed more and more with each passing month.  I’m thankful that my husband and I can give our child various opportunities to thrive in life.

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my husband and I will never split up (we’ve been together almost 25 years, after all!), which means that I’m thankful that our son will never have to cope with the insecurity, stress and pain of divorce.  As a family, we recently started doing “group hugs” and kisses.  During those, I exclaim, “We love each other!”

I’m thankful that time (with effort!) does help to heal the emotional wounds of a traumatic childbirth.  I observed that the days leading up to and culminating in my baby’s 1st birthday were some of the most emotionally draining for me.

Starting with one year + the day of his probable conception, all the way up to exactly one year after his birth day and birth minute, I relived my pregnancy week by week.  Which meant that I also relived my birth experience…but it didn’t stop there.  After my baby turned one, I continued to relive the pain of the post-partum time period, compounded by pelvic organ prolapse.

I’m thankful that these days I’m not thinking about those painful and stressful experiences with quite the same intensity as I did even 2-3 months ago.  It seems that I’m FINALLY getting to the point where it no longer seems like everything happened “just yesterday.”

I feel peaceful knowing that there’s still plenty of physical and emotional healing yet to be done.  It’s a fact that my “highs” do keep getting higher and– more importantly– my “lows” keep getting higher, too!  Case in point:

As I write this it’s my menstrual cycle day 12 (tomorrow is the estimated day of ovulation).  This is a time of the month that I’ve been noticing (for the past couple months) that my prolapse symptoms feel relatively worse.  Well…this time, this month, things feel less uncomfortable than they did last month.  Every month shows improvement!

I am thankful.  I am hopeful.  I am joyful.

I am healed.

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Not Irritable

November 23, 2015

Ok, here’s one sign of progress…

Over the past several weeks I’ve noticed that I don’t get a little irritable in the evenings anymore.  That’s good!!

The reason for that is I FEEL BETTER.  It used to be that some part of pretty much every day gave me reason to be just a “little bit” annoyed, up to “quite a bit” frustrated!  Most of the time, I held myself together pretty well.  Yet, I did notice a pattern in the evenings.

Since afternoon/evening was the time of day when I’d statistically feel the worst, and since that time of day is when there’s always a lot going on (dinner, anyone?), I did become aware of myself losing patience more than is my usual nature.

Generally, it wasn’t because of anything my husband or baby did or didn’t do.  It was simply how my sadness and anger would seep out of me.  It was like a little steam vent.  I hardly ever boiled over (the few times I did were days I just broke down and cried), but there had to be some way to release the extra pressure.

Once I recognized that my irritability was surfacing regularly, I worked hard to apply better coping mechanisms.  And I was fairly successful with that.

I think I once brought the topic up to my husband.  I’m pretty sure he responded that he didn’t even notice my mood changes.  Yes, my evening mood shift was subtle on the outside even though it didn’t seem so subtle on the inside.  Mostly it was an internal battle.

Finally one day I noticed the lack of irritability.  It was gone!  Hooray!

And here I am now.  Lately I remain happy, calm, patient and positive well into the evenings.  It’s not forced, and it’s not for show.  I really do feel more peaceful…because I feel physically better.  It’s as simple as that.

I am healed.

Deals I’ve Made With Myself

November 20, 2015

Busy times!  Two days ago I had an all-day orientation at my “new” job (which was at the place I worked before I went on a 1 year (plus) long maternity leave).  Then today I worked a full day.

And…I felt super awesome both days (and yesterday).

Almost normal, in fact.  Days like these make me think that it’s really and truly possible that I might one day feel NORMAL again.  But about the deals I’ve made with myself…

Back when I wasn’t feeling nearly as well as I’m feeling today, I told myself a couple things:

1.  I agreed that I would never get nit-picky about how my body looked again (i.e. a little fat “here,” a little loose skin “there”).  I agreed that– as long as my body functions properly– then I have ALL I need and more.

Then…I agreed that I wouldn’t wait for my body to function properly (i.e. devoid of pelvic organ prolapse symptoms) in order to internalize such a feeling of COMPLETE body acceptance.

2.  I agreed that– IF I was able to function at work again– then I’d never stress about the usual things that used to get me stressed at my job.

Today I made good on that promise to myself!

In short, having to deal with something like pelvic organ prolapse helps put other things into perspective.  That’s one good thing that’s come from this experience.  Even though I didn’t think that I’d taken anything about my health for granted before, it is easy to look back on past times and see that I still wasn’t savoring “my body intacted-ness” quite enough.

So, today…even though I was challenged by work stuff…and even though I was really starting to miss my baby something fierce by mid-afternoon…I still felt…peaceful!

I felt physically great today.  And NOTHING was going to take away that happiness.  I’m so thankful for so much!

I am healed.

It’s Helping?

November 17, 2015

Remember back about a month and a half ago, when I said that I was drinking raspberry leaf tea and making a tea out of gotu kola powder?

Well, I’ve been very good about taking the gotu kola powder tea daily, and I’ve been pretty good about drinking the raspberry leaf tea most days.  (Up until recently, I was faithfully drinking both on a daily basis.)

After I posted a couple weeks ago about how I’ve noticed my belly skin tightening up, it occurred to me that maybe it was because of the gotu kola powder.  Could it be?  At the time, I’d been drinking a teaspoon of powder in hot water daily for about a month.  Recall that the gotu kola powder is supposed to heal/repair/strengthen the skin and connective tissue (among other things).

Hmm….

Also, this month– TODAY– I experienced much less pain at the beginning of my period.  Today was day 2 of my cycle.  Very early in the day, I didn’t have any vulvar pain like I described last month.  As the morning progressed, that quality of pain emerged.  It was quite uncomfortable for a couple hours.  Yet, by early afternoon it was basically gone.  It was nothing like last month and the months before.  So far it also seems like this period is going to be lighter than what’s been “normal” for me post-baby.

Can I thank either of the teas (or both) for my improved period symptoms?  Recall that the gotu kola is supposed to have a positive effect on veins/varicose veins, and the raspberry leaf tea is supposed to support healthy menstruation, among other things.

I also wonder if these herbal remedies have done some good for my prolapse/prolapse symptoms in general.  I am still experiencing slow, gradual, and steady improvement.  Yes, S-L-O-W…but sure!

Who knows?!

I just know that every tiny bit of progress brings me more peace.  I’m just gonna keep drinking those teas.  Because it’s a very easy thing to do.  And it doesn’t cost much, either.

I am healed.

Reading

November 16, 2015

The theme for this post is reading!  I’m doing a lot of reading these days.  It’s good!

My boy is almost 15 months and he loves looking at books and having them read to him…at specific times:  when he first wakes up in the morning, before his daytime nap, and bedtime.  I sit and rock with him in my glider chair for the longest (sweetest 🙂 ) time, while he drinks his “formula milk” and/or water.

He shows his book preferences (i.e. grabbing for specific books on my nightstand).  He demonstrates his vocabulary:  “bah” (ball), “gah” (car, cat).  He does signs for “frog” (by sticking out his tongue), “butterfly” (by flapping his fingers like wings), and “airplane” (by waving his whole arm as if flying a plane).  He tries to “moo” for cow (it comes out like a soft hum) and “baa” for sheep (it comes out with puffed out lips, “putt putt putt”).

Anyway– we spend a lot of time with books because I was a voracious reader as a kid (pre-teen especially), and I hope that my son will also enjoy reading.  At the very least, I’m doing my best to foster his intelligence!

So what does reading have to do with healing from prolapse?  Well, there’s this:

Before baby, when I was working full-time, I was extremely disciplined with my exercise routine.  I’d get up by 5 AM and I’d either go for a walk outside, or else do my own home workout.  It included lifting weights, doing body weight resistance exercises, and/or doing a yoga DVD or Beachbody DVD (i.e. Insanity, P90X).

Before baby, before I gave birth, I imagined that sooner or later, I’d resume my morning workouts after baby was “x” months old (I didn’t really have a number in mind, I just figured it would be pretty soon after!)

Hello, reality check!

Lo and behold, my baby’s birth and my post-partum phase (i.e. the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th trimesters) were complicated.  I’ve mentioned it before that I had to accept my situation and GET OVER the fact that I just could not resume the kind of exercise routine that had been my habit.  Indeed, exercising in general dropped down on my list of priorities anyway!

So here’s where the reading comes in…

Once my baby got to the point where he slept through the night most of the time– which meant that I was no longer sleep-deprived and I had a little morning awake time to decide what I wanted to do before he woke up– I decided that I’d get back into reading.

(( Smile ))

I took an activity that I used to love, but I’d kind of stopped doing (reading), and I put that activity into the time slot when I used to exercise.

Strategy:  replace one positive activity with a different but also positive activity.
End result:  feel peaceful either way!

Honestly, I don’t miss waking up to an alarm clock.  I don’t miss working full-time.  I don’t miss exercising first thing in the morning.  I don’t miss that feeling of being compelled to exercise so much.

I like waking up when my body just “does.”  I like being a “mostly” SAHM (I’m just now starting to resume working on weekdays, but it’s not going to be much).  I like my body’s appearance just the way it is.  And– I like reading in my bed in the morning.

The “little” things in life DO help a lot.  When I feel happy…

I am healed.