Boxers

July 1, 2016

This is a big deal.

All afternoon I’ve been hanging out at home with boxer shorts on…without wearing underwear underneath.  That’s a definite sign of progress!

Up until even a couple weeks ago I never felt comfortable wearing nothing.  As in– when I get out of the shower and I walk across my bedroom, I’ve always felt really “agape” and “open” and “unsupported”…basically “not good.”

Hence my comfort wearing thong underwear.  I’ve done posts on that in the past, as you will recall.

Something’s been happening in the past couple months.  Healing is still happening.  It takes a long time.  It’s been 22 months + since I had my baby.  My prolapse symptoms have been evolving and changing and getting better little by little and bit by bit.

I measure my progress in funny ways.  Like wearing my boxers without undies.  Hooray!

I feel at peace knowing that…

I am healed!

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Second Mother’s Day Update

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Oh, my!  I’m getting so bad about posting.  Sorry to anyone who has been nice enough to reach out to me in the past, to tell me that my posts are helpful!

Since my last post I’ve had a lot of ups and downs, honestly!  Ever since I was pregnant I seem to be particularly emotional at times, and I don’t like it.

I’ve had days when I want and do cry.  And I’ve had days strung together when I feel good enough to think that I might someday feel normal again.

Remember my post about thong underwear?  Well, yep, I can’t say enough how much a positive difference such a tiny piece of material makes for me.  It’s crazy.  I just don’t feel the same in my other undies or when I walk naked from shower to bedroom.

Another topic– food.  I’ve been paying close attention to how certain foods affect my prolapse symptoms.  I’ve realized that when my intestines feel more gassy, I feel more symptomatic.  I have a lot of control over managing this, which gives me peace!  I may elaborate on this on a future post.

Weeding.  This week I got out in the yard again for the first time in a long time.  The last time I did some weeding was when I was ?? months postpartum and feeling a lot worse than I do now.  Seasonal activities are great markers of my progress.  What a difference!

Out skating…again!  Yesterday I was rollerblading.  It’s been a while since I did that, too.  Rollerblading was always one of the very best activities for my “condition,” but skating now feels even better than it did before (except that I’m feeling super out of shape at present!).

Mother’s Day.  Through this whole process, my little boy continues to fuel my smiles, my joy and my positivity.  He brightens my mood when it’s already high and he brings me out of my funks when my emotions get the best of me.  I love my son more than I could ever describe!

I am healed.

 

Progress I’ve Made in 2015

December 31, 2015

It’s just a couple hours before midnight and it seems appropriate to do a post summarizing my progress with healing my prolapse symptoms this year.  I’m going to make this list quick, so I’ll jot things down in no particular order.  As I think of things to write, I’m going to picture myself a year ago compared to now…

  1. I’ve physically come a long way, although I have more healing to do.
  2. I used to feel like things were FALLING OUT (even when they technically weren’t), but now it doesn’t feel like that.
  3. I used to be afraid that my condition would get worse, and now I don’t live in fear (thanks to following the Whole Woman approach to prolapse management).
  4. I used to stubbornly try to exercise the way I did before I was pregnant, but now I do NOTHING that’s going to make me feel worse.  I learned that it’s just not worth it!
  5. Before– I couldn’t even go on walks comfortably, and now I can.
  6. I enjoy rollerblading, skiing, biking and hiking.  I’m comfortable carrying my baby on my back in the Ergo carrier.
  7. Having sex improves prolapse symptoms = Truth!
  8. The more post-partum periods I’ve had, the better I’ve felt.
  9. I used to cry more often about my frustrations, and now I don’t.
  10. I used to feel irritable about my situation more often, and now it doesn’t “get to me” too much.
  11. I used to be consumed with “feeling my vagina” (i.e. my prolapse symptoms) every waking moment that I’m not sitting or lying down, but now I guess I’ve gotten used to the feeling.
  12. Don’t get me wrong, the feeling is F@$%ing annoying, but at least it’s way better than it was.
  13. It helps me to focus on the positives:  my situation could be a LOT worse than it is.
  14. I’m grateful that my bowel function is fine.  Other women have a lot of problems with elimination due to rectocele.  I wonder if I really have a rectocele.
  15. I’m grateful that my urinary function is fine.  I’m grateful that I don’t have problems with incontinence or urinary tract infections.
  16. My anterior bulge has gotten better and I think my current symptoms are from maybe a urethrocele more so than a cystocele.
  17. It’s so hard to tell “what’s causing what” symptom “down there,” but it’s all gotten better this year.
  18. I used to feel like I needed to manually and visually “check” myself on a daily basis, and now it’s not a daily habit.
  19. I’m hopeful that I’ll continue to heal because I’ve heard other women report that healing continued 2-3 years post-partum.
  20. As more time goes on, I take comfort knowing that there’s a monthly cycle to my symptoms, with lots of predictability there.
  21. There’s NO way that I could have worked at 6 or 9 months post-partum, but now I’m doing just fine working ~2 days per week (as long as I’m careful and deliberate about how I do my job.)
  22. I’ve learned that my body can be lean with my healthy vegan diet alone.  I don’t need to exercise like crazy.
  23. It’s been liberating to fully “let go” of my former quest for body perfection.
  24. My posture has improved a ton by doing the Whole Woman posture.  I believe I am taller!
  25. When I maintain my lumbar curve and avoid tucking in my pelvis, my butt looks better than when I used to “suck and tuck.”
  26. I may have to accept that my childbirth experience will always be a source of lingering trauma for me.  If not, I still have more emotional healing to do in that department.
  27. It feels good to distance myself from all Facebook groups about pregnancy and childbirth.
  28. The thing that the Whole Woman approach has given me is a big degree of CONTROL. I feel confident that I’m in charge of my healing.
  29. I’m grateful that I’m a positive person.  I want to heal, therefore I WILL heal.
  30. Healing is not a linear process.
  31. Healing is a physical, emotional, and spiritual process.
  32. The more I look for peace, the more I find it.

Well I guess that’s it for now.  And now there’s less than an hour to go before 2016 starts (Pacific Standard Time).  Perhaps I’ll do a post soon about my goals for the next year.  For now, I’ll start with this one:  keep blogging.  And this one:

I am healed.

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.

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.