Posts tagged ‘perspective’

October 1, 2011

Talk it Out

When my kids do something that is less than desirable, my main goal is to find out why they did it and how to stop it. We talk it out. Yes, even with the two year old. He may not be able to verbally express himself like his nine year old sister, but he can communicate. If he can learn that communication works he may stop with the hitting and just start talking. We’ll see..

Now that I am dealing with a lot of mixed emotions about this pregnancy and feeling a little (a lot!) all over the map, I finally came to the realization that I need to talk it out or I am going to possibly have a nervous breakdown. So here we go.

This pregnancy has brought with it joy, excitement, and some certainty. The kids are on pins and needles waiting to find out if this baby is a girl or another boy. My parents took the news surprisingly well, which was unexpected. My husband is excited, which truthfully was unexpected too. And I am positive I am really, really done having children. It is like something turned off inside of me, I have no desire for more now.

Unfortunately this pregnancy has also brought with it so much confusion for me. First of all, it was a complete shock. We had recently decided that we were done having children. We had been going back and forth for at least a year on the topic of more. Being unsure brought us to the conclusion that we should just quit while we were ahead. After almost five years of off and on struggle financially and finally making some real head way in that area, it felt like we should continue to focus on that and the four children we already had. My husband scheduled a consult with our primary doctor and we prepared for that door to shut. Del’s appointment was pushed due to the doctor’s schedule and then he had to go out of the area for two weeks for work. While Del was gone, I found out I was unexpectedly expecting.

At first I felt it to be very surreal, that there was no way it was happening. As the days passed and the second line continued to darken an almost dread began to build within me. What now? With my husband away and no one to confide it, I started feeling a bit lost. Del obviously knows now as do most of our friends and family, but I am still stuck with this feeling of uncertainty. It seems like everyone I expected to be unhappy about this pregnancy is actually the opposite, and the only person I thought would be happy if I got pregnant again, isn’t.

I feel so guilty. I wish I could change my feelings, but I can’t. I try every day to be happy and upbeat, but by the day’s end I feel out of control and an overall feeling of sadness. Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I make it go away? How did I even get here?

I have been taking my vitamins every day. I am trying to exercise daily even when I don’t feel like it. I am really struggling to keep a good diet going, but that doesn’t mean I am not trying. Unfortunately for baby and I, I am an emotional eater and my emotions have run away with me.

I want to cry, but I won’t allow it. I don’t feel I deserve the tears. Those belong to mothers who have lost their babies, their pregnancies. Tears belong to women that can’t conceive, not to a woman with a relatively good life, four beautiful children who look up to me and with one on the way, and a husband who is a great man and father. I should be shouting from the rooftops how happy I am, how excited I am to have another opportunity to birth a child, to better myself, to enrich my family and our life, but instead I am wallowing in self pity. I am angry at myself for doing so and yet still stuck in it all the same.

Unlike some years ago, I have no doubt I can overcome this. This will not be my life forever. I can and will get better. The problem I face right now is how and getting passed the guilt I have for inflicting these emotions and uncertain feelings on my unborn child.

I feel very alone, but I know from experience this is rarely the truth. That is why I chose to share this very personal information so publicly. Maybe it can help someone out there. Maybe, hopefully, just getting it out can help alleviate a bit of it for me. Either way, typing it out has helped slightly for now. So thanks.

August 30, 2011

Is It Really All About ‘Perspective?’

Perspective is something I think about often, not only with birth, but in everyday life. I have four children and two who think they rule the world at the ripe, old age of 9. I often find myself perplexed by some of the things that come out of their mouths and I often find myself repeating over and over in my head, “perspective, perspective, perspective.” What would it be like to be in their shoes?

For me to see a difference in birth it really was all about perspective. I wrote in my first entry Why about how the birth of my 4th baby was almost exactly how I’d imagined. And it was and it was beautiful, but “almost” is the keyword here in relation to perspective.

For my 4th child, Doodle, I did not set out to have him unassisted. I really didn’t. Del likes to say I did, but I honestly didn’t. And when the idea popped into my head almost as soon as I saw those two pink lines, I immediately thought, “Unassisted!?? That’s nuts!” And to me it was. At that point in my journey, I had decided that birth was good, home birth was great, but people who did it without assistance were “crazy and risking their babies lives!”

It wasn’t until a nagging feeling inside of me encouraged me to look into it deeper that I started to change my mind and open my eyes to a whole other world of birth. Free birth. Unassisted birth. Birth on my own. What a scary, extraordinary thought!

With the twins, I’d once brought up the idea of a water birth at home to my stepmom after I’d seen it on TV – not even about ME, just the idea of it – and she replied something to the effect of, “People who birth at home are crazy and risking their babies lives!” When I was pregnant with The Monkey, I brought up homebirth to Del who got a wide-eyed look that pleaded, “Please don’t tell me that’s something you want! This whole ‘natural childbirth’ thing is hard enough!” So I reneged and said maybe next time.

‘Next time’ arrived and I knew we were doing it at home. Of course I was going to do it the “right” way, midwife and all. I researched and learned as much as I could over those months. I read about as many possible “what-if’s” to be fully prepared, just in case. I knew my births weren’t extremely fast so I most likely would not be one of those stories on the 10 o’clock news about how the woman just didn’t make it to the hospital in time or the midwife didn’t arrive in time and the 3 year old had to catch the baby, but I still wanted to be as prepared as possible, just in case.

As luck would have it (probably fate), the midwife thing didn’t work out. We were under special circumstances in that we had insurance (unlike when I was pregnant with The Monkey) and yet I could not get the birth I wanted because our insurance would not cover a homebirth. The midwife we met and spoke with several times was willing to take payments as long as we paid before delivery. We were sure we could swing that since Del had just re-enlisted with the military and we were expecting a fairly good chunk of change just before Doodle’s birth.

Do you know that saying, “while we’re busy making plans, God laughs?” Yeah well that happened and the payment was delayed .. by 6 weeks! We received the money on my due date and we’d already told the midwife we had no idea when the money was coming in and broken ties with her. We were on our own and because my husband’s perspective of birth was seriously skewed by his genuine medical background (as opposed to my fake one) and he had about as much faith in birth as I did in a hospital’s ability to give me the birth that I needed, I agreed to laboring at home as long as possible and then heading to the hospital (ugh) to push. That was as much as I would compromise and it still felt like too much.

A homebirth with a midwife had been a stretch for Del and although I truly felt comfortable going it alone, even wished for it several times, I knew he wasn’t comfortable. So we agreed to go to the hospital when I began to feel pushy. With The Monkey I had felt pushy for about an hour before actually being ready to push. This all seemed like a good plan because we were only 10-15 minutes from our closest hospital and I had decided I didn’t want to be there a second longer than I had to.

When I finally did go into labor, 9 days after my due date it was very slow building. It continued for 2 days. And when things finally got serious, it was too late to go anywhere. It wasn’t planned exactly, but I was prepared and things went well. Nearly perfect. Except for Del running around like he’d lost a limb. He kept looking around, searching for something, nothing, maybe he was hoping the midwife would materialize if he just looked hard enough. Either way, I was kind of busy and didn’t have time to worry about him.

When it was all over, I was happy. Ecstatic. Over the moon! I had given birth exactly as I’d felt called to and survived. Better than survived. I gave birth to a beautiful 8lb 14oz baby in my bath tub essentially on my own (daddy caught and quickly passed to me) and lived to tell the tale. I had confounded everyone, even myself to some extent with what I’d just done and it was amazing. It was the best I have ever felt about myself in my entire life. Truly.

Del, on the other hand, had just experienced a nightmare..