January 12, 2015

The Seemingly Insurmountable Goals, The Mountain Before Me

Lai Tzu once said, "The journey of of 1000 miles begins with one step." Creighton Abrams famously stated that in order to eat an elephant, you must take one bite at a time. Why is that first step so hard? I've been procrastinating over an hour trying to even figure out how to start this very post.

Everyone seems to make New Year's resolutions that are tossed aside almost as quickly as they are formed. "This year I am going to eat better, exercise more, save more money…" they all say. By February 1, we are back to our old habits: eating ice cream in front of re-runs, paying for gym memberships we will never use.

When I got pregnant with Lollipop, I vowed to do better, to try harder. But somewhere in the middle of managing a very active one year old while feeling constantly exhausted during my pregnancy, I mostly gave up. I did some things better, but for the most part, I failed.

I FAILED. Full Stop.

I let my daughter, Lollipop, down. I let my husband down. I let my doula down. I let myself down. I gave up.

Now here from the ashes, we are brought to believe we can rise, be reborn. Be a phoenix. I'm no phoenix. I have the willpower and patience of most my generation, which is nil. At best I'm a one eyed, single eared, three-legged dog named "Lucky". Good things that happen to me, well they happen to me by good luck. Bad things that happen, well those things happen because I am lazy, slovenly. I want miraculous changes without miraculous effort.

For seven months I have had a list of things to achieve to attempt optimal conditions for my VBA2C. And what have I done…pissed away seven months.

Oh, now don't be gentle with me and make excuses:
"Oh you were recovering from surgery, you needed 2 months at least to get over that!"
"You have two children under two years old, you're doing great if you shower everyday."
"Once the kids are a little older and more independent you'll get on track fast."


I'm so paralyzed by fear that I can't even write what my goals are. I'm sitting here quibbling over word usage and grammar. Sigh

Deep breath.

If you write a goal, it's out there for the world to see. If you write a goal, there's accountability. Just another thing to disappoint myself with if when I give up.

Deep breath.

After my VBAC failed, my doula came to visit me. She spelled out some things I should try if I were to attempt another VBAC. They are as follows:

  1. Join my local ICAN support group and attend the meetings.
    • To date I have liked their Facebook page and attended ZERO meetings.
  2. Read the following books: "Cut, Stapled, and Mended" by Roanna Rosewood and "Labyrinth of Birth" by Pam England.
    • To date I have successfully NOT lost the scrap of paper these titles have been written on.
  3. Contact a local midwife that specializes in assessing pelvimetry to see if what my OBGYN said to me after my births is true: (that I likely had a small pelvis inlet, which is why my babies didn't "could not" descend into the birth canal.)
    • To date I have followed the woman's Facebook page and checked out her website. Before I see this lady, I must obtain my surgical reports from my doctor. So this is a double demand.
  4. Attend a Red Tent event hosted by our local midwives and doulas. A red tent is "a space where women gather to rest, renew, and often share deep and powerful stories about their lives." The Red Tent movement is changing the way that women interact and support each other by providing a place that honors and celebrates women, and by enabling open conversations about the things that women don’t want to talk about in other venues
    • To date I RSVP'd for 2. Bailed out on the first one, the second one is happening soon.
  5. Contact our local "Curandera". If this sounds like hippy dippy bullshit to you, allow me elaborate. Our curandera specializes in scar mobilization, Maya Abdominal Therapy, and postpartum support in the way of standard massage techniques, herbalism, spiritual support, and down right badassery. The goal being to help my scar to heal flatter, and promote internal relaxation of the pelvic organs by reducing surgical adhesions
    • Arguably my most tackled step. To date I have listened to her give two talks. Liked her business page on Facebook, "friended" her on Facebook, spoken with her via private message and email briefly, purchased a massage certificate to redeem, asked her to meet for coffee. (unfortunately she was too busy :-/ ) AAAnnnnnddd, I told her about this blog when she checked up on me. She knows my PPD (postpartum depression has be by the throat.)
  6. Find a new birth provider that supports me in having a VBA2C.
    • This requires me to find a new doctor and a new hospital. To my knowledge, the only hospital that openly supports VBA2C in our city is the dreaded county hospital, Ben Taub. (more on this eventually, I'm sure.)
That's a tall order for an anxious, lazy ass like myself. These items are on top of my personal goals:
  1. Loss weight to the tune of 20 pounds. *groan*
  2. Exercise twice weekly. *Louder groan*
  3. Talk to current OBGYN to assess my pelvic floor damage *Loud, painful groan with a bowl full of embarrassment*
  4. Learn to relax, stop being hyper-vigilant ALL THE TIME. 
    • This is arguably the toughest goal. I am high strung by nature, and probably should be getting some kind of treatment for my anxiety. I had my first panic attack in 3rd grade. How do you change something so ingrained in your personality? I used to take medication, but I didn't like the way it made me feel. I have a master's degree in clinical psychology, so I have the knowledge necessary to continue to skill build in this area. I work regularly to check in with myself to see how I am holding my body. I catch myself locked up at the shoulders and jaw almost every time I check. I am even tense while sitting on the toilet. I'm so locked up tight. My poor husband; my lady parts are essentially closed for business. It's just too painful.
  5. Correct my separated Diastatsis recti. Which look something like this:

"Yea, a picture!"
I'm currently at a 2" separation (This is not me by the way)
I have been assessed, and have located a trainer. I have not joined the program.

As you can see, I have quite a list in front of me. Some of these steps are hindered by fear of failing. Will I invest all this time and energy only to end up on the operating table a third time?  Other hindrances come in the form of logistics (how on earth am I going have a pelvic exam with 2 little ones), and financial barriers (skills cost money, and they ain't cheap.) Is their such a thing as vagina scholarships?

In the coming weeks, I hope to explain to you why these goals are important for a VBAC journey. This post has already gotten out of hand in length. So I better call it quits for tonight.

1 comment:

  1. I <3 this post and I <3 your courage and cadidness. Stick with it mama - I believe you are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. :)