Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 5:

This blog is proving to be helpful I think. I have been able to visualize my triggers to stressful events. I don't know that I am able to avoid them as you may have noticed yesterdays post proved that!! I just think that at this point I am able to know when I am being triggered and knowing that I am having a panic attack. Thankfully I am able to be honest with McKenzie about things now and shes understanding. It was rough in the beginning of my struggles back in July / August. She didn't understand and I was just angry and bitter toward her - now when I am being angry or bitter she asks me if I am anxious and I usually break down and cry or get defensive. Either way I know that I cannot back out of a conversation and sometimes all I want is someone to ask me about my struggles!! I am sure I could talk for hours about the things that bothered me about my birth story. I would love to talk someones ear off but I'm too afraid to ask because I am not sure when I'll be ready to stop talking and I don't want to make them feel obligated to talk to me.

My mom is coming to visit tomorrow during the day. I am SO happy!! My mother and I have come A LONG way from where were were. Let me give you a little background here;  I came out of the closet at 17 after a 5 day stay in a psychiatric hospital for suicide ideation and self-harm. I told my parents in what I thought was a safe place - if they took it wrong NO ONE would let me kill myself. So they grounded me and I wasn't allowed to have ANY friends over. My entire mother's side of the family is very strict catholics. So naturally I was scared out of my mind to express myself honestly. So me and my mother never really got a long after that. I think that the homosexuality really drove us apart  - she felt it was a phase and I'd grow out of it - she pushed me away and I her just because that was easier than fighting all the time. My mother wanted what every mother wants - grand kids and a wedding etc. - and never thought that would happen now that I've announced by sexuality. I talked to her on several occasions about wanting children and she had told me before that if I tried to bring a child into this world of mine she'd fight me to the death. Obviously that is not possible but she wanted me to know she wouldn't be happy about it. I was terrified come Halloween 2011 when I found out I was pregnant to tell my mother but I knew I needed to. I wanted to. I've always wanted that mother daughter relationship people are always talking about - my mother was more my enemy than my friend for a good part of my life. So I e-mailed because I am the biggest avoider of all things telephone that I'm sure you'll ever meet. I told her that I was pregnant and that if she didn't want to be part of this child's life that she would have to not be part of mine. I may have been pretty aggressive but I wanted her to know that this was the decisions McKenzie and I had made and I did not want negative people in our lives. She told me she had nothing nice to say to me and told me that there is NO GOOD that could come out of this decision. Things changed around January, we still communicated but my mom was not ready to talk about baby at all. I sent her a picture of the ultrasound via email the day we got the pictures and something clicked that day. She saw this life growing inside me and knew that it was her blood - and her grandchild and she has been there for me like no other since then. She has helped out and I couldn't be happier. I did not have a child to bring my mother and I closer - but I am very happy that Elsie has changed our lives for the better. My mother said she is feeling true joy for the first time since my grandmother Stella died - that was in 2004 - Elsie is the most powerful and most amazing gift I've ever received (and she was a gift as her birthday is 11 days before mine).

So my mother visiting is a fun and amazing time!! She spends the weekend sometimes and we stay up there sometimes. Its always fun!! I love every minute I spend with my mom and I am so excited every week. I also get so sad every week that she leaves because I know it will be so long before I see her again. Its been nice to have Elsie know grandma so much - and she loves her grandma!

I saw that I had quite a few views on my blog - that made me a little anxious - I am pretty personal about this but I am also willing to help if I can open someones eyes up. If you read this blog please have good intentions I am honestly pouring my heart out onto this screen - maybe I could make it private but I think its an opportunity for me to open up and be myself - and not be so scared. If you do not like what I am writing or think I am over reacting than please do not read my blog - and move on to someone else's. Thank you and I say this with a kind heart - I would not judge you if you were struggling and I am only asking my viewers to do the same. Thank you!

I'm working tonight, and it was really busy with 3 admissions in the first hour I was here - AHH - but its slowed down now and I am on break eating some food. Speaking of that I have decided to eat more - I know that my weight is no unhealthy but I don't think that I eat enough calories to make enough breast milk. I have been trying to snack all the time and I hope it works - we'll see - I'll also ask my doctor when I see him the 12th. I think that I should probably get back to work now - breaks almost over - its been a boring day - in the eyes of my anxiety and I am thankful for that!!

Here's to another boring day tomorrow!!

Goodnight!! - Sarah

Day 4:

Had a lot of fun today with McKenzie and Elsie!! We paid rent, went to Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Walmart for a couple things!! Elsie got to be carried around in the store and saw herself in the mirror by the shoes, she was talking away!! She loved looking at herself!! We were at Buffalo Wild Wings and these two women were sitting behind me at our booth. They were discussing (loudly) about a co-worker who was on bed-rest and due to have a baby in 18 days. One of the women said, "she better not have that blood clot still I they'll do a c-section" and then said, "that's the way to go anyhow, you go in they cut the baby out and you're done!" DONE?! Are you kidding me? It took so much strength to not turn around and give her a bad look!! You are FAR from done after a c-section you have weeks of recovery!! I'm still recovering physically! My first physical restraint at Oaklawn after Elsie was 3 months old made my stomach muscles sore for days!! They RIP with their hands your layer of muscle apart, they make a tiny incision in your muscle layer and one person grabs each side and they pull away from each other to open the muscle layer wide enough!! It's brutal! Apparently I helps with healing if they rip it so the edges are jagged and not smooth! }{ that grows back together better than this ][ it makes since but it's awful to see and to go through.

Mckenzie and I talked about it after they left and she helped me to realize that everyone is different and they do not think the same as me. In my head up until this point had felt alone in my feelings but in the back of my head felt that everyone who had a c-section had these feelings but I just didn't know anyone!! I guess there are a lot of people who have c-sections and are fine. And that is okay! It doesn't make them better or worse than me just different. Mckenzie said that had she gone through the same experience I did she may feel totally different about it. At nice to have her be the rational one sometimes!! Feels good!

THEN we were at k-mart and on the over head it started paying a commercial about waiting until 39 weeks to give birth as brain, lung and heart developments finalize in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Then it said and always try to allow yourself to start labor naturally as that's always better for baby!! Kenz noticed it that time!! I swear I cannot get away from it, we had a good laugh about it actually. I did get anxious at Buffalo Wild Wings and at K-mart But Kenz helped and I was honest with her about my feelings today!! Felt proud of myself!

Talked to a good friend today - my best friend about some things and she always knows how to make me feel better!! She's amazing!! I don't think I can tell her that enough! It's always good to feel that love of a friend and know that she's there for you always! We don't see each other a lot but I can always text or call her and she's always an open ear and its good to have that outlet when I need it!!

McKenzie got her hair cut for be first time at a salon today! Her mom always cut it as she's a cosmetologist - but it's been sort of sloppy and not to kenz's liking lately so she though she'd try it! She was so cute about it and was asking me if I'd take her yogurt her first hair cut- it was adorable!! I am reminded so often of how blessed I am to have her in my life and to have her love me as much as she does!! I'm sort of crazy and she puts up with it well. I love her!

Dealt with some drama tonight but mckenzie and I talked about it and we're not going to let it come between our friendship- life is too short and having people in our lives is important. Especially people we care about. We also talked about doing what's best for our family!! I was able to keep my mind off of things today for the most part - until I was thrown I my face, but with the help of mckenzie I was able to get through the day on minimal panic attacks and in a good mood!!

Had a great day - high hopes for another great one tomorrow!!!

Til Later - Sarah

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 3

Had a little emotional break down today. We found someone to foster Jaque out to a good home. He's not taking to Elsie so well, he's careless and its not worth the risk to Elsie. We've had him since June of 2006! He's our baby our first baby! He's naughty sometimes but he's a really great dog! I'm worried people will think me irresponsible and judge me for getting rid of him! TRUST me he's done some really naughty things and I didn't get rid of him for those things but my daughters safety is way more important than a dog! I wasn't going to bring him to a shelter I do not want anything bad to happen to him. This friend of mine that will foster him is a great girl! She's such a pet lover she's adopted a cat with FIV and takes care of him! I know she'll love Jaque and take awesome care of him. What bothers me the most is that I will NEVER see him again. I love his sweet face! He smiles, and I LOVE that about him!! He's so sensitive too- he knows when something is wrong and cuddles when you're crying! Aww poor Baby Jaque- we also call him Princess Laya. Haha!! He's got so many names and he's got such a personality! Someone without small children will LOVE him as a companion and he'll love them so much back!! I secretly hope he doesn't love anyone like he loves me and Kenz but I know that's not something I can control or rightfully ask for!!

Did something really good for myself today!! I called my doctor and made an appointment to talk about my issues. I told them I'm having post-partum issues and also some post traumatic issues from my c-section. I want to still be able to nurse so I trust my doctor will not put me on anything that I can't breastfeed while taking.

I was very anxious today while watching a tv show that we rented. The woman on the show found out she was pregnant and I started to panic. McKenzie knew something was bothering me and I was just too embarrassed to ask. This makes me think of when I was having issues with hurting myself! I never want McKenzie to feel like she is tip toeing around me. And I feel like when I tell her I'm anxious she feels like she needs to baby me. I know she understands the anxious all the time feeling and I should open up to her. I just want to be treated normal!! If I could just feel normal and not be so screwed up I the head every day I'd be great I'd feel better off and I wouldn't feel like I was missing out on my daughters life. That is why this doctors appointment is so important for me. This will be my saving grace!! My doctor (who is also Elsie's doctor) is awesome, thorough, and I know he honestly has Elsie and my best interest in mind. It's awesome too because he is also McKenzie's doctor!! He knows our situation and he's okay with it! It's important to me to have a doctor that knows me without any secrets - that's a doctor that is going to help you.

Elsie is starting to roll around - she doesn't get all the way over every time but she's so close!! She moves like crazy all over the place now, she's so amazing!! She seriously cracks me up! She turned the DVD/VHS player from walking dead DVD show to VHS Cinderella!!! And then looked back at McKenzie and I at the couch and laughed!! She was so excited and proud of herself!!

I was supposed to have an interview at Bashor tonight... I couldn't bring myself to go to it!! I am so happy to be done at Oaklawn at least with the residential! I have been so happy since I don't work there anymore. That place was so awesome to me in 2008-2009. I grew so much as a person. I am WAY more open minded, understanding, assertive, and outgoing than I ever was before in my entire life! I am so thankful and grateful to Oaklawn for the skills it has taught me. I know that I will use those skills as a parent and I am thankful to have been part of the organization. I think once the DBT unit closed down and we didn't focus so much on those individuals I lost hope in Oaklawn! The DBT was my favorite program ever! I put so much effort and time into the unit! I was there where those girls were I wanted to help them and that was The ONLY time at Oaklawn I felt useful and felt that I actually helped save some girls lives! It was such an amazing feeling, and since then I never felt good about my job. It suddenly wasn't about the kids anymore!! Now that I am back in a hospital working I feel as if there is purpose!! I help people get better - in an entirely different way now but it's purposeful!! I don't feel taken advantage of by my supervisors!! I love my job!! And I need to get healthy mentally so I can be happy in all aspects of my life. I have nothing to be angry about in my life, I have a beautiful daughter, a loving wife, a healthy relationship, my own health and I am doing well for myself!!

This is me being thankful in my own melancholy way of living, but today I am thankful, anxious & sad, but thankful!!


Day 2

Today was a more anxiety filled day... Definitely NOT better than yesterday. BUT that's okay, I'm okay with that! Got up with Elsie this morning and nursed her, pumped after to make sure to be empty - not impressed with my milk output! Thankful I've been able to supply more than enough milk until now... I've been researching fenugreek and I bought some today from the co-op hopefully it will help me produce more milk! I have a TON frozen so if not she'll get at least a couple months more milk with what's frozen! I want to be able to breastfeed until she's 12 months, I feel that I've failed if I don't get to. At this point the only thing (in my head) that my body has done successfully in terms of birth and beyond is milk production. If I fail at that then I'm not sure how I'll handle that. So I'm doing what I can to help myself with that and I'm starting with herbal remedies first before going with a Rx from the doctor.

Today started with the mail...we got an invite to a friend of McKenzie's baby shower. I feel like I got anxious because I thought about my baby shower - and I remember obviously still being pregnant and having control over my labor at that point!! I was 32 weeks pregnant at my baby shower and I was nowhere near going into labor and having a c-section. I still struggle with that feeling of no control and being strapped down! It flashes through my head daily! I constantly (I feel like) relive that moment . My mom wasn't in the OR with me at that point, they didn't let her in yet... I was alone, scared, and completely out of control! I think I was experiencing a state of shock at that point. ALSO during my surgery the doctors talked about going to the 4H county fair and getting food... I cannot fathom this! I am lying here my dreams of my labor and delivery being crushed and sliced to pieces (literally and figuratively) before their eyes, and they are ONLY worried about going to the fair and eating a god damn pork tenderloin sandwich and some mini donuts! Makes me sick!!

I was so angry with my doctor, Dr. S, after the c-section! He was very impersonal during labor. I was so nervous to face him at my 2 week post op appointment. When I got there we had to wait a while, and then then asked if I could reschedule because he just got called in for an emergency c-section (immediate panic attack!) no I didn't want to reschedule so I was able to see the other doctor... He gave me a onesie from my delivering doctor that said "my first hug was from " ugh made me sick!! I NEVER wanted her to wear it!! - I made an appointment for my 6 weeks to get my work release form. That appointment was when I knew I needed help! I still didn't see the doctor that operated on me. I walked in hoping to get some help mentally about the c-section. He told me that my placenta was indeed beginning to detach and that was why my water had blood in it, and why baby was not doing good in terms of her heart rate... So that made me know that the surgery was necessary. I talked about breastfeeding a little and he got about 2 sentences out and his cellphone rang. He answered it and I heard someone say "blah blah blah 5cms to 8cms" he told me he had to leave because be has someone in labor at the hospital ready to deliver. He told me he'd sign my release form to return to work and left the room... I went straight into a panic attack I wanted out of that office so fast... I walked out of the room and a nurse stopped me and asked what I needed I told her the doctor had to leave and I was done. She kind of looked at me weird and gave me a paper and I left. I didn't check out and didn't reschedule! I didn't get to talk to the doctor about my depression, or my flashbacks, or the nerve pain NOTHING!! But all I knew was I wanted far away from that place. I drove down the street to a middle school and parked in the parking lot for a few minutes... Calmed down and headed home. I made a counseling session that day...

Sometimes I try to think about what it felt like to have Elsie move inside me... I don't remember exactly, but I miss it!! I miss that feeling so bad!! I miss the control I had over that situation and I am BROKEN now that I lost so much control and I feel that I may never regain it! I have struggled with depression my ENTIRE life! I've NEVER felt this depressed in my life - this is such a new feeling however! Never before have I experienced any specific event that has caused me this much pain and suffering (emotionally and physically) and I don't quite know how to best handle it. I feel that I am doing my best and I am trying new outlets and I hope that things will look up, I've just never been this happy and this sad at the same time and I think that's the part that's making me feel like I am losing my mind!! All I want to do us cry and smile at the same time!! And I'm not at the point where I've figured out if there is more to cry about or more to smile about!! And not knowing that makes me feel like a horrible mother!!

I want to get better - no I NEED to get better for Elsie! For McKenzie! For ME!! And I will - I am being honest with myself at least and I'm opening up... It's a start and I can only hope to progress. I am strong!! I can and I will do this!!

Til later - Sarah

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 1

Welcome to my first actual day of blogging!! Today was actually a really good day considering everything in the last post! I had one tiny anxiety attack moment today during Dr Phil! They interviewed a lady that had ten children! Just thinking about going through my birth 10 times!! Ugh! (I know no doctor would perform 10 c-sections on a woman and that's what made me anxious was knowing she had at least five natural births) I was jealous...

But I got I spend so much quality time with my Elsie and McKenzie! We went to the store to run some errands -I actually got to push the cart for a little bit too!! It was fun! Got some stuff to finish DIY Christmas decorations - put the tree topper on the Christmas tree! Made an appointment to get our first family photo shoot done Saturday!! Oh! And we bought Elsie her very first Christmas gift!! It's interesting at the things I get excited over.

I keep getting told I'm losing too much weight and that bothers me a lot! I feel that my body has changed in many ways; yes I weigh less than I did before I got pregnant but I feel that my body looks more womanly. I feel my hips are wider, my boobs are bigger (for now). I feel that I look like a mother and not a young lady or for goodness sake a teenage boy anymore!! I eat my recommended calories and I take a daily vitamin! I will check with my doctor but I don't feel that I am too skinny! I've struggled with body image in the past. it's a weird feeling to be confident with your body (for once in my life) and proud of the changes my body has made and the new marks that accompanied these changes and then to be given the impression it doesn't look very good. I'm at a loss!

I am proud of my stretch marks and my "not so trimmed" belly... But I have a hard time seeing my c-section scar and feeling content in any way however. I had issues with self harm in high school (and unfortunately my all too recent past) and I have many scars from myself on my thighs and hips, I HATE to look at them because it upsets me and makes me think of those times of my life! McKenzie says she loves my scars and that it shows my struggles and she's proud of who I am and that I've made it through what I did and the scars show my struggle. I see my c-section scar as "just another scar" to be insecure about. I have no desire for anything sexual because I'm afraid of the nerve pain that may follow. The pain is awful when even just lightly touched near my scar! I know with time I'll learn to accept it and with time and more healing time the nerve pain with dissipate or I will just get used to it and not notice it anymore.

Elsie fell asleep on me twice tonight, that is one of the most gratifying feelings when Elsie falls asleep in my arms. Almost every time she falls asleep on me she talks like crazy to me, and rubs my face. Sometimes she just wants to hold my hand and talk to me and then she'll fall asleep. Knowing that she feels comfortable and safe enough to let go and sleep so soundly is such an amazing feeling!! I would never think one ill thought of her and I know she knows that! She's the funniest and the most amazing person and she's only 4 months old! Not sure how she can get any more amazing!!

So to sum things up - overall really good day!! Happy to have had the day off don't work again until Friday night. Proud of myself today and tomorrow I can only have hope it will be great - if not better than great!!

Til later- Sarah

Monday, November 26, 2012


Hello - My name is Sarah. I am 26 years old. I have a 4 month old daughter named Elsie. She is my life. I am in a domestic partnership wtih my partner of 6 years (7 in March).

I have been struggling since July with some post partum and post traumatic stress disorder issues from the birth of my daughter. I was given an emergency c-section, after 12 hours of labor with her. It was devestating for me as I wanted a vaginal birth SO bad. I dreamed of that moment when I would demonstrate my womanly duties. I feel like there is NO greater feeling than to birth a child yourself. Yes I carried her for 9 months and created all the necessary vital organs etc for her - and for that I am amazed at myself. But I have always thought of pregnancy as such an amazing thing - and always wanted to experience it and labor and birth (vaginal birth) are all part of that experience.

My mother had two c-sections with my brother and I, I wanted SO badly to NOT follow in her footsteps. I was so prepared to have a natural childbirth (I wanted the epidural but natural in the sense of no surgery). I guess that I will elaborate on my childbirth experience for you. This is how my FAILED vaginal birth happened... <sigh>

My date was July 6, 2012. I started to have contractions June 27, 2012. I went into the hospital due to them being 5 mins apart for 2+ hours. When I got there I was not dilated at all, but having consistent contractions. I was unable to dilate even after walking for an hour around the hospital. They told me I was having good contractions (time wise) but not having strong enough contractions to dilate my cervix. Needless to say they sent me home, and I went on maternity leave as my doctor called this "early labor" and stated that labor could start any day now. I stopped having contractions consistently and I was able to relax - I was only 38+5 so it was good they stopped then, as I wanted to make it to 39weeks at least. SO contractions started back up June 30, 2012. These ones were MUCH worse than before and about 3 or 4 minutes apart for a LONG time. I went back into the hospital - NO DILATION- and they sent me home again. UGH I was about sick of these "practice" contractions as they called them.
    I had an appointment on July 3, 2012 and I talked to my doctor about induction - asked him when it would happen since my due date was a couple days away. He joking said christmas eve - but told me he'd schedule my induction for July 12, 2012 - in his experience when he scheduled inductions the mother goes into labor naturally before being induced. So I continue to wait...impatiently. I start having BAD contractions July 9, 2012. I couldn't sleep through them - I was crying but refused to go to the hospital because I knew they would send me home - I vowed that I would only go into the hospital IF and WHEN my waters broke. That felt like it happened - so we went into the hospital AGAIN - they sent me home - I was not a happy Mama!! I begged for something for pain - they gave me abien!! I refused to take that becuase I've heard horror stories about women taking it at the beginning of labor and waking up to their waters breaking and hallucinating during labor - I was NOT about to deal with that I wanted to be present and alert during my labor and birth!! So I took a combination of tylenol and benadryl to help me sleep - I'd sleep for a few hours at a time and get up eat and then sleep again... I woke up wednesday evening almost thursday morning (the day before my induction) with blood dripping out of me. I was freaked out so I called the hospital and they told me it was probably my mucus plug and that was a good thing - but to wait until my waters broke or it was filling a pad in an hour before coming in - or until thursday at 7am for my induction.
     At 6:30am I receive a phone call from teh hospital saying they need to postpone my induction! I was SO mad!! They were able to get me in at 12pm. So there I was with my Mom, partner, and Best friend at 12pm - ready to have this baby!! They got me checked in and checked my cervix - only at 1cm!! after days of crazy contractions that was it!! ugh! Nurse placed cytotek suppository at 2:00pm. Checked me again at 6pm and I was at 3-4cm!! YAY!! So they started pitocin at 6:30pm and that was INTENSE!! VERY painful contractions - checked me again at 9:30pm I was 4cm. I asked for an epidural got it, then I tried to rest a little bit. Doctor checked me at 11:30pm still only at 4cm. Doctor broke my waters. Then stuff got scary!!
   Doctor broke my waters and baby did NOT like it. Her heart rate dropped with each contraction - it would go as low at 50 some times. Doctor didn't like it kept an eye on it - put me on oxygen and tried to turn me to different sides to help baby out. NOT happening. Baby keep decelerating heart beat. Doctor said at 12:50am that we needed to get baby out!! EMERGENCY C-SECTION STYLE!! I was rushed into an OR naked - and strapped down given some sort of gas via oxygen mask to make me "loopy" I was too anxious for it to make me loopy at all!! I was so scared - had NO idea what to expect. Signed C-Section papers at 1:10am and Elsie was born at 1:20am. She had apgar scores of 9 and 9! She was beautiful and healthy!! I was healthy - sewed me up and sent me down the hall to my room with Elsie in my arms! Met Mommy #2 in the room!! we had an hour alone with her then my mom, McKenzie's Mom and our best friend came in to see her - Everyone finally left at about 3am! tried to get some sleep - Had a hard time healing VERY painful.
So thats it! and here I am today struggling each and everyday to keep myself NOT having panic attacks. I cannot see a pregnant woman in the store without thinking about how her birth will be...I NEVER hope that anyone's birth is like mine! I was terrified and felt so out of control. I am someone who likes to have control in their life. I lost a lot of control in my teenage years and into my twenties with drugs and alcohol and I am very particular with having control of things I do now. When I was rushed into that operating room and strapped down and MY body cut apart - sure I signed consent forms but I had NO option!! There was never any discussion as to what exactly that meant for me. I know that my c-section saved my daughters life and I am not angry that I had one. I am just cheated and I missed out on an experience I have been dreaming of since I can remember!! And that is hard to swallow...

I am very open to advice and encouraging words. If anyone has experienced something similar - please relate!! I'd LOVE to not feel so alone. I know there are many women out there who ahve experienced emergency c-sections - but I feel like this anxiety and anger and depression is lasting longer than I'd like it to and longer than I think it normally should. I am 20 weeks post-op friday and I am still feeling nerve pain which makes me emotionally break down. I can forget for a short while about the trauma and then the nerves shoot pain across my abdomen and I relive the entire experience. I need help - so here I am asking for it!!

Thank you for the time - I'll write again tomorrow...