Spencer’s 5th birthday was at Urban Jungle. The kids had a blast jumping on the trampolines, running through the mazes, and racing down the slides. Pizza and cake topped off the day.
Yesterday marked 6 months since Spencer’s birth.
6 months since my vagina was intact. Yes, we are talking about it again. Vagina, Vagina, Vagina.
I have been forced to alter my life to accommodate my new physical limitations. I had to suspend my Stroller Strides membership because I couldn’t walk without major pain, let alone run. I could no longer stand for extended periods of time. I couldn’t sit cross-legged, on uneven or hard surfaces any longer. Wearing tight fitting clothes was out, and let’s face it now that I have had 2 kids–all my clothes are tight fitting…
The first doctor visit was 10 or so days post delivery. I felt like something wasn’t healing right. She said I was rushing it and to take it easy.
The second visit was for my 6 week follow up. Again, I noted the pain and discomfort. The GYN said take it easy. Sometimes healing takes a while. The pain was likely a result of the prolapse. Come back in 4-6 months for a follow up.
During the last few months I have made adjustments. I have been in almost constant discomfort in one way or another. I have lost sleep over not being able to have anymore kids because of the pain. I have contemplated surgery even though I wouldn’t be able to pick up my kids for 6 weeks or more. I have cried. But, mostly I have been silent. I shared on this blog and with a few people. But, mostly I have been silent about it since that is what you are supposed to do.
You aren’t supposed to talk about your vagina.
Yesterday, I went to a specialist whose emphasis is in pelvic floor disorders. He took one look at me and was shocked. He couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been diagnosed before. He was shocked that I went so long without treatment. He said that most of my discomfort could be eliminated with a procedure he could do right now. He couldn’t guarantee that one treatment would eliminate the problem but he was certain that it would make me feel better than I felt.
He said my prolapse was normal. He said I could have 10 more kids if I wanted.
I started to cry. My legs in stirrups – spreadeagled and I was crying. The nurse put her hand on my leg and brought me the box of tissues. I was that girl.
I felt so relieved. A painless application of silver nitrate and I was good to go. If I wasn’t healed in 2 weeks to make another appointment.
I also felt stupid. And angry. And silly. I endured 6 months of pain and silent embarrassment when all I needed was some silver nitrate and a competent doctor.
Exuberant granulation tissue.
All of this isn’t to say that I am 100% healed. I still have a minor prolapse. And I may still need an office visit to surgically remove the extra tissue. But, I already feel better today both knowing the true cause of my pain and knowing that it can be treated.
Lessons learned- Trust my body. Trust my instincts. Trust myself. Don’t blindly trust doctors. Don’t be ashamed of my body–broken or not.
Weakness and vulnerability have never been easy for me. I have often been called fiercely independent. This has worked in my favor for most of life; having left home when I was 14 years old, a girl needs to be strong. When I met my husband we clicked partly because we are both extremely independent and strong willed.
The down side of being uber independent is that any perceived weakness feels like I am open to vulnerability and I get protective over that space. Being vulnerable for me has always been a perceived weakness. Can you see where this is going…? Upon meeting the hubby though, he convinced me that allowing yourself to be emotionally vulnerable opened you up to people. These here blog entries have allowed me to be emotionally vulnerable without feeling weak or defensive. They have also allowed me to become more in touch with my feelings and have an easier time identifying them and sharing them.
What I wasn’t prepared for however, was my third trimester of pregnancy. I am actually only 24 weeks along and technically at the tail end of my second trimester, but I feel huge and my mobility and energy is becoming more limited. This decrease is physical abilities is tough for me. I don’t remember feeling this way the first time around, perhaps because I was working, and not chasing after a 25 month old. We had both a housekeeper and a gardener and our financial resources we far superior to now so we were eating out with frequency.
Whatever the reason, I am very touchy and sensitive about ‘keeping it together’ and ‘getting everything done’. Basically, I need to still be able to ‘do it all’ or I start to feel weak. And the cascade of emotions that occur if I feel like I am slipping or anyone critiques (perceived or real) my abilities…well, it is all over.
So, in preparation for baby#2 I am going to again practice letting go. Letting go of control, letting go of my obsessive need for order and balance, and letting go of my wretched need to ‘do it all’. Like all things that involve me and control—the best of luck.
I am a planner, I like to be prepared and I like to know what to expect. All of this is sometimes to my detriment and the tragic loss of spontaneity and the sudden joy it can bring.