Saturday, July 24, 2010
The birth of my daughter was traumatic. Not because it wasn’t natural but because it was 16 weeks early. It was unusual in that as a micro-preemie she was born vaginally vs. via C-section. They didn’t even have time to check to see if I was dialated at all. I DID suffer PTSD following her birth and during the time she spent in the NICU. It was the worst experience of my life. But in time, through loving her and mothering her and caring for her I did get over it. Do I wish I had a long natural labor listening to music that I chose and spending time with my own mother, mother-in-law and husband as I labored? No. That was the birth plan. Things did not go as planned. Things went terribly wrong. But you know what? I made it through a bit worse for wear. My daughter lived and survived CANCER to boot! (The cancer is thought to be related to her prematurity.) My husband made it through (he was traumatized too, are there Dads speaking up as well?) and we have the family we always wanted…4 years later.
“TRAUMATIC BIRTH” is true in my case, not because things didn’t go as planned, not because I did not have the care I needed or deserved, but because my daughter could have DIED at any minute in the following 3-1/2 months…but didn’t.
I am now a healthy mom. I now have a healthy 4yo girl. I am over the PTSD of her birth and NICU experience. It DOES get better.
I do not tend to share my birth story when in the company of strangers because it is truly scary. Not just a “birth-plan-gone-wrong” but a true medical nightmare! Some think that medicine has no part in the birth experience at all. If that had happened in my case my daughter would have died immediately. I would not have my happy healthy blonde haired blue eyed mini-me that I have today. I am SO grateful for the medical staff who saved my daughter from the NICU staff right down to the OB’s receptionist who told me that I should go down to L&D “just to be on the safe side”. If I had not gone, my daughter would have been born in my office and she would not have lived. THANK GOODNESS for the amazing medical professionals who have cared for me and my daughter in the past 5 years.
I hope you all find the peace you are looking for, the peace that I have found with my beautiful funny and incredibly loving family.
What say you? Was your birthing experience "traumatic"? What makes you think so (whether you answered yes or no)?
I definitely think mine was overshadowed by the NICU and the whole "my daughter could die at any second" thought process that we held for about a year or so. To this day, if I realize that I have not heard her move on the baby monitor (4yo still has the monitor in her room) I listen intently to check whether she is breathing or not. I STILL wonder if THIS will be the day that I go to check on her or wake her up for preschool to find her dead.
That being said, it has nothing to do with HOW she came out of my body. It has everything to do with WHEN she came out. Do you think I would feel this way if I had been pushed/forced/co-erced/convinced to have a C-section?
This same thought is contrasted by the friend of a friend who went in for a normal prenatal checkup to find the baby had died in-utero overnight. If one day can make such HUGE differences for preemies in the NICU, it HAS to make a difference for babies past their due dates as well. Don't you think?
I don't know.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The bikes are off and running (riding) again! Amanda is a wish hero this year so she has been matched with the team Carbon & Tux. We will great our rider at the finish line on Sunday in Chelsea after he has logged 300 miles on his bike in the next three days. This year they have added a feature on the website so that we can send messages to the riders while they are on the ride! I pulled up the page to send a few thoughts to the riders and who did I see but Amanda and Elmo! How cool is that? My kid is a serious rock star. Check it out here: WAM live messages . Having just returned from the third and final leg of our Make-A-Wish journey (couldn’t fit the trip in last summer) we are more grateful than ever for the generosity of the donors who make these wishes possible. Help us support Make-A-Wish and these riders in particular by leaving them a message or donating to Amanda’s rider here Carbon & Tux Team Page .
I promise to post specifically about our trip to Sesame Place as soon as I have a spare moment to get it typed up!
Health Note: Amanda saw the eye doctor this week who said her eyes are tracking together and have equal vision, still no need for glasses. Woo Hoo! She also had a physical and blood work done at the clinic and the oncologist said she is very pleased to see Amanda so healthy and still very much in remission. We’ll do another scan in the fall with her hearing test (yearly) and an echocardiogram (every 2 years). HUGE sigh of relief on both parts. Now we can relax and enjoy the rest of the summer in which we will attempt to go camping for the first time.