Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Letting Go of the Past

"Sometimes, I just take a deep breath and am thankful for all that I do have. Sometimes, we just have to let go and remember that the past is the past."  (My FB post for the day)

My reading list for my CBE and LD classes is extensive... something like 30 books extensive.  Funny enough, I've read that many grief books easily and none of the ones I'd read were on there!  But several of the books I'd bought during my pregnancies were on there, so I was ahead of the game.  I started with the grief requirement because I needed to win that battle first.  It was tough, especially when trying to read it dispassionately, but I finished it and completed the required assignment.  Next up, I'd decided to read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.  I already had the book, which I'd bought right after discovering I was pregnant with Nicholas and Sophia.  I'd begun reading it then, but put it down after they were born and died.  I picked it up, middle ways, with Alexander, but then put it down again before finishing.  The weeks of bedrest with Bobby and Maya gave me the time to finish it (and to read a bevy of others, too).  How interesting to read it straight through! I thought when I made the decision to do it next.

For those who haven't read the book, it is divided into two sections; birth stories and then the midwife's commentary on birth.  Ina May is known in both the natural and hospital birth circles as an outstanding midwife.  She started a community in Tennessee, known as The Farm, and is an outspoken advocate of natural, home birthing.  She's one of my modern day heros, honestly.  I read her words and am in such awe of her talents and abilities and her fearless nature.  I love to read the stories of the mothers who have birthed with her (or one of the Farm's other midwives) and hear their words of trusting their bodies, of how birth is natural, of how their children grow up without a fear of pregnancy and labor.  Their c/section rate is less than 2% ( in 2008, the U.S. rate (as a whole) was 32%) and her outstanding abilities have even garnered an obstetrics technique named after her!  Suffice it to say, in midwifery, she is a legend.

As I'm reading her words and the words of the women who wrote their birth stories for the books, I found my heart hurting for the natural birthing experience that I will never have.  For the home birth that wont be... For the full term birth that is out of reach... For not taking medication during my pregnancy which is impossible since P17 and betamethasone are surefire drugs with my situation...  And then, of course, there are the unanswered questions...  Did my weight play a role in my IC?  (To date, NO study has shown a correlation between obesity and cervical incompetence, HOWEVER, when you read the studies that are there, many of the women with "demonstrated cervical insufficiency" that is 2+ losses that can be traced directly to IC, tend to have BMIs that are close to obese, obese, or higher.  I'm sure there are a variety of reasons why this could be the case, but, since mothers who lose babies tend to blame themselves wherever they can, you know where I'm putting this one!)...  Did the fact that I'd read about IC and was worried about it play a role since there is, completely, a mind-body connection during pregnancy?  (I'd read on a message board about a woman with a shortening cervix and had actually mentioned it to Dr. B. at my Jan. u/s, just before Nicholas entered the world on the 1st and, afterwards, of course, I was worried nonstop about my cervix prematurely dilating)...  Was it what I ate or didnt eat?  Was it the fact that I had sex (when pregnant with Nicholas and Sophia)?  Was it that I had orgasms without stimulation (because we all know I wasnt crazy enough to attempt anything sexual in subsequent pregnancies and yet the increased blood flow still decided to freak me out!)

Please... I know that my questions are pretty irrational.  I know that the ultimate goal in any pregnancy is a healthy child at the end.  And, thank God, I have two of them, playing in the living room behind me, on the cusp of their 18 month birthday.

And yet...  There is that mourning for the full term, natural delivery that I feel was taken away from us... That will never be... That can never be...

I'm afraid.  I get hit with baby fever from time to time, but my fear of the unknown is enough to send it back to bay.  We celebrated my MILs birthday on Saturday and, as she opened cards, she found one that simply said "Uita" with no from and verbalized "Are you expecting?" and I was shocked by my answer of "Bite your tongue!"  It isnt that I dont want to be pregnant or have more children; I do... How I do...  I just dont want to lose another child and I dont exactly have a glowing track record in the pregnancy department.

I'm afraid.  I'm afraid to be intimate with my husband.  Since we dont believe in artificial birth control, I find myself quickly scanning in my head what cycle day I'm on (since I actually have some sort of regularity these days) and try to figure out whether or not it is quasi-safe (because, really, the only foolproof method is abstinence!)  I dont want to do that.  I'd love to have those "feelings", take a HPT, and yell "Surprise!!!" at the top of my lungs.  But, let's face it.  When I took the most recent HPT and saw the faint line, "surprise" was not the word I uttered.  In fact, I think the word I uttered has four letters and is best left out of polite conversation.  Not a shining moment of mine, I confess.

Could I possibly change the past with the future?  Could I just think positive enough to give my cervix the strength to hold?  Could I imagine a healthy baby to the point of preventing a miscarriage?  I dont know that I have the faith even to try.  Even to imagine it possible.

And that makes me so sad.  So very sad.


Reba said...

hugs, michele...

i don't know what is possible, beyond what we're willing to wish for.

((hugs)) and thanks for crying with me.

Hillary said...

Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth (and heart and head). I would love to be a mother to many but pregnancy scares the heck out of me too! I am always approaching it with both fear and delight.
Thinking of you as you continue your amazing journey!

one-hit_wonder said...

I love Ina May but, yes, that book can sure touch a nerve for all of us in the IF community; and you, especially. You have a lot of strength to be doing this.

Anonymous said...

I understand this. I am petrified of being pregnant again, but one day hope to be pregnant again. *hugs*