Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Spirit-led mothering, Part 1

I am not naturally a good mom. You know how some women are just born to be moms? They love to play with kids and think up fun stories to tell and have patience through the roof and, well, they're just fun. That's not me.

I'm very introspective and love to spend time alone, reading, thinking, processing, and day-dreaming. Also, control. In order to keep inner peace, I often strive to control my surroundings. Including people. I swear I do have friends.
photo courtesy of telegraph
But boy, I tell you, when I was 25, I was ready for a baby. My hormones raged for pregnancy and a baby in my arms. So when I found out in August of 2002 that I was pregnant, I was ecstatic. I could not wait for my baby to be born and in my arms and breast feeding and sleeping on my chest. In December of that year, I started having excruciating pain in lower back, on my side, near by uterus, and shooting down my leg. This pain was like nothing I had felt before. It crippled me and made me sick to my stomach, vomiting almost daily. I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, and couldn't figure out what the problem was. My midwife suspected a kidney infection so I got tested for that. Nope, not it. I went in for an ultrasound to her supporting doctor and as he looked around, he said he didn't see anything, except that my baby was really far back in my pelvis and most likely hitting a cluster of nerves. I told him that the pain felt similar to when I had a 4.5 cm cyst on my ovary in college. Without even looking, he told me that couldn't be it because my ovaries were stretched up really high with my uterus and didn't match the location of my pain. The prescription: wait.
I'm telling you, I couldn't survive another day of that pain. I knew there had to be something I could do. So that afternoon I sat on my bed and pictured my baby in my uterus, way back in my pelvis, and imagined what I could do to move him forward. So I laid my face down in front me, while I sat on my knees, and stuck my butt up in the air. My idea was that gravity would pull him down. I sat that way for 20-30 minutes at a time, almost falling asleep, doing it over and over and waiting for something to change.

By that night, he had moved forward and I no longer had the pain. I kept repeating that position for the next 24 hours, just to be sure he didn't go back into his comfy little space. Relief flooded over me. To go from miserable to comfortable in a matter of hours was freaking fabulous. Let it not go unnoticed that it was me, the mom-to-be, who came up with this idea. Not the doctor.

The rest of my pregnancy was fairly easy. I was anemic, so had to take Floradix and black strap molasses every day. It was disgusting, but at least it slowed down my heart rate and my pulse no longer beat loudly in my ears. With each passing month, the wait to see my baby seemed to get longer and longer and less bearable.

I went into labor at 3:00 pm on April 11th, 2003. I had planned a home birth and possibly in the water. I won't take the risk of boring you with Jackson's birth story. It was rough. The pain came back times 100--the pain in my side was worse that those insanely painful contractions. After pushing for 4 hours at home, we decided to go to the hospital to see if pain meds might help me relax a little and get to 10 cms from 9.5. As it turns (and as my midwife suspected), Jackson had a short umbilical cord and just could not make it out naturally. So I had a c-section at 8:30 pm on April 12th. If you did the math, I am your hero. If you didn't, that's 29.5 hours of labor.
This is the youngest picture of Jackson I could quickly find on Facebook.
Another clue about my mothering?
Something very interesting happened after the c-section of my 9 lb 10 oz baby boy. The doctor said, "Oh Erin! Here's your pain. You have a huge tumor wrapped around your fallopian tube, cutting off circulation to your ovary." Huh. Oh really? Imagine that.

So, the brilliant doctor (hey, nobody's perfect) removed the tumor, the fallopian tube, and the ovary before stitching my abdomen back up. He did apologize for not taking the time to look a few inches higher during my ultrasound. And he noted that had I not had a c-section, I would have most certainly been back in the hospital less than a couple of weeks later for emergency surgery on a ruptured ovary.

It was that set of events that gave me some confidence in my mothering intuition. I learned that I could trust my instincts and that, even when others thought I was nuts, I would fight for my voice to be heard when it came to protecting or raising my child.

When did you first realize that you had a natural instinct about your body and/or your baby? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Next Post: Hearing God's voice over the voice of "the experts".


Adrienne said...

Why have I never known you don't have a fallopian tube and ovary?! I totally just learned something new about you, my friend! And as for your question...you know.

Unknown said...

Great topic. Great question. I don't think I trusted my intuition until every "trick" I tried from the books and magazines didn't seem to work. I had a baby who didn't sleep the way the books said she should, didn't nurse the way they said she should, didn't do much of anything the way the books said she should.

Finally, I put the books away. I was so much happier.

Turns out my oldest isn't in the middle of the bell curve when it comes to "normal" anyway, so it's no wonder she didn't conform to what the books recommended I do to soothe her, feed her, discipline her, etc.

Thank goodness I realized it early on. It's made me a better mother and her a better kid. And, you know, it's done wonders for my youngest, too, who isn't nearly as "off the charts" as her sister. :)

Unknown said...

PS. The Unknown person above is April Karli! Not sure why it posted that way. I signed in and everything!

Erin said...

April, I could tell it was you. Thanks for sharing! Your example leads right into today's post. We really do have to hone our listening skills so that we can hear God leading us as mothers.