Monday, July 3, 2017

When I Was 21 - - - - - A Distressful Post

In 1960 I gave birth to my first born - a precious baby boy.  

            Yes, I am a lot more transparent than any time in my seven years of blogging - for various reasons. One, is that I prefer to have the documentation and also the  "the insight"  may provide some useful information.

It was a wonderful time, happily married to a loving nicely employed man, schooling finished for the time being --- and pregnant. And what an easy and healthy pregnancy it was, without a minute of morning sickness or any prenatal complications.   When the word "Glow" is used to describe some pregnant women,   THAT was ME.  I was so happy, happy, happy!

Even though we were temporarily living an hour drive away from our "stomping grounds", we decided to have our baby at the hospital where I completed my RN Nursing Program.   Being a petite lady weighing a little over 100 pounds (before pregnancy) I was what some call   "All Baby".   When my due date came about on December 5,    no signs of a baby about to be born. I was so very ready emotionally and everything was prepared for the joyous event. Unfortunately, it was two weeks more before my water broke at 3 AM and we were on our way to the hospital. It was lovely to be greeted by a familiar smiling face at the hospital. That face belonged to one of my nursing classmates. They got me settled and LABOR was on it's way.

The contractions were getting harder and harder but it seemed like it was taking forever for the dilation numbers to move along to a higher number. There were many, many hours of fierce pain. Whatever they were doing for me in regards to pain management was NOT working. The pain was so very harsh and unbearable. Eventually, medication was administered that put me out. And, I didn't remember anything until my baby was brought to me in my room all bundled up and crying. My baby was a very unhappy baby. Not the least bit interested in nursing or being held. I was very lethargic and felt worse in ALL WAYS than I had ever felt in my life. I don't believe I can put it into words just how horrendous the experience was for me.

Now it is time for a CAVEAT. The following  information may contain TMI. You may want to shift your mind to reading this as if it is a medical informational post. Remember, this took place years ago. Procedures and philosophies have changed drastically since that time.

Unfortunately, VERY unfortunately, obstetrical forceps were used to (pull out) deliver my 8 pound, 6 ounce baby boy. My body was severely damaged and required an extensive episiotomy (a surgical cut in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus made just before delivery to enlarge the vaginal opening). Many sutures were placed and the discomfort and pain was nearly insufferable post anesthesia. There was very little helpful medical guidance. Complete relief from the stressful physical situation took more than 6 months.

I gave birth on December 20th and was discharged from the hospital on December 24th with my baby boy who seemed to be very unhappy and seemed to never stop crying. Allegedly, he was physically healthy and did not suffer any abnormalities.  My mother was with me for a week but made it very clear to us that she did not plan on being a babysitter! And, she meant it!

With trying to be as succinct as I can in telling you what my son's childhood was like, I will say. From day one, every new life experience for him was traumatic and there were hours and hours and hours of crying. He seemed to have fear of everything. Yes, of course, all available medical care was summoned to no avail. To me as a parent it seemed as though the medical professionals considered him to be "just a bad kid".  There never was baby/mother bonding.   And, life was super challenging for our little family. To this day, his behaviors, I would say, continues to be borderline in interpersonal relationships. Nothing seems to come easy for him, but he manages to get by in the margins of life.
Now, let's flash forward many years to when I was in my early 50's. I started noticing some rectal incontinence. It started around the same time as my serious back injury. So a lot was going on with me and my body. The first question was whether or not there was an association with the back surgery. Many invasive and may I say disgusting medical tests were completed at Stanford University Hospital. Some nerve evaluations along with practically every test (for down there) that you can imagine were completed during a three hour session while I was awake. That was one of the most horrible medical testing that I have ever experienced but ,   not even close to the distress of childbirth. When it was completed and I returned to the waiting room the first thing out of my mouth to my waiting friend was "I Need A Drink".   And, I hardly ever drink!

The results of the testing was a referral to a Neurological Proctologist.

Studies show that a large baby , a mother with small pelvic bones , a prolonged labor , a baby whose head is in the wrong position during labor , or the use of forceps can be associated with the development of incontinence.  Rectal Incontinence being the most difficult to manage.

But, let's try to move along regarding the difficult life my son has experienced.  Throughout his life, I have felt so very helpless.  And, he was certainly misunderstood.  After studying medical literature, speaking with many doctors and feeling profoundly happy about advancing medical science I believe that my son experienced   BRAIN INJURY   at the time of his birth. It is my thought that my presence triggers a psychological and visceral response of PAIN AND DANGER for my son! So - so tragic !!  Additionally, during his childhood he experienced a couple concussions, one when he fell from a height during playtime with friends at a very young age and he was hospitalized for two days. The other time was when he was "beat up" at school.   Terrible ! ! !


On a positive note, just think of all the football players with the current attention about concussions and blunt force to the head.  Thankfully, there is a lot more information about Brain Health!

Painfully, I tell you that many years have gone by periodically without contact with my son. Additionally, he was on foreign land many years of his military deployment. At one time I made all the arrangements to visit him in Korea.  At the last moment he "shut me out" and I cancelled the trip. Additionally, when he came to visit for my daughter's wedding, he left town the day before the event.    But the time may have come - - - along with some medical and professional psychological guidance that relationships and health for my little family may be improved before I am gone.

I pray that with knowledge, medical evaluations/treatment, new coping skills and gentle guidance that the remaining years of life for my adult children will be flowered with comfort, understanding, peace, forgiveness and excitement.

What a beautiful day we are having here in Northern California. The temperatures are very pleasant but reported to be rising to the high 90"s by the end of the week.

Happy Day To You.

Mary

4 comments:

  1. Dearest Mary,
    Writing this post must have been a catharsis for you. I am glad you are able to share such memories. I only wish I could be geographically closer so I could provide more friendship and support. Thinking of you!

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  2. Thank you so much Dear Friend. Yes, it would be super if we lived closer to each other. I am really pleased and blessed to feel strong enough (in all ways) to address some situations that may bring comfort (with some work) to others as well as myself. Does my blog post about a Bidet (*-*) make more sense - now ??? Blessings to you.

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  3. Wow. Bless your heart. The things mothers have to endure! I see simular situations often. There is one in my husbands family now. Your post was very interesting.
    Lisa

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    1. Thanks for stopping in, Lisa, and leaving a comment. My biggest concern at this point in my life is my adult children. Most of us do the very best that we can as our families grow up and I gave it my all. There is no way to change the past but it would be beautiful if the moment felt more peaceful for me and my family. Prayers welcome.

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