Saturday, February 28, 2009

cautiously happy

As deep and dark as my last two posts have been, it makes me wonder if perhaps I'm posting today to maintain some sense of balance on my blog. As perplexed as I am, and as much time I have put into pondering these facts of my life, these things that have forced themself onto my life and now are part of my very definition, for some reason, I'm just not that 'upset' about it all.

I don't think my lack of unrest or torment is a feeling specific to the horrible events I'm finally grappling with. No. Overall, I'm just not that upset about much anymore. I'm not upset about my broken marriage; even broken things can still 'work' at some level. I'm not upset at the haters. When I say they can go fuck themselves, its with an air of indifference. I'm not upset about my move, it is what it is, some good some bad.

I guess what I want to let everyone in blogland know is that I'm doing 'good'. Not the, 'my life is perfect good', the REAL good. The 'good' with the bad.

And for the first time in my life I'm feeling some congruence. I don't put on a happy front for many (unless i am in fact 'happy' at that moment), I don't pretend that everything is okay, I don't try to appear perfect, or act like wonder woman, or wonder grad, or wonder mom, or wonder wife.

And it's such a motherfucking relief.

So, I'm (oh my god it's so hard to say this right now) happy. Cautiously happy. And I think I haven't been this comfortable with me (and all my faults and all my mistakes) since perhaps when I was a child? I don't know!? Maybe I've discovered a new plane of being?

So, I hope some of you out there in blogland have found the same thing or will someday soon. Cyber cheers to all, here is hopeing for a moment of true peace and happiness for each of us!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I was raped. Was I raped?

raped - despoiled: having been robbed and destroyed by force and violence; "the raped countryside"

Any sexual behavior that involves an unwilling partner. Forced sexual contact, especially sexual intercourse, with an unwilling partner.

forced or manipulated nonconsensual sexual contact, including vaginal or anal intercourse, oral sex, or penetration with an object.

I have not come to terms with the torture I endured after the birth of my son. You see, to me, both now and then, there was nothing that could be worse than his death. Not physical pain, not even my own death. Everything pales in comparison the searing anguish and despair of your childs death. That is worse than torture, that is worse than death.

I was not raped in the classical sense of the word. I don't believe what happened to me had to do with sex, though it had to do with my sexual organs being violated without my consent. I was not being assaulted out of hatred for women, but perhaps out of disregard.

I've discussed a few times on this blog the problems I had birthing my placenta. I birthed Myles' body naturally in the bath, 'problem free' except for THE PROBLEM that he had died. It was when I got out to birth the placenta that a tragic situation turned into a major emergency. Shit hit the fan, no placenta and lots of blood loss, and my Peri from my preterm birth is on call. I did not like this man then, never liked him. I did not like that he would be 'manually removing my placenta' but I had no choice.

My doctor tried to manually remove my placenta four times, he gave me a second degree tear. After the second time, after I writhed and screamed and was held down by four people (including my husband), everyone told my peri to 'stop'. My midwife told him to take me back for a D & C. My husband told him take me back. I cried frantically that I couldn't take it. He insisted on 'one more time'. Except. That one more time turned into two more times.

All I know is that this, in and of itself, profoundly effected both my husband and I. And I've never given it it's weight. And part of me wonders how much of my suicidal ideation, and my past risky behavior can be linked to this trauma I experienced?

I almost died that day. My husband watched me tortured (violated?) that day. He was powerless. I was powerless. I was raped. Was I raped? I don't know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Stillbirth Secret

I'm just angry right now. Angry all over again it seems. I knew I wasn't past the anger, that there is no 'past' any part of this grief. I guess it's just been awhile and I've grown complacent about it, and feeling it again both surprised and scared me.

So, this is an official rant. And it's a rant at the medical community.

Why the fuck do Drs, Midwives, OB/GYNs and even PERIs keep stillbirth such a giant fucking secret?!

Is it because they're ignorant? Is it because you don't know what causes it, and they don't want to have to say that? Is it because it's easier to play the odds that chances are, the mother you're telling that everything is going to be fine is not the 1/200 that will lose her baby to stillbirth?!

Because somebody OWED IT TO ME to tell me.

They owed it to me to tell me to trust my instincts, they owed it to me to tell me my risk of stillbirth (and that it was increased due to preterm labor), they owed it to me to tell me what they DON'T KNOW, not just what they fucking know.

Having Simone first, I know how inundated new mothers are about SIDS. They scare the fuck out of EVERYONE, all new parents. They risk the breastfeeding relationship due to their demonization of co-sleeping (an arrangment done in EVERY stinking culture since the beginning of time that is evelotuinary based (see Dr. McKenna at Notre Dame). This public health campaign is everywhere.

Back to sleep. Back to sleep. Back to sleep.

And the SIDS back to sleep campaign has been good. They've reduced the rate of SIDS by half.

And what's that rate? Well, before it was 1/5th of the stillbirth rate, and now it's 1/10th. So now, only 2500 babies dies from SIDS every year, and anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000 die from stillbirth.

Forgive me if it seems like I'm minimizing SIDS, I am not, it's tragic and awful, and even with my own experience, I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child to SIDS.


Shouldn't I hear 5 times as many messages about stillbirth? Shouldn't I hear even ONE, just one message about the incidence and prevalence of stillbirth? Kick counts, eh? Fuck kick counts. Unlike the back to sleep campaign (and only the back to sleep campaign cuz the co-sleeping demonization is BS), kick counts are not evidence based. There is no scientific evidence that shows kick counts to save any lives. (and if anyone can show me different i'll gladly eat humble pie) Which brings me to the research community.

Where the fuck are you?! 20,000-40,000 babies are dying each year, 50% we have no fucking clue why. Where the fuck are you?

Which brings me to the March of Dimes.

Fuck you MOD.

You're supposed to be 'saving babies lives', and in your little bible of marternal child health, you don't even bother to mention stillbirth once. Not ONCE in over 100pages of statistics you fucking pukes.

This has got to change, as long as stillbirth remains the dark secret of childbirth, no one will ever do anything. I want to see goddamn billboards on stillbirth, I want to know that every pregnant woman talks about it with their provider, just like miscarriage, just like SIDS.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Rilke

This one speaks volumes about Rilkes understanding of child loss, particularly stillbirth I think:
You who never arrived

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of the next

I wonder here if he is talking of his mother? He could be talking about any of us who blog and comment and support others who are grieving.
Do not assume that she who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. Her life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, she would never have been able to find these words

And I liked this bit of feminism
Letter to a young poet (letter 7)

Someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only life and reality: the female human being.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

optimism? too scary

I've been posting a lot on message board for bipolar disorder. It's been a wonderful and supportive community. With the meds I'm on, I've been doing so well recently, everything is feeling 'normal', almost in a scary way. It's hard to loosen that grip on grief I suppose, it is a connection to Myles. Anyway, this poem brought me to tears (like everything seems to these days, lol) and it made me give optimism a second look:

Sometimes things don't go at all,
from bad to worse. Some years muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives;the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

Sheena Pugh (b.1950)

Argh, and now I'm sitting here pondering the poem thinking, none of these things happen, who chooses peace. I'm sooo jaded :(

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rainer Maria Rilke

I've been reading Rilke's poetry (thanks to a commenter ;). The line that first hooked me was:

"The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things."

So here I am at 2am reading all the Rilke I can online, all because I finally googled and read his wikipedia page. His quotes just seemed to get to the core of so much of what I have learned in this life, so I finally HAD to see his life. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but when I read this, I gasped:

"The relationship between Phia (his mother) and her only son was encumbered by her prolonged mourning for her elder daughter who was lost after only a week of life."

Rainer was his mother's rainbow baby. It all makes sense, he is someone who has been shaped by grief, raised by a mother who was profoundly impacted by child loss. His famous, Sonnets to Orpheus, were dedicated to his daughter's friend who died at the age of 19. Here is a section of one of his other most famous poems, Duino Elegies:

In the end, those who were carried off early no longer need us:
they are weaned from earth's sorrows and joys,
as gently as children outgrow the soft breasts of their mothers.
But we, who do need such great mysteries,
we for whom grief is so often the source of our spirit's growth--:
could we exist without them?
Is the legend meaningless that tells how, in the lament for Linus,
the daring first notes of song pierced through the barren numbness;
and then in the startled space which a youth as lovely as a god has suddenly left forever,
the Void felt for the first time that harmony which now enraptures and comforts and helps us.