Monday, September 29, 2008

Lying in...

Well, this month has continued to be full of lessons for me. I've been listening to my body and caring for it very well. I'm astonished at how much better I feel already. Though still anemic, I'm light years ahead of where I was in August. I can climb stairs and not pass out! My heart isn't racing if I walk to the bathroom! I realize now that I was living in a perpetual state of "pseudo-9-month-pregnant life" know, that period where you deliberate over moving the bed into the living room just so that you won't have to climb the stairs...or find that linking arms and sauntering is de rigeur (rather than your usual non-pregnant power walking).

I'm well enough to feel good about heading into hospital on October 8th. I'm not daunted by the post-procedure pain that I've been warned about ("You should be able to's like a couple of days of labour," said one doctor.) I'm not going to fight the suggested recovery time of a few weeks... I will listen to my body and honour its needs.

(p.s. The amazing painting is "Crawl Out" by Vancouver artist Madeleine Wood)

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Listening to your body

Well, it's certainly been an interesting month...I now know how the VGH ER works when you really need it (yes, the triage system works well and I jumped to the front of the line!), how little an IV hurts when you REALLY need it, and how fast you can get appointment with specialists in the BC Medical system when you are considered URGENT. I also know the odd, prickly, clammy, scary feeling that comes from losing too much blood...very interesting (from a professional standpoint), but I don't need to experience it again.

The whole time, my mind stayed in doula mode..."Ah, that's what a good fast IV feels like"..."Interesting - even though you know there's no needle in there, you just don't feel like waving that IV arm around". I was happy to receive such respectful care from the VGH staff (who even turned around my bed to face the wall so I could gain more privacy during an exam, without me asking). And, in the middle of caring for me, one nurse chattering, "Wow! You attend births? I think cesareans should be the way of the future...I'd rather crack open a chest than watch a birth. You're so brave!" I laughed, even though I felt ready to pass out.

And I can still see the smiling face of the ER doctor as he came in and said, "I want you to know that the biopsy was negative for cancer." I almost laughed...I really (amazingly) hadn't considered that to be even a possibility. It was quite funny, honestly.

Interestingly...I presented with such CRAZY high blood pressure (I've NEVER even seen a client with HELLP syndrome have this high BP) that I got 3 nurses at once. Hmmm...probably not something to brag about. So...I'm not pleased with my body this month, and that's an odd thing for me.

I always tell clients that they can trust their body, that we just have to figure out what the body is trying to say. Well, I'm listening and waiting...

Perhaps everyone's right in saying, "Look, you have cared for others for 20 plus years. Now it's time for us to look after you."

So, thanks so much to my docs, Stephanie and Kristin, for telling me to take this month off, and expediting matters so successfully. Thanks to my clients who call to check in, or send text messages that make me laugh. Thanks to my husband (for taking time off work to care for me) and my family (my mum and dad even come and clean for me!)

And that postpartum tip about asking for help? It works! If you just tell people how you really are doing...they will step in and help. It's quite amazing. The struggle for new mums (and now me) is in the acceptance. I think I'm good at acceptance now.

So, to all my current clients due in the next few months...we'll just have to see how my appointment goes next week, and then I'll be giving you a call (surgery may await!) My daughter, Sarah, and I might be doing tag-team birthing for a while. But, I'm always here, ready to listen and help guide you through your pregnancy (this hasn't affected my mouth or ears!)

Okay, body...I'm listening...