Friday, June 25, 2010

Turning the Corner

A little update on SuperBob:
he's doing much better! My brother has been feeding him nonstop, and with the appetite inducing magic of prednisone, the Super One has gained 15 pounds back! And he has energy! And he even talks on the phone now!

With regard to my writing midwife/pitocin:
I don' t want to jinx it, but I am going to try a writing experiment for the next two weeks: My son and I will ride the train downtown in the morning, where I'll take him to science camp, then I'll write all day in cafes, libraries, what have you, until 4pm, when I'll pick up my little scientist and take him home on the train. A sort of forced writing retreat. Wish me luck and perseverence.

And with regard to feeling wild and free
(see picture of me in grand canyon with crazy hair a few posts ago):
I'm planning not one but two backpacking trips with friends this summer, and one or two camping trips with my little family.

The universe is on our side. The universe is on our side. The universe is on our side...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

a little more about the universe

Superbob is still hitting some bumps in the road. Last weekend, while strolling through Target with my mom, he fainted and whacked his head on the floor when he landed. An ambulance ride to the ER ensued, where, after 6 hours, the final diagnosis was that he was severely dehydrated. He has also lost 30 pounds. So my brothers and I are gearing up to take turns going out to California again to help out and to give my mom some much-needed respite from Cancer World. In fact, one of my brothers is headed out there today, thank goodness. I'll probably go in two weeks.

I don't think any of us knew how hard this was going to be. I, for one, have been in quite a funk since Superbob went into the hospital back in March. I have been so sad that it has been difficult to say "yes" to things. Instead, my psyche has shut down and I say "no, no, no," not wanting to let any more bad into my life.

But by way of explaining the poem I posted a while ago, I have lately been trying to re-convince myself that the universe is on my side. That saying "yes" to possibility, to friends, to help, is in fact a way to say "no" to the bad stuff.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


As an adoptee, I found it extremely difficult to imagine giving birth to a child.

During my pregnancy, I repeatedly tried to visualize giving birth, I read lots of birth books, looked at lots of birth pictures, and attended birthing classes and even hypnobirthing classes.

But I had a really hard time picturing all this happening to me, and week before my due date I had a crisis of confidence. I sat in my living room, huge and gravid and undeniably pregnant, and I still couldn't figure out how the baby in my belly was going to join us on the planet.

Intellectually, I knew that every person who has ever lived has gotten here essentially the same way, but since I had no connection to my own birth, I could not imagine that birth could actually happen to me.

I called the hypnotherapist, who talked me through a visualization of it, and reassured me in as many ways as she could. I felt a little better for a while, but when the rubber hit the road and I finally went into labor, my troubles returned.

I was as physically prepared as a woman could be for birth: I had all the right equipment: yoga ball, gatorade, candles, a detailed birth plan, a supportive partner, and an awesome doula.

But my labor kept stalling out and stalling out, no matter what natural route we tried: walking, cohosh root, showers, baths, you name it.

At one point, after about 24 hours, my doula asked me, "Is there something that's holding you back, something that's keeping you from doing this?" Wild-eyed from sleep deprivation and painful contractions, I answered "I don't think so," feeling as if I were being accused of purposely holding back (although I'm sure that's not how my doula meant it.)

But I knew even at that moment that my lack of connection with my own birth and my birth mother was somehow stalling out my labor, but I couldn't think of what I could do about it--I had already tried everything I could think of to prepare for this birth.

I labored for 35 hours, without much progress. (But not without pain!)

Finally, I allowed the midwife to give me pitocin, and things started moving along. As the pitocin was administered, I noticed that the contractions felt very different. I remember thinking that they were foreign contractions, not my own.

Those foreign contractions did the trick, and a few hours later, I was dilated enough to push.

Finally, I was able to take action, rather than enduring the contractions while hoping I was dilating. At that point a doctor was preparing a operating room for an emergency C-section for me because my baby was now in distress. But I was determined to do it myself--something had changed for me, and I knew I could do it myself now. Once I was allowed to push, my son was born within an hour, safe and healthy, and naturally. The way everyone else got here.

Having a child of my own has helped heal some of the scars of being adopted; it has helped me feel more connected to other people, it has helped me feel more grounded, and it has helped me appreciate my adoptive parents more.

But without the pitocin, I would definitely have ended up with a C-section, and I wouldn't have gotten to experience birth the way I wanted to. Even though I really, really wanted to go through labor and birth without drugs, I really needed that pitocin to get where I needed to go.

Sometimes when we are stuck and we can't unstick ourselves, we need an intervention, an unanticipated shot in the arm of something foreign to jumpstart our progress.

Right now, I'm stuck in the process of writing my book about adoption, and I have been laboring with it for a long time. I know I have to write it, but I don't know how to get to the next step with it.

It's very scary to write because I'm afraid it will make people in my families angry (that old fear of abandonment rears its ugly head again), I'm afraid people will discount what I say ("Everyone feels lonely and alienated sometimes"), and I'm afraid it won't be good enough.

I am very tired of being in this place and letting this loop play in my brain.

I hereby open myself up to an intervention. But what will it be?