Welp, I Even Gave Birth Dramatically, I Guess

The other day I was bopping around on my own in the lovely town of Wyandotte. This is a new thing to me because I am normally with Mickey, but I’m trying my best to break out of my not-driving box.

Last week, I took my tricycle out on a couple of trips and felt really kicky and proud. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I never learn to ride a bicycle as a child. I was more of a “stay in my room where it is safe and read anything with words on it” kind of a child.

I tried to learn once as an adult, but it didn’t go so well and, after one disastrous Key West trip where I constantly got left behind, I decided that maybe bikes were not for me.

An adult tricycle it was! And I love it. She is mint green with a rose gold bell (and matching helmet) and I have named her Molly at the suggestion of one of my TikTok friends.  

I did not take said tricycle to Wyandotte though. On the day I am telling a story about, I walked my ass all the way to downtown Allen Park to treat myself to a lavender latte, mmm. Then I got in an Uber to Wyandotte. 

Where there was a surprise festival I was not expecting. 

But none of that is important to the story; I want to tell you about a friend I made. 

So, there I was sitting alone at a bar, not even on my phone. I was studying the really cool mural in front of me and listening to the bartender talk to another customer.

“…I remember hearing about those fires in Palm Bay, didn’t they happen on like Father’s Day or something?”

I couldn’t not jump in, so I said, “Mother’s Day. I lived through them”, just like an old person does, “I was putting fires out in my front yard with a garden hose. It was terrifying.”

Then the woman who was sitting two stools down from me scooched over to the one next to me and said, “You seem fun! Let’s talk!”

Or something else nice – my brain was so surprised by someone liking me that it blocked out the immediate details. 

And then we just trauma dumped at each other for like an hour or so. It’s been a long time since I felt an immediate kinship with a brand new person… in person. 

Of course, one of the traumas I shared was the birth of my child. Only recently did I even start considering this event a trauma. Before the past few months, this was just a thing that happened to me that I handled. I’ve never given it the weight that it deserved in my timeline.

Boy howdy, was I wrong about it not being a trauma. I mean, in general, the havoc that childbirth wreaks on the body and mind (hormones y’all) is trauma enough, but bopping into the ER with a sore tummy and coming out with a baby is something else. Especially at 17 and well on your way to 4 years at UGA. 

Like that’s a 360 event. And that’s the trauma in my life I’ve been working through lately. Now, if you know me at all, you know the thing I am proudest of is my kid. She’s somehow got a great head on her shoulders and is actively following her dreams with goals and plans and stuff. She’s the coolest. 

I need that to be clear, because, while giving birth to D was a trauma for me, yes… I don’t blame her for anything that has transpired since at all. If anything, I’ve become a better human simply by watching her example. 

While I was telling my new friend my birth story, I, of course, had to mention that I had no idea I was pregnant, she was only three pounds when born and the doctors said she was three months early by their estimation. 

I also added the throwaway line, because my new friend was a nurse, that the doctors told me that my placenta separated from my uterus. 

She looked horrified, and I assumed it was because of the not knowing, because that’s typically the first reaction I get. So I had my next line ready (“Yep, I went to prom five days before in a dress with boning!” while gesturing to my middle-aged waist, as if that is a good example of what I looked like at 17.)

But she stopped me before I could start and asked, “Oh my god, you had an abruption?!”

I mumbled some reply like, “Yeah, if that’s what that is.”

What she said next floored me (that sounds so click-bait-y, I hate it):

“That’s one of the most traumatic deliveries you can go through- for both the mother and the child!”

Then she took the time to explain to me what happened in my body (and my daughter’s) when I gave birth to her. I won’t try to quote her, but, y’all, it sounded very frightening.

I’ll nutshell it – basically what that means is that while I was giving birth, my baby was losing out on oxygen and nutrients all the while I was bleeding internally and forming a scab inside myself. 

It was at that point the tears came. In the middle of the day, sober, with a stranger. And I only felt a little embarassed. 

Then she asked if I had a facebook and now we are Internet friends too. 

Since then, a lot of stuff has fallen into place for me. I don’t doctor a lot, but I do try to make a regular habit of going to the gyno. One of my constant complaints to them is that when I am on my period it feels like something gets all swelled up and there is not enough room for all of my organs. 

Not one doctor has taken this seriously. Once, I had a doctor give me a test where they dialated my cervix and then reached in there and scraped out bits of it and send it off for testing. With no numbing agents or painkillers prescribed afterwards. Nausea-inducing antibiotics only. That shit fucking HURT, y’all. 

And they told me I was fine. But then later on,  I was looking on my patient portal and randomly popped into the visit for some reason and saw in the “results” section that I have endometriosis. 

That would have been nice to know, jeez. 

So my new goal is to find a good doctor here that can tell me what’s really going on in my body, because it feels like my organs want to pop out for up to 10 days a month. My brain routinely tells me that I’d be better off dead at least three nights every cycle (don’t worry, I know better than to listen to that bitch, but she does make a compelling argument from time to time), my hormones actively fight against my body, putting me into fight or flight (well, my version of that – freeze and fawn) at the slightest hint of danger. 

It’s the fucking worst and not one of my doctors have ever taken it seriously. 

So, I’m hoping that going into my new doctor armed with the knowledge of the proper name for what happened to me when I gave birth (my new friend told me that we were both lucky to be alive – especially giving birth in a tiny Georgia hospital) will help me get something done about this mess in my guts. 

And, in conclusion, y’all, I know I talk about menopause and how awful it is (at least I hope I am there now and this isn’t just the ramp up still). But I know a bunch of you are male readers with wives similarly aged. Give them some grace, please. It’s a battlefield in their brain at any given time. You can’t imagine how mean these menopause hormones make our brains. They really seem to hate us and it can get very dark. 

So, if she’s cranky and you notice it, maybe offer her some help or love instead of giving her a hard time about it. It’ll help on many different fronts. 

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