So I went today to have an IUD put in. It was the first time back in that type of “clinical” setting since the birth. Oddly, the doctor’s office was right across the street from the hospital where I had Owen. The whole experience showed me just how much I am still recovering emotionally from my birth experience. Even walking by the hospital entrance got my heart racing. Lying there, with my legs spread, feet in stirrups, and watching the doctor come at me with these two-feet-long instruments she was about to put up inside my uterus, my heart was more than racing. I am a trauma therapist and even so I am amazed by how much triggers of a traumatic experience can affect our minds and bodies. After the actual insertion (not too painful physically – just cramping and pinching), I realized I was lightheaded and dizzy. And then, in the car, I felt myself tearing up. So, I suppose even though three months have gone by and I am physically healed from giving birth, my mind just hasn’t caught up yet.
I am not really sure how to “heal” from this. I don’t think I need to go to therapy, because I am processing with myself and with my husband and I am sure that I will have recovered by the time I decide to have a second child. Also, I am finding that our attempts to have sex again, while extremely emotional and somewhat frightening for me, are actually healing me emotionally. Almost replacing the memories and sensations for me.
So, I suppose, I will give it time. Even today, having a medical procedure and having a birth control device inserted, is symbolic of healing. Not only was I able to have a good, positive experience with an OB (thank you Lorna and E for the recommendations!!), but I am committed that I won’t have another baby for a little. That gives me time to heal in more ways than one.
Meanwhile, I am also committed to this decision to move to San Diego! And, with it, to my new role as a “stay at home mom.” I keep qualifying this new role by saying things about my “career goals” and how I feel “start looking” when we move down there. But let’s face it – for awhile anyhow – I am going to be a stay at home mom. And I am excited about it! I am realizing how much more I like myself in this role. Not only do I like the things that I do with my time – going for walks, watching sunsets, frequenting the Farmer’s Markets I never had time for before – but I like the way that I am in this role. I find myself being less lazy, more productive, more social, more competent, more mindful, calmer, happier, and all around content. When I do go back to work, I hope to figure out how to keep these parts of myself integrated into who I am now. It almost feels as if, before motherhood, I was just getting through life. Putting my head down and charging through the layers and layers of stress and work and overload that I had to deal with. But now I feel on top of life and capable and happy and as if I am enjoying the moments more. I know this honeymoon period may fade and I will find myself craving my individuality and my professional self, but for now, I may as well admit it – I like staying at home with Owen!
And Owen? He was three months old yesterday! He is literally JUMPING out of the 4th trimester into this new stage of life. When we were at the doctor’s office today, she kept getting distracted by him because he is so smiley, happy, and socially engaging. She finally asked, “Are you sure he’s only three months old? I cannot believe how social he is!” We get that all of the time. Since birth, people have thought he was older than he is. I always say it's because he has so much hair, but it’s more than that. He is really connected, alert, and engaged with people. My dad called him an “old soul.” I don’t know about that, but he definitely draws people in.
So that is where we are…healing, growing, changing, and crystalizing into something new. So I will leave you with another question - Do you think we make our own identities by choice or are we shaped by the situations and roles we are playing?