I don’t actually know how many parts there are to this break. And I guess I will only know when I continue to unfold them.
So, the break part 1 I wrote 21 days ago now. And in my last blog on this, I said I would be back the following week to finish it off [here if you missed it…].
So what has happened that has gotten in the way of that?
I don’t know if you believe in metaphysical stuff [If you don’t know what metaphysical is…] but after this little experience I am certainly curious enough about the real connections.
So. I wrote about the pain of worry and anxiety that first year of trying to conceive.
And I kid you not, the following day I got excruciating back pain and sciatic pain. Pain, that I can only describe as contractions. Like birthing contractions. Except, there was no reprieve from the contraction. It was just one long epic contraction. Fucking painful.
So painful, that it took me to the doctor. A place I don’t usually go much these days. But I went. I get x-rays. Scans. And it revealed that I have a bulging disc that presses right on my sciatic nerve. Like all day long.
But what does this have to do with writing about something that happened 11 years ago?
Here is the thing with stored pain.
The body remembers trauma. Science tells us that. It ain’t no hokey pokey deal anymore. It remembers and holds emotional pain. In the cells. Trapped. Waiting for release.
And, seemingly, when the body speaks to us, in a way we cannot ignore, as in the way of excruciating pain, it seems we are offered an opportunity to heal the old wounds that have been just waiting. Waiting for love and attention.
So my back and nerves call. And I listen.
I was 7 days overdue with our first bub. It was the middle of January in Australia and I was huge and swollen and big and uncomfortable and nervous. The longer that bub was in there, I knew the bigger they were growing, making it all the more difficult to get out.
So we met with our Obstetrician and decided we would go for an induction. To get things moving.
In we went. All prepared to have this baby, effortlessly and quickly.
Effortlessly and quickly. I mean, is that true? What the fuck?
But we did. Naively we walked in. Laughing at the events to come.
The gel went in. Off we went for a walk. And within about 45 minutes, the contractions began.
Exciting. It’s happening. After all that time, something was happening. Pain was happening. And off we went back to the hospital.
Fitted with a contraction monitor, my husband would watch with great interest as the little drawing needle would begin to head north. “Oh, this is a big one” he would say. Not surprising to me of course given they were happening in my body.
And on this went for hours. Hours and hours of the up and down. 5 minutes a part. Like intense. And still, no dilation.
“What do you mean it isn’t working?”. I belted out 6 hours in.
“Your cervix isn’t dilating”.
Oh great. I am fucking broken. I can’t even get a baby out of this body.
“So what now?”.
“Well, I think we prep you for a caesarean section”.
“A fucking what? But, this isn’t in my plan. This isn’t what I have researched. I didn’t pay any attention to caesarean section blah blah in antenatal classes. Fuck. No. This can’t be happening”.
And then whomp. Another fucking contraction. Oh the pain. The tears. The snot. The pain.
It was happening. I asked for some more time. Just to see. Surely it would work.
I was given more time. And nothing more happened, except I ended up in more pain and more anxiety.
So, I surrendered to the wishes of the doctor and I before I knew it, I was being wheeled around to the operating room with not gas, not drugs, not pain relief, just a fuck load of pain.
The anaesthetist came in and calmly talked me through what would be happening. At that stage I I didn’t give a shit frankly. I just wanted the pain to stop.
And the wish I desperately made, came true as soon as I curled up into a ball, holding my contracting belly while the gentle doctor gave me the numbing syrup. And the pain, it just dissolved.
I cried with relief and soon, I was capable of speaking. And soon I felt calm. And soon I would hold my baby.
In less than half an hour, I was united with our baby. Big baby. Healthy baby. And the next chapter unfolded.
We became parents, and in the moment I made a decision that I would hand my life over to be of service to this baby and it would be my job in life to provide everything he needed. Always.
In that moment, I gave no thought to the unprocessed pain my body hadn’t expressed. The cutting off of the pain, that seemed to lock in. And lock down. Quite possibly waiting for a time when I might revisit it. To release it.
So it is not a surprise to me, when I visit my acupuncturist and I am asked to describe the pain I say, “Like an unending contraction”.
When I lay on the bed and the acupuncturist checks the meridians that the pain runs on, I am told, “Isn’t it interesting. The exact route of your pain is exactly where we treat women who are in labour”.
“Get out of town”. I say. “Huh, well of course it is. And what is interesting is that it all began to be painful when I started writing about my pregnancy”.
“Might be time to finish that story. To transform the energy?”
“I think you are right”, I say.
And here we are.
Who knows what will happen with my pain. But what I do know, is that;
“Owning our story and forgiving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we can do.” Brene Brown.
So, my precious body. I am so sorry that I was mean to you and spoke harshly about you because you didn’t meet my expectations.
I am sorry for hating on you. I am sorry for not listening to you. I am sorry that you tried to talk to me and I didn’t listen.
I am sorry that you had to endure what you did and then were ignored. For all those times when you wanted a relationship with me and I never thought you deserved it. That you weren’t good enough. That you didn’t act like I wanted you to.
I am sorry. And I ask you to forgive me. And I invite you to pass this pain now. I hear you sweet one. I hear you.
I love you and I am sorry.
Forever yours. Jen. xxx
My guess is that this wont be the last time I apologise to you.
In a culture that bread suck it up and get on with it, I know there are so many times I ignored you. Left you completely unloved and depleted. And for that I am sorry too. I promise that I will continue to do the best I can to take care of you. Nurture you. Love you unconditionally. It is of course a work in practice.
And I know that you are still learning to trust me, after I have neglected you so much along the way. I’m going to put in the effort to restore the trust. Gently. Ever so gently.
Not wanting to race head long into making changes. That is old way.
New way. To be with you. Not challenge you. But be kind to you.
Dearest body, I love you and I am sorry. How can I make it up to you?
“Just be kind…that is all”, says my body.
And the journey continues….