Tuesday, February 26, 2013

'round & 'round (the circle we're in)

Yesterday the bigger Mini scrawled a whole page full of 8's, and over and over we discussed each one, deciding which was our favorite, our least loved, the most aethetically pleasing, that sort of thing... exactly the way you like to spend time with a girl of about that age.  At one point or another, I spun the dry erase board a bit and rambled on to her about the magic of the infinity symbol and loosely tied the concept into our conversations throughout the rest of the day.  (It's important to remember here, in case it hasn't been mentioned before, I am not a math geek ...  my knowledge of the infinity symbol and the whole "no beginning, no end" idea is mostly gained from jewelry commercials, that sort of thing... but it was still very cool when the Mini caught on to the idea and tied it onto the fact that circles also have no beginning, no end.)

Like health. Like parenting, or life itself, really (when you think about it, can you pinpoint a moment when your life began? What about when it ends?) ... one way or another, for better or for worse, beautifully or morosely, all of these things will blend seamlessly into each other like the sands of the desert for most of us. We can mourn the changes and losses as they happen, fear the uncertainty that lies ahead, or embrace the moment we have.

(Wow. Lying awake at midnight, post-migraine meds, makes me wax philosophical!)

Wait! There was an actual midwifery tie to this post, I promise. Before I veered off into the hazy lands of half-sleepytime dream talk (oops, there I go again), I meant to talk about the beautiful, uncertain, chaotic orb of life. So much of everything seems to revolve in such a cyclical pattern (I'm trying to avoid breaking into "circle of life" a la Disney and The Lion King here...); whether you call it karma, fate, luck, gas, whatever --- what goes around does seem to come around. Pregnancy is no exception; countless cultures celebrate feminine goddesses, ripe with child, as evidence of rebirth - from death, to birth again. The gravid abdomen, round and splendid, is exalted and rejoiced.

In our modern times, we still go 'round and 'round. With all the cutting edge technology, evidence-based medicine (in theory), and "best case" scenarios --- we still meander our way through the same beautiful, uncertain, chaotic orb. We can do all of the testing available (nuchal screening, quad serum testing, even amniocentesis) and expect a baby who will have major chromosomal abnormalities -- and at birth meet a sweet babe with only the very mildest form of Down's Syndrome... or conversely after all of the testing, anticipate a chromosomally healthy baby at birth, only to have a baby born with significant (undetected) other congenital anomalies. Sometimes babies die, or mamas; too many times there is absolutely no good explanation why (or none that can be explained or prevented). Sometimes, on the other hand, babies live and grow and thrive - hormone levels that don't seem to be rising well at all, or ultrasounds that don't seem to show much of anything reassuring, suddenly have an entirely different story just a few short days later. (What an amazing sound that fast heartbeat can be!)

My belief (and I'm quite certain that I adapted this idea, if not stole it outright, from another source somewhere... I would love to cite that source if I remembered where I originally read it...) is that our babies never leave us.  Sometimes, though, it's not the right time - for us or for them - and so they leave us for a bit, until it truly is the right time. Eventually --- even if it's an abortion as a 15 yr old, three miscarriages, and an adoption as a 35 yr old later --- I believe that they always find us. (Maybe even as grandparents.... or neighbors... or anywhere else along the line....)

I'm pretty sure we do just keep going 'round and 'round, and it's all in our own hands, no matter what.



Also, I feel as though I left out a few important details to the "fine print" post. (Mostly, because I usually start writing these blog posts when I'm falling asleep, and then by the time I actually DO write them, they look quite a bit different. Funny how that works!)


My biggest disclaimer? Queen of bad analogies. Like, "pushing is like blowing up a balloon". Right? Because at first you know how blowing up a balloon sucks -- you have to stretch it out with your fingers all crazy (pull it this with and that), then puff and blow and your cheeks get all red and you kind of feel like you could just pass out; you get sort of a headache... then all of a sudden, woosh! there it goes! Isn't that how pushing is?!   (I totally might've stolen that from somewhere too...I probably did...)

Or, how about this one (I think) I just came up with: it's the sunburn-vs-healthy-immune-system analogy. So, if you're healthy, you've got a good diet, decent coping mechanisms for stress, don't smoke or stress your body out with drugs/etc, have good support, things like that --- it's pretty equivalent to wearing a high SPF and probably like a sunhat, maybe even long-sleeve, light-colored shirt at the beach on a super-hot, sunny day. You might feel hot, a little sweaty, but you're fine. If you're stressing your body already (with drugs/smoking, existing health problems you're ignoring, etc), you're maybe sporting some low SPF at the beginning of the day but otherwise nada. If you're dealing with some health issues, overall are NOT healthy anyway --- stressing your body with uber-stress from drugs/AODA stuff, no social support, not putting healthy things in (diet/exercise, mentally), you're sitting there in the hot, glaring sun in a g-string and no sunscreen and frying -- you will suffer every single ray, and an awful lot longer than either of the first two.  (This is my tentative awful analogy for why some people deal with colds/viruses/vaginitis/etc more frequently/longer, etc, than others...)

Oh! And for inductions? (Which, I have probably blabbed on and on about, of course.... another topic... another day, but...) Awful analogy --- Prostaglandins to "preheat" the oven; most likely won't kickstart labor in the same way that an oven at 250 won't bake cookies, but... you never know!


(Don't worry, I've always had such eloquence with words... My hands aren't "cold as ice"...they're "cold as popsicles"...  and such similar oddities...)

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