Friday, June 25, 2010

Memories- not always good ones

I cannot remember if I've blogged about this here before or not. I know I've thought about it at least, so if this is a duplicate blog post, I apologize.

This morning I packed up Vivian, Ethan and myself and we went off to the University of Washington to take part in a research study.  Some background- I did my Master's degree work at UW and worked with human subjects and know first hand how hard recruitment/finding suitable subjects is, so I volunteer myself and the kids for whatever we qualify for. We generally don't get anything out of it other than parking and maybe a small toy, but I feel like I'm helping science and I'm glad to be a part of it.

The problem is, the infant development labs are next door to the UW Medical Center.  Which is where I did all of my work for grad school and where 90% of my grad school classes were held, and where I did all my prenatal care with Ethan and where he was born.  Grad school alone was a very intense experience, but adding all the stuff with Ethan into that, all in one building- let's just say that I honestly have to look away every time we pass this building.

It's an ugly concrete building with sprawling hallways. Not something memorable for most people. But my pregnancy with Ethan was high-risk and involved LOTS of testing and appointments and worry. And grad school was such a turning point in my life, one that launched me into the career and helped form the person that I am now.  That's all before Ethan's birth is even factored in.  For those of you who are new readers- Ethan's birth is summed up as follows: 1) induction attempt thanks to my hypertension, 2) induction failed to do anything, after an entire weekend of Pitocin, 3) me sent home to wait for another spot later in the week, 4) lots of calls every day to see if a room is available, 5) room available on Thursday, Pitocin started again, 6) again, Pitocin failed, Cervadil started, 7) labor finally started at 5 AM Friday, only to send Ethan's heartrate into decline by 6 AM, leading to a room full of doctors and nurses and internal monitoring and me spending the rest of my labor confined to my left side, with an oxygen mask on my face, 8) pushing starting at 4 PM with no descent by 8 PM, 9) c-section decided on at 9 PM, me having so much pain that I ask to be put under anesthesia, meaning Daniel couldn't be in the room, 10) Ethan safely arrived at 10 PM, I was unconscious and Daniel was not there.

MASSIVE guilt. I still, almost 3 years later am SO glad that Ethan was born safe and that I am fine and was able to recover quickly and have another baby, but there was so, so much drama around Ethan's birth that I still can't look at the building without feeling an overwhelming sense of exhaustion and guilt.   So when all those emotions and experiences are added in to the craziness of grad school.... seriously, that building is going to have a bad aura for me forever.

I think this is such an example of mom guilt. I wish that I could let this go and focus on the fact that we're safe and healthy and alive and thriving, and most of the time I do, but then the sight of an ugly concrete building can send me into such an emotional tailspin.  I hope I can let this all go soon. I hope I can deal with all my emotional issues surrounding my pregnancies and births and accept what was and what is.

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