Friday, June 27, 2008

A story

Sorry, this isn't the story, but a background story. I think it may be pertinent. It may not be, but we will never know.

The story begins years and years ago. I was in my late 20's and enjoying my relatively new hobby of mountain biking. I had been riding a lot that summer and feeling good about how much I had improved in terms of technique. On a whim I decided to compete in a race. It really was a whim - literally the night before the race. I borrowed a racing saddle and showed up the next morning.

The thing is I am not a speed demon. I don't even enjoy going fast. I liked being in the woods, getting exercise and seeing if I could make it up the next hill. Going down hill was an exercise of seeing how much I could slow myself down without falling off. Brakes were my best friend. I had planned on riding the race, not racing it. But when you get among all these people trying to go as fast as thing can, it is contagious. I hated being passed. I went much faster than my comfort zone. I stuffed away all that fear and went for it. Going up hill was great. I passed many people and despite going faster than my comfort zone, I was passed by the same people going downhill. I finished the race and felt proud of myself for doing it.

The next day, Brad and I took our bikes up to the same race when the professionals would be riding. It was a different trail than the one I rode the day before and we thought it would be fun to ride some of the trail together. I was terrified. I couldn't even ride simple terrain - something I would have considered simple on another day anyway - without putting my foot down. I was even shaking. At first I couldn't understand why I was having such a hard time. Why was I afraid? I wasn't going too fast. I wasn't pushing myself beyond my ability or comfort zone. I persevered for a bit before telling Brad that I wasn't enjoying it and wanted to go back. I think I may have even walked my bike on the return trip.

The only explanation I came up with is that all that fear I had hidden away and ignored the previous day was now coming out. I hadn't really faced the fear or worked it out, I had held it away for a while until a similar experience triggered the fear and it came bursting forth despite all rational arguments to the contrary.

I wasn't afraid when I gave birth to Ernest. I didn't know how to get through his birth without locking away all my emotions. I had to deliver him and as soon as he was born Brad and I would have to make life and death decisions. There was no room for fear or sadness. As I say in Ernest's birth story, it took a while after he was born before my emotions returned.

I thought that was the end of it until last Friday when I tried to do something similar.

11 comments:

Leah said...

Oh Kami, I've been wondering how you are doing. I can't imagine what your labor must have been like for you to end up in the hospital with a c-section. To say that wasn't in your plan is a gross understatement. I'm anxious to hear the full details (thank you for the brief explanation in the meantime) so that I can lend you lots of support.

Above all, I'm so happy that your beautiful baby girl is here and healthy. I've been thinking of you guys.

MrsSpock said...

I've never lived through anything as traumatic as your experience with Ernest, but I've watched many people die, often while trying futilely to save their life. Usually I stuff everything away until later. With my own birth experience, I was perfectly serene throughout the days it took, reading my own monitoring strips all through the night, and anticipating what I would do as a nurse in the situation. I guess you can say I was acting as my son's nurse more than his mother from an emotional point of view. It wasn't until weeks later that the gravity of the situation started hitting me and drawing tears.

I know Ina May always says that emotion can make or break a labor, if that's where you're leading up to, though I hope it's not from a place of self-blame.

Fertilized said...

In the spirit of Mel's blogoversary post. I just wanted to post that " I am listening"

singletracey said...

Thanks for sharing.. I think of you all often. I can imagine how traumatic LB's arrival was and I know you will share the details when you are comfortable and have time.

In the meantime, that story was great.. and insightful and as always.. perfect in giving us insight to you.

kay said...

just gonna say..share when you are ready or not at all, either way you have my support and admiration...

jodie38 said...

I don't know if I told you congrats or not, Kami..... if not, I'm so happy for you and LB. Take care of yourself, and I'll try to keep breathing......... good advice.....

familyoftwo98 said...

We are here when you are ready to share the rest. Remember that.

Bee Cee said...

Hope you are feeling ok,'sounds' like it was a tough time for you. We are here when you are ready.

stacyb said...

thank you for sharing kami, as always.

i too am listening.

Amber said...

I'm here and listening and thinking of you.

Summer said...

Kami, I will be here listening, too, when you are ready.