Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Fat Tuesdays : Changes

There have been some things lately that I've been trying to do and it just isn't working. There are some things that I was wanting to do that I think I need to let go of. It can be hard to admit that I need to change, that my goals aren't attainable, that I have to cut back on things.

I wrote my birth story and I hope i made it clear that it was traumatic and unfair and entirely due to the negligence of the doctors who provided my care. The trauma and injustice of my labor and delivery (and even my prenatal care) are a symptom of a larger problem; that obstetricians can cut women open and will cut them open instead of trying to actively work through a labor and honor the natural process as it exists. I WANT so badly to seek retribution for this wrong in the form of a malpractice case...not because I want money, but because the legal system is what causes change in America...and because doctors really have no governing body to ensure they are doing their jobs right. It's absurd to me but true that a license to practice medicine is like a license to drive a car; yours for as long as you want unless you break the law so badly that they have to take it away. There aren't many checks and balances if any. Sure, I can write letters upon letters to staff, administration, medical boards...but who cares? I'm a patient, not a doctor, and what do I know? It's because of this fucked up situation that I want to bring a malpractice suit against the doctors, the hospital, the medical provider, the very universities that educated these doctors. But the reality is that I can't. Another fucked up situation is that the state of Ohio requires a "certificate of merit" in order to bring any malpractice suit. A certificate of merit is one doctor saying that the care I received is below the standards of care that patients should receive...but the care I received is considered the proper standard of care. Sadly, cesarean sections are viewed as positive birth outcomes. After all, aren't I and the Babe alive? Who cares if the cost of that is robbing my body of its natural abilities and cutting me open? Furthermore, even if I could get a certificate of merit, I'd still have to find a lawyer who wanted to take the case. That's a problem as well. Malpractice lawyers want to make money. The amount of money received from a malpractice case is often due to a calculation based on loss of potential money to be made. Does the surgery I was given cause me not to work or to lose money in some other way? If not, then how can lawyers determine my worth? If lawyers can't figure out what my case is worth, then they can't make money off of it, so they won't take it. Even further, since no one in the U.S. has ever sued for wrongful cesarean section, few lawyers would want to be the first to take on such a case.

It's a big, complicated, fucked up situation with so much bureaucracy that even if I could find the people to help me fight it, I would probably lose.

Another problem is that I don't have support in this. No one has my back. No one is standing behind me encouraging me to fight the good fight, promising to be there no matter how bad it gets. Several people have told me it's not worth it because the fight is too hard...and that is yet another totally fucked up situation.

I'm one determined motherfucker and I love a good fight, but I also recognize when something is impossible, which means I need to let this go. Unfortunately, admitting that this fight is impossible or so difficult that I might not be able to fight it doesn't feel good. It doesn't feel like I'm being smart. Instead, it feels like I'm agreeing that what happened to me is ok. That hurts and while I know it's not true, I also know that it'll take my heart and my head a while to accept this. The only upside is that I have another plan of action that will take as much time and energy, if not more, and should help change the system and lay the groundwork to protect women in the future. I'm trying to take comfort in this plan, because if I can make it happen (which I think I can), then I'm going to do far more good than one malpractice case would.


Mourning the loss of my natural labor and delivery is only one thing I need to do. The other is to let go of my current training goals regarding running.

Having a newborn makes life a little bit more complicated. There's a helpless human I have to care for and keep alive...but also, there's a new person that has to be included in all my plans. I can't just take off and do what I want, because baby. One of the complications of having a baby is unpredictable sleep schedules. Sometimes Babe sleeps through the night, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes I sleep long enough to feel refreshed in the morning, most days I don't. Most days, I hand the Babe off to Adam and go back to sleep for a few hours. This interferes greatly with my running plan.

I'm a morning runner. I need to get up, go for a run, and then commence with my day. It makes me feel better and it makes my runs better. When I can't do this, all the variables that affect a run are just about doubled. Now I have to think about when to eat and what to eat so I'm not full and uncomfortable when it's time to run. What about bathroom stuff? If I wait to run, then maybe I'll have to poop, and then I need to have a restroom on my route available to me. What if I have other errands to run, or if someone else has errands to run, then am I interfering with the schedule? And on and on...which might sound like excuses to some of those hardcore fitness accounts on Instagram, but they are my reality.

If I can't get up and run first thing in the morning, the chances of my getting out to run decrease and the chances of having a successful run decrease.

However, getting out for a walk is much easier. A walk doesn't require a big change of clothes or extra equipment, or special shoes. I can just put my coat on and go. This is what I'm trying to do now. I'm allowing myself to accept that all the changes that come with a new baby negatively affect my ability to train to run a marathon, but they don't prohibit me from walking. So that's what I'm doing. I've given up my running training and have decided to walk instead.

This is one of those changes that doesn't feel good, even if it's necessary. It feels like I'm failing my body and like I lack will power. It'll probably take my heart and my head a while to come around to the truth of it. I might understand that, rationally, walking and not focusing on running is better for me...especially if I'm running to train for a marathon, which is a big undertaking. But my heart and my head don't always want to be rational.


Life lately is about letting go and accepting my limitations even if they are due to external forces. Honestly, that's hard to do. It's frustrating and it makes me feel like a failure...but it's necessary. So that is what I'm doing with my life, trying to make the changes I need in order to have a good mental and emotional state and not be so fucking exhausted all the damn time. I know these are the right choices, even if it's hard to feel good about them in the now.

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