I said yes, while my whole being said no…

 

I said yes. I gave my full consent. As the needle went in, as I was cut open and unknown hands entered my body, I felt completely violated even though I said yes.

I’m talking about my c-section on July 30, 2014 when my first son was born. It was to be a day I recalled as the most joyful day of my life, and one day I will not only say it was, I will feel it.

But today is not that day.

Today is my first step towards that goal, by speaking out what I’ve hidden so long in my own heart that it remained a mystery even to me.

I wanted a natural birth. Not for the glory or accolades that come with it from other so called birth hero’s, but simply because I believed it to be the first gift I could give my child; life born uninterrupted.

I was OK with the thought of a life saving c-section. I knew it would devastate me, but not more so than the loss of my son. I had no grand illusions of fighting for an ideal, but what I didn’t expect was to be pressured by those deemed more powerful than myself.

I was told my son was SGA (small for gestational size) and that at 40 weeks it looked like there was low fluid in the womb and I was told he had to come that day by emergency C-Section.

As long as I go into labour, the outcome doesn’t matter.

Understand that I love and respect so much of the medical community, and I believe they had the best intentions for me and my son, but our beliefs on what that looked like differed greatly.

I knew in my heart he was fine. I knew he could stay. He was reading perfect on all NST’s (non stress tests). I could feel my intuition kicking in, my fight. I would not be pushed into this.

My Dr, God bless her, stayed and talked with me for 2 hours. She gave me all her information from her side. Numbers. Statistics. Tests that aren’t proven accurate.

I was set on no. We were headed that way, and then they said something to me that stopped me in my tracks.

He’s fine now, but he could be dead in 24 hours.

Now looking back, I see what that was. Their fear. Not fact, fear.

I was a scared new mom who only wanted my child’s life, and I felt that I no longer had a decision, for if I didn’t do what they said I would be held responsible for the death of my baby boy.

I didn’t have the resolve, the nerve and the self trust I have no to say no.

So I did what I can only describe as complete and total sacrifice of my body, my choice and my rights, for my son.

You see, the entire thought of being cut into and having my baby removed from me was a terrifying thought, and one my entire being screamed no to, and so while I was saying no, I said yes.

I cried for 4 hours leading up to the surgery.

I cried walking down the stairs, into the elevator, sitting in the chair waiting and finally walking into that sterile lonely room alone.

I couldn’t describe it then but I can now; I didn’t cry out of fear … I was crying because what was about to happen to my body was not my choice.

I know that seems contradictory, and consent is a funny thing that way. I signed the papers, I nodded my head, but the answer was no the entire time.

I can only call it sacrifice.

I was willing to let someone violate my body for fear of my son’s life.

I use the term violate because that is completely the feeling I have to this day. I am repulsed at the thought of “a little pressure and tugging”. I was open. My insides were on the outside. If it’s no big deal to you, that’s fine, but to me it is nothing short of violating.

I’m sure had I had a week to really sit with it and make a yes and let that settle in my heart, I wouldn’t have felt this way. But I had 2 hours. I had no time to research.

I had fear.

And then it was over, and as my body recovered, my mind deteriorated. I know now that this was the cause of my anxiety, my spiral into depression. In pictures I smiled, love was there, joy was there, but so was something darker.

It’s why I now (among other things) can’t handle a loss of control; a crying baby I can’t stop and why cutting my finger open 3 days ago and having a Doctor aggressively and against my hearts will dig into my cut sent me hurdling backwards to that sensation of being “done to”.

Because my ‘no’ was perceived as a momentary lapse in courage, not a cry for a discussion of my options.

Because my choice wasn’t real to me.

The only reason I have the courage to write this, is because my husband who sat beside me the entire time for both occasions, who saw me say yes, who held my hand as I cried, completely and entirely validated my hurt. I could never say this without that support.

And after it all, going back to that day almost 3 years ago, I can say truly that I would give myself up to it again and knowingly go through the same demons I fought for a long, dark two years.

And that, according to my husband, is what makes me the bravest woman he knows.

And he is proud of me.

And now I can heal.

I can be proud of me too … because I can look back on it as a mark of courage. I can look at my boy and tell him of the day I gave up my own perceived safety for his.

And that my friends, is a beautiful day indeed.

 

 

**I was able to give birth to my second vaginally on July 8th, 2016; I fought through very similar circumstances which helped form and confirm my feelings on my csection; if you’d like to read the birth story of my second, visit here **

On Body Fat and Self Love

I would like to talk about this as I posted earlier talking about finding my IDEAL, and I want to invite you into my world a little bit more. 

You see, in 2009 I was 40lbs heavier. Yep. 40lbs. When I say I have been into fitness for for almost a decade, this photo on the left is me 7 months before it started. I was happy ish with how I looked. There is nothing wrong with my before, but I had a horrible relationship with food and myself. I had many demons. 


A few years earlier when I was even smaller than my 2009 photo, I dated someone who, when I ordered a BLT bagel at McDonalds asked me “really? You sure you don’t want a salad?” 
And so it began. 

Did I need a salad? I honestly hadn’t thought about it much before. Isn’t it amazing how one comment, that grows to many comments over the course of a relationship turns into your inner dialogue for years to come? 

So for a long time I felt I had to build myself up in my head to be the best, because I believed my only worth was in my body. I didn’t believe I held any value outside of my looks. And if that was true, my value had the ability to be lost. 

So I talked about how healthy I ate, my abs, and I searched from validation from everyone. I seemed arrogant and no one would have guessed I was struggling with my self image; I put on a very strong front. I didn’t know who or whose I was. 

Fast forward to 2017; I have two little boys who love me regardless of what I look like, eat or do, and this is the healthiest, fittest I have ever felt, but not the smallest. 

I have been much smaller, tighter and more muscular than I am now, but the difference is now my mind is at peace with who I am and whose I am; God’s love for me knows no numbers or sizes.  

I no longer define myself by scales or muscles; I can celebrate them without being owned by them. So something like 20% body fat holds no joy or sadness for me. It’s merely a number, a gauge, a baseline. It allows me to track my progress but it does not and never will define who I am and how much I love myself. 
It simply is. 

And 20% body fat on me looks different on you. It might be healthy for me, and not for you, and my goals to lower my BF % are short term and will reflect a healthy loving relationship with my body. 

I write this for the young girls watching, that you owe it to no one to be a certain body fat percentage. That my journey is my own and meant to inspire, not to add to the incredible amount of insecurity. 

Both of these pictures I am beautiful on the outside, but the me on the left is struggling deeply inside. 

The me now is strong. Has a healthy mind and lifting weights gives me a feeling of accomplishment and power. 
I can do anything. 

And so can you, but you are not the sum of your body fat. You are not the sum of the scale. 

You are not a number, and fitness is not a size. 

If you want to be surrounded by other women on this journey of self love and strength, I am here for you. 

Competing and Comparison

I keep forgetting that I’m doing this for ME. Not for anyone else. That this was a goal I set to push me further and do something uncomfortable and reach a goal I otherwise thought was impossible. 
Posing in bikini?! Walking the stage in heels in front of EVERYONE in my company to show how hard (or not) I worked…it’s extremely terrifying and humbling. I’ve realized I can only be me. I can’t pretend to be someone else.

So, I took some updated pictures last night and I was SO disappointed I didn’t look like what I envisioned in my mind I should look like as someone getting ready for a competition. 
I felt so much fear and doubt creeping in from a moment of comparison and it nearly crippled me. 
Maybe it wouldn’t have so much if I hadn’t put it all on social media, because suddenly I was left wondering what if everyone else was having the same thoughts?
“She doesn’t look good enough yet…” 

“She doesn’t really know what she’s doing” 

“Her form isn’t really the greatest…”
And I could let those cripple me or I could embrace them, and that’s what I’m choosing. 
I look and feel great but I am NOT where figure competitors are, and that’s ok because I’m 8 months post partum and started lifting light weights 2 months ago 😂 let’s be real here. 
What I am is shooting for the stars and even if I don’t make it there by July, I’ll be a lot closer than I was if I didn’t try. 
I also do not know what I’m doing haha I’m learning a LOT, and it’s hard because there’s a lot of friends I have who know a LOT more than I do and it can be super intimidating to put my “newness” out there. Like terrifying. 
But even they started somewhere, with little knowledge and a LOT of hunger for more. And I own my journey and I love my journey. 
Form and strength will all come. I focus on learning form to protect myself and I don’t lift heavier than what my form can handle, which means my transformation will be slower for now, that’s OK with me. 
And then lastly, remember to just beat the girl in the mirror. So I grabbed some pictures from January and immediately realized I am stronger than that girl, I have more energy than her and I make it through more of my workout than her.
She is my greatest competitor and she is the only one that matters; I will not be trying to compete with the amazing athletes I’m friends with, I will compete with myself. 

And I will win. 

**If you are interested in joining me for my next challenge and you are READY, I mean ALL IN, hit that contact me button and I will coach you through my exact process**