Wisdom (teeth)

My wisdom teeth are coming out on Friday.

Yes, I am a medical freak of nature. I am 32 years old and my wisdom teeth are still impacted. The three of them that exist are anyway. So, at 8 a.m. Friday I will have them surgically extracted. I met with the oral surgeon recently about this extremely routine procedure and left his office with two prescriptions and one Valium I am to take two hours prior to my surgery.

two pill bottles on a tableWe got those two prescriptions filled yesterday. One is an antibiotic to prevent infection. The other was for pain. And when I looked at that bottle I did a double take.

The oral surgeon gave me the same dosage of the same pain medicine I was given after I was first told something was wrong with my pelvis. Only — get this — he gave me more pills. Does that strike anyone else as COMPLETELY INSANE?

And while I’m at it, I was given that prescription on my son’s second full day of life and didn’t take it until he was in the hospital for high bilirubin and was assured it wouldn’t contribute to his lethargy (I was advised not to take them until his bilirubin stopped climbing, as I recall). The Valium I’m going to take before I even show up to have my wisdom teeth out is more than I had of anything during labor (by my choosing) and more than I went home from the birth center with (not by my choosing because I didn’t know there was a choice. I didn’t even know something was wrong — REALLY, actually physically wrong — with my pelvis until I saw the midwife again at the follow up appointment on his second full day of life.)

I have said it before and I will say it again — I am still a strong advocate for birth centers. If that is the type of treatment you want for yourself and your baby, go for it without hesitation. And I believe our birth experience — the only one we will have — was exactly what we wanted until we learned I couldn’t walk. I believe having the separation of my pelvis happen during my labor had nothing to do with the setting of our delivery. Although, one could argue, had I been in the hospital I probably would have been carted off for a c-section. I also believe the rush of hormones and the joy of seeing my baby for the first time kept me from reacting the way I would have — and arguably should have — in those earliest moments.

I wanted a peaceful birth experience. I wanted my baby’s first moments in the world to be calm, loving, joyful and as relaxed as possible. Could that “serenity now” mindset kept me from losing my shit when I realized how much it hurt to walk? I know the hormones kept me from feeling all of what was going on because the next day — my son’s first full day of life — was probably the worst day of my entire life. I was desperate not to move, but we had family there to see the baby and I wanted to see the baby. I told myself I had to be strong for him, he would be able to tell if something was wrong and I wanted him to know he was perfect.

That’s a big part of the reason I was inconsolable for the first 24 hours the Little Guy was in the hospital for that bilirubin crisis (not an exaggeration. He narrowly escaped a blood exchange after his bili peaked at 27). The fact something was wrong with him — thinking back on it now — meant all that struggle to keep things calm and good for him didn’t do anything. He might have helped him rest. But it did not ensure health or happiness the way I hoped. It destroyed the illusion I was building that if I could just keep things “right” everything would right itself.

Amazing how seeing a pill bottle’s label could bring back all of these emotions.

The quandary I’m left with is this: I have no idea if I should then be expecting hellacious pain from this surgery or if I was radically under treated during those early days. Logically, it doesn’t make any sense to assume the two things even are related. I know everyone’s experience is different with any procedure and I won’t know anything about how having my wisdom teeth out effects me until it’s done. What I do know is I was affected in a way I shouldn’t have been when I saw that pill bottle.

I don’t want to dwell on that past. It happened. It sucked. I can’t change it. I want to move forward. But I will always be tethered to the fact it happened. Diastasis symphysis pubis is part of who I am now. It’s part of me when it rains — or soon will, or when I crouch in catcher’s stance for too long, or something bumps into me or I bump into something and touches my scar area or symphysis. It just is.

Hopefully I’ll gain some wisdom from my experience Friday and it will help me move forward.

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