Category: Wellness

June 20, 2019

Internally, everyone has a web-like band of connective tissue found beneath our skin that consists primarily of collagen. This tissue that is also known as fascia, attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles, internal organs, tendons, bones, and joints, and has distinct pathways that run along the back, front and sides of the body. Fascia is responsible for ensuring that our highly complex structure remains contained and positioned appropriately throughout the body. Although we cannot see it, it has everything to do with how well our bodies function.

When fascia is fluid and moving properly, as you can imagine, you are moving properly as well. However, given that it literally surrounds every internal aspect of our bodies, if something happens causing it to harden or constrict, that is where you will start to experience either reduced mobility, altered movement, or even pain. Three main events with fascia result in these side effects, some of which occur over time, while others in situations that are more acute. You could experience an injury or over-stretched fascia, the fascia around your joints could become compressed over time, and/or you could develop adhesions when collagen fibres bond together and form harder, less flexible areas. If you experience any or all of these circumstances, you are likely dealing with side effects of overcompensation by muscle groups, pain in the joints, decreased movement, and/or overall soreness due to restriction.

What is Fascial Stretch?

Fascial Stretch is a unique type of stretching that goes beyond just the muscles to target the fascia as well, while remaining cognisant of the fascial pathways and connections. Understanding these pathways allows one to connect the location of pain with the cause. Most often, where you experience pain/discomfort is not actually the area that needs released. For example, you have a fascial line that runs from the back of your skull all the way down your back, right through to your calfs and ankles, and ends at the base of your feet. Therefore, if you have any restricted fascia in your lower body, you could actually experience pain in your upper body/neck. Alternately, poor posture in your upper body and a tight lower body put tension on the fascia and can result in back pain. Thus, understanding the flow of these pathways and addressing the complete system is critical for obtaining results that last.

Another extremely beneficial aspect of Fascial stretch is that it targets the entire joint and joint capsule. As previously mentioned, fascia is located throughout the joints as well.  In a sense, when this fascia becomes tight it essentially results in “fusing” of the joint, decreased mobility, overcompensation by the muscles, and ultimately aches and pains. With Fascial Stretch, the use of traction removes these restrictions and stimulates lubrication within the joint.

Fascial Stretch is an incredibly gentle and passive technique that allows you and your body to relax completely while still getting full benefit of the treatment. In a smooth and slow motion, the practitioner guides each joint in the body through varying planes of movement to restore maximum range of motion. There is no pain, not even discomfort. While therapeutic results remain highly individualized and depend on each case, research demonstrates that it significantly helps those who did not respond to other treatments.

Who Would Benefit From Fascial Stretch?

Fascial Stretch is beneficial for absolutely everyone. Whether you train hard, sit for long periods, or have gradually developed changes in movement over time, fascial stretch can help. In combination with massage, it lengthens and loosens tension and is a fantastic compliment that drastically speeds up results. Alternatively, applying this technique as a stand-alone treatment for the entire session will have you walking away feeling less restricted, with reduced pain, and moving in ways you forgot you could.

Cory Boyd

Registered Massage Therapist
Personal Trainer
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor

cory.wholetherapy@gmail.com

March 13, 2019

When spring hits after the freezing cold weather of winter, a big realization sets in. The perfect swing you mastered from last summer has left you once again. As you rotate through the changing seasons, this becomes an unfortunate reality every year, leaving you to start from the beginning as each golf season commences. It leaves you wondering whether you can do something to avoid being stuck in this continuous pattern, and improve every year rather than breaking even. Well guess what, the answer is YES!

 

To be well prepared upon return of the off-season, it is important to take care of your physical self. Training year round is critical for golfers to identify and correct any physical limitations, thus developing a solid foundation of mobility and stability.  This is necessary for optimum strength, which reflects in improved speed and power. Being physically prepared will allow you to play the most consistent, enjoyable, injury-free golf of your life.

Given that the golf swing requires a unique combination of motions, keeping flexibility and strength over the winter can be the key to a good start when golf season returns. Unfortunately, all too often there is a lack of activity and mobility during winter, which results in reduced range of motion/fluidity in your swing, and decreased strength. Therefore, it is pertinent to have a game plan to ensure that both these factors remain in place. A regular routine consisting of massage therapy and exercise is critical to maintaining consistency in your game. When appropriate massage therapy is applied, there is the obvious effect of relaxed muscles and improved flexibility/fluidity. However, the benefits extend much further and include enhanced golf performance, eliminating pain, reduced risk of injury, and more efficient/accelerated recovery from activity and/or injury. Combining massage therapy with a proper exercise program provides the strength, stability, and power required to not only maintain, but improve your performance as well. Without a doubt, both practices are critical to returning to the course in April with your best foot forward as opposed to rebuilding your swing all over again.

As previously mentioned, the game of golf is highly complex, involving significant strategy, skill, and technique. Therefore, reviewing, analyzing, changing, and practicing your set-up (grip, stance, posture, ball position and alignment) is just as important. Unfortunately, too many golfers fail to address the off-season as a time of growth and development, and fall into the same trap of inactivity and lack of practice. To avoid finding yourself in this category, focus on one or two key improvement priorities that are most likely to help you return to the course in spring with more skill and confidence. The following are common issues affecting a golfer’s game that one should keep in mind for practice during downtime:

  1. Poor golf posture: A proper golf posture is the foundation for a consistent and powerful golf swing. Without proper physical preparation (i.e. strength and stability), maintaining a proper golf posture is difficult.

 

  1. Stiffness, immobility and/ or pain in the golf swing: People most often neglect and/or do not fully address this limitation during the off-season. As a result, this lack of flexibility and reduced range of motion is the primary cause of golf-related injuries early in the season.  The golf swing is a very dynamic and complex movement that can put a great deal of strain on the body if not properly prepared.

 

  1. Early fatigue: If you walk the course, golf rounds can last up to 5 hours.  Without adequate endurance, early fatigue can lead to poor performance, frustration, additional injuries from lack of form, and overall lack of enjoyment.

 

As you can see, the off-season is the ideal time to make positive changes to your game through the maintenance/improvement of flexibility, strength, and stamina, as well as the progression and enhancement of your skills to ensure your return to the game is enjoyable, rewarding, and leaves you excited about your performance.

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or thoughts!  I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Cory Boyd
Registered Massage Therapist
Personal Trainer
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor

 

Posted in Massage Therapy, Uncategorized, Wellness by Pat Moore | Tags: , , ,
November 30, 2018

Trying to motivate yourself to run throughout the winter months can be a struggle, but trying to stay injury free while you run throughout the winter months can be even more of a challenge! Check out these winter running tips that should help keep you running consistently all year long without pesky injuries slowing you down!

 

Temporarily reduce your weekly mileage with the first snowfall.

When you are running on snow as opposed to a hard, slip free surface you are using stabilizing muscles you haven’t used in a long time. This places you at increased risk of injury. Week 1 run 50% of your normal weekly mileage. Week 2 increase to 75%. By week 3 you should be able to return to your normal weekly mileage.

Avoid switching to the treadmill for 100% of your winter running.

First of all running on a flat uniform surface involves repeating the exact same movement over and over again which increases your risk of repetitive strain injuries like achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.  Second of all when the snow melts and you switch back to running outdoors you will have to drastically decrease your mileage or you’ll risk injury. Running on the treadmill does not mimic running outside! The impact force from running outside is much greater than on the treadmill. Also on the treadmill you are trying to keep up with the track as it glides under your feet, whereas outside you actually have to propel yourself forward. It’s very different therefore your body needs to be allowed the time to adjust!

Make sure your important stabilizing muscles are strong!

Running on the snow and ice demands more muscle effort than running on the treadmill or outdoors on dry pavement. Especially from the glutes and core. (See previous glute strengthening blog!)

Wear the proper footwear!

Yaktrax

Either wear sneakers that are meant for winter running and have soles with studs or spikes, or purchase an ice traction device such as Yaktrax that fit over your sneakers.

Warm up!

Warming up is more important during the cold winter months. If you are standing in a parking lot waiting for others in your group to show and you are shivering and chilly, your muscles are tight and cold as you start to run which can put you at increased risk of injury. Jog on the spot, do high knees or bum kicks, or wait in your car with your heat blasting!

Ignore the pace on your watch!

Focus on effort level as opposed to pace if you are used to running with a running watch. You will run slower in the winter months. If you try to maintain the same pace you did on the clear dry pavement you could end up with an injury. Use the rate of perceived exertion scale. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working. These feelings are not objective like monitoring your heart rate, but they can give an estimate of your heart rate and your exercise intensity zone.

 

 

 

Try snowshoe running!

It’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the snow covered trails. You have to make some small technique adjustments such as running with a slightly wider stance and lifting your feet higher. This will challenge your hip abductors such as your glute med and min and your hip flexors so make sure you ease into snowshoe running gradually. It is much slower than road/trail running so don’t focus on pace. Again use the rate of perceived exertion scale above! Also, purchasing snowshoes that are designed for running such as the Atlas snowshoes shown below can definitely improve your comfort level and speed while snowshoe running.

 

November 12, 2018

 

The main goal of an initial assessment is to determine possible causes of your injury or impairment. We also ask: What can we do to remove or alleviate the pain?

One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes, you may be a bit sore after an assessment.  This is largely due to the fact that we’ve probably just moved your body in ways you’ve been avoiding due to discomfort or pain.  In order to determine a course of action, we as therapists trust in functional movement assessment techniques to help us get you back to the best version of yourselves as quickly as possible!

Physiotherapy Assessment

 

What to Expect

  • Our initial assessments typically consist of a 1 hour one-on-one session with a therapist, and 99 percent of the time, treatment will be provided on the first visit as well.

 

  • The therapist will review your health history as well as pose a series of helpful “red flag” questions with the purpose of eliminating any sinister causes as the root of your injury/impairment.

 

  • Expect to move!  Our bodies were designed to do so and chances are, you’re here to figure out what is keeping you from pain free movement.

 

  • It’s always a good idea to come dressed in non-restrictive clothing so that when a therapist is assessing your squat for example, you’re not going to be doing so in a suit or skirt.

 

  • If you have any diagnostic imaging available to you (x-ray, MRI), we will be happy to have a look at that with you.

 

  • Homework is probably going to be assigned.  Getting you back to feeling great will require your active participation and expectations will be set out for you by your therapist.  We are always available by phone or email if you ever have any questions or need clarification on what your homework is.

The initial assessment is the first step in getting you back in action.  Just remember, we want to see you as little as possible, but as much as necessary to get and keep you pain-free and functioning well.

October 25, 2018

After you’ve had fun carving your pumpkin, save the seeds and make a healthy snack with the pumpkin seeds.

 

ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprinkle of chili powder (you can also add paprika & cumin)
  • Sprinkle of sea salt & garlic powder

 

  1. Wash the seeds, toss them with the olive oil and mix well. Add your spices & mix again. You can also change up the spices to your taste!

 

  1. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden. Just watch them so they don’t get too brown.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Carole Woodstock, RHN

www.fuel4lifenutrition.com

May 10, 2018

During well over a decade of using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or Tapping) in my practice, I’ve worked with many individuals suffering various stages of loss.  We all face grief or loss at some point in our lives. For most it’s a painful but appropriate honoring and recognition of that which is gone; followed by the usual stages of recovery.  Too often however, I see clients who are stuck. They just can’t let go of the pain; even if it’s been years.

 

In each case to date, it’s been subconscious beliefs which have held them hostage to the pain. Robbing them of access to happy memories and preventing them from being free to heal and once again live satisfying lives.  With EFT, we’ve started with the smallest pieces or aspects at the top of the pile of thoughts or feelings. Then step by step we’ve moved further as each of these small aspects lost their power to cause distress. By moving at a pace the subconscious felt safe with, most have found they’ve been quite painlessly and rapidly able to access the root harmful beliefs. Letting the conscious and subconscious mind collaborate in bringing them into the  light where they can be rewritten to fit their current reality.

 

These subconscious beliefs are most commonly:

  • My feelings of grief and/or loss are all I have left of that person or relationship. If I let go of them it will be the final loss. I’ll be left totally bereft and that’s too hard; or even unimaginable.
  • If I let go of the pain it will mean I didn’t care enough. What kind of person would I be? Recovery would be a betrayal.
  • Guilt; even when the conscious mind knows the guilt is not reasonable. “I don’t deserve to let go or be happy again”.
  • It’s my identity. If I let go of the pain and grief I won’t know who I am.
  • It’s too late for me. Life has already passed me by and there’s no point in trying.

 

In some cases clients haven’t realized they’ve been stuck.  Believing the painful feelings were useless, they stuffed them in a hole and clamped the lid down hard. Unfortunately these locked away feelings didn’t just evaporate.  The process left them emotionally disconnected; both from themselves and others. Depending on family history, culture and life experiences, anyone can find themselves victims of this invisible emotional prison.

Once freed from these subconscious “traps” clients report a wealth of memories of happier times flooding in.  Instead of being frozen in the moment of loss, that brief period of time becomes one slim volume in the entire library of their years of experience with that person.  The same applies where instead it’s been the loss of a beloved pet or valued position.

For some, just the understanding of what’s been keeping them locked in such a painful place can be enough to allow them to recover.  Others may benefit most from a few sessions with a qualified and experienced EFT practitioner.

 

To your good life.

 

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist with particular focus on feelings of anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma, post-concussion syndrome and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques, PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques) and Somatic Oscillation, he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. For most situations and care options he provides clients with a money back guarantee.

 

The above is not intended as medical advice. As always, consult with your physician before making changes.

Posted in Integrative Therapy, Wellness by David Gilbert
May 7, 2018
Dietary Reference Intake for Calcium
(Source: Health Canada)
  Age Mg / Day
Infants 0-6 months 200
  7-12 months 260
Children 1-3 700
  4-8 1000
  9-18 1300
Females/Males 19-50 1000
Males 51-70 1000
Females 51-70 1200
Females/Males 71+ 1200

 

“To err is human, to moo, bovine”

 

Many people come to me worried that they have to give up milk because of an intolerance to cow-dairy. But, where will I get my calcium from? My answer is: Don’t worry! There are many ways to ensure you will get enough calcium both from eating non-dairy sources of calcium and taking care to ensure that you hold on to the calcium your body already has.

 

Calcium myths:

 

  1. Everyone needs to drink (cow’s) milk

Not true. The most common allergy is to milk and cow-dairy products. You can be intolerant to either the lactose (sugar) or any of the 25 different proteins in milk which is why lactose-free milk is not always the answer. Most of us actually develop lactose intolerance in early adolescence but don’t realize it and keep drinking milk even though we experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and any other number of symptoms. If you are intolerant to cow-dairy, your body is unable to digest the dairy and absorb the calcium. As well, you can lose calcium from your body because the undigested lactase will ferment in your intestines and create lactic acid. Calcium is then leached from your bones to counteract the acidity.

  1. Dairy products will help prevent osteoporosis

Pasteurized milk contains 50% less calcium than non-pasteurized milk. Low fat milk makes it more difficult to absorb the calcium that’s left because fat is necessary to transport and absorb calcium. Research shows that countries with the highest dairy consumption often have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

 

Getting enough is just as important as avoiding losing what you already have:

In addition to getting enough dairy from your diet, here are some ways you can help your body to hold on to the calcium it’s got:

 

  • Reduce intake of coffee, tea, soda, salt, and chocolate (caffeine intake causes calcium loss via urine)
  • Reduce or avoid refined sugar (reduces absorption rate of calcium in the intestines)
  • Reduce phosphorus intake:  Meats, grains and sodas are very high in phosphorus which binds with calcium. If too much phosphorus is in your blood it will pull calcium from your bones. Consuming too much phosphorus is the same as not consuming enough dairy.
  • Consume calcium with vitamin D (eggs, liver, mushrooms, the sun!)

 

Best diet to prevent calcium loss

  • Not too much protein
  • Includes good fats but not bad fats (trans fats, hydrogenated oils)
  • High in complex carbs (fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, fruit in moderation)

 

Cow-Dairy Sources of Calcium:

 

Food Serving Size Calcium mg/serving
Milk 1 cup 315 mg
Cheese 1 oz 130-200 mg
Cottage cheese 4 oz 100 mg
Plain yogourt ½  cup 200g

 

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

 

Food Serving Size Calcium mg/serving
Orange juice, calcium fortified 1 cup 300-350 mg
Rice milk, fortified 1 cup 300 mg
Almonds ½ cup 300 mg
Sesame seeds 1/8 cup 275 mg
Sardines, canned with bones 6 medium 275 mg
Tofu 1 cup 258 mg
Salmon, sockeye, canned with bones ½ can 245 mg
Soybeans ½ cup 230 mg
Almond butter 3 oz 225 mg
White beans, cooked 1 cup 170 mg
Baked beans 1 cup 163 mg
Blackstrap molasses 1 tbsp 137 mg
Home-made almond milk (see recipe below) 1 cup 75 mg

 

 Other sources of calcium:

  • Vegetables (artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, collard greens, kale, okra, parsley, peas, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens, watercress)
  • Nut butters (cashew butter, tahini, all-natural peanut butter, sunflower seed butter)
  • Beans and Rice (brown rice, chick peas, kidney beans, navy benas, pinto beans, wild rice)
  • Seaweed (Agar, Irish moss, kelp, wakame)

 

Hidden sources of cow dairy on food labels:

Artificial butter flavour, butter, butterfat, buttermilk, casein, caseinates, curds, custards, half and half, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, lactose, nougat, pudding, rennet casein, sour creams, sour milk solids, whey, yogurt.

 

Make your own almond milk!

Soak ½ cup of raw almonds in water overnight. Rinse and drain. Remove skin (optional). Add to blender with 2 cups of filtered water and blend until smooth. Drain through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth to remove pulp. Store in fridge for 2-3 days; shake or stir if necessary as separation will occur.

 

References:

 

  • Bateson-Koch, Carolee. Allergies: Disease in Disguise. Books Alive, 1994.
  • Case, Shelley. Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Case Nutrition Consulting, 2002.
  • Shulman, Joey. Winning the Food Fight: Every Parent’s Guide to Raising a Healthy, Happy Child. Wiley, 2003.
October 31, 2017

Getting a massage can be both therapeutic and relaxing. Massage allows for time to unplug, tune in, take some time for yourself. And if you’re lucky enough to have a therapist that knows their stuff, you have the added bonus of fixing stuff while you’re there.

That being said, there are things you can do to make the massage experience better. Ready?

  1. Breathe

After the therapist has left the room and you are comfortable on the table, take the time to breathe. Not just normal breathing, but the deep belly-breathing kind. Focus on expanding your belly and filling your lungs. This will help calm you down, reduce your heart rate, and tune you in to what your body is saying.

Once the massage is in session, breathe if things get painful; this helps to release tight muscles and sore spots. Holding your breath will actually make the pain worse. Think of a labouring woman – she needs to breathe through painful contractions, and so should you.

  1. Communicate

You need to tell your therapist if the pressure is too much…or too little. As aware as therapists are to client’s bodies, we can’t always tell if you are in pain. Some people are great at showing it, some aren’t. But it may not even be pain that you are in, it could be as simple as you just like lighter pressure than what we are currently giving. Remember that they can’t feel what you are feeling. Communicating what you enjoy allows the RMT to treat you more confidently and lets you leave feeling your best.

  1. Tell us to SHUT UP

Therapists often get in a mode of talking with certain clients because that’s what we have always done with said client. So when you say “I just want to relax today,” we don’t necessarily think you mean your brain as well. So tell us to shut up! We are ok with it, I promise.

 

  1. Unplug

Ever notice how your fingers itch to check your phone if you hear a beep? Distracting. Turn off your phone so you don’t hear when a message comes in; this will help keep you in the space where your body needs you to be at that moment.

 

  1. See us regularly

Funny how your body hurts less when you see someone to treat all your finicky stuff regularly, eh? Seeing a RMT on a maintenance schedule can actually decrease your chance of injury and help prevent flare ups of pain.

BONUS!

  1. Be on time

Seems like a no-brainer, but being on time is a big deal. If you are on time to your appointment, we have ample time to treat what you need done and don’t have to rush through it. This will also help you feeling better longer. Plus there is nothing worse than being frazzled because you are late. As we said, massage is therapeutic, but if done right, it should also be a relatively relaxing experience.

 

Ready to book your massage at Whole Therapy? Give us a call!

Melissa Beals is an RMT with Whole Therapy. Melissa works extensively with athletes of all levels with a goal in mind to increase their athletic performance through education and understanding of their bodies. See more about Melissa here.

 

December 8, 2016

Mel’s Meandering: The Guilty Worry

Many of you know that I had a kid in September. I call him a kid because he was never the tiny blob that babies usually are. He was 16 days late and weighed in at 9lbs 6oz. He has had very good neck control since the beginning and has always had a grumpy face whenever he is put down. Thus, never a “baby” baby in my eyes but rather, a little man with his own attitude – I’m in for a heap of trouble.

img_5540

There was a long period in my life when I didn’t want kids. My husband and I were happy, we felt that life was complete, we had our own interests, and never felt guilty doing what we wanted nor when we wanted to do them. Then I got older….and started thinking…and started wondering…and realized I was scared. Scared of having a child.

So I started thinking some more. Will I let my fear of having a child stop me from having a kid and miss out on all the wonderful things that parenthood might bring? For a long time, the answer was a resounding YES. I was terrified. Then I grew older, maybe just a little bit wiser, more secure in my career, and switched to a clinic where I felt supported. I settled more and more into myself and more and more into realizing that having a baby wouldn’t be the end of the world…just maybe it would be okay.

nov-18-2016

I have to admit that I was very fortunate in my pregnancy. With the exception of numerous migraines at the beginning, I had very few complications and worries. My Midwives were happy, my baby was happy, and I was happy. I was allowed to continue working out as long as I didn’t push too hard and I felt comfortable. I was at the gym until I was 41 weeks pregnant and only stopped because I didn’t feel like squats were comfortable anymore.

My labor process however….that was another story. The kid just didn’t want to come out. He liked his room too much! We tried everything non-medical we could think of. So, at 42 + 1, I felt I had had enough. I asked for a medical induction. It didn’t go so well. My body started rejecting the induction which forced me back to the hospital where I was admitted.

I was given narcotics to help my CNS recover and to decrease the pain, I was put on an oxytocin drip and given an epidural. This was not my birth plan, but I accepted it. That’s the thing with pregnancy and birth – you never know what is going to happen. You come into the process saying, I want A; if A can’t happen, I want B; if B can’t happen, I will settle for C. It’s never fun having to admit that your body has failed you, or rather, that you have failed your body, but it happens and plan A may need to be changed to plan B. In the end, all plans lead you to meeting your baby so it’s all good, right???

That’s when the guilt starts – or it did for me. What if I had just held on a little longer, could I have made it without having started the induction process? Would he have come in his own time and still be healthy? Could I have made it without having to have the epidural and oxytocin? Did I somehow do unknown damage to my child by starting the induction process and having all those drugs?

I started back at work relatively early – he was only 7 weeks old – so enter in a new set of guilty worry statements. Did I go back too early? Will he be okay? If I don’t go back, will I lose clients? Will we be okay financially if I stay home longer? Will my husband be okay caring for the kid while I’m at work? I must be feeding him too much. I can’t be feeding him enough! What if I don’t pump enough to keep up with the demand while I’m gone? What if I pump too much and then I have nothing left for him while at home? I don’t want my kid to starve!!

dsc00452-2

In the end, he will be okay. He will survive. I will survive. It will be a process to let go of the guilt and the worry of returning to work so early on, but we will be alright. It will be our new normal. He is my rainbow baby and I love him.

 

Melissa Beals is an RMT with Whole Therapy. Melissa works extensively with athletes of all levels with a goal in mind to increase their athletic performance through education and understanding of their bodies. See more about Melissa here.

Melissa

September 23, 2016

That Day in June, we had a conversation in the van.

“I think we should probably throw in the towel,” Husband Jamie said, “it’s been a long while and nothing’s happened. And I’m turning 40 soon.  I don’t think I want to start a whole fertility process.”

“It’s been almost five years,” I agreed, nodding, “and I don’t want to start a fertility process, either.”

We weren’t officially “trying”.  We hadn’t wanted to put a label on it, because it would have stressed us both out.  But the proverbial goalie had been out of the net since the littlest was born, and there had only been one pregnancy since: a five-week blip back in late 2012.  Since then, nothing.

I was pretty sure the Universe was telling us we were done.  And, despite being a little sad, I understood. I loved our family.  Three awesome kids, aged 14, 12, and 4. A great house. A wonderful extended family.  A business I loved. Life was good. It was just time to end this chapter.

IMG_4123

The gang

 

Flash back to That Day in June, Husband Jamie and I agreed that we would call our respective doctors to find out what was involved in the snipping/tying process. We went home to make dinner. I felt a little prickle of sadness, and then resolve; it was time to move on from the possibility of having another child.

There have been six pregnancies.  The first was a total surprise; we were living together but not engaged yet, with no plans to extend our family beyond the two from Husband Jamie’s previous marriage. And then, on the Pill, I conceived without knowing it.

 

pills

Whoops.

When we found out, it was a huge shock, but then it was over before the news had time to settle in.  There wasn’t even really time for sadness with that one – it had been so unexpected that it seemed surreal.

Once we got married, though, the losses were harder. We were planning to expand our family.  We wanted to do it in a hurry, before the kids got “too old.”  Kaity was 8 then, and Liam was 6.  I had three miscarriages that year, all before 8 weeks, and I felt helpless: why was this happening? Was it karma? Had I done something I needed punishing for?

Then, there was Molly.  A stronger plus sign on the test.  Fatigue.  Sore hips.  8 weeks came and went, then 9, then ten.  Ironically, despite my elation that the pregnancy was “sticking”, I was horrified at my changing body and resented my dwindling freedom. I felt fat, and cumbersome, and overwhelmed.

9-months-pregnant

So. Much. Belly.

My postpartum experience was full of anxiety and turmoil.  I told myself I never wanted another kid. Yet something inside me still insisted I wasn’t finished; I had an intense gut feeling that I would have another.

The years after Molly were filled with ovulation and pregnancy tests – at first to prevent pregnancy, and then, to welcome the possibility. I remained apprehensive.  There was that short short pregnancy in 2012 of only five weeks, and then nothing for four years.

~

That Night in June, I went upstairs because I had to pee. Husband Jamie was immersed in something on his phone, and Kaity and Liam were just heading to bed. I was due for my period the following day, but as a result of our conversation I wanted to do one last test, just to get it over with.

I went into the bathroom, peed in the cup, and dipped the stick, knowing that it would be negative, just like all of the months leading up to this. Relief suddenly washed over me as I waited; no more monthly testing, no more back-of-my-mind wondering if this month would be The Month.  We would be done this chapter, and I could focus on other things. I took a deep breath.  Yes. This was a good decision.  It was time to move on.

pregnancy test

Seriously, Universe?

Except there were two pink lines.  Then the second line got darker; it was unmistakable. I clapped my hand over my mouth to keep from exclaiming out loud.  Warmth flooded me.  Was I hallucinating?

I’m not sure how long I stood in the bathroom before numbly walking downstairs. Husband Jamie looked at me inquisitively.

“So… guess what?” I said.

He blinked. I didn’t even have to say it. “Are you &*%$ing kidding me?” he asked.

And then we laughed a little, for there wasn’t anything else to do. He put a hand on my belly.  “It’s a really good thing we bought a van”.

 

 

 

 

dafodil

Oh hi, #BabyDaffodil.

 

About the Author: Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

Jen