A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Monday, 14 July 2014

What do flip flops have to do with a happy marriage?

I have struggled over the years with depression and anxiety, but when I was pregnant I was SO happy, and I had SO much to look forward to - with twins on the way.

With my mom on my birthday - five days to delivery
Towards the end of my pregnancy, the midwife realized that the twin on bottom was breech - buttocks down in a V-sit, instead of the head down required for a vaginal delivery. I really wanted to try to deliver my twins naturally, so we tried some different methods recommended by the midwife and ob-gyn, in an effort to get that baby to turn around. I propped one end of an ironing board up on the sofa, and lay on it, head down, to see if reverse-gravity would trick the baby into flipping around. Picture that, if you will! Trying to roll my pregnant body OFF that ironing board was not a graceful thing to watch!

We also tried a Chinese acupressure method (acupuncture without the needles) called moxybustion. My husband would light an herbal "stick" and hold it as close to my baby toe as possible, without burning me! Every night Mike would say, "OK, time to burn your toes!"

Unfortunately, during my pregnancy I also had very swollen ankles, and was on my feet all day working as a Personal Trainer. So Mike started giving me foot rubs at bedtime - which I love and find so relaxing. That changed though when we took childbirth classes. We learned that there are certain points on the feet/toes that can be massaged if you're past your due date and want to induce labour. Mike was super paranoid about me having premature labour (a higher risk in twins), so he STOPPED giving me foot rubs!

Fast forward a few years, and I had a blood clot in my calf. The swelling in my feet and calves were pretty bad, making the skin painfully tight. So Mike started giving me foot rubs again, trying to help relieve the pain and remove the swelling. And a funny thing happened. I was really happy! Maybe it wasn't just being pregnant that made me so happy after all. Maybe it was getting foot rubs from my sweetie! Maybe it's the power of touch. Or maybe it's just those few minutes of time and attention after our busy days.


So after I started collecting Pandora, I set a goal to earn this flip flop dangle with the red stone for my red "Always and Forever" bracelet - a good goal for the summer. I have really calloused feet so the first step was a pedicure. And then every night I used a buffer and worked on callous removal - and Mike co-operated in giving me a nightly foot rub. And guess what? I was happy! This charm reminds me that the prescription for a happy marriage, at least for OUR marriage, is foot rubs! 

My painted toes in Mexico last year.
By the way, I've also kept up with regular pedicures, to keep those callouses under control - and my feet ready for flip flops! But, truthfully, the pedicures are mostly because painted toes make me feel sexy! Also a good thing for a marriage!

And in case you are wondering, the homeopathic methods didn't work and that breech baby lead to a planned C-section. That lower baby had always sat so low in my pelvis that during monthly ultrasounds we never discovered the sex. The higher baby was not as shy; he was quite happy to let everyone see that he was a boy! On delivery we learned that the baby on bottom was a girl. Taylor had been the one too stubborn to flip.

Taylor doing a back-walkover
We like to tease Taylor with that "stubborn" story, although in reality it may have been too late in the pregnancy for her to flip - especially with having to share the room with her brother. We figure that's why she is such a good gymnast and has such good core strength; she spent months in the V-sit with her brother on her head! After the delivery the ob-gyn jokingly said, "This one's going to give your trouble!" And true to form, Taylor is still stubborn - although we try to use less negative words like "persistent" or "determined." And, as she was in utero, when she takes a position, you still can't get her to budge!
 
I think having things to look forward to really helps my depression, and is one of the reasons Pandora charms have helped me so much in my recovery. I look forward to the charms I earn after reaching a goal. I look forward to adding charms to a bracelet I have designed. I look forward to collecting older retired charms. And I look forward to the new charms that are coming out each season.

I also look forward to more foot rubs!

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