I Have FTP And Now I Will Tell You EVERYTHING

10 Jan

He Qi, "Moses Striking the Rock", 2002.

FTP stands for Failure to Progress.  It’s applied to a woman whose contractions do not bring cervical changes.  I feel like I have writers FTP. Like my ability to write about my personal life has stopped dilating.  I actually told Peter the other day that I want to write so bad and when I try nothing happens.  I told him in earnest that I have this big ‘ole word-baby in side of me and I’m stuck at 9.5cm for 8 hours with a cervical lip and I’m siting forward leaning over the toilet to get the lip to move and it’s just stuck and if I push then my cervix will swell and well…gosh.  See. You get it.

My Placenta

I want to write about how I had my placenta encapsulated. I want to show y’all pictures of it and how it was done in my own kitchen and how taking my placenta pills made a huge difference for me in combating postpartum depression.  But nope, nothing to write about there. I’m afraid people will freak out if I show pics of placenta on the internet  anyway.  And who does that stuff?  That’s disgusting, you may never read my blog again if I post pics of my placenta.


I want to write about how hard mothering Noah has been. How it’s been the most difficult thing I’ve journeyed through as a person ever. I want to write about how Peter and I are scared to have another child for fear that we wouldn’t be able to keep our shit together with having to face another season of what we’ve just been through and what we’re still going through.  I want to write that you can love your child with every fiber of your being but not enjoy mothering. I want to write this so that I shatter the misconception that mothering is easy and angelic and that it comes out of you like soup from a red and white Campbell’s can.  No, the experience of mothering can feel like  Moses angrily striking the rock of your soul for water.

Leaving my community

I want to write about the struggle it was and is for me to leave my birth community behind in Denton, TX.  To say goodbye to the women who mentored me. The women who caught my babies, the women who sparked my life with fire and love of this calling.  I want to write about how desperately I wish I could hold a laboring mother’s hand while she breathes out her contraction. How I literally dream about it at night and wake up with a dull ache in my heart because I can’t work births right now.  I am near tears as I tell you I haven’t worked a birth since March.  MARCH.  Oh my God.  I feel desperate.


I want to write and say that Zoe gave up her paci and sleeps in her big girl bed and is potty trained and how she says “What in the what?” as an exclamation and how she is counting to 20 and knows all her letters and colors and shapes and every animal there is to name and she’s not even three yet. I want to write about how much she’s becoming her own little person who is independent and thinks and talks and how I am already having to step further back and let her be Zoe without my hovering mother heart, and that’s hard.


I want to write and say that Noah is my furry and my joy.  He’s my mirror to my own heart and I’ve been humbled by mothering him and awakened to a greater level of seeing my own soul. I want to tell you that I’ve prayed in the midnight hour to ask God to help me “fall in love with my son the same way I fell in love with my daughter.”  I hold his chubby frame in my arms and feel this overwhelming urge to protect him from my failures as the imperfect mother that I am.  I want to write about how much I love his handsome little face, and  when he smiles my heart puffs up in pride. I want to tell you how easily he smiles and laughs (far easier than Zoe ever did at this age).  I want to write about how he looks at me with a cock-eyed grin that makes me think that he’s flirting with me.  I want to write about how when I nurse him, he reaches up his starfish little hand and pats my face like he’s saying, “It’s okay, momma. I know. I know.”  I want to write about how I hope he marries a brunette girl, because I’m his mom, and I’m brunette and I want him to love a girl that’s like me.


I want to write about how much Peter and I have been forced to grow in our relationship with each other.  How this intense time of transition this year has sifted us and revealed our hearts. I want to confess that when I was upset with the place our relationship was in Peter asked me what I was going to do about it and how that knocked the wind out of me and made me think … he’s right, what am I going to do about it.  I want to tell you how deep I had to dig to get honest about my own issues and really talk things through to a peaceful resolved end; till we could look at each other and really know, we’re together…we understand and we’re going to be just fine.

The Living of it

I want to write about how I am okay. How this is all normal and a part of life and that this IS what life is about.  The living of it.  The very living of it. The living of it.  The very living of it.

I want to say I’m happy for the changes and the future in front of us.  I want to tell everyone not to feel sorry for me because I’m managing and doing alright and I’m actually quite content and feeling very connected on the inside.

I want to write and say I love our new home. I love our granite kitchen counter tops and my ceramic tiled shower.  I love La Grange and that I can walk to the Metra, to the library, to the thrift store and most importantly, to Trader Joe’s.

I want to write and tell you that we’re beginning to thrive here.  Beginning to, not yet, but we will.  Because I know us, because we’re not afraid of hard places. Because sometimes when Moses strikes the rock – water does pour out.

I want to write and tell you that I may post pictures of my placenta on my blog.

19 Responses to “I Have FTP And Now I Will Tell You EVERYTHING”

  1. Mabrie January 10, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    I wanted to write and tell you I loved this blog! Every line of it! I laughed, cried and laughed again!
    I wanted to write and say I can’t wait to see your placenta (that’s not weird, right?)

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

      Thanks, Mabrie! Placenta pics will be coming soon!

  2. Niki W January 10, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    I hope you do. It is because of you and your story that I had mine encapsulated. (i had never heard of it before) My mom
    Suffered from sever postpartum psychosis after the birth of my twin brother and I. She was hospitalized for it. This was a great way to better equip my body to hopefully not repeat that in my own life. It did help and I believe greatly bettered my recovery process. Your sharing changed and educated my husband and I. Thank you!
    Sorry if my response seems disjointed. I’m nursing my 4 month old son in bed. One handed typing is an art.

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      I didn’t realize you had your placenta encapsulated. It really does make a difference!

  3. Destiny Benjamin Vandeput January 10, 2012 at 2:10 am #

    ugh! I want to be this honest! but I think I”m still at 7cm. I love you my friend and you know I’ll never hate you if you post your placenta on the interwebz. Although I might gag a little ;-) But hey! I almost posted a picture of my mucus plug so that’ just as bad :) I think you already have your next few blogs outlined right up there, so go you ;-)

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      Here’s to having your word baby soon. You can do it. But no more mucus plug pics! AHHAHAHAH.

  4. Jay Beck January 10, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    Joy, I totally empathize. I’ve done a lot of reading on writer’s block and am actually currently in creative rehabilitation. A big part of the problem is getting the subconcious and ego to work together, but there’s other parts to that like the inner critic, etc. We should totally talk about this. Sorry we didn’t get together before Pete’s departure, but let me know if you need anything in the meantime.
    Best ;)

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      Thanks, Jay. You’re so sweet.

  5. Nikki January 10, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    I want you to know…I was hanging on every word!

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

      Thanks, Niki! I need you to take part in the interview – I want some positive hospital birth stories here.

  6. Meaghan January 10, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Joy, how beautiful, touching, raw, and boy did you hit home with me.
    I want to see your placenta!!!

    I moved away from my community and now feel like an island.

    Change positions, walk around, rock your hips, and bring your baby down.

    You know most times FTP is actually failure to be patient. Maybe that’s the case with your words. Little bits at a time to ease back into it.

    You are a beautiful, sweet, woman, mama, you are.

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

      Good to know I’m not the only one, Meaghan! Sending you love, too.

  7. Tracey January 10, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Scott took a picture of my placenta and everyone in the delivery room thought he was a nut job. I thought it was really cool. It was my baby’s condo for 9 months, of coarse I want to see what it looks like.

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

      that’s great, “baby condo!” I’ll be using that one for later…

  8. Michelle G. January 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I want you to know you are loved from all parts of the world. And I want to see your placenta! I am getting this next one encapsulated.

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

      Ah…you’re having another baby – another sweet girl! I want to be there so bad.

  9. Emily Angell January 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Joy, Thanks for opening up and writing. you did write, girl. i had a really hard time mothering at first and all that you said about failure to progress, that actually was my story. after 30 hours without my bag of waters intact, i had still another 8 hours at 9 cm until my midwives said that was enough and i had to go to the hospital. and the midwife at the hospital couldn’t even get me to 10 cm.. we worked at 9.5 cm for many more hours. funny that you said exactly that. and the placenta.. i would LOVE to see it. i didn’t get to see mine, but my mom and mother-in-law managed to sneak it out of the hospital for me.
    and mothering larkin has been such a challenge. breastfeeding was so so so hard, harder than labor. 57 hours of labor.
    and moving to chicago has been quite a transition too.

    we need to get together.

    • Joy January 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

      WOW. 57 hours. That’s NO JOKE! I’m sorry it’s been a struggle for you, but I do know it doesn’t stay this way and I keep holding out for the small victories of daily life. Would love to get together with you!

  10. Kim Myrick January 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I love what you write. It fascinates and excites me and I love it. I connect with so much of it. I’m not on the computer much and really don’t follow anyone with any consistency, but I make time to read what you write! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your insights and your heart. It is beautiful. You are beautiful. I wish I had a day to talk all things baby and family with you and I regret not spending more time with you when we lived in the same city. But our lives were and are full and I’m glad now just to be able to continue to know you in this way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: