Motherhood and Dr. Elizabeth Tigges, D.O.
Introducing a new blog series: Obstetrics and momecology
This is the first entry in a new series of blogs by our very own OB/GYN, Dr. Elizabeth Tigges. In this series, we will explore the adventures (and misadventures) that mothers share from the perspective of a mom and OB/GYN.
This series was originally posted to her personal blog, "Obstetrics and Momecology". This is a blog by a mom, for mom's and those who love them.
The Underground World of Motherhood.
I feel deeply connected to the rawness and realness of Motherhood and Womanhood. The extremes of all emotions, and the steadiness of the day-to-day. I am in complete awe of the tenacity and strength and spirit of Women.
The day I became a mother was the day I better understood the significant contributions we add to the Universe. The Impact we have. The 100,00 balls we constantly suspend in the air to keep everything and everyone moving forward. We are brilliant, radiant, beautiful humans.
These are 2 of my recent observations:
#1. We don’t take care of our own souls enough. Or ever.
Women young and old have been putting everyone else first for months, years, decades, a lifetime. And we need to take some. Take some of everything. Time for ourselves. Time for the restoration of our own tired, overworked, undervalued souls. We need to take pleasure in Indulgences, simple or big. We need to not feel guilty for taking a much-needed run or an hour of CrossFit/Zumba/yoga. A long long shower (more than 6 minutes 2 days a week). A weekend with friend(s). A glass of wine. Or a bottle. Drank slowly (or quickly) with a good book.
No one will do these things for us. It’s up to me to take care of me. It’s up to you to do the same.
We need more self-love. And to get there, it’s crucial that we take care of ourselves... or we’ll be sitting on the edge of the cliff. Just one temper tantrum or petty argument with our partner away from jumping (or falling) off.
I recently had my own moment of breakdown. I’d yelled at Eleanor [my daughter]. I said mean things. I even pushed her away from hanging on me for the 1000th time. It was mean. I was mean. I cried for the whole day.
I went to counseling (which I schedule 3 months out and go to monthly, which makes me more likely to go). I realized how vital it is to allow and accept that my best version of me is when I take the time to take care of me. I utilize my mom, my husband, and our nanny now. Even if it’s just for a 10-minute run or an hour at counseling. I have scheduled weekends with my closest girlfriend.
It’s hard to work full time. That alone is an anvil of guilt. Then, to return home from work or a weekend away and spend more time away? Yes. The answer is yes. I keep it short and simple usually. Because that’s what feels good to me. But I do it. And I remind myself that I do it because I want me to be the awesome me that I think I’m capable of. And so that my kids see that it’s mandatory that they do the same.
No one else is responsible for my happiness, except me, and kids ought to learn that early in life so they’re not depending on someone else to make them happy.
Our longevity and health depend on us taking care of us.
#2. We don’t support each other enough.
I am saddened by the lack of support and nonjudgment we receive from each other.
Women show up. We enter the arena. We get into the ring. And instead of always receiving a wild crowd of cheering, uplifting, supportive, and encouraging friends we cut each other down. We joust with our allies.
The world of Motherhood is "underground" because we don’t openly talk about how crappy it is sometimes.
I saw my cousin's wife over the summer. They have 2 kids now and I asked how things were going. She said “good now. I didn’t like this kid for months”. And I found that honesty to be refreshing. I don’t like one or both of my kids sometimes too. They drive me bonkers. I love naps when they are peacefully asleep and I can get a minute. Of course, I love my kids more than anything in the Universe. But I have my days or moments. Sometimes I’m just surviving. And sometimes I’m even doing a crappy job at surviving.
We need reassurance that “yes, that’s happened to you too.” Sometimes I need a new day to start because I need a new beginning. Even if that starts at midnight because one of my kids won’t stay in her own bed and the other stopped sleeping through the night.
Tell me like it really is for you.
Tell each other the same. How we relate to each other is how we find common ground and validate our own self-worth. We all have insecurities. Let’s let each other see them. And thus truly see each other. Be vulnerable. We’ll be better off for it. I promise.
We all have been in a dark season. Some of us have been in many dark seasons. We all have experienced pain, sometimes excruciating pain. We all are uncertain, struggling, finding ourselves, recreating ourselves, giving up, giving in, celebrating, worrying, going crazy, misunderstood, dominating our home or our work, experiencing deep grief or despair, crushing it, spinning in circles, making change in a stagnant place, yearning, content, seeking adventure, seeking stability, making good and bad mistakes, learning, and loving life…all of the above at some point or another.
I read a book once about “awakening” and one of the things the author challenged the reader to do was answer this question: is the person trying their best? And most of the time I think we all can say “Yes, they’re/we’re doing the best that they/we are capable of.” Because that’s what women do most often. Our very best. It’s the best we have to offer at this time. So if you, me, WE are doing our best, why do we judge?
We intensely need each other. Brene Brown says the single most important aspect of our lives is our connection and belonging to others. If that’s the case, which I buy into, then we must absolutely must find more and better ways to be there for each other.
We must have grace for each other’s unknowns. We must wrap each other up in blankets of compassion and empathy.
Women are valuable beyond measure. We need to make certain that we help each other really feel that irreplaceable value.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Tigges, D.O. is a small town Iowan at heart, having grown up in Southeast Iowa before graduating from Simpson College. She subsequently began her medical career at Des Moines University, followed by her residency training at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio. Life took her to the University of Tennessee in Memphis where she was an Assistant Professor of OB/GYN, but the call to return home prompted her to return to Iowa in 2013. She has now made what she hopes will be her last move, enthusiastically joining Surgical Associates in April 2016, where she will provide compassionate and comprehensive care in Women’s Health to women of all ages.
Dr. Tigges’ unique clinical interests include pelvic and minimally invasive surgery, robotics, preventative healthcare throughout a woman’s lifespan, evaluation and treatment of pelvic pain, and female sexual health. She recognizes, however, that while those topics may be the reason for a patient’s visit, they are only a small part of the individual. Dr. Tigges believes in recognizing the whole person and connecting with them on a personal level. This is largely because she loves getting to know patients personally, but also because she wants women to feel comfortable discussing Women’s Health issues openly and wholeheartedly.
Dr. Tigges is pumped to be living in Grinnell with her husband Cody and daughter Eleanor. Cody agrees that she has a special gift for making personal connections and says that she could form a lasting relationship with a rock. When she’s not sharing jokes and funny stories at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, running, and reading.
Dr. Tigges' Disclaimer:
"This [blog] is meant to entertain and inform. I share my personal experience and opinions through this web-based forum, which may or not apply to you, but which most certainly should not be interpreted as medical advice. I only provide medical advice via in-person appointments at my office or hospital."
Michelle | Mrebelsky@gmail.com | 03/10/2020 6:23 PM