The Pregnant Pause


When I was pregnant with my son, I ran away to Switzerland. 

I rode the trains all over the country and climbed to the top of the Klein Matterhorn, keeping track of all of the public toilets along the way.

To be honest, I was terrified. I thought it might be easier in some ways to just die. Not that I had a plan but if I could just die, it would all be over.

Fall asleep and not wake up….

I was not prepared at all for being pregnant. It was the last thing I wanted at that point in my life. I was under a huge amount of personal stress and I worried about whether or not I should even carry on with the pregnancy. As I sat around wracked with indecision, the weeks ticked by…. It was clear I was not going to have a miscarriage.

Then, an early ultrasound determined that the baby might have something wrong with the kidneys and something snapped.

Suddenly, I wanted a baby. I wanted that baby more than I wanted anything else in the entire world.

To get him, though, I was going to have to make some other very major, very painful sacrifices and rather than make them right then, I ran away. 

To Switzerland.

Away from everyone. Away from the pressure, the shame, the fear. Away from everything.

It was the best time of my life. 

So, Belladonna Took asked about the meaning behind my moniker, my gravatar name…. Victo Dolore. In truth, it has many meanings and I struggled with what to write about it.

There is the Latin meaning: “Pain Conquered.”

There is the historical meaning. Victo Dolore was written on the family crest of Dr. James Simpson. He discovered chloroform and was the first to use it in childbirth. Anesthesia in childbirth is something that is near and dear to my heart.

There is the historical implication. Many opposed the use of anesthesia during childbirth, arguing that women should suffer as much as possible in childbirth as it would bring them closer to God. Some argued that without the great pain involved in bringing babies into the world, mothers would not love their children as much. (It should be noted that these were arguments posed by men.) 

And then, there is the personal meaning. Life is about conquering pain. Sometimes that pain is physical. Sometimes the pain is something more. 

Much more. 

Switzerland helped get my feet back under me. There are plenty of things that have happened in my life that have caused me great pain. There are just as many things that have helped me find my center again. I write about some of those here. If I wait long enough, I can always get up again. Pain diminishes, it never goes away, but we can learn to control how much influence it has on our lives. 

Victo Dolore.


108 thoughts on “The Pregnant Pause

  1. Thank you for sharing yet another slice of your life with us. You are one of the most genuine people I’ve ever read. I mean it. I love the blend…vulnerability and strength. Need to run. just came inside for a break. I’m in the middle of picking Ginger Gold’s…Still have another 500 pounds to pick.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. What honest thoughts! Another story of a huge life challenge that many of us can relate to! Distancing ones self from the problem pressure is key, to come back settled into a solution! How that’s done is up to each person! I’d vote for geographical distance, within reach, a road trip to any peaceful, beautiful place to think! ๐Ÿ’› Elizabeth

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sometimes it’s not running away, sometimes it’s just finding yourself and figuring out what’s important in life, which you seemed to do.
    Thank you for sharing such an important and poignant part of your life, Doc. I always wondered about the name and now I know..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every one of your posts are from the heart and that is the appeal to those who read blog. That old saying is something like this, ” if you have lived it then you can write it.”

    I think you are a wonderful inspiration to all of us that follow you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Pain conquered.” You couldn’t have come up with a more perfect name for your blog. You’ve shared some painful moments in your life, which you have conquered, and you’ve shared stories of painful moments in your patients’ lives, which you’ve helped them handle. We are all glad to have found you here in the blogosphere, and those who may have met you I person are blessed indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Honesty is so refreshing.
    I didn’t feel that way, but I’ve been told about pregnancies like that, in the quiet of the night, in the secret stillness where secrets are whispered.

    My dr in Savannah was Dr Dolore. He was not you, but I think that’s why I tuned into your blog initially.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Going to the top of the Klein Matterhorn, or little Matterhorn ( not to be confused with the Matterhorn) is no easy task and even less so for a pregnant person. Your use of words would seem to indicate that it was pre- Cable Car. I hope your son is well. I took the name to mean “Beyond Pain” but your name – your interpretation. Perhaps you could take a leaf out of the Australian Aboriginal Culture that childbirth is ‘Secret Women’s Business” men are not really welcome.

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  8. A most excellent post on many levels. I’m always in awe of the bond that grows during pregnancy, giving birth, and mothering- with or without physical pain. Thanks for sharing the fascinating history behind your name here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was no way, at that point, to escape sufficiently without geographical distance but I was blessed to be able to go to Switzerland as opposed to something more local. I needed to be somewhere that no one could reach me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Fascinating and intriguing story. I gotta tell you I was surprised that you took off early in life. Although when I considered it, it made sense. No doubt your experiences there helped to inform your growth.

    “Pain Conquered” – very apt Victo, personally, professionally and spiritually. It is an interesting feeling to be able to distill your life meaning down to a phrase or word. It is really less of a meaning than a perspective or shared reality. Your “choice” of name (which more likely chose you as opposed to you choosing it), is perfect. It fits everything you have written.

    I actually have such a personal perspective as well. I don’t often think of it but whenever I do i realize how true it is. Like I said – it was more like i was chosen for the perspective for i did not chose it. I seem to be a “Translator” – not of languages but of life.The vast majority of what I do and how I do it can be seen as “translating” in one form or another – converting one understanding to another.

    Excellent Post Victo. Thank you for sharing some of which must have been painful to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So raw and honest. So often I’ve wanted to run away but kept plugging on. Did you ever read Animal Farm? Sometimes I’ve wondered if I was like the horse, thinking the solution was to work longer and harder, and thought less of myself for it. I will ponder what you’ve written here. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful post, I loved it! And every time I see your name, I wonder how you got it and if it really is your name. Funny thing is, I never thought to ask! But I’m so glad to know, there’s much meaning to it. Pain conquered. Yay, now I know! Take care, Jenny ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Children grow up in an artificial world, one contrived by parents and media. So, perhaps it is only natural that one should have to hit bottom to fully understand reality. I am reminded of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Subsistence and safety are basic and everything builds from there. You have experienced the full range of motivations and are a more complete person than one who starts and ends in the middle.

    Liked by 1 person

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