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.
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.
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.