Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mudita (Joy in Other People's Joy)

Mudita is the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s happiness, in other people’s good fortune. It is the opposite of the more well-known ideas of envy (displeasure at another’s success) and Schadenfreude – the experience of joy in other people’s suffering.

Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of writing this blog has been the tremendous potential for me to personally experience Mudita, particularly when a mother is able to access the care she needs when she needs it and has a healthy and happy outcome as a result. It is the feeling of Mudita that is a tremendous motivator for me to continue doing what I do and to seek to do more of it – truly there is little that I find more rewarding and fulfilling than the taking of joy in other people’s joy.

As such, when I received an email the other day with an update from Cesarean by Choice mom announcing the healthy and happy arrival of her daughter – it felt as though I had personally won a lotto of sorts. As such, I am pleased to share the email I received from the mother, describing the arrival of her daughter*

July 25, 2014

Hi Janice,

Baby Chloe* made her debut a bit early! She was born on July 4th via c-section at 37 weeks 1 day.

My water broke at 4am and we headed to the hospital. We were spending the weekend at our family cottage so we were almost 3 hours away. They requested we stop at the closest hospital on the way to make sure it was safe to continue the drive. Contractions started at 6am, just as we were cleared to continue our drive.

Labour progressed rapidly and contractions were less than 5 minutes apart by the time I got to triage. My husband was amazing and advocated for me with the on call doc and residents. Everyone was very accommodating and the c section plan was confirmed quickly. By the time I got to the OR, the contractions were less than 1 min apart. I was worried that I would be forced to attempt a vaginal delivery if I progressed too far. In an attempt to avoid this I declined all cervical exams.

Labour is not something I want to experience ever again - even though it was "only" a few hours, it was absolutely terrifying. I don't even want to think about how awful delivery would have been.

My c section was amazing, and absolutely the right choice for me. Breastfeeding was successfully established in recovery and we have had zero issues so far. My recovery has been amazing. I only needed Tylenol for pain, and I was back to normal very quickly. I feel incredibly lucky to have avoided a vaginal delivery. I have 3 close friends that had babies in June, all delivered vaginally, and they are all jealous of my recovery as they each had complications (severe tearing, shoulder dystocia, instrumental delivery with episiotomy). Anecdotal evidence is the best kind :)

I don't think I can say this enough - thank you. I am so happy that I found you online. You have made such an impact on our little family.

I’d like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to this family, and my wish that the mother finds her days filled with Mudita as her daughter grows. I’d also like to thank the mother for sharing her story with me, and for allowing me to share it with my readers. Further, I’d like to thank the OB who provided this mother’s care and the team that saw to the healthy and safe arrival of her child – and her husband, for advocating and supporting this mother throughout her pregnancy and the arrival of his daughter.

*Not the mother or baby’s real name – names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved, even though the story is shared with permission from the Mother involved.

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