My son’s tattoo hurt me deeply

When Tess Morgan &# x27; s son came home with a tattoo, she was griefstricken. She knew her reaction was OTT( he &# x27; s 21) but it signalled a change in their relationship

Put out the bunting, crack open the beers, stand there in the kitchen smiling from ear to ear, because hes home our student son is home and the family is together again. And after supper, after the washing up is done, the others his younger siblings drift off to watch television, and he says: Would you like to see my tattoo?

I tell, Youre joking.

He says, No, Im not.

But still I await. Any minute hes going to chuckle and say, You should see your faces because this has been a operating gag for years, this idea of get a tattoo the hard man act, iron muscles, shaved head, Jason Statham, Ross Kemp. Hes a clever son. Maybe during his school years he supposed a tattoo would balance the geeky glory of academic achievement.

His father says, Where?

On my limb, he tells, and touches his bicep through his shirt.

His lovely shoulder.

In the stillnes, he says, I didnt think youd be this upset.

After a while, he says, It wasnt only a drunken whim. I thought about it. I went to a professional. It cost 150.

150? I think, briefly, of all the things I could buy with 150.

Its just a tattoo, he tells, when the stillnes goes on so long that we have virtually fallen over the leading edge of it into a cavity of black nothingness. Its not as if I came home and said Id got someone pregnant.

It seems to me, unhinged by shock, that this might have been the better option.

His father asks, Does it hurt?

Yes, I say, cutting across this male bonding. It does. Very much.

For three days, I cant speak to my son. I can hardly bear to look at him. I choose this is rational. The last thing we need, I believe, is an explosion of white-hot terms that everyone carries around for the rest of their lives, engraved on their hearts. In any case, Im not even sure what it is I want to say. In my intellects eye I stand there, a bitter old woman with pursed lips wringing my black-gloved hands. Hes done the one thing that Ive said for years, please dont do this. It would really upset me if you did this. And now its occurred. So theres nothing left to say.

I know you cant control what your children do. Why would you want to, anyway? If you controlled what they did, youd merely pass on your own rubbish tip-off of flaws. You hope the next generation will be better, stronger, more generous. I know all you can do as a parent is to pack their suitcases and wave as you watch them go.

So I weep instead. I have a glob in my throat that stops me from eating. I feel as if someone has died. I keep thinking of his skin, his precious scalp, inked like a swine carcass.

My neighbour says, Theres a lot of it about. So many teens are doing it. I stare at pictures of David Beckham with his flowery sleeves, Angelina Jolie all veins and scrawls. Tattoos are everywhere. They seem no more alternative than pierces these days. But I still dont understand. Sam Cam with her smudgy dolphin, the heavily tattooed at Royal Ascot these people are role model?

My niece had doves tattooed on her breasts, tells a friend, And her parent said, you wait, in a few years time theyll be vultures.

Its the permanence that induces me weep. As if the Joker had stimulated face paints from acid. Your youthful passion for ever on display, like a CD of the Smiths stapled to your forehead. The British Association of Dermatologists recently surveyed just under 600 patients with visible tattoos. Nearly half of them had been inked between the ages of 18 and 25, and almost a third of them regretted it.

I look up laser removal. Which is a possibility, I suppose miserably, that merely runs if you want a tattoo removed. And Im not in charge here. My son is.

My husband asks, Have you ensure it yet?

I shake my head. Like small children, I am hoping that if I keep my eyes tightly shut the whole thing will disappear.

Its his body, he says gently. His choice.

But what if he wants to be a lawyer?

A lawyer?

Or an accountant.

Hell be wearing a suit. No one will ever know. And he doesnt want to be a lawyer. Or an accountant.

I know. I know.

I satisfied a colleague for lunch. He knew how much it would hurt me, I say, tears running down my face. For years Ive said, dont do it. Its there for ever, even after youve changed your intellect about who you are and what you want to look like. Youre branded, like meat. It can damage your work prospects. It can turn people against you before youve even opened your mouth.

She tells, Tell him how you feel.

But I cant. For a start, I know Im being completely unreasonable. This level of grief is absurd. Hes not succumbing, he hasnt killed anyone, he hasnt volunteered to fight on behalf of a military totalitarianism. But I feel as though a knife is twisting in my guts.

I get angry with myself. This is nothing but snobbery, I believe latent nervousnes about the trappings of class. As if my son had deliberately turned his back on a light Victoria sponge and stuffed his is confronted with cheap doughnuts. I am aware, too, that I associate tattoos on men with aggression, the various kinds of arrogant swagger that goes with vest tops, dogs on chains, broken beer glasses.

Is this what other women feel? Or perhaps, I guess, with an uncomfortable careen of realisation, just what older women feel. I stand, a lone tyrannosaurus, bellowing at a world I dont understand.

Tattoos used to be the preserve of crooks and toffs. And sailors. In the 1850 s, the corpses of seamen washed up on the coast of north Cornwall were strangely decorated with blue, according to Robert Hawker, the vicar of Morwenstow initials, or describes of anchors, blooms or religion emblems( Our blessed Savior on His Cross, with on the one hand His mother, and on the other St John the Evangelist ). It is their object and intent, when they assume these signs, tells Hawker, to secure identity for their bodies if “peoples lives” are lost at sea.

Tattoos, then, were intensely practical, like brightly coloured smit marks on sheep.

Perhaps even then this was a style statement, a badge of belonging. Or just what you did after too much rum. Afterward, the aristocracy flirted with body art. According to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich( they know a lot about tattoos ), Edward VII had a Jerusalem cross on his arm while both his sons, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York( subsequently George V ), had dragon tattoos. Lady Randolph Churchill, Winstons mum, had a snake on her wrist.

But you can do what you like if youre rich.

On day three, still in a fog of sadnes, I say to him, Shall we talk?

We sit down with beakers of coffee. I open my mouth to speak and end up crying instead. I say, You couldnt have done anything to hurt me more.

He is cool and detached. He says, I think you need to re-examine your prejudices.

I think, but I have! Ive done nothing else for three days! But I dont say that because we arent really talking to each other. These are rehearsed lines, clever insults flung across the dispatch box.( This is what comes of not exploding in indignation in the heat of the moment .)

I tell, Why couldnt you have waited until youd left home? Why now when youre living here half the year?

Its something Ive been thinking about for a long time. There didnt seem any reason to wait.

Which attains it worse.

Im an adult, he tells. I paid for it with my own money. Money I earned.

But were supporting you as well, I believe. As far as I know, you dont have separate bank accounts for your various income rivers. So who knows? Maybe we paid for it. If you dont want to see it, thats fine, he tells. When Im at home, Ill encompasses it up. Your home, your rules.

In my head, I believe, I thought it was your house, too.

He tells, Im upset that youre upset. But Im not going to apologise.

I dont want you to apologise, I say.( A lie. Grovelling self-abasement might help .)

He says, Im still the same person.

I look at him, standing here, my 21 -year-old son. I feel Im being interviewed for a chore I dont even want. I say, But youre not. Youre different. I will never look at you in the same way again. Its a visceral feeling. Perhaps because Im your mom. All those years of looking after your body taking you to the dentist and building you drink milk and worrying about green leafy vegetables and sunscreen and cancer from mobile phones. And then you let some stranger inject ink under your skin. To me, it seems like self-mutilation. If youd lost your arm in a car accident, I would have understood. I would have done everything to make you feel better. But this this is sacrilege. And I detest it.

We look at each other. There seems nothing left to say.

Over the next few days, my son always covered up talks to me as if the row had never happened. I talk to him, too, but warily. Because Im no longer sure I know him.

And this is when I realise that all my endless self-examination was altogether pointless. What I believe, or dont think, about tattoos is irrelevant. Because this is the point. Tattoos are fashionable. They may even be beautiful.( Just because I hate them doesnt mean Im right .) But by deciding to have a tattoo, my son took a meat cleaver to my apron strings. He may not have wanted to hurt me. I hope he didnt. But my impressions, as he made his decision, were completely unimportant.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.

I am redundant. And thats a legitimate cause for sorrow, I think.

Tess Morgan is a pseudonym

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When You Love A Person Who Comes From A Broken Family

When you fulfill someone who comes from a broken household you probably wont is well aware right away. Theyll do their best to blend in, to watch their words, to make sure they seem like everyone else. Its a habit theyve picked up over the years. How easy it is to look like all the rest. How easy it is to perform the same dance and routine.

And what is missing? Its the issue that continues to haunt them. Was it losing their mother at a young age? Was it the divorce, the abuse, the memories that can’t seem to go away? Was it because they had to grow up faster than everyone else? Not every broken person shares the same narrative and their story lives inside of them triumphantly defiant, an anchor holding the weight of their heart down, but the hollowness feels eerily similar all the same. They dont know how to quite pinpoint when it all seemed to fall apart. All they know is that they fell. Hard.

When you start dating someone from a broken family at first it might all seem too easy. That’s because it is. You’ll ask them about their upbringing, their background, what their family’s like, and without blinking they’ll gloss over the ugly details with just enough relevant information you’ll actually believe you’re getting the real tale. It’s not that they’retrying to be deceptive or deceive. They just know it’s easier this way. For both of you.

They know no one wants to hear about the long nights spent in the hospital waiting room wondering if their father’s okay and no one wants to talk about how their mom fucked them up or how their sibling was an addict or about how the pain from a broken home still persists in the back of their mind regardless how many times they will it away. No , none of these are great first date topics. Even second, third, fifth dates just never seem appropriate for this kind of insight into their life. They’ve inherently always felt unusual, in a way they don’t know how to communicate, in a way they hope won’t make you walk away from them and deem them unloveable forever.

Inthe beginning they’ll keep it up- this nervous charade. Letting you in just enough to know the way their lips savor when they get drunk enough to kiss you in public but just far away you’ll never know what they’re like in the morning when their hair is messy and they’re quiet in their motions. It’s the game they play keeping you close enough to the wall but never so close you might actually get the chance to break through. It’s not fair, they are aware, butthey aren’t sure how to love person in any other way.

By now they’ve learned the subtle way to bite the inside of their lip and let the blood flow when you mention your family, the home you grew up in, the holiday traditions you’ve known for years. These things induce them uneasy, jealous, even a bit threatened, in a manner that is you’ll never be able to understand. They don’t know what that’s like -to know you can go back to the same address you knew as a kid. They don’t know what that’s like- to know you can go back to the same people you knew as a kid. Stability has always come at a cost to them and because of that they’ve learned to never expect anything from anyone.

They’ll keep it up and keep it up until you’re both depleted and weary, rolling around in bed sheets, giggling about something completely mundane, when they realise in a moment they’ve let their guard down. A moment that means nothing to you are able to mean everything to them. They’ve been longing for this- this undividedness and sense of belonging they can actually touch. So they suppose for a few moments perhaps this is a place they can get comfy- the space between you and them isn’t that far, actually, when they think about it. They wonder for a few moments if they could even call this space with you home, and if, for once, they might actually have found something real, something tangible in another human being. Immediately they push the gues away and remember they’re not good enough for something like that. A home. Love. A relationship that could actually work. No, these are not the things that happens to bad people, to violate people, to people who come from an unconventional home.

So that’s what you must remember when you love a person from a broken family- there will be days when they simply feel like they don’t deserve you or your love or this beautiful life you’ve created together. It’s the feeling deep down on their darkest days that they’ll never be enough. When you love a person from a broken family don’t try to fix their issues or understand everything about where they came from- just a little bit of space for them flourish isall they need to grow.

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16 Things We Forget To Thank Our Moms For

1. All the times she had to double as best friend/ counselor/ therapist/ costume designer/ hair stylist/ coach-and-four/ all-around-solver-of-every-problem-ever. I remain unconvinced that mamas aren’t actually superheroes in disguise.

2. Forgiving us when we forget to call.

3. Listening to all our pointless drama when we do remember.

4. Being the kind of person that we actually do want to become because as we all know, it’s inevitable.

5. Having the unbelievable prowess only a mother whose babes have been scorned could mama bear protects her cubs, sometimes excessively, but we love it, let’s be honest.

6. All those hours we hollered “MOOOOMMM!!” through the house to find out where our white shirt was or what time so-and-so was getting home and all the other questions we just couldn’t go to Dad for.

7. All the things she reluctantly bought us at the cash register of any dedicated store, all the clothes and things we didn’t really need( but insisted we did ). Growing up and understanding the value of a dollar actually constructs you reconsider just how much mamas sacrifice.

8. For all the home cooked meals or pizzas we didn’t have to pay for ourselves. Equally phenomenal. Equally missed.

9. Putting up with our middle school phase.

10. For dedicating us our siblings, whom we simultaneously once wished to sell and now are best friends with.

11. And oh yeah, for that whole” giving birth to us” thing.

12. For being our first, and at some points, merely cheerleaders, who were and are proud of every little thing we do.

13. All the time she spent picking us up from practises; bending over backwards to make sure we had new cleats and costumes; and were at every game, rehearsal, and play date we planned.

14. Doing her best, even when things were most difficult in the family. Moms have this incredible magical sparkle glue that keeps it all together when it would otherwise fall apart.

15. Dealing with Dad.

16. Being the boss woman of the house( and of our lives ). And for being living proof that there genuinely are people who can candidly simply do it all.

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What fathers do

Some fathers do these things.

Some parents go to the Columbus Public Library used volume marketing in about 1980 and buy five big boxes of books on every topic. They place those volumes in a playroom and they result in a consistently relevant personal library for his kids. Every year they learn something new out of that room.

Some parents take their sons and daughters to Computer Express, a small computer store, after taking you to Radio Shack and Sun TV and deciding the prices there are too high. Some parents help you decide on an Atari 800 XL with tape drive and they buy you River Raid to go with it.

Some parents buy you a modem and let you call BBSes all night.

They take you to Boy scout and help you win the local Pinewood Derby. They drive you to Bell Labs where you learn UNIX and shell scripting.

Some parents sit with you and type in programs out of the back of ANTIC Magazine.

They convince the family it wants a puppy and picks a special breed, a Kerry Blue Terrier, because it doesnt shed.

They get drunk at the Sheraton hotel bar happy hour and fall out of the car and turn you off alcohol until late in college. Thats when you really find you have a savour for it.

Some fathers help you with your science fair projects and explore wind power with you by making balsa wood models of various types of generators.

Some parents give you telephone wire, broken stereo, and a soldering iron and tell you to experiment. You do. Some fathers have a garage full of tools and show you how to cut timber and fix brakes and listen to NPR on a broken radio.

Some parents buy you a Packard Bell 286 and help you learn programming.

Some parents leave a basket of vinyl in the basement and in it you find Dylan, the Stones, and Janis Joplin, thereby making you the least pop-culturally-aware high schooler in Columbus.

Some parents work for 40 years at the same boring task to pay for a house and food.

Some fathers take you to Europe and present you the magical of travel. They buy you Mad Magazine in German.

They take you to Mad Magazines offices in Manhattan where you meet Dick DiBartolo, Nick Meglin, and Bill Gaines. That could inspire you to be a writer.

They marvel at your new fiction, The Tale of the White Worm , you write when youre twelve. They edit your school essays and, one night, they write an entire research paper about The Crucible for you because youre sick.

Some parents drive you from college to college looking for the right one. Then some fathers go drive you back from the right college each summer because you dont have a car.

Some fathers help you sell your car when you move to Poland for work.

Some fathers come to your bridal in Warsaw.

They Skype you almost every day, leaving cryptic messages and posting connections from Craigslist. Some parents listen to Rush Limbaugh all day because hes a pleasant distraction.

Some parents drive twelve hours to visit you in Brooklyn.

Some parents get grumpy.

Some parents still induce you laugh.

Some fathers get lung cancer.

Some fathers stimulate you scared.

Their failing health fosters you to run again and cease drinking because watching a human who seems so much like you get sick is frightening. But it also encourages you to reconnect with him.

I know: Some fathers beat you. Some parents leave you. Some parents die early. Some fathers are cruel. Some fathers succumb inside.

But some of us get lucky.

Some fathers are great. Some fathers are kind. Some parents train, expand, and elucidate. Some fathers give all.

Some of us get lucky.

Happy Parents Day.

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My Dads Way Of Dealing With His Midlife Crisis: A Game Of Thrones Inspired Photoshoot

My dad turned 50 this year and he wanted something special. So he organized a trip to Cornwall with my mother, friend, me and 2 of my best friends: a badass photographer, Sheridan’s Art, and an amazing makeup artist: Kika Von Macabre

We came up with a storyline about a landowner 😛 TAGEND

Meet Cornish landlord Goron as he is forced to fight for monarch Mordred against evil forces threatening the kingdom. After fierce combats on the cornish coast, Goron returns as a true hero. Being jealous of his success Mordred sends out Gwenora, a blue witch, to seduce Goron to the dark side, turning him against his own people. Torn between two worlds, Goron ultimately detects the power to confront Gwenora in an ultimate battle.

Will he succeed?

Meet Cornish landlord Goron

He is forced to fight for monarch Mordred against evil forces threatening the kingdom

Prayers for an upcoming war

King Mordred calls

After fierce combats on the cornish coast, Goron returns as a true hero

Being jealous of his success Mordred sends out Gwenora, a blue witch, to seduce Goron to the dark side

She turned him against his own people

Scars of a lost soul

Torn between two worlds, Goron ultimately detects the power to confront Gwenora in an ultimate battle

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I cant forget the horror of my sons birth | Leah McLaren

Despite medical advancements, childbirth is a major cause of post-traumatic stress ailment and yet nobody talks about it. Leah McLaren tells the harrowing story of the arrival of her second infant and her fight for treatment and support

The seconds that stretch between the act of giving birth and waiting to hear a newborn shout are the most harrowing moments in an otherwise privileged life. My second son, Frank, didnt cry.

Late last summer in a London hospital, he was born semi-conscious. His pulsing was swooning and he was floppy as a rag doll, a pale bluish gray in colouring. There were angry red indents on his nose and skull that would afterwards turn into deep purple bruises. According to his hospital notes his Apgar score at birth( on which 10 is hale and zero is non-responsive) was two. Just before emerging, Frank turned to the left and got stuck in the birth canal no sum of pushing could make him budge. He was wrenched out of me, first ineffectively with a vacuum and then later, definitively, with a pair of giant metal salad tongs called forceps. The midwife briefly placed his limp little body on my chest and then scooped him up again and over to the opposite side of the room where the doctors began their work.

At first, still dazed from the birth, I didnt fully understand what was going on. I recollect guessing how strange it was that for hours on end all the focus had been on my body, and the monumental great efforts to make it do what it was supposed to, and now everything had shifted. It was like Id been split in two and what was left of me the remaining husk seemed almost incidental to the scene.

I heard an alarm roar in the corridor outside our room and I thought, vaguely, that there must be an emergency on this floor. Residents and interns in scrubs began streaming through the door, craning to see the patient our motionless, minutes-old son. Before long there was a standing- room only crowd around the newborn. My spouse squeezed my hand as I processed the silent revelation that emergency situations was us.

The voice of his shout induced black supposes, a darkening of my already dull mood: Leah with Frank just after his birth. Photograph: Rob Yates

We watched the doctors placing a toy-sized oxygen mask on our sons face and heard them fall silent as their motions became quicker. We scanned their faces for anxiety or relief and saw nothing, only blankness. We waited for the baby shout, but it never came.

Hours afterwards, to our immense relief, we were told Frank was fine. The resident paediatrician made it clear he wasnt concerned or even especially interested in Franks case. He could offer no real rationale for why our son was born flatline( his term) apart from the obvious deduction that hed been knocked out by the grip of the forceps on his head. It happens, the doctor told. We dont know why. He had a touch of jaundice, but there had been no evidence of oxygen deprivation.

By contrast, I was worse for wear. In addition to the forceps, Id had internal and external tearing as well as an episiotomy cut open and sewed back together. As one doctor afterwards set it: Its like a truck drove through your pelvic floor. I was dedicate transfusions for blood loss and paracetamol for the pain, which didnt help much.

When I was ultimately taken up to the neonatal division in a wheelchair and able to hold him, my son was so bashed up he looked like hed been in a bar battle. You should consider the other guy, the nurse joked. You already have, I told. The other guy is me.

This is not the story of a personal tragedy. Im conscious while writing this of the many mothers who have experienced far worse. Pregnancy and childbirth, when it goes wrong, can result in all manner of horrors, including the loss of a child its own experience I cannot pretend to understand.

Instead, this is a story about whats been written out of Britains official birth narration. Franks birth, as described, would be classified in our maternity system as a success. For a system that prides itself on being female-centred, the NHS maternity care system is failing post-natal women. Not only has the physical and mental health of new mothers become secondary, it sometimes seems inconsequential. This is the untold story of the suffering our maternity care system ignores.

Its difficult to admit this now, eight months after Franks birth, but in those first weeks I did not feel the exhilaration that comes with a newborn. I cared for my son dutifully, feeding, bathing, burping, swaddling, soothing him through the night, but much of the time I felt weirdly detached, like a zombie shuffling through the motions.

The sound of his shout induced black supposes, a darkening of my already dull mood. I recollect looking at him and registering the fact he was beautiful, but being unable separate his body from the horror of his birth. I preoccupied over the idea that something was wrong with him, that hed been deprived of oxygen and the doctors had concealed it from me. I took him to see the community midwife twice because I was persuaded his eyes were traversed. When I demanded to know if the midwife thought he looked like he had brain damage she looked at me oddly.

In those first few weeks I had flashbacks every day. Id be standing in the queue at Sainsburys and abruptly Id be back in the madness of the delivery room, blood pooling on the floor beneath my bed wondering if my newborn was dead. I ruminated over the details of what happened for weeks, unable to think about little else. Some days I told the story to anyone who would listen; others I could scarcely speak at all. Eventually I went to see a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with trauma. Not post-partum depression she was very clear on this phase but post-traumatic stress, as a result of the physical and emotional ordeal of Franks birth.

Physically I was also fighting. As Frank grew bigger and bonnier, illuminating up the world with his first gummy smilings, I wasnt bouncing back. Every hour I determined myself alone in the room with a doctor, health visitor or community midwife Id demand they analyse me to determine whether or not I was healing properly. Again and again I was told everything appeared fine the stitches had healed and I was given the all clear for workout, for sexuality, for life. But something was amiss.

Like many new mothers I was suffering from stress incontinence( urinating when I coughed or sneezed) and a weakened pelvic floor, but there was something else. A strange drag sensation, a heaviness that wouldnt abate. I described these symptoms over and over and was ignored by health professionals until one day, over a cup of tea, a girlfriend suggested I might be suffering from a pelvic organ prolapse. The next day I booked an appointment with my GP who referred me to a gynaecologist who confirmed that, indeed, I had a moderate-to-severe occurrence of a condition called cystocele, otherwise known as a prolapse of the bladder. What this entails is that my vaginal wall was so badly injury giving birth that my bladder was spilling out into my vagina. The best course of treatment, he told me, was corrective surgery. Its something I cant have until Im three months clear of breastfeeding, which is some months away yet. In the meantime Ive been prescribed a course of post-natal physiotherapy, which involves performing pelvic floor exercises under the supervision of a doctor and having vibrating wands shoved up my nether regions in order to reverse tissue damage.

This is not as fun as it sounds.

In spite of all this, Im one of the lucky ones. Most women who experience birth injury and trauma never get properly diagnosed or treated. Its hard even to get any one to recognise there might be a problem. My spouse, astounded there was no routine follow up for me after such a traumatic birth, tracked down the obstetrician whod delivered Frank to seek guidance from her. She did not respond. We found out afterwards this sort of contact is not promoted; no comment or advice could be offered. A hospital collectively delivers.

The Birth Trauma Association, a peer-to-peer supporting group, estimates that 10,000 women in Britain are treated for post-traumatic stress ailment as a result of birth each year. Thats the largest single cohort of PTSD sufferers in the country. They estimate as many as 200,000 more women may feel traumatised by childbirth and develop untreated symptoms of PTSD.

On the physical injury side, the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2015 found that 24% of women still experience pain during sexuality 18 months after giving birth. The same year researchers from the University of Michigan devoted 68 women MRIs seven weeks after having newborns. Of the admittedly small sample, they discovered 29% had fractures in their pubic bones, which all of them were unaware of, and 41% had tearing and severe damage to their pelvic floor muscles that had remained undiagnosed. Another recent US study, published in the publication PLOS One , determined 77% of mothers still suffered from back pain and 49% experienced urinary incontinence a year after having their babies.

Its obvious that childbirth is deeply traumatic for many women minds and bodies. Simply over a century ago almost 7% of pregnant women in England and Wales died as a result of it. But birth is much safer now so why are so many women still suffering its after-effects undiagnosed and untreated?

Part of the reason is that the conversation around birth trauma and injury is steeped in shame and institutional sexism. Im not just talking about the general prudishness surrounding women reproductive health issues. There is a prevailing attitude I encountered among many health professionals which is that new mothers should basically learn to suck it up. As one GP said to me in semi-exasperation: Youve had two children. Your body changed. You cant expect to feel the same as you did before.

Rebecca Schiller, chair of BirthRights, an organisation that seeks to promote human rights in childbirth, told me that institutional denial of status of women experience is a huge problem, especially when it comes to post-natal care. There is a general attitude of Your experience doesnt matter, all that matters is a healthy newborn. When, of course, the two are inextricably related.

Part of the problem, I have come to believe, is that pregnant women are not properly informed of health risks of birth trauma and injury in advance.

With my first pregnancy I was determined to have an all-natural, drug-free, at-home water birth. I rented birth certificates pond at the recommend of my NHS homebirth midwife and when labour began I ran around the house illuminating scented candles. But seven hours in, when my newborn turned out to be an undetected breech, I was rushed to hospital in a wailing ambulance. Once it was determined my son would be born via emergency caesarean, a doctor talked me through all the risks in advance and asked me to sign a surgical waiver. And yet, with my second son, when I waived my right to an elective C-section and opted instead for a normal birth, I was assured by several midwives that opting for a VBAC( vaginal birth after caesarean) was the safer, better option and would result in an easier recovery than a surgical birth.

As I found out afterwards, women in my age group( 40 )~ ATAGEND, especially those who have had a previous C-section, have much higher rates of assisted births and assisted births often lead to injury and trauma. The NHS and the NCT have very little to say on birth trauma. There are no birth trauma or injury counselling services and after care, as I found out, is difficult to come by. There are private alternatives( like my psychiatrist ), but there are private options for everything if you can afford it.

Your experience doesnt matter; all that matters is a healthy newborn: a bonny Frank. Photograph: Phil Fisk for the Observer

To get state-funded care, you have to fight for it, which many birth-injured and traumatised new mothers are in no nation to do. Complicating matters further is the issue of post-partum depression. Just look at the postnatal chat groups online and you will find women frustrated at being told they simply have a hormonally induced occurrence of baby blues when what theyre actually feeling is a normal reaction to a profoundly distressing experience. Diagnosing a birth-injured or traumatised mother with post-partum depression is the healthcare equivalent of asking a justifiably irate female if perhaps, only perhaps, shes about to get her period? And yet it happens all the time.

There is a reasonable rationale for this apparent nation of institutional denial. Birth trauma and injury conflict with the NHSs dominant maternity care ethos, that natural births are safer and more empowering for women. This despite the fact that the UK has one of the highest infant morality rates in western Europe and, according to the NHS litigation authority, pays out hundreds of millions in maternity negligence claims each year.

As the NHS continues to pay scant attention to the issue, rates of birth injury and trauma continue to rise, due to a confluence of factors including ageing mothers, obesity and larger newborns. But why isnt more attention paid to the routine psychological and physical damage endured by so many post-natal female?

This is a question Maureen Treadwell, chair of the Birth Trauma Association, has been asking for nearly two decades. She founded her organisation in response to the number of women she knew whod been refused pain relief during labour and aimed up traumatised by the experience. If a human underwent dental surgery having prayed for anaesthetic and not received any, marriage recommend therapy yet if the same thing happens to a woman we tell her shes a good girl, well done. Its madness, she said.

According to Treadwell, birth trauma is exacerbated by a culture that celebrates only one various kinds of birth. The system, as well as the dominant culture, fills women with false expectations. It deludes women into thinking that birth ought to be this wonderful, empowering experience and when it isnt women feel awfully ashamed.

Last year when Jamie and Jools Oliver had their fifth infant, Oliver tweeted about his wifes unbelievably composed natural birth. It sounds ridiculous, but I wept reading that tweet. New mothers are deeply susceptible to guilt and it often begins with not having performed birth in the circumscribe way.

Eight months on, Frank and I are muddling along in an exhausted nation of contentment. The trauma of his birth is fading, superseded each happen day with the marvellous reality of him. My body is now the body of a mom battle-worn, cosy and intimidate in its accomplishments. I am grateful for my boys and for the fact that I got help for a condition many mothers experience but for which few ever try acknowledgement, let alone treatment.

Like I told, Im one of the lucky ones.

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My Dads Way Of Dealing With His Midlife Crisis: A Game Of Thrones Inspired Photoshoot

My dad turned 50 this year and he wanted something special. So he coordinated a journey to Cornwall with my mother, friend, me and 2 of my best friends: a badass photographer, Sheridans Art, and an amazing makeup artist: Kika Von Macabre

We came up with a storyline about a landowner 😛 TAGEND

Meet Cornish landlord Goron as he is forced to fight for king Mordred against evil forces-out threatening the kingdom. After fierce battles on the cornish coast, Goron returns as a true hero. Being jealous of his success Mordred sends out Gwenora, a blue witch, to seduce Goron to the dark side, turning him against his own people. Torn between two worlds, Goron ultimately observes the power to confront Gwenora in an ultimate battle.

Will he succeed?

Meet Cornish landlord Goron

He is forced to fight for king Mordred against evil forces-out threatening the kingdom

Prayers for an upcoming war

King Mordred calls

After fierce battles on the cornish coast, Goron returns as a true hero

Being jealous of his success Mordred sends out Gwenora, a blue witch, to seduce Goron to the dark side

She turned him against his own people

Scars of a lost soul

Torn between two worlds, Goron ultimately observes the power to confront Gwenora in an ultimate battle

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Amazon will refund millions of unauthorized in-app purchases made by kids

Amazon will refund millions of unauthorized in-app purchases kids made on mobile devices, having now dropped its appeal oflast years rulingby a federal judge who sided with the Federal Trade Commission in the agencys lawsuit against Amazon. The FTCs original complaint said that Amazon should be liable for millions of dollars it charged customers, because of the way its Appstore software was designed that is, it allowed kids to spend unlimited amounts of money in games and other apps without requiring parental consent.

TheFTC had previously settled with both Apple and Google on similar charges, before turning its sights to Amazon.

The issue had to do with the way the Amazon Appstores in-app purchasing system worked. The AmazonAppstore is the store that comes preloaded on Amazon mobile devices, like Kindle Fire tablets, for example, though there is a way to load it onto other Android devices, too.

Of course,many kids game developers notoriously try to blur the lines between whats free and paid. They also often design games in a way that they only fully functionwhen kids usein-game items, which can be sometimes earned through gameplay or other times purchased through the app itself. Kids are pushed to buy these things regularly as any parent can tell you, having experienced their kids begging for these items.

But in Amazons Appstore, which launched back in 2011, the company didnt originally require passwords on in-app purchases. This allowed kids to buy coins and other items to their hearts content. One particularly awful example involved a game called Ice Age Village that offered an in-app purchase of $99.99.

Amazon introduced password-protected in-app purchases in March 2012, but then only on those where the purchase exceeded $20. In early 2013, it updated the system again to require passwords, but also allowed a 15-minute window afterwards where no password was required. The FTC said Amazon didnt obtain informed consent until July 2014.


To make matters worse, parents complaining werent told how to get a refund and Amazon had even suggested at times that refunds werent possible, the FTCs complaint had said.

Amazon and the FTC have now agreed to end appeals related to the earlier ruling, the FTC announced on Tuesday, April 4. Another issue that had come into play was the FTCs request for an injunction to forbid Amazon from similar conduct in the future. The court denied that injunction, the FTC appealed, and Amazon cross-appealed the ruling that said Amazon had violated the law.

Now the two parties have agreed to end their litigation and begin the refund process.

More than $70 million in in-app charges made between November 2011 and May 2016 may be eligible for refunds, the FTC notes. Its not likely that all affected customers will take the time to make their requests, however.

Amazon has not yet announced how the refund program will operate or when it launches but these details are to come shortly, says the FTC.

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