Friday, May 10, 2013

On Processing When it Happens to You

It's really hard to process something when you've been encouraging others to make their way through negative experiences, and then realize the same thing is happening to you. It's an entirely new ballgame, something out of my realm of "dealing with", and has happened so infrequently in my life as a pregnant woman or mother that I have to admit, I don't handle it well at all.

Yesterday I had both a dating ultrasound and a follow-up with the doctor I'm seeing.

I want to preempt this by stating that I badly wanted a midwife. Unfortunately with having to get a different car and needing to move before this baby arrives, on top of still having bills and things to pay off, it will not happen. The nearest in network midwife with my insurance is almost two hours away, and I have messed with the PPO waiver option through my work and I know it is a disaster waiting to happen. We don't have the money - even in payments - to be able to afford a midwife. So I am reluctantly stuck with doctors.

That being said, I also knew my size would be a problem. I figured I would encounter some kind of "fat phobia" in relation to my weight and had more or less prepared myself for a relatively insensitive comment or two. 

So that should prepare you for what I experienced.

When I got there, he went over my previous pregnancies, both of which were augmented with pitocin and involved having an epidural.

"So you'll be having an epidural again this time?"
I shook my head. No, I replied, I would not.

"Can I ask why?"

I frowned. He had my charts - there was no issue with my medical history that indicated a problem. It was just my choice. I shrugged and told him that I hadn't gotten to experience labor before and had no intention of being augmented this time without serious reason. He laughed.

"Well, I'll put natural for now, but I'm sure you'll change your mind later."

Hint number one that something was probably amiss.

He then brought up the flu vaccine - something I've chosen not to have, and haven't given my kids. He explained that he'd like me to have it, and then asked if he could give it to me. It isn't flu season and I don't do the flu shot - so I shook my head and said no thank you.

Again. "Can I ask why not?" He sounded more concerned that time, like by that point he was actually thinking that maybe my reasoning wasn't all that sound.

I explained to him that I just didn't want to. That we don't do the flu shot. That I have no interest in it. He frowned more.

"Well, you don't have to have it right NOW, but I need you to at least consider it," he responded without missing a beat. He went on to explain that there were 'several new studies' that indicated that pregnant women who had the flu shot were safer than those who didn't. I reluctantly agreed to consider it (although I won't be doing it).

And then came the big one.

He brought up my weight again, and advised me that because of it, he's going to be considering me high risk. He said he'd be monitoring me closely and had his intern (whom I had allowed in the room) tick all the reasons off on his fingers why my being obese was a danger to my unborn child. He then advised me - at, according to the ultrasound, exactly six weeks pregnant - that I would likely need a c-section and it was something I would have to keep in mind.

I have, while obese, birthed two other children vaginally, without difficulty. I was stunned. I couldn't think of a single damn reason that my size alone would precipitate a c-section, except physician greed.

So there you go. I am trying now to push all of this negativity out of my head. I have an appointment with another doctor in June and am hoping that, since everybody else seems to love him, I do too. I am hoping that he will consider my needs and desires. Hoping so, so desperately.

Because today, the fat shaming, the doctor bullying, although it wasn't as bad as what many women experience, happened to me. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

On Expecting

We are expecting.

Namely, we are expecting a baby at some point in December or January.

With this has come a lot of terrifying realizations and worries - getting out of my mother's house, upgrading our car, the possibility still of early loss, our kids adjusting, my health .. The list of things that worry us about this grows daily. Currently it's long enough that trying to write everything down in one place would be too exhausting, and it just so happens that I'm at that point where nearly anything is too damn tiring for me. My job is being about as accommodating as I suppose it could be, but that being said, I'm still scrambling for appointments and fixing problems and dealing with last-minute arrangements. It has been ruining my nerves, and destroying what little sanity I have left, never mind the fact that I am also panicking about the limited time that I get off of work after birth.

Hell, there is a very real possibility that at some point in the next six weeks - maybe longer - that I will lose the baby, and all our emotional and mental and financial preparation will be for naught. That scares me more than you can imagine. Or maybe you can imagine it, and if you can, you have my deepest apologies and my sympathy for your loss.

The idea of the impact on our lives is frightening to me too, though. I worry about things that to me seem obvious: fat shaming by care providers, affording the time off, establishing a breastfeeding relationship with my baby, keeping my child whole and healthy. I am, at this point, forcing myself to take this entire experience one day at a time, because if I wholly fear my issues simultaneously I will probably have a breakdown. As it is, we're facing our future relatively well, and without the panic attacks that I figured would run rampant.

For now, that's all - I'm still letting this sink in.

Blessed Beltane to you and your's, and may this year bring you bounty, health, happiness, and fortune!

On Being Happy

I feel like I should stop wishing at night for good days, where we're all actually happy and healthy and loving our lives, and start just being thankful that we end our days alive and together. That sounds so morose and awful but it's the truth. Nobody is happy and every day we're here seems to be not another day we've been fortunate to live but another day closer to our inevitable ends. I miss being happy, and feeling like things are looking up. I miss that sensation so much. Instead I avoid my job and hide at home (rather, this house) desperately wishing I could raise my own children and hating money and being angry and bitter. But that's all this house is: anger, bitterness, and emotions so dark and pushed so far down that I don't even know if they have names.

Hubby has said for a long time that he thinks this house is making us all sick - and he's meant it mostly in the physical way, given the mold and other problems, but I know deep down he means emotionally too. It's a reasonable comment, which is even more sad. This place is toxic. My mother is toxic. Like most things that are bad for you, I can take a bit at a time but more than that makes me feel like I'm dying inside. I don't mean to be overdramatic; this has been my life with her. Impossible to please, forgetful, full of blame and the need to ensure that if she is miserable, so are the rest of us. The memories and emotions tied to this house are, for me, not positive. They're a mess for Hubby too. Being here is driving us into an emotional pit of despair and there's hardly a rope or ladder long enough to rescue us.

At this point I'm mostly griping. Mentally I'm not coping well - neither of us are - and while the end is in sight it feels like it's a million years away. That is a hindrance for sure.