Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I have been meaning to post for over a week, but it's been so crazy I haven't had the chance. First, though, I'm feeling a lot better.

Last Tuesday I had an appointment with my therapist, and we talked about my increased anxiety and my issues around my brother and SIL's baby coming so soon (c-section is now scheduled for tomorrow at 1 pm). I didn't expect it, but she told me it was OK to feel the way I did, and that it sounded like the best thing for me would be to skip going to the hospital right away; that I had to do the right thing for me and the Pad, and not to worry about expectations of me. That made me feel a lot better. Until I talked to my mother.

She didn't flip out when I told her I didn't think I could go to the hospital. I'll give her credit; she did try her best, really she did. But I know I can't expect anyone who hasn't been through this first hand to really understand, and sure enough, she didn't. She didn't seem to get that the main reason I felt I couldn't go was because I was worried it would make me too sad and anxious - she only focused on the anger I admitted I still felt toward them, and she didn't really believe that I wasn't just planning not to go out of spite. In the end she said that even though she didn't understand my decision, she would try to respect it. The discussion didn't really make me feel much better, though, especially when she said, "You've gotten a lot of support up to now - a lot of people agree that your brother's timing was bad - but I think if you do this, people are going to say 'Enough already, get over it.'" Enough already? Get over it??? Ugh.

A few days later, last Friday, my father called me early in the work day. I hadn't talked to him yet about my decision, but of course it came up, and again, he didn't believe me that it wasn't out of spite. And again, he tried...he really did. And he did a little better than my mother did. When I confessed that I was afraid people would forget Joseph because of my brother's new baby, he said that even though he will love that baby, that it will never be his first grandchild. He said that when people ask him if it's his first, he tells them right away that no, his first grandchild died. That took me aback. It was one of the things I found myself lying awake wondering these last few weeks...whether or not my parents told people this was their first grandchild. I was glad to know that my father doesn't at least.

The bad thing was that by this time I was crying hysterically (thank God I have an office with a door). Some of it was out of frustration that he couldn't understand my hurt and anger (he just would not understand why I might be upset that my brother and SIL chose to TTC a week after Joseph died) and some of it was catharsis, I guess, that came with the knowledge that at least he was trying, and that he wasn't pretending that Joseph didn't exist. By the end of the discussion, I felt like a limp, wrung-out dishrag. There was just no way I could have stayed at work, so I told them I was sick. Then I went to Downtown Crossing and bought a pair of shoes. Then I had lunch with Andy, and then I really did go home. I've never been so tired in my whole life. It was like something inside had just...crumbled, and all I wanted to do was sleep.

I woke up the next day feeling better than I have in a while. I guess I must have been thinking about it while I slept, because the first thing that came into my head was the thought that if I waited to go see this baby, and it became any more of a family drama than it already was, then it was going to be so much worse than if I just sucked it up and spent a few minutes visiting the hospital. I talked to Andy about it and in the end we decided to go. We're leaving on Friday and spending that night with my aunt and uncle, and we'll all go to the hospital on Saturday. This way we don't have to hang around their house (not that I think they'd even want us to) and we can just get it over with.

I don't think my relationship with my brother will ever be quite the same. I can't see myself being as close with him as we once were. I still think it was a shitty thing to do. But I can't have another week like this last one. The anger and the hurt and the anxiety...I just don't have the energy for them. I give up.

But I do feel better. The baby is moving like crazy, particularly today, so I'm less anxious about her in a day-to-day sense. I'd been having a lot of worry about the delivery, about whether a c-section at 39 weeks was really the safest course, about whether her lungs would be OK, etc. I brought a whole list of questions to my doctor today, and it was really helpful. She reiterated that she doesn't think VBAC is a good option for me either physically or psychologically, especially since she believes that the stress of my long labor, particularly my long, non-progressive pushing phase, was what caused Joseph to gasp in so much fluid. She believes VBAC is risky enough, and said that she couldn't let me attempt labor and spend the whole time wondering if my uterus was going to rupture or if labor would stall again and hurt the baby.

Honestly, this is fine with me. I know I'd be a wreck anyway, and I just want to do what's going to get the Pad external as quickly and safely as possible. The doctor also reassured me that waiting until 39 weeks means she won't have to do an amnio to check the baby's lungs, since they'll definitely be mature by then. If I go into labor before the scheduled section date (a possibility, since I went into labor with Joseph at 39 weeks 3 days) then I'll just come in right away and have the operation then. Finally, she said that barring any unforeseen problems, I should be fine to go on and have at least one more child after this, probably even two (we think we want two children besides Joseph, but just in case, it's good to know I could have three).

The baby's heartbeat sounds great, my uterus is right on track, and I'm still on the regular prenatal visit schedule. When I hit 36 weeks and start having weekly appointments, this time I'll have non-stress tests at my 36, 37, and 38-week appointments, just to be sure the baby is safe. I love this doctor and this practice.


At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 3:49:00 PM, Blogger sillyhummingbird said...

I am glad that you are feeling better and feel so comfortable at the new practice.

I feel your pain when it comes to your brother and s-in-law and going to the hospital. My s-in-law, who also got pregnant right after my son died, is due in May and I am already stressing about it. I feel so selfish not wanting to go and make a big fuss--not because I won't love my niece--but because of her motives regarding getting pregnant when she did. I can cry forever thinking of how the family will coo and fuss over her baby, as they should, but no cooing or fussing took place with my son--just crying. And I feel that when our second baby is born, the attention will be subdued because of her baby. Looking at that in print seems so selfish--but it is how I feel. Angry. And I also fear a possible anxiety attack just walking into a maternity ward/hospital room. My husband and I already promised ourselves it would have to be a short visit. And I know, as you wrote, my s-in-law will want us to just get over it already.

At this point, whatever works for me is what I am trying to go with. And your comment about your dad and his feelings for Joseph made me cry. Isn't that what we want afterall? For our children to never be forgotten? I am glad your dad expressed that to you.

Now on to happy thoughts about your baby girl!

At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 4:11:00 PM, Blogger NervousKitty said...

Sillyhummingbird, are you sure we're not the same person? ;)

At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 4:58:00 PM, Blogger Treggles said...


Just want you to know that I'm thinking of you today.

At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 5:53:00 PM, Blogger sillyhummingbird said...

The similarities are astounding, aren't they? I have definitely thought that before! I think I am having a boy though...big sonogram not yet scheduled:)


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