Friday, December 14, 2007

Why do I?

Why do I fall into another person's created crisis? So, the friend that I mentioned the other day called me back and we spoke at length about how things are going. She does have PPD, and her doc put her on meds right away. She mentioned it to the people she works with when she came for a visit. Lots of things culminated into this frantic "We're worried she's going to kill her baby" and "We're so worried about her" talk. Apparently when she came for that first visit, she had someone help her carry the baby in and back out to the car. Baby was passed around and at one point someone asked if she wanted the baby back and she said no, I'm with her all day you can hold her longer. Then since she was meaning to make a quick visit and the baby had just eaten before they left, she only packed one bottle to bring along. If you take these things in the regular context of a new mother, it's not really a big deal right? I don't think so.

Well, with the PPD announcement and skewed opinions of some, the assumption was made that mom didn't want anything to do with her baby and that she didn't have enough food to feed her. I am so pissed at the judgements that were made, and I still don't have the entire story. ONE person went to someone else and shared HER assumptions, without asking more questions. Did it come out that mom's c-section scar was oozing and causing issues, and her doc suggested she carry minimal amounts? No. Her last week of pregnancy included multiple admissions to the birthing center for induction due to a high blood pressure scare. She ended up laboring and never getting passed 3cm. Baby pooped inside and there was an infection in her placenta, all these things resulted in a c/s. Mom was plum tuckered out, and I don't blame her.

There is some history with this situation that I think colored people's opinions and assumptions. When this person discovered she was pregnant, she was thinking about all of her options. This pregnancy was unplanned and they are not in the best financial situation at the moment. She was thinking about terminating, and that pissed some people off. What upsets me about this is the work that is done by these people is that of discussing options and empowering yourself to make your own choices. She did not get the support that some of these people offer to clients. Why is she different? (She did have pressure from other sources to keep the baby, so this wasn't the only source.) Obviously, she decided to carry the baby. There is one person who is struggling with infertility and all of this resulted in some poor assumptions and judgements made. I understand the jealousy, anger, and disappointment of not getting pregnant when it seems like everyone else is around you. I get that, I remember the sadness of each month. But while I was jealous and sad for myself, I never let that diminish another person's joy. I supported women who were looking at termination for their pregnancies while I was pregnant, and I never allowed my personal life to interfere with that. It's not my right. It is her choice, not mine.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I'm saddened that some could not support this person in a way they would a client. I'm saddened that she was made to feel like an awful person for wanting to "get rid of her baby" (one person's words). Until you walk in her shoes, or anyone else's who even has to take that under consideration...shut the hell up. It's not an easy decision and many struggle with it and grieve. I'm disappointed that people take things at first glance and run with them without asking for more information or providing support and care for someone who is struggling. Not everyone there did this, but there were a few who did. And all it takes is one person to start something.

In the end, mom is getting help, feeling better, and enjoying her little one. She's understanding now how much work it is to care for a baby, and wishes for more sleep. But were we all like that with our first child?

1 comment:

Becky said...

I've noticed that with first babies (and babies in general) people tend to get overly judge-y about the new mother's choices. I got plenty of flack for being younger and single when I had Ben, and I get plenty of flack for other misperceptions about how I parent my second.

It's complete crap, and I am sorry that other people think that they always know better than the parents. It seems universal. And it sucks.