Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday

There is a lot going on in my life right now. Many of you know what's going on with me already. I'm not going to go into further detail about it on here, though I normally would. The reason is that I have some nosy friends and relatives who track me through my blog and Facebook and it creeps me out. I really, really don't like people doing that and I feel like a lot of them do it not because they care about me and what I'm going through, but because they want to gossip. It's ridiculous really because if these people would just call me and ask how I am I'd tell them everything. I wish I wasn't a story to the people who actually know me. I wish they weren't always trying to dig up dirt on me to discuss with other peopleIt isn't even necessary because I don't hide anything from the people who really know me.  So the reason I'm not going to be more forthcoming is purely out of not wanting to give these people the satisfaction of their nosiness. How about this nosy people? How about calling me or emailing me and asking how I'm doing? How about asking me if I need to talk or need some help or just need to vent? How about that? You don't always have to stalk me to get info. I'll just tell you.

Here's what I will tell you. Unless there is some kind of miracle, I will not be able to live in my house until after (maybe well after) the baby is born. I am living at my parents' house and this is beyond a less than ideal situation for anyone involved. It's not that I hate my parents' house or being with them. It's that when you're 36 and married and have a cat, you need your own space. You just do. You have your own habits, ideas and ways of doing things. You have your own routine. There is also just something so humiliating to me about having to live with my parents. 

It's so unsettling to me too because I guess pregnant women have this nesting instinct and well, I have no nest. I can't prepare my baby's room for her. I can't organize and get everything ready and make it all perfect and I just don't know how an entire house can get unpacked and assembled with an infant to care for. It seems impossible to me. It seems like too much chaos for a child - too much over-stimulation for a little one's senses. I had wanted to prepare a house that was like a quiet, cocoon of calm for her to enter into the world. My parents' house just isn't that and never will be. I'm afraid that if the first month or two of her life aren't perfect then she will be damaged in some way.  I feel like a failure for being unable to provide properly for a child. And worst of all, I feel like all my anxieties and fears about having children weren't irrational at all. I feel like I was right all along.

This morning I had to go to the doctor. I just found out that on top of everything else, that I have gestational diabetes. I kind of figured I did because I have a history of blood sugar problems anyway. I have an autoimmune disorder that seems to have really wreaked havoc on the glands in my body over the course of many years. The endocrinologist who treated my tumor a few years back speculated that it was all caused by a virus, but who knows.  I got really scared about the diabetes because I know it can hurt the baby. All of my doctors assure me that she is ok. Last week she had some kind of a test and she scored a perfect 8 out of 8.  She is four pounds and very active now, so this is all good. The ultrasound tech gave us a quick 3D shot of her and she looks a lot like my husband. Beautiful, wide set, huge green eyes seem to run in my husband's family. He has them too and I hope the baby gets those eyes. Not that you can tell too much from even the most detailed ultrasound, but the baby looked nothing like me. Not that I care. I don't really care what she looks like honestly as long as she is in good health and has a good sense of humor and a big imagination.


I feel so anxious and depressed all the time lately. I'm not a happy person at all. I should be, but I'm not. I cry every day. I don't want to get out of bed. I feel like I've made terrible mistakes.


I know that one of the biggest mistakes people can make when they feel this way is to not seek help for it. Some people, especially pregnant women and new mothers feel really guilty for not being happy. I've read lots and lots of stories about women who will lie to their doctors when they are really suffering and I decided today not to do this. I had a talk with my doctor and I told him everything and he said that too many people make pregnant women and mothers feel guilty about everything and like everything is their fault if something happens to the babies, but that this is wrong. He said that women have been having babies through terrible traumas for thousands of years and that study after study shows that the babies can grow up just fine if their parents love them, no matter what awful circumstances the babies are born into. The babies who don't end up ok are the babies who aren't loved or given adequate emotional support. Besides food, that's pretty much all they need. And this has to be true. I can't tell you how many kids I knew growing up who were born into opulent homes with I'm sure, ideal nurseries and every possible thing one thinks a baby needs. Their parents though, didn't pay attention to them or were mean to them or were too caught up in their own turmoil to teach their children how to cope with stress, be kind to others and how to be decent human beings. These kids were and probably still are massive disasters. But I bet they had great crib bedding.  


I also realized after talking to my doctor that I had been associating messy chaotic lives and poverty with damaging children, but it isn't necessarily those things in and of themselves that were hurting the kids. Again, it was the same exact factors that messed up the poor kids I knew as the rich kids I knew. It's all about parenting. If you love your children and care for them (and feed them obviously) they will pretty much grow up to be just fine. And when I say love your children, I mean that as an active verb. Love is an action, not a feeling.


Talking with my doctor about how kids are born into wars and out of rapes and violence and upheavals of all kinds and still end up ok, made me realize that maybe I can get through this a little better. I am, after all, not in Khmer Rouge Cambodia or Nazi Germany. All over the world, babies have been born in prison camps or during air raids and they have been ok.  


I'm going back to the doctor in two weeks. If I'm not feeling better then we'll do some blood work and talk about me getting some other help, but a lot can happen in two weeks, right? I could get good news. Miracles could happen. Maybe. I feel better about my parenting abilities because at least I was able to tell my doctor that I was concerned about my mental health. That's something, right? I'm not a total failure.



23 comments:

Ella said...

*Hugs*

I agree with your doctor about people making pregnant women guilty. I am sure you will be a wonderful mother and tell her lots of funny stories at bedtime. :-)

Maybe bringing the bay to your parents' place would give them some opportunity to bond with their granddaughter.

Anonymous said...

Telling your doctor like that was one of the best things you could've done for both yourself and your baby. I'm very glad for you.

-Sarah (Perpetual Lurker)

kerry said...

I hope your talk with your doc made you feel better. He's right- if your baby doesn't have color-coordinated bedding, she won't be scarred for life. She will care that you love her and hold her and that she feels safe and that you feed her, and that's about it. You're not a failure- I know it.

Stinks that your house won't be ready, but if you'd ditched that one and chose another, who says that would be any better? At least with all the work being done, you'll know it's good and clean and done right.

Which is not to demean your feelings- I just want to reassure you. You are a good person. Your baby will survive your parents' house, and she will be fine. Your house will become ready, and it will be that oasis and haven that you want it to be. Hang in there.

Living in Muddy Waters said...

I would like to make two suggestions. One, invest in a sling (not a carrier) for your baby. Having your baby close to you but having your hands free after she is born will go a long way towards your feeling of unsettledness. But don't try to operate the sling without guidance. It will make you cry because they don't work the way you think they do.

Second, why don't you invite your internet fans to throw a babyshower for you? Register at Target or somewhere under Wide Lawns and donate all of the stuff to a children's home that specializes in babies. I would be happy to email the name of someone I know who runs one that is part of a nationwide system (meaning they are in FLA, too.) I bet Target might even match the items when they hear about it. If you can't house your baby in your own nest, maybe helping hundreds of babies for the next couple of years might give you a boost.

Anonymous said...

You are not going to ruin your baby if she is born into your parents chaotic house for the first several months. Nor will you ruin her if you are a human parent who makes mistakes. Babies need to be held, fed, and loved. They don't really care about anything else. Paint, furnishings, clothes don't matter. They don't need lots of equipment. Hold your baby, feed her, love her, and try to forgive yourself for not being perfect- you will never be the perfect parent- none of us are. I'm a pediatrician and a mother and I know first hand how imperfect I and other parents can be and how our children can forgive us for it. She will be fine. Take care of yourself now. Thousands of children are born to gestational diabetics and do just fine. The better your blood sugar control, the better off she'll be but I've seen perfect babies born to gestational diabetics whose version of blood pressure control involved Reeses Pieces and Mountain Dew. I'm glad that you talked to your doctor. I hope that you have other people with whom you can talk who will help you feel better day by day.

G said...

I love Muddy Waters suggestion!

K2 said...

I am a psychologist who specializes in children with disabilities (including emotional ones). Not one of them came into my office because they did not have a pink room with perfect sheets in their own homes.

All a baby really needs is the three "Bs" a box, a breast (or bottle), and a blanket. I'll add that they need parents who love them. It sounds like the baby has all of that, so just relax and enjoy your new little one.

kibrika said...

Dear Mrs. Lawns,
I thank you for being active in case of parents publicly mistreating their child.
You are an inspiration, not a failure. I wish all the best to your family.

On a different note, I am a stalkerish kind of person. I love finding out how my friends and aquaintances fare from their posts in social sites or blogs - that's what they're there for. I hope I don't gossip about them, at least I don't mean to.

Anonymous said...

Don't panic, it's the hormones, kiddo. Your darling daughter will be amazingly perfect but turn out to be her own liitle person, nothing like you might imagine now. She will be fine because she is loved.

Anonymous said...

Oh, such a good description of what a pregnant woman goes through.It's all so hard, and so hard to talk about.

But, you must know that all your baby is going to need is you. Just you, loving your baby and if that means he/she sleeps in a padded drawer next to you? Awesome. They really don't need much more than that and you and food and diapers for the first few months. It's not at all complicated in those early months, just stare at your baby and be happy, that's what it's all about. When you get back into your house, all will be well, whenever that happens. Nothing better than a baby.

MtnMama said...

Oh, dear WL, your baby will be fine. You understand the fundamental difference between fantasy families and real families - that nuturing is about warmth and attention and balance and consistency. Kids (for many years anyway) don't care about trappings. They are perfectly content wearing thrift store clothes and making forts or drums or play houses out of cardboard boxes, but they NEED to know that your lap is a safe place they can climb into whenever the mood strikes, they need to be read stories, they need to hear laughter, and they need to feel like they can trust you.
And I am sure you've got that covered.
The rest is window dressing.
Please be well, and know that we are rooting for you. Hugs.

Nunya Biznez said...

I think the very fact that you even worry about this stuff makes you a good Mom.

So many things are changing in your life, and you are not really in control of most of them. This is very stressful.

I do not know if you ever went to a shrink, but if you have, maybe go again, if you haven't, maybe go. It really does help to talk about your stuff. Also, being called on your shit, we all have some shit upon which we ought to be called, works better in that setting.

I am sure you are a great Mom, and you are not a bad kid because you hurt from how you were parented. You need to move forward for yourself.

You will be ok, and I am very proud of you, even as a stranger in internet land, I see how much you have grown and changed since you started writing about entitled dimwits.

I wish you peace of mind, a happy healthy baby, and a happy healthy you, and a happy healthy marriage.

Oh, and a contractor who finishes the job ahead of schedule so you can put up a crib in your own house!

Arwen said...

I had gestational diabetes with my first and regular diabetes with my second. Everything was fine.

The baby won't know where she is or care about her surroundings for well past the time it will take for you to move into your own house.

Stop worrying because worry and stress are worst on both of you.

{{{hugs}}}

Anonymous said...

Huge Hugs winging your way.

Yes, it is so common to feel guilty and helplsss too, but NO-ONE tells you to expext it. As for the damaging lifestyle - my preemie twins were brought back to a cottage in the West of Ireland that was heated by a woodburning stove, was surrounded by forest and bog, had paper blocking up the draughts under the roof and lived there 'til they were 4 as it was all we could afford. All they remember is blackberries, ponies, snow and running after sheep. They always had one of us, as we were working week on, week off for a few years and that was what mattered.
And that was 2004, not 1804.....

You will sail through it, trust me.

Anonymous said...

Dear W.L.,
I'm So sorry, I didn't mean to pry. I was just worried about you. My apologies again,
Love,
Lil Skraps

Reiven said...

This may sound trite, but try eating regularly and getting plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation and sugar swings wreak havoc on one's emotions. You might also want to re-frame the way you see your situation. I think you are blessed to be able to stay at your parents house during this time. Your parents love you and want what's best for you and will make sure you get all that you need.
Best wishes,
Reiven

Anonymous said...

I have high blood pressure that predated both of my pregnancies. I have to take medication for it, including when I was pregnant. Both of my kids turned out fine. I had a high risk OB who helped women with hypertension and diabetes (gestational and regular). I was depressed about my health as well and worried about my kids' health, and he was very supportive and reminded me of all the women who have problems like this and deliver healthy and happy babies. It happens!

Plain(s)feminist said...

Sounds like you have an awesome doctor! And re. nesting - does it help at all to plan for what you will do when you are able to move in? As in, looking at paint swatches, furniture, planning arrangement, etc?

You are going to be a great mom.

LegalMist said...

You are *so* very much *NOT* a failure!! Good job, talking with your doctor about how you are feeling. Pregnancy & motherhood definitely have their ups & downs, and sometimes it seems like a lot more "downs." Sort of like life in general. But then you will have some great moments, too, so hang in there for those. All your baby will need is a little bassinet or crib to sleep in, and will be happy to sleep anywhere so long as you are nearby.

As for unpacking & setting up house after the baby is born, you'll manage it, just like you manage other difficulties in life. You will prioritize and do the most important things first (food in the pantry, dishes & baby bottles in the kitchen, bed in your bedroom & crib in the baby's room), and the rest will come when you have time. No one will care if the house isn't perfectly decorated, or if boxes aren't unpacked for several months...

I'm happy for you & your baby. I bet your baby will be very well-loved and will grow and change and develop as babies do, providing amusement as well as headaches, and I am thinking (and hoping) that you will find joy in that, even if it doesn't always make you "happy" in the moment.

Good luck with everything. :)

Robin said...

You are NOT a bad parent for any of the reasons you are worried about. You would be a bad parent if you WEREN'T worried.

Anonymous said...

WL-
Not being in your house is a blessing in disguise if it has mold,until the mold has been completely removed. I know, I have an environmental illness from mold exposure. I got it as an adult. Based on what you said about the condition of the house, you do not want to be there!
Best wishes, and be sure to investigate the safety of baby sling brands thoroughly, too.
Longtime Reader

FreshHell said...

You will be fine and the baby will be perfect. Living temporarily with your parents won't harm the baby even if it cramps your style. Many, many cultures across the globe live in small homes with multiple generations under one roof, often in one room. And I doubt they end up with any mental illness. :) What you're feeling is normal but all this will pass. Babies don't need rooms, they just need love. Hold her and feed her and keep her warm and safe. That's all she'll need. My first lived in our "office" until we moved to a bigger place. My second slept with me for a year before I was able to transition her to a crib. Finally got around to painting the room. I don't think she noticed.

♥ Calamity Anne ♥ said...

It takes an exceptionally strong person to admit that they have issues! Plus, having your hormones all out of whack doesn't exactly help either!

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