/ The RE's Muse: Floundering

The RE's Muse

After 4 years of infertility, 2 surgeries, 1 miscarriage, and 19 months of high risk pregnancies, hubby and I now have two little women in our lives--one a toddler, the other not far behind. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a wild ride.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Floundering

The tide goes high, the tide goes low. For me these days, there are a lot more 'low tide' moments than there are high tide. And the saltwater flows, oh yes, it does, usually several times a day.

I'm definitely traveling a slippery slope here. One that I'm giving my all to, trying my best to scale it, and I think I can say with all confidence that it's not working.

I'm dealing with some major thoughts and anxieties here. I heard you all on how it'll take time to heal, to find a "new" me, to come to terms with what I've been through recently. Thank you, each of you, for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me. It is reassuring to know that I'm not alone and that my thoughts and feelings are somewhat typical given what I've been through. And though I'm not alone, I'm starting to realize that I can't 'go it' alone this time.

My postpartum OB appointment is next week. I think I'm going to have to let it all out. I just know that when he asks me how I'm doing, I'm going to crack and lose it. It's not going to be pretty and you know what? I'm embarrassed to tell him the truth (also, my OB has called me every 5-7 days or so for the past few weeks to see how both I and Daniela are doing and I've always told him that I'm doing "pretty good"). To now turn around and tell him that I'm not processing all of this very well seems to me like admitting failure.

But the truth is, I'm not doing so well emotionally. I've been trying to take things one day at a time, but it's hard when you've got future days to think of--namely, we won't know until Daniela is at least 3 or more months old if she's progressing normally developmentally.

I keep mulling everything over in my head, wondering where things went so wrong, knowing it's likely we may never know where things went wrong (though--and this is the first time I've brought this up here--there is the possibility, and one that can never be proven medically, that a local injection made by the OB into my perineum as Daniela was close to crowning may have nicked her head, gone through a soft spot, and caused the bleed). And know this, if that was indeed what happened (though like I said, it can't be proven), it was an accident, and accidents happen. I place no blame on anyone (other than myself it seems, good lapsed Cath0lic that I am).

Yet, all of my musing and mulling keeps drawing me back to the same question: why me? why us? why after everything else, why this?

Why, why, why...like a petulant child (and believe me, we've got one of those here already, in the form of Miss J who seems to have hit the terrible twos a little ahead of schedule, courtesy, I'm sure, of everything that's going on lately).

Yes, I'm babbling now, aren't I? Back to my point...I'm floundering, trying to make my way. It's just that I think I need a little more help in the form of pharmaceuticals perhaps. We shall see. The hard part is coming...admitting to the OB that I need help. Perhaps the sooner I get help, the sooner I can begin to heal, and to move on, embrace the new chapter of me that's here and that's to come.

I can do this. I will do this.

11 Comments:

At 4:48 PM, Blogger WriterGrrl said...

Dee, there is no shame in asking for help. In fact, it is the responsible thing to do. It doesn't mean that you have failed, it means that you are human. Human is good.

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger Cricket said...

Now that you've 'voiced' it here, it'll be easier to actually voice. You doctor will certainly understand and not judge. It takes almost everyone a good bit of time to admit to a problem because we all want to succeed independently so very much.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Dee, just spill the beans. Let it all hang out. Don't put on the brave face. The doctor doesn't care about that. Why do you think he/she has called every 5 - 7 days? Because he/she knows how DIFFICULT everything is that you have been through. And because he/she wants to help. That to me is a sign of a good doc. So take advantage. They aren't all like that.

The doctor can't fix what he/she doesn't know is broken. And there are LOTS of ways to help.

You will feel a lot better just letting him/her know. And then the two of you can find an appropriate solution. That way you can focus on the future.

Thinking of you always!

 
At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Jen said...

I'm sorry things continue to be so rough. You have every right to feel exhausted, sad, confused, etc., right now--what a difficult time. I think it shows such strength and courage to actually recognize you need a little help and ASK for it. I agree with Amanda, too--the doc probably expects some issues, if s/he's been calling so often already. Best of luck, sweetie.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger lagiulia said...

I know that feeling of "will my baby be okay? When will we know? Why did this happen? What does it mean?" Sometimes I still wonder whether all of Picchi's random health concerns that seem to vanish one by one are really somehow connected by one condition that no one has discovered, or that won't surface until he's older. Just tonight I felt a lump on his neck (probably just a run-of-the-mill lymph node), and my feelings from our cancer scare came flooding back. It's rarer now-a-day, but it is very possible for me to be triggered by something and go from 1 to 10 on the fear scale in no time flat.

Once you've experienced the depths of fear and horrifying thoughts about what might happen to your child, you know that fear and what it's like. You can't unknow that fear. I think that's the hardest thing. It's all still there, and I do think it gets easier to cope in time, but it doesn't ever vanish. You are still so in the early stage of your process, and the truth is that you don't know what's going to happen. How do you cope with that? On top of that, you are mourning that you missed out on the first few days of marveling over your newborn, dealing with hormonal shifts, newly dealing with 2 kids instead of one, and many other things. Again, how do you cope? It is just too much sometimes. I can't imagine you NOT needing help, frankly. I think you are strong and brave to ask for the help you need NOW instead of letting this get even further out of your grasp. And if you need to call up your doctor and ask for an appointment even sooner, then I think you should do it. Don't wait any longer than you have to.

And Dee, this is coming from me, a person who should have sought help early on but didn't. It is just now that I'm considering going on some sort of anti-anxiety drug, because I was too... something (proud? overwhelmed? ashamed? ignorant?) to do it earlier. And I think one reason I didn't do it is because my family and friends acted like everything was well and normal and that just because the boys were out of the NICU that everything was just fine. Meanwhile, I was feeling incredibly scared and alone and not relieved at all. It's like my worry was too burdonsome for them to take on... they just wanted to be relieved and happy and seemed to want me to be too. But people who haven't been through it are not authorities on how we should feel.

Thank you for sharing all of this with all of us and letting us support you. Please, continue to vent and let us be there for you. You are truly a wonderful woman, and I am so glad to call you a friend.

 
At 9:53 PM, Blogger Toffee said...

You are in flux, definitely, so much has happened to you. I would be surprised if you weren't wondering what was going on. Let your doctor know...he/she is no stranger to people's uncertainties and fears and should be able to do what it takes to figure out what needs to be done to support and help you deal. Most everyone goes to medical school in hopes of helping people, truly...

Just remember you have been through a lot and I think you have been so amazingly strong and brave.

I personally, am blaming the hormonal changes after birth...

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Chebbles' Mama said...

Oh Dee, I really feel your pain, and the giant question of WHY hanging over all of your heads. WHY in the world did Daniela have to have this happen? It TOTALLY SUCKS! And I agree that you should tell your doctor, but maybe sooner than next week? It might feel good to get it off your chest, and the doctor will be relieved that you are finally telling the truth! And you shouldn't have to go through the normal postpartum feelings on top of everything else, should you? That's totally unfair. This whol damn this is unfair! I'm proud of you for airing it -- it gives all of us the strength to air our own grievances before they turn into full-fledged anger festivals.

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Just wanted to agree with everyone else. There is nothing in the world going on here for you to feel ashamed about. Who wouldn't be going through a rough time after everything you've been through the past couple of months? (even before Daniela arrived, with all the little scares along the way). You are a strong, strong woman, but even the very toughest among us need a hand now and then. Your doctor has extended his/hers -- all you have to do now is take it.

I will, of course, keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

 
At 1:52 PM, Anonymous frances said...

Oh big hugs darlin. There's no shame in any of this...none at all. You've gone through a whole hell of a lot. And asking why is only natural.

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Mae Midwest said...

Dee, I'm not sure if you were reading my blog during the year I had PPD. I don't think so. Maybe you aren't familiar with the hell I went through. I went through it all because I didn't talk to my doctor in time. I soon learned that PPD can quickly become postpartum psychosis. You slip and slip and suddenly you are in serious trouble. I was that person. I missed out on the precious newborn months because I didn't get help in time.

The PPD makes you not want to talk to the DR. It makes you stubborn and full of pride and not wanting to seek help. It makes you sink into this headspace where you just feel stuck. scared, and unsure.

I honestly think you have PPD and it's no wonder. It's hormones plus the situation you've been through. Women who have had infertility are more likely to develop PPD. AND women with a NICU experience are also more likely. Wow, double whammy.

As someone who's been there, I'm seeing a lot of how I was feeling and coping in your posts. It scares me. I don't want you to go through this because you don't have to. Please please ask for help. Talk to the DR. Get the medication.

I also want to ask that you think about some counseling. You've been through a lot and just having someone to hash this out with could help so much. A professional. Someone who can help you find ways of coping. That's what I did when I finally got help and the things I learned have helped me to this day!

I know it's hard to even take the steps, but I urge you to do so. I may sound dramatic and alarmist, but my goodness. PPD is hell. It's pure hell. And it can be prevented/cured in a matter of weeks with the right help.

You deserve to enjoy your girls. They deserve to have a happy mom. And I don't think you have the time to say, "It will get better in time." I think the time is now to get help.

Thanks for opening up and sharing. Maybe posting to this blog helps in a small way, too.

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Rob Barron said...

I couldn't find your email address, but I was so touched by your post on my blog, I felt compelled to write back.

As I'm sure you know, everyone wants to tell you their successful NICU stories and how their formally NICU kids are now 13 and dating.

I'm sorry... did your child have a stroke? No? Did you have to consider quality of life for your baby (a baby you had to fight to have in the first place) and make a decision about the future of said baby? No?

Then you haven't a goddamned clue what NICU is really like.

Of course, I don't say this because these people really do care and only want to help you through the difficult times. They just don't know or understand what it's really like.

And finally, don't beat yourself up. It's not your fault. Shit happens. Two proteins didn't come together, or perhaps four did when they should and left your baby (and my baby) susceptible to a brain hemorrhage.

On the plus side (here I'm going to offer platitudes I just railed against), have you seen ABC's Bob Woodruff? He had a quarter of his brain blown off and he walks and talks nearly normal.

And our babies are better off than Woodruff; the infant brain is still making neural pathways. And if one way is blocked off, it can make a new, more curcuitous route to achieve the same results.

 

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