Friday, September 26, 2008

Coping

You may have noticed that my last few posts have been more like paragraphs. I've just been feeling a little blah, a little down. Also, a little sick, still, and therefore a bit out of it (thank you, NyQuil!) I have more days lately where I don't get sad, thanks in large part, I think, to the fact that I've been exercising again. But my emotional coping threshold is much lower than usual. I can be perfectly happy and then a tiny slight, the wrong tone of voice, or an unusually cranky child can put me completely over the edge. There have been a few nights where I had to abandon one of the kids' baths or feedings to Jim and go outside to breathe in the cool night air just to keep from exploding.

I think doctors should really warn you that postpartum depression is just as likely after a miscarriage as after birth. They never say anything like, "You might feel randomly sad for quite a while afterwards, so don't be surprised if you leak tears all the time about stupid stuff." At least, mine never have. They're just always on you about what method of birth control you're using, when you want to try again, and whether you've had that all-important Pap test recently.

No medical professional has ever asked me, "Do pregnant women make you stare and then have to choke down a bitter lump in your throat?" or "Do you frequently get out your children's birth stories and newborn pictures and obsess over them, desperate to relive the feelings of pregnancy and birth just in case you never experience them again?" And I guess that's not really their job. They are there to assess physical health. But it seems a little sensitivity might be in order.

You're already in a somewhat undignified position, laying on your back with your knees in the air. After FOUR pregnancies, I've gotten over feeling actual, physical pangs of discomfort about this part, but mentally it still feels vulnerable. And even when that's over, you're clutching a tiny robe around you, trying to reclaim a bit of modesty while you finish answering their questions.

So couldn't just ONE of those questions be about my mental or emotional state? Maybe "Are you handling your feelings okay?" Just something, so that I might feel less like a faceless breeding machine brought in for routine maintenance.

15 comments:

Shelly Overlook said...

I wish there was something magical I could say to ease your pain.

bananafana said...

oh honey if I could just give you a big hug . . .
I AM having a little cry for you over here (fracking hormones)

Mimi said...

Oh, I hope you feel better soon. It sounds like you've been through a lot lately.

Swistle said...

You know what they should do is have a plump, matronly, motherly woman in her 50s come into the exam room, after the nurse but before the doctor, and say, "Oh, honey. How you holdin' up?" And then they could mark on their chart how fast the patient started crying and how long the tears lasted, and the doctor could take it from there.

Mommy Daisy said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're still feeling a little blue. I know I would too, so don't feel bad about it.

I agree that doctors aren't always the most sensitive people. It's a little disheartening.

Maybe you need a bit of a break. Is there any chance that you could get away without the kids just for an overnight trip with a girlfriend or something? I know I had to do that once, and it's amazing what it did for my mood. I know that Jim will do his best to take care of you.

Marie Green said...

You are so right- there does need to be more sensitivity, especially in a lost pregnancy. Swistle's idea made me smile, but really, just a simple sentence, like you mentioned, would do.

I am very lucky to have extremely sensitive doctors. After my last birth, my doctor would say to me: So, when do you want to come in again? And when I would stammer "ummmm, in six weeks?" he would smile and say "how about next week?" (I did have quite a few medical issues going on too, but he told me later that since my birth was so stressful, he wanted to be sure I was doing ok emotionally too.)

My doctors should really hold a seminar for other dr's! And maybe WE could get a cut of the cash, for thinking of it! =)

Erin said...

But it IS their job, really. It is.

I am so sorry you are feeling this way. It gets better but it takes time, which is the most painful way. I know you know this. I'm just saying.

Astarte said...

I think a doctor's job is to treat the Patient, not just the parts. It IS a doctor's job to be concerned about all these things, if for no other reason that all your parts are connected, and therefore one part affects all parts.

I think what you're going through is perfectly normal and understandable. You are still a good and loving person, and a good parent, and you're doing the best you can with what you've got.

I'm assuming you have, but have you checked out any online support groups, even if just to lurk? It might be helpful for you to read thoughts from other people in your same situation.

Take care, we are all thinking of you.

Jess said...

I'm so sorry. You're going to make me cry.....

Fine For Now said...

Just letting you know I was thinking about you :)

d e v a n said...

Swistle is right. In that scenario, it would currently take me about 30 seconds to burst in to tears.
I wish Dr's would do that.
THinking of you and wishing you well.

CAQuincy said...

I have felt "rushed" though a couple of my exams where I know I expressed a DEFINITE concern--or even marked on that lovely 10-page quesionaire they give you that "I am feeling sad lately."

Take care and know WE all are thinking of you.

Hillary said...

There are so many things "they" don't tell you about pregnancy, however it ends up. I hope you feel better soon.

Shelly said...

Best wishes. Thinking of you.

Sheila (Charm School Reject) said...

I am so thankful to have an OB who really does care when I read stories like this. He caught my ppd before I did. It just took me a while to finally admit it to him. Then he directed me to all sorts of support groups (online as well) and the nearest Walgreens with a prescription to help me cope.