I had a busy weekend, and I'm trying to catch up on all of you now, I'm almost there. Reality asked how many blogs I read. That's kind of complicated because I also read adoptee blogs and political blogs and personal bloggers of various kinds & get news feeds from different sources. Total feeds are 171, but excluding news feeds, abandoned blogs, lurking only, I'd say 140ish, then take out the non-if/pg/mommy blogs, I'm down to 90 or so.
So my weekend? Friday, I went to a political fundraiser and met an executive from a hospital here in the big city. She was very kind and inquired about a certain article she had read in the newspaper recently. We discussed implementing some changes in the way women are treated after they lose pregnancies. And maybe spreading those policies around to some more hospitals. So, I went home, and had to write up a summary and links & research from my support group and send it off. Crossing my fingers it works out...
Unfortunately I was required to drop one kid off at a birthday party and ended up staying to help the poor mother because she was so utterly overwhelmed, and had not a soul to help her with 20 7yo kids all trying to make professional pottery. (Hint: smaller number of kids, more adults, less messy activity, sigh...)
It just got crazier from then on. I went to a goodbye lunch for one of the mom's at my kids school, (she's moving to England) and ended up in this heavy duty conversation about pregnancy loss and another woman at the table ended up crying because she was treated so badly after her 13 week loss, and I seriously don't think she had ever told anyone the whole story before. So my lighthearted-hope-we-see-you-soon brunch became very very emotional for all of us at the table. Ironically, I was NOT the person who brought all this up, but I seem to have become a lightning rod for the subject. We picked ourselves up eventually, but I think I'm going to phone the crying woman later and ask her if she wants to go out alone sometime and talk more.
The woman moving to England I'm going to miss a lot actually. She's one of the few people IRL who came right up and talked to me straight out about all the media and government things I'm trying to do about loss and IF. Incredibly kind and supportive, although she's doesn't understand medically necessary terminations, so I felt a bit self-conscious and edited myself a lot. I find the average member of the public just doesn't get the concept of fatal birth defects, so I can't assume she will either, but it pointed out to me the lack of education people have when we talk about what can go wrong in pregnancy. I hate to scare people, but I'm starting to wonder if we shouldn't have great big terrifying graphic pictures out there? Stop fudging it, and just get Doctors to admit publicly there is a big list of fatal things they can't fix. I'm not sure what the solution is....
I do know I feel better when I get things off my chest. This weekend the Globe had an article all about Happiness and whether it matters. Hmmm, I can think of a few bloggers who would agree with this writer. Some fave quotes...
"While positive psychology points to rising levels of depression as a legitimate problem in our society (Prof. Ben-Shahar warns of a great “emotional bankruptcy”), its solutions are inward-looking and facile. Imagine, for a moment, where we'd be if Martin Luther King Jr. had decided to purge his negative emotions by keeping a gratitude journal?"
"She (Dr.Held) cites a study by a University of Texas psychologist, who found that depressed people who vented their pain in journals healed much more quickly than those who steamrolled it over with a mantra of pep.
“When people put their pain into words it's not merely venting, it's healing,” says Prof. Held, who has treated hundreds of patients in private practice. “It helps you to reconstrue and reformulate. It can also lead to new ways of solving a problem.”
Does anyone think that sounds like blogging?
"James Coyne, a scientist at University of Pennsylvania who studies patient adaptation to chronic illness and treatment, recently disproved claims that an upbeat attitude slowed the progression of the disease. He believes the clinical insistence on a hopeful attitude and “the will to live” in cancer wards can often make sick patients feel worse. “People start to see it in terms of blame and if the cancer spreads it's somehow their fault.”
Even worse, by insisting that the sick, poor and downright miserable among us must simply buck up to get better, Prof. Coyne (who works out of the same university where the positive psychology movement is headquartered) echoes Ms. Ehrenreich's notion that we absolve ourselves of all need to be tolerant and patient.
“The expectation that people think positive and adopt a fighting spirit becomes a strategy of the people around them not to have to manage the burden of stress,” he says."
Yes, bad me for copying this much text, but geez, can anyone reading this blog remember how many times we've all been told to "just relax" and we'll get pregnant, or that stress and anxiety caused our miscarriages? Yes, I've talked about trying to be happier and more glass half full in general in my life, but only because it helps me get up in the morning and do stuff instead of hiding under my bed. I'm under no illusions that it will fix my infertility or make a baby live.
I think this article is on to something. Any opinions?