Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I'm not sure how to handle this, so I may need to get some advice from the internets here. I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by all of this crap coming down in our house the last three weeks, and I realized that all my old issues about pregnancy & giving birth are coming back.

And I'm scared of the big giant needle that I need for the steroid shots.

Logically I know that the needle isn't so huge, and the pharmacist said that she thinks she gave me the wrong one (too big) and I should check it out---but damn I keep staring at this huge frickin' needle and almost faint. It's a 21.5 gauge needle and 4 cm long. I've read online that I can use 24 gauge....but ouch still. As I write I'm on the phone on hold hoping that I can find out what to use exactly.

Last time I got this needle, I never saw it. Sigh...I know its for the best, and I'll do it, but I just might whine about being scared and about my really sore buttcheek afterwards, okay? Hope you don't mind?

It's like with giving birth, I don't get nearly as scared about the pain, now that I know it's like really extreme period cramps until the blessed epidural kicks in. I mean, it's not like on TV where the woman collapses screaming on the floor clutching her stomach in 10 seconds flat. TV makes it look like she's being stabbed or shot. And I know it doesn't come on like that. It's very different.

Instead I get freaked out by the people who treat me like a piece of meat and talk to my vagina instead of my face. Or people who don't respect my boundaries and ignore what I need and just waltz in and start ordering people around. Or the bright lights and yelling and disorienting people running in and out. Or even worse? The asses who just stand there open mouthed and do nothing while I writhe in terror. I need comfort in a time of crisis. I need a hand to hold and to know that someone somewhere will take care of me.

I need a mommy, and I don't have one of those.

Why yes all of my psychological baggage comes into the birthing room with me. Doesn't yours? Mine comes with me every step of the way.

Even at night, during sleep. For most of my life I've had sleep problems which I've talked about this before on the blog. My husband has gotten in habit of gently waking me when he notices I'm having a nightmare. I start to breathe funny just before I wake up thrashing and yelling, so he wakes me up just enough at the start of the cycle to stop me from getting into the full freakout. Pregnancy makes this worse, wayyy worse. I start having vivid dreams, so vivid and real that I am sure I'm no longer dreaming, but that it's all happening to me that minute. This has two effects, first, I don't want to go to sleep because why would I when all the dreams are bad? Second, I'm incredibly tired and can't function the next day, so then I don't take my ADD meds so I can nap and I get even more non-functional.

It's a vicious cycle, and my shrink wants me to stop it and take some sleep medication at night, and go back on my ADD meds during the day and take care of myself. She also thinks I should hire someone to help more around the house while I'm pregnant and during the newborn period since we can afford it and it would reduce my stress. She definitely thinks I should either get an really experienced friend to help out during labour & delivery or that I should hire a doula.

And I know she's right, but it's really really hard for me to ask for help, ever. I'm just godawful at it. And I'm even more uncomfortable with the idea of strangers in my house putting things away. I didn't grow up with a housekeeper or a cleaning lady, so I always feel like Alice in Wonderland just talking about it, even though I pay a really great wage, and I treat people nicely. Still---very odd for a girl who grew up eating canned ham and powdered mashed potatoes and had holes in her clothes to suddenly have people working for her. And paying someone still doesn't replace a missing loved one.

I wish I had a mommy. I just wish I had one growing up even if she couldn't be here now. But I never did. I got cheated out of one, and it's so unfair. I feel like I mother everyone else in my life, but no one mothers me. My adoptive mother never did, never knew how, I always had to take care of her feelings, her world, it was always about her. My birth mother wants to mother someone else, the fantasy me she gave up and never existed, so redoing the relationship now doesn't work. If she had known me all long, during an open adoption, maybe we could be close, but it doesn't work now. It's too late.

I feel so alone.


  1. Hi Aurelia,

    i know i don't comment here nearly enough, but here is my best intended assvice... Even though it is very hard and doesn't feel comfortable, maybe it is worth pushing through those feelings and trying to hire someone to help around the house and a labor/post partum doula. I am horrible at asking for help too and always get overwhelmed trying to find the help if i've decided to get it. Maybe if you asked a friend or your husband to help you find a doula or someone to help at home it would feel a little easier.

    I hope your steroid shots go as well as possible. I never saw my needles and had the nurses in my ob's office do both of them.

    I also hope you have better luck sleeping... being exhausted always seems to make everything much harder.

  2. Even though my childhood was vastly different than yours and my mother is generally very helpful when I ask her, there are just some things Mom can't do for me. She can't insure that everything will be OK. Plus there are some things that my Mom can do that my friends can do equally well: a warm hug; a phone call...Mom's are human and come with the flaws of such. Don't let yourself believe that YOU don't have the strength necessary to do what you need to do; to be the Mom you want to be.

    You will never be alone.

  3. I wish there was something I could say...some miracle assvice that would make you feel better. :(

    I know of a woman that had some serious "baggage" if you will and she hunted down a doula who was willign to listen to her fears and concerns and help her deal with them. I know she and her husband have said that they will never have another baby without a doula present. She said it was like her Mom was there (which she wasn't) but it was better because she could tell the doula things without worrying about her feelings, etc.

    I hope that after some sleep the future looks a bit better. If you still need someone to give you a shot in the ass at the appointed time, let me know. I live in Whitby, so I'm not far from you.

  4. I was cheated out of a mother too, and yes, it is unfair. It makes me sad and angry and I have all kinds of issues because of it. Take care of yourself and ask for help!! It's hard, I know, but just ask - you will feel better.

  5. I'm about as far from you as two people on the same continent could be but I'd gladly give you your "ass shot" if I were closer...I need the practice.

    Anyway..It broke my heart a little, okay...alot to read about how you feel about your birth mother. As a birthmother who hopes to one day be reunited with my daughter.....I hope and pray that she has had an adoptive mother who has been there for her emotionally. I also hope that my daughter won't view the two of us making an attempt at a relationship to be "too little, too late" though I realize that may be the case.

    While not really off topic, I certainly didn't intend for this to be so long.

    I hope all is well with P and I'm glad that the hubster is back.

  6. I vote for a doula, 100%. I can't imagine how I would have gotten through my birth experience without one, and I didn't have any of the baggage that you do. Seriously, get a doula! I'll help you interview some, if you want.

    And I'd be happy to be there for you, but I don't have tons of experience or anything.

    Also I have a fabulous husband-wife team that comes to clean my home every week. They're affordable and VERY sweet, and she'll cook and do laundry as well as clean. Let me know if you want their number.

  7. I dunno sweetie, the lack of a mother for you is never going to be healed, it happened and it doesn't get any better. It must just go on and on hurting, and events like this must just make it hurt more intensely.

    I don't know how to help with this, no one can substitute for what you didn't have. We can say how much we hurt for you, how much we appreciate you and wish things were easier. I wish there was more.

  8. Want me to send Steve up there to give you your shot? He gave me mine and he did quite a fine job of it.

    I know it sounds weird...I'm trying for a little levity here. It all sucks. And the baggage can get heavy to carry around. Just do the best you can. You're getting there.

    And you're not alone. {{{hugs}}}

  9. I'm so sorry that you don't have a mommy to hold your hand. That... just sucks. But if you think a doula would help- I know it won't replace a mommy- but it seems that having someone to hold your hand and advocate for you would be a weight off your mind. It might make it easier for Mr. Cotta too? It sounds like he's a little traumatized by medicine.

    Once I was with a friend the week before her wedding. We needed programs, and were going to have to feed them through the printer one by one. Twice. She looked at me and said "What would be easier than this?" And I said "Paying someone ELSE to do it." If I could afford for someone else to clean my house I would do it in a heartbeat. I hate cleaning too. Did you want someone to tidy or just clean? Would cleaning (mopping, bathrooms, sweeping, whatever) be less traumatic for you?

    Lots of hugs.

  10. Aurelia, I think you & I live in the same urban area... & I also think you could use the support! A woman I know through my pg loss group -- who used to work with one of the top high-risk drs in the city -- is now a doula who specializes in helping women with high-risk pregnancies. Let me know if you'd like more details.

    I'm sorry about your mothers -- both of them. :(

  11. Thanks Loribeth...I think I do need some names. You have all convinced me to try and do this!

    Email me with something please? aurelia.cotta@gmail.com

    I think DecemberBaby and I are going to be doing some interviewing and searching out. Better to talk about than to freak about it I guess.

  12. I'm sorry to see you are feeling this way, and I too thought of a doula (before getting to the spot in your post where you mentioned it), and am glad to see you are planning to look into this option. I worked with one and found her very helpful -- was lucky to find someone I clicked with straight off, which is probably unusual, but I would say (and you surely know) it's definitely worth taking the time to find someone who "clicks" with you. Good luck finding that person.

  13. Asking for help - and paying for help - takes some practice. But it's ok to take care of yourself.


  14. It's so hard to reach out when you are overwhelmed. But everything your therapist mentions (meds, housekeeper, doula) sounds like it could help a lot. And if it doesn't help, it also sounds pretty reversible. So, I would try it. (I know, easy for someone who doesn't have to arrange any of it to say!)

  15. would you like me to come and stay for a few days?

  16. I don't know exactly how you get over the weirdness of having a staff but, like I've told you before, you do. I think in no small part because the alternative is unmanageable.
    I was so embarrassed to get a nanny because all of my friends had help from their families. We didn't, like you we could afford to pay for help, and we did.
    DO IT.
    The second hurdle in getting help is getting the right fit.
    A doula is a also a great idea but again finding the right fit is essential. I do know someone who might work if you are considering that.

  17. I am sorry you are feeling so alone in this. I wish there was some words I had to help.

    But, alas, all I can come up with is a silly meme I tagged you for. Maybe it will be a good distraction for a bit :) See my blog, Free Pass post.


  18. I am of no help here. But, get the help with the housework, you'll have less to physically do, which will reduce your stress burden.

    I think you are doing the right thing with getting a doula.

  19. Heh, don't ask me about hiring household help...eeeek! But a doula is different, i think that is an excellent idea. Well worth the money. I don't have much with content to say but I am thinking of you!

  20. Delurking to say I grew up with a cleaning lady yet I can't bear to have one myself, either. I always imagine their unspoken judgment: my god her underwear is ratty! how long has this pool of solidified maple syrup been on the floor anyway?
    But how about services that don't actually come into your house? There are laundries that will pick up and drop off your clothes and caterers who deliver a week's worth of food to be reheated.
    And definitely get a doula - I'm trying to find one after realizing just how unbelievably crappy the bedside manner is at the high-risk OB clinic.

  21. Don't feel alone, you're really not.


  22. Oh Aurelia, I don't know what to say - I wish your experiences with your 2 mums was different.

    I think it sounds like a good idea to employ someone, although hard to get your head around it. Maybe either Megan's idea of using outside services would work, or trying to look at the issue differently. If you were running a small business and were just about to achieve a big goal and needed to and could afford to hire someone in, you would do. But you are running a small business (your family), and a big project (pregnancy) - so hire an extra pair of hands. Also, the job and the money you pay may lift someone else out of poverty and into employment and be a hugely positive move for them. Paying someone to do a few jobs could be life changing, for you and for them. Take care of yourself, whatever you decide.

  23. I generally think that hiring people to help is a great idea, but I also think that you have to be careful to be aware of their limitations. The person may be wonderful and make things easier, but obviously (and I know you know this already), they can't fill the empty space in your life where a loving mother should be. That said, I think you should reach out for every bit of help you can get, hard as that may be.