Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Reflections of my anxiety

Thank you for all your previous comments and your advice. I'm thinking seriously about the doula but I have some serious anxiety about it after my disastrous midwife experience. Just the thought of another person telling me to think positively cause it's good for the baby, (like stress kills babies-*eyeroll*) makes me almost as hysterically anxious as medical people who insist that mandatory c-sections save all babies. I need a middle ground people...why is that so fucking hard? It's like we all have to be either granola loving hippies OR women who want to be sedated and tied down during birth. I just start reading brochures or books about labour and I have trouble breathing. I need to mull this some more, since really what I want is someone to relieve my husband and take photos and be my support person, on my side. I'm just not sure I want to add someone else who has opinions to the mix. There are a hell of a lot of them already.

I phoned my organizer lady and booked her to come over. And after I posted and some of your comments came in---I decided that instead of the cleaning lady coming in occasionally, I'm getting her here on a regular schedule.

I'm still thinking about the nanny. I need to wrap my head around the concept a bit more.

My real anxiety comes into play over the fact that my husband and his relatives are driving me crazy with their handling of the last three weeks. I can't write about all the details on the net, but would you understand if I said that most of them are badly in need of mental help as well, but would never admit it, and so they are projecting all their own neurosis, and all their own personal prejudices onto the situation? Throw in some incredibly obnoxious sexism about what a "real man" would've done, and it's joy joy joy in our lives 24/7.

Plus they are frankly, putting too much trust in Doctors and the hospitals and social workers considering how completely fucked up the medical world is. Like they assume that the social workers will find my BIL an outpatient program and Doctors and take care of him....except that these social workers are all from the tiny little town where the hospital is and have no contacts in our city, and no fuckin' clue what to do beyond refer him to the nearest CCAC. (Community Care Access Centre, aka piece of junk that can barely organize a clown car with a single home care worker never mind proper mental health supports.)

And as you all know, I firmly believe that trusting Doctors leads to dead children, septic wounds, complex illnesses getting worse, (you know the usual shit that has always happened to me whenever I trusted doctors.) And yes, that is my own personal bias, but I have allowed Doctors to treat me, I just question and research everything they do, just in case I have to intervene and save my own life again. The difference here is that no one is questioning the medical people at all. They are trusting the's causing me the most painful anxiety, I feel like I'm watching my family wander in front of a speeding car and no one around me sees the impending disaster.

I'm just the in-law on the sidelines who isn't supposed to get involved.....

Yes, this saga has gone on too long, and I thought it was over, but it looks like it never will end at this point. I know I have you dear internets, and I appreciate it, it helps, but really, I still feel so shitty.

This was supposed to be the happiest time of my life, and instead, it's hell. Utter hell.


  1. Dr. Rona MichelsoFebruary 28, 2008 4:06 am

    I am so so sorry that you are going through this. You are absolutely right not to leave this all to "the professionals." Of course there are many who do care, but they are not always well informed or motivated. They frequently are overworked and underpaid (especially social workers) and what most inpatient social workers have to really do is fill out their paperwork well and impress their boss.... sad but true (and I have a doctorate in social work.) So you are right and your care and concern are really amazing. I wish you only strength in dealing with the crisis and dealing with the family.

  2. Not that it's ever going to be an issue for me, but I know that a doula would drive *me* batty. Maybe you could interview a few to get an idea if their ideas and personalities are compatible with yours.

    And, though I don't have any helpful thoughts, I'm sorry that things are so difficult and stressful with your family.

  3. Thank you so much for your comment. I'm around, just haven't much to say.

  4. I am soooooo sorry.
    I want to hope that BIL will be taken care of but at the same time I know your concerns are valid. I will pray for the social work fairy to come your way. I will pray that the speeding car veers away. Amazing how a trip through the medical system can renew one's faith.
    Would you believe I just had the same conversation about social workers wrt the plan at sickkids?

    Also good doula will support you in whatever way you want.

  5. I do thank my lucky stars, but I managed to find a doula who met Lisa B's standard, i.e., support you any way you want. Too bad I don't live near you or I'd ask if you wanted her contact info. Honestly, she was great, and did everything from what I wanted (which was non-medicated and natural, though that's not where I ended up) up to and including c-sections. I tell you this only to say that this idea of using a doula may be worth pursuing, that is, there really are good ones out there.

    I'm sorry so many of your experiences have been so bad (I know that's an understatement, but how to phrase it?). I do, however, totally agree and get that many of those who are supposed to be there to help us and act on our behalf, often don't (yet then question our authority to question them).

  6. Lisa B is right, a good doula is the one who supports you in having your birth be the way you want it. My doula has supported women through scheduled c sections and even through a stillbirth, making sure to support her clients' needs. And it's 100% acceptable to interview doulas and only choose to work with someone who you feel 100% comfortable with.

    BTW, did I win the steroid shot lottery? Do I get to shoot you in the ass?

  7. Absolutely nothin' wrong w/being totally up-front in your expectations -- after all, you're the boss!
    Just tell any potential doulas that you are hiring a pit crew, not an adviser?
    I need to post a sonnet singing the praises of MY new housekeeper (wish I could afford to have her every week) -- oh, it makes life so much easier!
    Looks like I finally picked a winner.

  8. Just rock with hell on earth if that's what you got I say.
    Whip that hell into submission I say.
    Crisis be what you gotta do to obtain a measure of peace and sanity in YOUR life.