Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not Sure

SIL sent me a long email last night and I'm not really sure where she's going with it. Maybe vacation brain came to me too early. Wanna take a crack at explaining? I'm interested to hear your comments.

Backstory: SIL is all about homebirth, breastfeeding et al. She had an easy time of conception, pregnancy and midwife-assisted births (one at a birth home, one a homebirth) of both her children. Over Thanksgiving, SIL confessed her worries to me that ART = bad things. Later, I sent her a link to Mrs. Spock's post about the Great Birth Debate because I thought SIL would find it interesting.

Now, SIL has sent me the following email, and I just don't get it. Do you?





From: SIL
To: Jendeis
RE: The Great Birth Debate

Okay,
I put the last two paragraphs up front so I can try to explain my rant. Its
probably going to make you cry. I do it because I can’t think of any other way to emphasize that woman put herself where she ended up. Its a nasty
self-fulfilling circular event and I don’t know how to pull people out of it by being nice.
---
I’m not being nice. I’m sorry. I know this is so hard for you guys. I just can’t begin to explain how much of the labor is mental. And it is a real issue. You can think/worry you’re baby to death. **Name Removed** did. She wished and wished for a miscarriage and it didn’t happen. Instead she got a full term baby with a heart defect who died shortly after birth. It stank for her, knowing she’d killed her baby. Just like women can wish themselves into an induction/section.

I’m not saying I think you can wish yourself pregnant. That is a whole different issue. I’m just saying that when you hang out with the infertile/preemie/overdue/section/formula crowd you set yourself up for issues. It stinks that you have to work harder to have a baby and then even harder to keep it out of the miasma of substandard care that is the American standard. I do know of one very good birth therapist? I guess you’d call her. Someone who can help you unearth and work through your birth issues. We all have them. I think everyone should have the chance to work with someone who can help them – it would be better prenatal care than anything you’ll find in an MDs office.
---
So lets recap
[Mrs. Spock's post]. Infertile = failure. Baby won’t position = failure. Finds an excuse that baby is in dire trouble (kick counts) = failure to get to term. Induction = failed. C/s and fails to breast feed. Great she followed down the path and now thinks if she has another kid she wants another section. Why even bother, right.

She’s an ICU nurse. She dwelled on all that could go wrong. She found reasons she needed to work with and OB and be delivered in a hospital. Doesn’t say what type of birth/delivery her doula had. Thrush sucks, yeah. But 3 weeks doesn’t strike me as all that committed. Did she say, try pumping and bottle feeding breast milk – see if that helped her nipples? Did she, change her diet and give up all white flour and sugar – yeah its hard but what’s it worth to double your baby’s chance of surviving their first year?

She bought a ticket on the failure/hospital/OB train and rode it all the way.

I’m not on board with this give women choices. Let them decide where they feel safer. That is a load of crap in my opinion. Women don’t feel safer in a hospital. Women choose hospital care because its cheap and easy and lets them be one of the crowd. If we made homebirth free and hospitals $10,000 to walk in the door suddenly people would feel safer at home. If we lived somewhere most women had homebirths it’d be the hospital birthers that would stick out.

Same with the bottle. Oh, “I went to a LLL meeting. Oh I tried. It just didn’t work.”

Maybe she’s the Mom who came to one meeting with her kid at 2 weeks on
a pacifier, who had just been with the LC the day before who told her Throw out every pacifier in the house.” And we told her constant contact, skin to skin and nursing as often as you can will increase your milk supply. So she kept her infant, awake strapped in the car seat for 2 hours with a pacifier in its mouth and never touched it – just put the pacifier back in. Or the other one who came in same issue but concerned about latch. She nodded and repeated, “Hold them, constant contact as she sat on the floor feeding a bottle. Told the leaders, “Oh that would be great for you to check her latch while she’s nursing.” Unbuckled her kid – burped her and strapped her back in. Then when the baby was hungry 30 minutes later she mixed up a fresh batch of formula and fed that without touching her kid. So they can say LLL failed them but they tried. I’m see too many selfish lazy b_____ that claim it for me not to suspect that’s the majority. (I count my own mother among those to selfish to do the right thing.)

Its like someone who does crappy work and misses their deadlines saying
don’t fire me I come in on time and leave on time. Yeah, you’re in the office
but if you’re staring into space and not working it doesn’t count.

There is an enormous mental component. And it terrifies me what I see
thrown at most women. It comes from all directions, everyone has horror stories. Everyone asks, “How are you doing?” Come on! What’s the implication? Do you ask healthy women that or cancer victims?

I’m not saying infertility doesn’t suck. I’m saying that its puts you
even further back on the path to believing in yourself. It sets you up to trust the medical community and to believe that you need their care. Maybe some infertility cases do. But if the pregnancy is healthy why should a fertility treatment pregnancy be different from a non-fertility treatment pregnancy?

And I think kick counts are bogus crap. I know plenty of women who had
a busy day forgot to do their counts, got nervous and realized the baby wasn’t moving which freaked them out more (of course the baby stops moving when you’re freaking out!!!). When you have a midwife you ignore it, pray and eventually its fine. When you have an OB you have an induction and formula feed and thank G-d you were in the right place for them to save your baby.

You think I’m jaded and disgusted with what I see the fertility treatment pregnancies go through? You should see what the poor SOBs that are
having affairs or feel guilty about their previous abortions put themselves
through. Best way I know to have a seriously painful labor with a 3-4th degree tear and end up on anti-depression meds.

I’m not being nice. I’m sorry. I know this is so hard for you guys. I just can’t begin to explain how much of the labor is mental. And it is a real
issue. You can think/worry you’re baby to death. **Name Removed** did. She wished and wished for a miscarriage and it didn’t happen. Instead she got a full term baby with a heart defect who died shortly after birth. It stank for her, knowing she’d killed her baby. Just like women can wish themselves into an induction/section.

I’m not saying I think you can wish yourself pregnant. That is a whole
different issue. I’m just saying that when you hang out with the
infertile/preemie/overdue/section/formula crowd you set yourself up for issues. It stinks that you have to work harder to have a baby and then even harder to keep it out of the miasma of substandard care that is the American standard. I do know of one very good birth therapist? I guess you’d call her. Someone who can help you unearth and work through your birth issues. We all have them. I think everyone should have the chance to work with someone who can help them – it would be better prenatal care than anything you’ll find in an MDs office.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jendeis said...

Previous comment from BFF deleted b/c she didn't use pseudonyms -- here's the edited version.

Anonymous said...
Jendeis,

I know EXACTLY where this meddlesome b-tch is going. It is really insensitive and thoughtless of her. Period. I could not even deign myself to read past paragraph three. I hope you respond inthe following manner- nicely but firmly:

Dear SIL,

I appreciate that you love and care for me and John Dear. I also appreciate your concern. Thank you.

Unfortuanatley, you cannot live our lives for us. Each person has their own life to lead. I have been asking for your support, not judgement, in my and my husband's desire to have a baby together. If you continue to be unsupportive and judgemental, I ask that this topic be off the table for dicusssion. Period. We must not speak of it. At this point in my life's journey-I have made my choices as only my husnad and I can do. I am only seeking supportive people in my life who show positivity in my choices. If you cannot be one of them, I ask that you keep any and all comments to yourself. Thank you.

BFF

Jendeis- keep it short and sweet so she has no wiggle room to add more comments that are so holier than g/d...

Anonymous said...

Oh my g/d- I am soooooo sorrry. I onlyread your blog so I made a huge gaffe- sorry!

Leah said...

Seriously? Seriously? There are SO MANY WAYS that this is wrong. I have to run to a meeting, so I'll detail them later but if that crazy bitch thinks I delivered in a hospital (and 2 c-sections -- GASP!) because it was cheap, or because it was easy, or because I wanted to be one of the crowd. Is she high on something? I chose it because it *IS* safer and it's what made me comfortable. Oh good grief, I'll need to type more later but I pity you that you need to endure a life with her as your SIL.

Julia said...

Wow, your SIL isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier, is she? And a nasty bitch to boot. Bad combination.

"I’m not on board with this give women choices." Ha ha ha ha. This whole thing is so far over the top. "You should see what the poor SOBs that are
having affairs or feel guilty about their previous abortions put themselves
through. Best way I know to have a seriously painful labor with a 3-4th degree tear and end up on anti-depression meds." What the hell does this even mean????

Like the previous commenter I am truly sorry that you have this wingnut in your life.

momofonefornow said...

Seriously? I could go on and on but I can sum it up in one concise sentence. This chick is a whackjob and you would do better to avoid her lunacy at all costs.

Who can think a heart defect into existence? Oh wait, ONLY GOD! If she believes that people can believe anything so dire into existence she needs a reality check. I would go out on a limb and point out that her belief in that possibility reveals her level of self-absorption.

Oh, and my baby would have died in labor had I not been at the hospital. DIED! Kind of blows her retarded theory out of the water!

FunkyFrum said...

i think she got into the eggnog, and maybe a bottle of rum

Away2me (Deanna) said...

Your SIL is a rude, insensitive, whack job. Firstly, she's way off base. You can not wish yourself pregnant or keep yourself from being pregnant because you fear childbirth.

You also can't kill your child by thinking them away, either before birth or after. She's a nut.

What scares me is she makes a tiny bit of sense when it comes to women creating their own labor experiences. Which just goes to show you a little bit of knowledge can be more dangerous than NO knowledge.

I'm having a home birth if possible. So I'm more on the crunchy side of things. But I still used IVF to get pregnant and I'll still head to a hospital if the babies come early or show any signs of distress.

barrenisthenewblack said...

I just can't hang out with you anymore. All that time chillin' with the infertiles has done ruined JD's sperm!

Seriously though, I don't even know what to say. I agree with the previous poster. Trying to have a rational conversation on this topic with her will be impossible. It is probably better to agree to disagree and not speak of it again. She's so sure she's right and incredibly emotionally invested in these "ideas" of hers.

If you do feel the need to defend yourself further, I think you have every right to remind her that you and JD are not going to be different people with a child. You will be a wonderful caring and loving mother who will do the best she knows how-really all we can ask of anyone.

Oh, and God forbid her child ever gets the chicken pox (oh wait kids get that vaccine now-you know what I mean). She'll think she thought bad thoughts and willed it to be.

butterflyanla said...

Well gee, I though my in laws were rough.
She doesn't seem to get it. Sounds like a lactation zealot if you ask me. Hard labor is not a cure all of infertility. Oh and I just LOVE how she compares infertile women to SOB's who cheat.

Fertilized said...

She has to be high on something .. Really!! Jendies you do not deserve the abuse from that email. I want to kick her teeth in ... I can't even begin to see straight right now, I am so mad at her in your defense

Anita said...

I am shocked and speechless that your SIL wrote this to you. She certainly isn't being nice!!

I also don't get most of what she's ranting on about!

I think BFF put it perfectly in her letter.


Sorry you have to deal with this crap!


*hugs*

Sj said...

People can be incredibly insensitive when they can't relate to someone else's experiences. She comes across as judgmental and terribly uninformed about what many women go through to get and stay pregnant, and ultimately deliver a healthy baby. I've found many women just don't "get it" when it comes to any challenges outside of their own experience.

luna said...

oh this is truly maddening. it seems she is one of the worst kinds of self-righteous fertiles so quick to judge that which she does not understand. she is ignorant while professing to know it all. judging where she has no right. meddlesome where she has no place.

I like bff's response. there is no "winning" this discussion with her. I'd make it clear that you don't think she has any sense of what you or anyone else you know is dealing with. she should keep her views and judgment to herself.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Wow.

I think the crux is that your SIL's email leaves no room for anyone to be able to hold their own opinion. She is essentially saying that another person is not entitled to their feelings AND that women are not intelligent enough to be able to think through choices and be mentally stable enough to know what is best for them.

This is, essentially, what Mrs. Spock is railing against which is paternalistic behaviour. Except that right now it's coming from a woman rather than a man. And perhaps, that hurts more.

I don't want men telling me what is best for me AND I don't want other women telling me what is best for me. And I'm not really sure why she can't live in a world that holds as fact that more than one way can be right.

jodie38 said...

At least she knows she's not being nice..... that's the only sane thing she said, as far as I can tell.

In my experience, these people are best handled with choke collars and cattle prods, and at a very great distance.

I......I .... I don't know what to say besides wtf!!?? Here's to many more uncomfortable future family gatherings!! Unless you can avoid her crazy ass altogether....

Dude. So sorry - she's a mess.

littlezen said...

Wow! What a bee-atch. I don't know what to say except stay as far away as possible.

Chelle said...

I really sounds like something a fertile on a soap box would say.

I'd TOTALLY agree with your BFF's comment... take her down from that soapbox!

nancy said...

Wow. She's pretty damned self righteous now, isn't she? She's the type who doesn't allow anyone else to have any other opinion than her own. What a sad jaded life she must lead.

MrsSpock said...

Oh my.

I don't mind so much the comments about me- though I will get to those.

To tell someone that their thinking/worrying caused their child's fatal heart defect is heartless. And absurd. Why not just call them a murderer and be done with it? Does she tell people with cancer that it's their own fault as well? This is called magical thinking. It's how we all process information when we're three. And what we're supposed to grow past when we are adults.

There IS a lot of mental preparation for birth. I don't suggest a pregnant women read my birth story, because it is so atypical. I ought to know- I was an OB nurse too. I left because, like SIL, I didn't care for the way birth is done in the hospital. Unlike SIL, though, I comprehend that in reality bad things can happen no matter how well we prepare. Even the famous Ina May Gaskin refers patients to the OB, and transports 5% of the time.

That's why I chose an OB/midwives with a 12% C-section rate (he also does high-risk patients) and who did the majority of deliveries in the only birth center left in my area. The one who fought tooth and nail for a birth center without restrictions. The place I planned on doing a waterbirth in. They allow no drugs/IVs/monitors there. My OB/midwives almost never do inductions. Mine was rare. They trust birth and talk about trusting birth all the time. As an infertile woman, that was good to hear. That's why I took hypnobirthing. And read good birth stories in Spiritual Midwifery. And hired a doula who all the local homebirthers recommended, who had caught babies at home herself.

But I was expecting the worst- right? LOL, people hear what they want to hear. It's a rare trait to be unafraid of the truth.

FYI, dear SIL, who appears not to have read any more on my blog than that one post:

I have moderately severe scoliosis that causes my my entire skeleton from the torso down to be off kilter. There is rotation and flaring of my rib cage, my pelvis is not in alignment, and one leg is shorter than the other. A "birth therapist" cannot change this. It was not surprising that my son was posterior. It had nothing to do with my "thinking" him there. Never once did we (the midwives and I) ever think it would affect the birth negatively. We were confident that he would move during birth in a way that worked with my body. You know, "trusting birth".

Kick counts are a legitimate tool. I spent 24 hours paying rapt attention to his movements. But she didn't read that blog post. Ignore, pray, and you will be fine? How about listen to your inner voice and what you know about your child? My son had not moved for 24 hours. I suppose dear SIL touts evidence-based practice when it comes to her views? She should- but I don't think someone who believes in magical thinking is showing the intellect to understand the evidence. The evidence does show that with a BPP of 4/10, he WAS showing distress.

And the c/s WAS necessary.

And the breastfeeding.

I didn't have thrush. I have fibromyalgia. I continue to have the burning pain in the girls after all this time, and it increased with the cold weather. If she had bothered to read more, she would know that I did try pumping and it was still excruciating. With my lovely doula's help, we fixed the latch by Day 8-9, and I was no longer cracked. But still in terrible pain. And rejecting my son.

Thanks to my crunchy family practice doc, who does OB and has caught babies with Ina May Gaskin, I have discovered that my Fibro gives me vasospasms in my nipples. Worst pain ever. If the LLL women and lactation consultants had properly diagnosed me, I could be BF now, as I wanted. Now I know that something as simple as heating pads before each nursing session and the drug Nifedipine could have fixed the problem. Not a sugar-free diet (that I was already on, as well as wheat and dairy free- and on probiotics for 5 years previously).

But SIL isn't an educated, experienced clinician who has the listening skills to make a proper diagnosis and treatment. And her statistics on BF babies doubling their chances of surviving to the first year are not applicable to western societies with access to formula and clean drinking water.

My son, we found, had a very short umbilical cord connected to a very high placenta. If it had not been wrapped so tightly around his neck, a vaginal birth, like we attempted for 36 hours, would have happened no doubt. As it was, it was stretched as taut as could be from placenta to neck, with no room to descend. Just a crazy fluke.

And no, I'm not traumatized by this birth. I feel really good about it, though it is not what I would have preferred.

My son is alive, thriving, and far advanced for his age.

I don't know what I would do for a future birth- but her opinions are not valid enough to have a part in my decision. Instead, i will trust the kind, caring people who helped me with my son's birth.

Meghan said...

Holy crap! I really don't know what to say. Like everyone else said, it doesn't seem like you can have a rational converstation with a person who has these irrational thought processes.

But if she's looking for a counter-example (since her evidence is purely based on examples, no real science), I used fertility treatments, constantly worried about a miscarriage, then about pre-term labor, then about going into labor and I still went into labor all on my own right on time, had a relatively easy and intervention free delivery (at a hospital no less) and with the help of lacation consultant, am still breastfeeding. So take that psycho!

Jill said...

wow.. I don't even know what to say to that! I couldn't even read the whole thing because it was so ridiculous!

battynurse said...

Wow. I'm just surfing around on various braces bunch blogs and saw this. I'm sorry you had to deal with someone like this who assumes they know more than medical professionals and are so very judgemental in the process.

Liddy said...

Okay I am baffled. Not sure what to say here! Except this Jen, you do not and should not have to deal with this at all.

HUGS!

Ginny said...

I have so much I'd love to say to your SIL, but I don't even want to get into it.

I will just say Oh wow. I am so truly sorry for you! I have some crappy in laws, but this is a whole other level.

She would so hate me, love to get in a room with her :)

I love the line about hospitals costing less, WHAT? She must have never seen a birthing bill, lol.

Truly sorry for you!!! Even though I think the first comments letter back was way to nice, I do agree with keeping it short. When dealing with ignorance like her, you need to keep it simple & short.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

Wow, just, wow!! I'm a little late on this whole thing, but I'm just shocked by this e-mail and sad that she is someone in your life. I would write her off. Seriously, if you hung out with her all the time would your situation magically change?

By her account my husband must have been thinking hard about or hanging out with too many cancer patients when he was 16 and then willed the treatments to totally zap his sperm!

And, I had a picture perfect pregnancy as well as a good labor. No one knows why my son's lung collapsed during labor (maybe his 9 pound size after 24 hours of labor caused the contractions to do it), but I will say THANK G*D I was in a hospital and not at home with a midwife because he might not have had it as easy as he did if we had to rush him to the hospital. I didn't will that to happen because that thought never once crossed my mind!

Unbelievable!

Liddy said...

Hope you are doing well.

I tagged you in my blog!
The Unfair Struggle: Random Things About Me...

Hope said...

Good Gooooogley moooogley ditto what everyone else said. Someone spiked her fruitcake or maybe she is one...you know we are what we eat GASP!

I am so sorry you have to deal with her, I have a simular situation but no way near this bad.

Sorry I have been MIA, as with most people with IF...holidays suck.

You have been in my prayers and thoughts though, planning on staying caught up!

((HUGS))

Antigone said...

Wow...

I had a SIL like that. I'm hoping one of these days a house falls on her.

Dagny said...

Jebus, what a bitch.

Tell her to keep her assvice to herself. Ugh.

xoxo