Monday, July 15, 2013

How do we cope?

I have had a really good life. That isn't any kind of farewell statement or anything (I intend for this life to go on for many more years), but what I have lived so far has been pretty great. Like anybody, however, there have been a few bumps and twists in my road that I have had to deal with. Everyone deals with these bumps and twists in their own way, but for a long time I tried to deal with mine by telling myself that there are always people out there who are worse off than I am.

I am sorry to say that I think it is high time to admit that that particular method, while valid and true, just plain does not work for me. I wish it did, but I am not nearly selfless enough to glean comfort from such sentiments.

About a week ago I was informed that that my soon-to-be-born baby's head was still lodged somewhere in the vicinity of my rib cage- the opposite of where it should be. While not dire, it is still something that will require attention and possibly intervention in the next couple weeks. Are there worse things in life than a breech baby? Most definitely. Has telling myself that over and over again done a lick of good? Not one bit.

I have gone through the past week putting myself through the paces that one does to try and convince a stubborn baby to hang out upside-down for a few weeks. Meanwhile, the date of the C-section the midwife made me schedule ("just in case!") looms in my near future, staring me down menacingly. Because shoving a baby out of my body for the first time ever isn't daunting enough- lets throw major surgery into the mix, shall we?

All in all, my husband and I are handling this new twist fairly well and we have all sorts of competent and understanding people helping us make the necessary decisions. All the love and support in the world, however, hasn't stopped me from bemoaning, "why me?" Why is my stubborn boy one of 4% of babies who don't just do what's natural and turn upside down? It's not fair.

I needed my coping mechanism.

For about two days last week I thought that this little guy had flipped. I was thrilled and terrified when I woke up one morning and couldn't feel his head where it always had been and my hopes tentatively creeped up. I held my breath and couldn't keep my hands off of the top of my round tummy, obsessively checking the spot where his solid little head had resided for so many months now. The day wore on without the head resurfacing and one might think that I would be thrilled, right? Wrong. I desperately missed it.

That night as I laid in bed and poked the now squishy and empty spot on my stomach, I realized that because my boy had refused to conform to the norm, I was one of only four percent of women who got to reach up and touch, poke, wiggle, and tickle her baby's head whenever she wanted. I am certain that the other 96% of women still bond fantastically with their bottoms-up babies, but I can't help but feel that having my boy cuddled up next to my chest like that was actually something quite special and I desperately missed it when it was gone.

The next morning I woke up to a baby head poking me in the ribs. My immediate reaction was frustration, but shining through the disappointment of the return of my breech baby I felt a glimmer of relief. My boy was back, for better or for worse.

There is only so much I can do to change the situation I find myself in. There is a good chance I will end up on an operating table, and I need to come to terms with that, but no matter what happens in the next two weeks, I will always cherish the feeling of that little head bumping up against my hand.

I have found my silver lining. I have found my coping mechanism.

No one is going to get through life without unexpected bumps and turns, but I promise you that there is a way to make it through- just remember that your way is not my way and my way is not your way. Go find your coping mechanism, because I promise you it is out there.

1 comment:

Miri said...

I love this, Jill. Thank you for sharing. Telling people they can't be upset because someone else has it worse makes no more sense than telling people they shouldn't be happy because other people have it better. We all need to find something that works for us.