Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Get over it!

Apparently my time limit for remembering that I had a preemie has ended. Over the past few weeks/months I've been hearing an awful lot of "get over it" said with various degrees of niceness. Last night at my women's Bible Study one of the ladies who is very pregnant had gotten a ride with another class member because she was having contractions every 3-4 minutes (for the last week) and her doctor didn't want her driving. One of the non-mommy members asked if all pregnant women stopped driving at a certain point in their pregnancy and everyone started talking about their past pregnancy experiences. I learned early on that my comments weren't really welcome so I usually keep my mouth shut, but Candi (the pregnant one) specifically asked me if I had to stop driving when I was on bedrest. Before I could answer another mom said "Don't get her started" and I was left to sit in silence once again. I don't think that I harp on my pregnancy & birth experience, although perhaps I'm wrong about this. If anything I tend to keep quiet because my comments just don't fit. I never went into labor or experienced even one contraction. I didn't make it to my childbirth classes, and I never breastfed Noah (although I made a valient effort at pumping). Most of my friends are at the very least tolerent of my different experience, but it seems there are a few who have started a quest to get me to forget it ever happened. I'm not really sure what they hope to accomplish with this, but I find it very hurtful. I don't have an awful lot of true memories from that time in my life (mostly I know what my husband has told me) and so I cling to the few memories that I have. Someday Noah's going to want to know why his baby pictures are so different then everyone else's and it's not going to do anyone any good if I pretend I don't notice the tubes & wires.


23wktwins'mommy said...

You will never "get over it" and I know exactly how you feel. Nothing is normal about the birth experience we had, and people who didn't experience will never understand. There were no tears of joy for me, rather tears of heartache that my children had a good chance of dying or at the least having a real painful and scary first few months of life.
I'm sorry people react to your experience that way. "Don't get her started" is so rude and unkind. That really bothers me she said that to you.
This is your story, your life, and what was suppose to be a wonderful experience was marked by fear and devastation.
I know in my heart I will never recover from the trauma of my birth experience and my children's preamturity. I love them with every ounce of my being but that does not mean I am not scarred by their early arrival. I hope you find comfort in knowing other moms are here and know how you feel even when your "real life" friends don't.

Nathali Pincus said...

I can't believe this is a bible group, making these comments. They should be more understanding!! I have experienced the same thing. People don't know how to 'deal' with you. They will just say 'oh everything will be fine'. They don't have to live with all the heartache. Honestly, people that do not have a micro-preemie do NOT know what you are going through. Even moms of preemies that think they went through the same thing we went through with our micro preemies, will never really understand. Try not to be too discouraged and just lean on our shoulders!!! Hang in there!! Nathali

Anonymous said...

I know I'll never get over it and I had a very healthy 30 week preemie. I can't even begin to imagine what the birth (and after) experience for a micropreemie is like. Know that you are not alone and that you should never get over it. It is part of who you are now and people should take the opportunity to maybe learn something new.
I know I annoy some of my pregnant friends, but I make sure they all know about preterm births.

I knew next to nothing and just assumed that the baby would come when ready-I was healthy and did everything "right". I just thought the minor cramping was stretching pain, took a Tylenol and went on with my day. A few hours later I was lying in the hospital with the NICU staff waiting to take my baby away from me. I didn't even know what a NICU was!

To tell the truth, I get annoyed with stories of full term births because I'm jealous of the "normal" experience that they had. And don't get me started about women complaining about how big they are in those last few weeks. What I would have given to have swollen feet and not be able to get comfortable to sleep because of the big belly. I just grin and keep my mouth shut though because I know how important it is to share your stories and to be a good friend.

Miracles said...

So sorry this was said to you but one thing I've come to realize as a mom to former 26 weekers is mothers of term babies don't know what we've been through. In reality that's a good thing because they were spared the heartache of sitting beside an issolette watching their barbie doll sized baby fight for it's life.
When someone brushes off how my girls lives started, it only makes me talk about it more. A little something I do to get under their skin the way they got under mine.

Jodi Devine said...

I just wanted to say hello. I stumbled across your blog through a reply you had for Neonatal Doc.

I too have a premmie baby. Thomas was born in February of 2005 and he was an extremely small baby @ 734g (not even a pound).

He is a tough little man - he also has hearing loss (which is moderate now, although originally diagnosed as severe-profound).

I have enjoyed reading your posts and think that your little man is JUST GORGEOUS!!!!!


abby said...

I am so sorry that this is happening to you in a place that should be supportive. I agree that almost all of the full term parents I know, even when they are well meaning, cannot possibly understand how profound this experience has been for all of us preemie parents. This is the sort of experience that changes our lives, and simply, there is no going back or undoing it. It makes our experience with our children different, changes the sorts of fears that we have (and also the sorts of joys--who knew that I would so look forward to diaper changes, at least before Hallie started to squirm and twist and turn over during them?). And it changes who we are. I think that people are afraid of this: afraid of change, and also afraid that if they acknowledge what happened to you it means that it could happen to them (and of course, delivering this early, having to witness the trauma that our kiddies wen through and are going through, and experiencing the various kinds of loss that we did was never going to happen to us, either). Anyway, it is insensitive at best to suggest that we should get over things. And, on top of that, the things we are supposed to get over did not just end in the NICU but are ongoing. My heart goes out to you, and to all of us, really. At least we have one another out there to function as virtual supporters.



Mir said...

I'm sorry you're being treated this way as well. I've found that most people have unusual set clocks or weird labels for those who haven't or aren't experiencing the "norm." My son isn't a preemie (the opposite, actually), but he has genetic vision problems, and he has an enzyme defect that won't allow him to process meats. I can't tell you how annoyed I get when his teachers introduce him as "The Vegetarian."

And I have to tell you, I felt a little guilty as well. One of my gfs little boys was half a week premature (born at 37.5 weeks at almost 7 lbs), with no complications, went home a few days after birth, and is now a robust, roly-poly almost two-year-old. However, every single time we see her, she slips the word "preemie" into the conversation. It's more than a little annoying, especially when I read what other preemie moms are going through.

kellarsmommy said...

Hi I found your blog through another blog.I have a 26 wkr myself..Since having Kellar I have found that people can be very insensitive and hurtful, do they do it purposely, probably not but that doesn't take away that fact that it hurts..I too wonder what it would have been like to go to full term, to get big and waddle around, what it would feel like to have your little one placed on your chest after you had them, I could go on and on on this subject..