Is It Right To Judge?

Today, Birth at Home in Arizona posted a link to an OB/GYNs blog post Overheard in a Beauty Salon.

I was intrigued, so I read the post.

A woman was sent to the hospital at 32 weeks for Pre-eclampsia and HELLP. Her baby ended up being taken at 32 weeks via cesarean section, and she is at the Beauty Salon a week later while her baby is in the NICU with some serious problems.

Now, I would normally be so angry if I was in this OBs shoes and overhearing this conversation.

But today, all I am reminded of is the time when my daughter was in the NICU.

Some of the comments on this post can be directly related to me during that time. And those make me more mad than what the woman said and did.

***

For Example:

As someone who cried her way into the OR eight weeks early, this really pissed me off.
When will we finally demand parenting licenses before allowing pregnancy?

OR

I hope she had her tubes tied while she was opened up! No one deserves a mother like that.

***

Everyone experiences trauma differently. You never think that when you’re pregnant that your body might be a very bad place for your baby. You never think that your little decisions end up costing your baby his or her life. You never think that your child will end up in the NICU with breathing issues or something worse.

In my post, Bonding, I talked about how I didn’t bond with my daughter and how I was out of the NICU more than I was in the NICU. My way to cope was to leave and pretend I hadn’t made the choices I did and had my daughter end up in the NICU. I pretended everything was fine, and it was just a little detour in my daughter’s first week.

I’m sure plenty of people judged me for never being with my daughter. My family more than anyone else. My MIL was there more than I was.

I know it is so easy to judge a woman her choices. I’m guilty of it just like everyone else. But this time, I can’t judge. Whatever I say about her would be about me too.

The NICU is soooo hard on parents. I felt like I wasn’t needed, so why stay? I had to have the staff show me how to do everything. Changing diapers, taking temperatures, nursing… I felt completely worthless.

So, next time you hear a story like this OBs, just try to imagine why she feels this way. Sometimes, they feel this way for reasons you could never guess.

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5 Responses

  1. Yes, it is easy to judge because most have not and will never experience anything like that – so it's easy to say "oh I would NEVER do THAT"…When we were in the NICU with Emma – I do remember thinking it was strange that we didn't see very many parents…but I was so wrapped up in my stuff I didn't and honestly haven't thought much about it. All the babies were there with very serious conditions and most waiting for surgery. I'm sure that some parents were not able to take weeks off work or perhaps didn't even live in the same province. I remember there being a nurse that we just didn't like. The one day we were told she would be taking care of Emma that night and I just couldn't bring myself to going back and sitting with this woman I didn't like…when we called later that night we found out that she had called in sick – ugh…I felt guilty but knew that if I had gone and had to sit with that nurse that I would have been more upset. Our daughter Zoe was in the special care nursery for a few days. It was much easier to deal with because I had had the experience before. I knew what my rights were and also in this case, this was not a life threatening situation. But once again, there were no parents in the room. The nurses finally let me take her to my room because I wouldn't leave and I guess they felt I should be resting. Another issue is how shitty you feel as a parent. You feel like crap because you just gave birth and now have to sit on stools and walk who knows how long to get anywhere in the hospital to pump or whatever else you need to do. Just because you have a sick baby doesn't change the feelings you have as a mother. I always feel "ugly" after having a baby and can totally understand why this mother might have taken a few hours to get some pampering. She feels like shit on so many levels – and not knowing her situation, she could have years of it to go…Getting her hair done, likely says that she knows she needs to take care of herself to be able to take care of her baby…My point again is that until you have to deal with a situation like that it's easy to say what you would do, but from what i saw in my two experiences, it is very overwhelming for most parents – and we can assume that most parents love their babies.

  2. Kayce, I just read your comment on my post and was coming over to your site to email you an apology, but since you've written an article, I'll make it public! I really apologize for upsetting you, and for not considering that there might have been another side to that story. I do believe in shared responsibility between doctor and patient, but it is also true that there are two sides to every individual story – and we don't know the other side of that story. Also, as a mama who has been there, you brought some good perspective to that story. Again, I sincerely apologize.Diana

  3. p.s. Am adding addendum to my entry. 🙂

  4. I think of it this way. What if she felt like crap and that was the one way she knew how to make herself feel better? If someone is dying does that mean we need to always be down and feel guilty for a laugh once in awhile?My 2 cents….ShannonVogue MumOrganic Baby Doula ServicesRock Star MaternityThe Domestic Engineer's Union

  5. Just found your blog! I am beginning my doula journey, and am excited to find yours. My blog is just like yours – I love how you put it – I think I'm educating women but I'm just educating myself! :)http://anthrodoula.blogspot.com

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