Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Nuit blanche

As I think about our most recent nuit blanche I can't help but reflect on all the things that have happened since 2012 began.  I realize of course that things didn't exclusively begin in 2012 but rather everything that has happened since the new year has been painted various shades of colour as a result of the "new" normal we live everyday.

I work with people everyday, people who live in impossible situations, people who have to shift their lives, way of thinking just to cope from moment to moment.  What I often see is that these people will often fall into a pattern of moving from one crisis to the other, crisis that they themselves create b/c they don't know how to live any other way.  These clients are among the most draining - but you are always reminded to be grateful for not having to live a day in their shoes.

For me, I am wondering if I am slowly becoming one of them...I feel like I have lived in a constant state of anxiety and moved from crisis to crisis since Jan 1. I wonder if resilience, which is often assumed to be innate, can exceed it's capacity & backfire creating a state of constant anxiety & need for crisis.  I have had some dark thoughts, I live in anticipation of the next "thing" going wrong.  I don't feel myself, I am irritable, emotional and anxious all the time.  My midwife is concerned I am having prenatal anxiety.

I try and explain it this way, imagine, your only surviving child is sick constantly, not just a little bit sick but very sick.  Now imagine your worst fear being that this child will die too - and each time you try and convince yourself maybe it'll just be a cold this time, it's not and the doctors no matter how many you see can't make him feel better.  Imagine your child having a seizure in your arms, imagine your child struggling for breath, imagine your child crying for relief that you can't provide them.  Now imagine your second child died and you miss him but can't access him b/c your every waking thought is your oldest will die too & that you won't be able to go on.  Add if you can, the responsibility of carrying a 3rd unborn child whose safe entry into this world depends completely on you.  Maybe add some sleep deprivation in there, financial pressures, work pressures, husband with a medical condition of his own with complications and ask yourself - would you feel anxious? 

A long winded way to ask, am I really dong so badly? Would anyone else feel anything other then anxiety, emotional, frustrated and stressed? 

My only lingering thought comes from the research I did on prenatal anxiety - babies born to moms with prenatal anxiety are more likely to be sick & require medications and/or have a higher risk of ADD/ADHD. Oy - talk about anxiety provoking!  I can't help but wonder when this ripple effect stops?  What can I be doing to make things better for everyone?  Is this the common plight for those fortunate enough to experience pregnancy after loss? Or is this is just the ramblings of another white night?

1 comment:

  1. I remember being stressed as a mom who had a one year old (my first born) and knowing that I was pregnant with another baby. I was so nervous that my stress level would affect the health of my baby. I am not sure if the lactation consultant (woman who helped to encourage and support my breastfeeding) was correct or not, but she said that the stress that I was feeling might help the baby to better handle stress outside the womb too (if my unborn baby had experienced stress, to some degree while still inside me). Does it sound weird? I'm not sure, but at the time it helped me to relax more and not have it consume my thoughts.

    As a Christian I do believe that ultimately God has control over my life. I try to tell myself that I am being prideful if I think that I can "make" or "cause" something to happen, if God does not want it to take place in my life. When I tell myself that it is a matter of pride on my part that I actually control my future, it helps me to get "over" myself and not focus so much on "me".

    Not sure if either of those things will help you, but those things came to mind when reading your post.

    After losing our little Caleb I became pregnant at the age of 41 years old. I was told at the second level ultrasound that it was a possibility that my baby had Trisomy 18 because she had cysts in her head that were evident in babies with that diagnosis. If she was born with that, she would have most likely died in utero or very shortly afterwards.

    I do understand the stress of losing a baby and then worrying about the health of the next baby...It was many weeks before I would know that the cysts had disappeared (which happens in "healthy" babies) and that my baby did not have Trisomy 18.

    I say that because I had to remind myself over and over and over again to trust God's plan for my life and that there was really nothing that I could do except to care for the children that I had to the best of my ability and to trust God with whatever the outcome.

    To be honest, I struggle every night with my baby, who is now two years old. Caleb died during the night and I am concerned every night that Elisabeth will not survive till the morning. As irrational that sounds to most people, a parent who has lost a child would completely understand the fear, especially considering that my child died in the night.

    I say that to let you know that you are not alone and although I have a deep faith, I am human and these thoughts are now a part of me...I "visit" them (those thoughts of fear) sometimes frequently, but I will not allow myself to "live" there.

    With love and Hope,