Thursday, 19 July 2007

damascus

The obstretician appointment went well, I think. I have slightly lowered iron levels and we discussed ways of dealing with them; and settled on having a go at the diet-method and seeing what happens. Spinach and beetroot, here I come. And, also, 'Good quality chocolate that is high in cocoa solids and the occasional glass of rich red wine, although of course we are not allowed to say that any more. So I'm not'. I think I love the obstretician.

Having said that though, so does B - on the way home from a VERY long lunch (The Oak, Welshpool again, GO THERE), he suddenly asked "Is it okay at this stage of your pregnancy to tell you that I find your obstretician hot?"*. We then bought two sun loungers (at half price!!!) from Woolworths, which I intend to spend the rest of the summer sitting on, languidly gestating.

I have also been doing some thinking in The Long Awake Reaches Of The Night (tm) - and I have concluded that some of the feelings around revulsion and rejection that I am having with this pregnancy date back a long way - all the way back sixteen years to what I think of as The Date Rape Issue.

Feelings of powerlessness, feelings of being invaded, feelings of rejecting what is happening. Not wanting to be examined or have the bump touched by anyone. Not wanting to be around other pregnant women who are enjoying their pregnancy. Fear that B will stop loving me and wanting me. Feelings of self-disgust. Fear of illness - I developed a really bad water infection after the incident which I didn't get treated because I couldn't, physically, make myself go to the doctor for quite a few days and the repercussions from which lasted for a while.

It's good that I've worked this out (Finally, doh! It's only taken seven months). But I now need to find a way to work with all these feelings, because I will be DAMNED if I will let one stupid, irresponsible, selfish guy from nearly twenty years ago fuck up my relationship with both my husband and my baby. And with myself, of course.

Last year, ditdotdat left me a comment saying I possessed 'incandescent forthrightness'. I was really touched by the comment at the time, as it's something I pride myself on - and I see it as something one should apply to ones inner self as well as the world around one. But I'm a bit stumped this time.

What can I do to help myself? I have eight and a half weeks to form a relationship with this child that doesn't trigger hair-raising feelings of panic, depression and rejection. I know that the house-moving stress isn't helping; and that as I have never experienced pregnancy before I have all the insecurities of a first-time pregnant-person to work though, too. That's fine.

It's just that for a lot of the time, I am loathing being touched - B rubbing the bump sometimes relaxes me - but equally often it makes me grit my teeth and want to cry. Secretly, I slap the bump and hate it for making me feel so uncomfortable. At the weekend, I scratched my arms up with my fingernails, which is something I started doing after The Date Rape Incident, I guess to externalise the misery and pain I felt in my head. As a management tool it works relatively well in a very short-term way; but it's not ideal. I have spoken to the obstretician about it, and she didn't see it as a big problem - neither do I really, it's just a marker that I am not coping very well.

Writing about it helps, so that's good I suppose. And this morning I actually feel quite chipper. Perhaps, now I've acknowledged the cause of them, the feelings will go away on their own?


* We decided that it WAS okay, because it was her intelligence he was attracted to. But I reserve the right to irrationally change my mind at any point, if that's okay with everyone.

30 comments:

  1. she said occasional. that doesn't mean buy a case ;)

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  2. she said occasional. that doesn't mean buy a case ;)

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  3. Just called in from Ganching's.

    You sound a pretty amazing person, hope all goes well with the baby. It's not all pastel dreams and gazing lovingly at the lump, so don't feel like your'e the only one who gets awful panicky thoughts.

    I used to cry in the shower about what a crappy mother i was going to make. Now that I actually am one, I rty to sing in the shower instead.

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  4. Just called in from Ganching's.

    You sound a pretty amazing person, hope all goes well with the baby. It's not all pastel dreams and gazing lovingly at the lump, so don't feel like your'e the only one who gets awful panicky thoughts.

    I used to cry in the shower about what a crappy mother i was going to make. Now that I actually am one, I rty to sing in the shower instead.

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  5. It's a long time since I was pregnant for the first time, but I found it hard then to think of the bump as a baby. We didn't bond straight away, either (though a strong bond grew). But I did love her and feel immensely protective towards her and - why had I not realised this? - all the pregnancy aches, pains and anaemia vanished instantly.

    I'd been really anaemic, had to have two courses of iron injections (20 injections give you a brown bum for months) and so depressed and resentful. But once I had my baby, I didn't resent her. She's nearly your age now and married, but she is still part of my body. I love her with all my heart.

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  6. It's a long time since I was pregnant for the first time, but I found it hard then to think of the bump as a baby. We didn't bond straight away, either (though a strong bond grew). But I did love her and feel immensely protective towards her and - why had I not realised this? - all the pregnancy aches, pains and anaemia vanished instantly.

    I'd been really anaemic, had to have two courses of iron injections (20 injections give you a brown bum for months) and so depressed and resentful. But once I had my baby, I didn't resent her. She's nearly your age now and married, but she is still part of my body. I love her with all my heart.

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  7. The occasional Guinness (or equivalent) would be good for your blood, if that's your thing.

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  8. The occasional Guinness (or equivalent) would be good for your blood, if that's your thing.

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  9. Well, I hate to trot out the obvious suggestions, but is there any chance that some counselling about the date-rape issue might help? I realise you've probably done all this/thought of it but discounted it aaaages ago, but it just seemed worth saying. Just in case. So.

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  10. Well, I hate to trot out the obvious suggestions, but is there any chance that some counselling about the date-rape issue might help? I realise you've probably done all this/thought of it but discounted it aaaages ago, but it just seemed worth saying. Just in case. So.

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  11. * ha! change your mind, away!

    I didn't go to any appts. with midwife for anyone with my Second pregancy, as I didn't want it. I also had nightmares and was convinced it wasn't a baby but a malignant tumour! Horrendous, and related to 'stuff' from during the time of my 1st pregnancy.

    But, she was born. Quite red and not as pretty as my friend's baby boy. But, I did fall in love with her and, like z, I have loved her all her life.

    You've got loads of virtual hugs surrounding you, you know? xxx

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  12. * ha! change your mind, away!

    I didn't go to any appts. with midwife for anyone with my Second pregancy, as I didn't want it. I also had nightmares and was convinced it wasn't a baby but a malignant tumour! Horrendous, and related to 'stuff' from during the time of my 1st pregnancy.

    But, she was born. Quite red and not as pretty as my friend's baby boy. But, I did fall in love with her and, like z, I have loved her all her life.

    You've got loads of virtual hugs surrounding you, you know? xxx

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  13. I think you've made a huge step towards feeling better by understanding what is causing these feelings and being courageous enough to share them with your readers and friends. Apart from that, I don't think there is any one simple thing you could do, or that anyone can say, that is going to make all this magically better. It is too big and deep for that. But the love and support of a good man, a supportive mum and dad, and plenty of friends will help. And time.

    I'd like to reassure you that the kinds of feelings you describe are pretty common in pregnant women, not only first timers and not only rape survivors. I don't mean to dismiss what you're going through, and I can only go on what you write in your blog. But I want to reassure you that you're not bonkers, and it doesn't mean you're a bad person or that you're going to be a bad mum. On the contrary.

    I'd also like to point out that you don't "have eight-and a half weeks to ... whatever it was you said about change the way you feel towards the baby". You have the rest of yours and the baby's life to develop a relationship with it. When the baby is born you will have a flood of happy mummy hormones that will make you cry a lot, and feel blissfully unbearably happy a lot (sometimes at the same time) and will make you quite unshakably certain that yours is the best baby in the world and that nobody ever loved anybody more than you love your baby. Well, probably - I had postnatal depression after my first baby and missed the happy hormones that time round. And I felt (as I gather you feel now) that I was a rotten mum because I didn't want to spend all day cooing over his precious toesies, I just wanted to curl in a ball somewhere dark. And I thought I had missed the boat for bonding with him, and probably messed him up for the rest of his life, and that I was a bad bad person. But the reason I'm telling you about it is that I was wrong. I got some treatment for my depression, started to feel better, and began belatedly to bond with my toddler. Now I love him with a fierce tiger-ish love, just as I love all my children, and he can't remember that when he was a little blob his mummy didn't seem to enjoy being a mummy very much.

    It's a big secret, how shitty it is being pregnant sometimes, and how shitty it can be, being a mum. You're not allowed to talk about it, but I wish we all would because it's much easier to bear if you have shoulders to cry on, friends to laugh about it with, and if you can just get it off your chest without feeling like everyone is going to gasp and shriek "Burn her! Burn the bad mother!" It takes breave people like you to break down these stupid damaging taboos.

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  14. I think you've made a huge step towards feeling better by understanding what is causing these feelings and being courageous enough to share them with your readers and friends. Apart from that, I don't think there is any one simple thing you could do, or that anyone can say, that is going to make all this magically better. It is too big and deep for that. But the love and support of a good man, a supportive mum and dad, and plenty of friends will help. And time.

    I'd like to reassure you that the kinds of feelings you describe are pretty common in pregnant women, not only first timers and not only rape survivors. I don't mean to dismiss what you're going through, and I can only go on what you write in your blog. But I want to reassure you that you're not bonkers, and it doesn't mean you're a bad person or that you're going to be a bad mum. On the contrary.

    I'd also like to point out that you don't "have eight-and a half weeks to ... whatever it was you said about change the way you feel towards the baby". You have the rest of yours and the baby's life to develop a relationship with it. When the baby is born you will have a flood of happy mummy hormones that will make you cry a lot, and feel blissfully unbearably happy a lot (sometimes at the same time) and will make you quite unshakably certain that yours is the best baby in the world and that nobody ever loved anybody more than you love your baby. Well, probably - I had postnatal depression after my first baby and missed the happy hormones that time round. And I felt (as I gather you feel now) that I was a rotten mum because I didn't want to spend all day cooing over his precious toesies, I just wanted to curl in a ball somewhere dark. And I thought I had missed the boat for bonding with him, and probably messed him up for the rest of his life, and that I was a bad bad person. But the reason I'm telling you about it is that I was wrong. I got some treatment for my depression, started to feel better, and began belatedly to bond with my toddler. Now I love him with a fierce tiger-ish love, just as I love all my children, and he can't remember that when he was a little blob his mummy didn't seem to enjoy being a mummy very much.

    It's a big secret, how shitty it is being pregnant sometimes, and how shitty it can be, being a mum. You're not allowed to talk about it, but I wish we all would because it's much easier to bear if you have shoulders to cry on, friends to laugh about it with, and if you can just get it off your chest without feeling like everyone is going to gasp and shriek "Burn her! Burn the bad mother!" It takes breave people like you to break down these stupid damaging taboos.

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  15. With my 3rd pregnancy -- the one where the tears I shed in my sleep would wake me -- people would say "Oh, but you'll love this baby so much" and I would answer "I know I will, but it doesn't help me NOW". I felt fiercely protective, but bonding was harder. I remember forcing myself to play with him when he was tiny, because I had done it with the other two and I knew it was a good thing. I can't tell you when that became something I wanted to do, needed to do, but over time that bond grew and I cannot imagine how much less my life would have been without him. I felt very guilty for my feelings when I was pregnant and as you can see from the Other People comments above, no one would admit to ever feeling that way or tell me that it was okay, normal even, to have those feelings. I am proud of you for saying this out loud, and proud of everyone who's commented for not trying to tell you that you don't really feel that way.

    My only advice is that on days when you really don't want to interact with the baby (assuming you don't immediately fall head over heels in love with it) -- borrow a page from AA and fake it till you make it. He (she?) really won't know your heart isn't in it, and it will have a positive effect on both of you.

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  16. With my 3rd pregnancy -- the one where the tears I shed in my sleep would wake me -- people would say "Oh, but you'll love this baby so much" and I would answer "I know I will, but it doesn't help me NOW". I felt fiercely protective, but bonding was harder. I remember forcing myself to play with him when he was tiny, because I had done it with the other two and I knew it was a good thing. I can't tell you when that became something I wanted to do, needed to do, but over time that bond grew and I cannot imagine how much less my life would have been without him. I felt very guilty for my feelings when I was pregnant and as you can see from the Other People comments above, no one would admit to ever feeling that way or tell me that it was okay, normal even, to have those feelings. I am proud of you for saying this out loud, and proud of everyone who's commented for not trying to tell you that you don't really feel that way.

    My only advice is that on days when you really don't want to interact with the baby (assuming you don't immediately fall head over heels in love with it) -- borrow a page from AA and fake it till you make it. He (she?) really won't know your heart isn't in it, and it will have a positive effect on both of you.

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  17. Hi sweetie :)
    I cried for ages when I found I was pg with No3Child.
    Iron - I took (and still take sometimes) something called SpaTone which is a natural product - http://www.boots.com/shop/product_details.jsp?productid=1021397&classificationid=1046312
    I can highly recommend 'Birthing from Within' which really helps both you and your partner relate to the bump as an actual person. Birth art and stuff. Get it from the library - it is inspirational

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  18. Hi sweetie :)
    I cried for ages when I found I was pg with No3Child.
    Iron - I took (and still take sometimes) something called SpaTone which is a natural product - http://www.boots.com/shop/product_details.jsp?productid=1021397&classificationid=1046312
    I can highly recommend 'Birthing from Within' which really helps both you and your partner relate to the bump as an actual person. Birth art and stuff. Get it from the library - it is inspirational

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  19. Hi! Sorry its been so long since I've popped by.

    I think getting all the feelings out of your system is a great way to go - be it writing it in a blog, on a piece of paper you then throw out or even having a 'conversation' with a teddy bear!

    Have you had a conversation with yourself? I did this with a therapist when I was ill a long time ago - get two chairs and let out all the negative feelings to yourself on the empty chair then change places and talk back*.

    *best to do this at home and not in a cafe ;o)

    *hugs*

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  20. Hi! Sorry its been so long since I've popped by.

    I think getting all the feelings out of your system is a great way to go - be it writing it in a blog, on a piece of paper you then throw out or even having a 'conversation' with a teddy bear!

    Have you had a conversation with yourself? I did this with a therapist when I was ill a long time ago - get two chairs and let out all the negative feelings to yourself on the empty chair then change places and talk back*.

    *best to do this at home and not in a cafe ;o)

    *hugs*

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  21. I don't have any experiences to share. I've never been there. But I can tell you that the very fact that you care so much about making it right means that you will be a wonderful mother...no matter how unlikely that may seem right now.

    Also, re: not wanting to be touched. B understands why, I assume? You've told him, right? He's a good guy. A smart guy. Your guy. He loves you and the baby and it'll all be fine.

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  22. I don't have any experiences to share. I've never been there. But I can tell you that the very fact that you care so much about making it right means that you will be a wonderful mother...no matter how unlikely that may seem right now.

    Also, re: not wanting to be touched. B understands why, I assume? You've told him, right? He's a good guy. A smart guy. Your guy. He loves you and the baby and it'll all be fine.

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  23. Aw, lovely. I'm sorry you've been feeling all this again.

    Too many of us women have rape issues and things like that in our pasts. I used to feel very much like that about my relationships, and I let it spoil things as I didn't know how to handle it all, or even catch that that was the issue, so you're one step ahead.
    I coulnd't bare being touched, ever.
    I also got pregnant when I was younger, and coulnd't deal with it. I had an abortion, for just those reasons. And that's more common that anybody would ever tell us.

    You are quite awesome, you know that. Really, just reading a post like that would mean the world to another woman that was experiencing those feelings and not knowing or connecting the dots about what the cause was. Your honesty goes a long way to healing other women in similar situations.

    The best thing you can do, in my experience, is to just remember how much you love B when those feelings come up. Retrain your body to respond positively. It's hard work, and takes patience, but it will cut through it.

    I thought I saw somewhere in the comments and can't see it now, mention of Reiki.
    Reiki is a safe, hands on healing type of treatment that will release a lot of emotion, too, in a safe gentle way. It's very effective. YOu might like to find somebody nearby who does that, and check it out.
    Or better yet, ask B to consider learning to do Reiki, it's very easy to do. (But ignore the New Agey BS that goes with it sometimes.) That will totally change your relationship to touch.
    I wish I was there, I'd give you some sessions, and teach B to do it. :-)

    Lots of love and hugs, and yes, chocolate heals all wounds.

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  24. Aw, lovely. I'm sorry you've been feeling all this again.

    Too many of us women have rape issues and things like that in our pasts. I used to feel very much like that about my relationships, and I let it spoil things as I didn't know how to handle it all, or even catch that that was the issue, so you're one step ahead.
    I coulnd't bare being touched, ever.
    I also got pregnant when I was younger, and coulnd't deal with it. I had an abortion, for just those reasons. And that's more common that anybody would ever tell us.

    You are quite awesome, you know that. Really, just reading a post like that would mean the world to another woman that was experiencing those feelings and not knowing or connecting the dots about what the cause was. Your honesty goes a long way to healing other women in similar situations.

    The best thing you can do, in my experience, is to just remember how much you love B when those feelings come up. Retrain your body to respond positively. It's hard work, and takes patience, but it will cut through it.

    I thought I saw somewhere in the comments and can't see it now, mention of Reiki.
    Reiki is a safe, hands on healing type of treatment that will release a lot of emotion, too, in a safe gentle way. It's very effective. YOu might like to find somebody nearby who does that, and check it out.
    Or better yet, ask B to consider learning to do Reiki, it's very easy to do. (But ignore the New Agey BS that goes with it sometimes.) That will totally change your relationship to touch.
    I wish I was there, I'd give you some sessions, and teach B to do it. :-)

    Lots of love and hugs, and yes, chocolate heals all wounds.

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  25. My first pregnancy, I was sick all the way through and married to a sociopathic thug; during thesecond the thug left me and I wanted my baby to die because I didn't think I could cope. I still feel the guilt of this every day. My third baby came along after two miscarriages and a doctor's advice to give up trying as I alreday had two children and I was too old to have anymore. Every day of the pregnancy I thought I would loose the baby again and sometimes, even though he is now four I am still fearful that he might just disappear and all be a figment of my need to have another baby. It's an emotional nightmare shrouded in a conspircay of silence. Love and hugs

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  26. My first pregnancy, I was sick all the way through and married to a sociopathic thug; during thesecond the thug left me and I wanted my baby to die because I didn't think I could cope. I still feel the guilt of this every day. My third baby came along after two miscarriages and a doctor's advice to give up trying as I alreday had two children and I was too old to have anymore. Every day of the pregnancy I thought I would loose the baby again and sometimes, even though he is now four I am still fearful that he might just disappear and all be a figment of my need to have another baby. It's an emotional nightmare shrouded in a conspircay of silence. Love and hugs

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  27. By the way, I don't know what your iron levels are, but when I dropped to 10 or lower, I was very depressed, cried all the time and had no energy at all. It is normal for iron levels to drop in pregnancy and iron isn't routinely prescribed, as it was when I was babying, but I'm not sure that medics realise the depressive effect of anaemia.

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  28. By the way, I don't know what your iron levels are, but when I dropped to 10 or lower, I was very depressed, cried all the time and had no energy at all. It is normal for iron levels to drop in pregnancy and iron isn't routinely prescribed, as it was when I was babying, but I'm not sure that medics realise the depressive effect of anaemia.

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  29. I know this might be rude, but I hope you'll forgive me, ally.

    I just wanted to respond to sheweevil's comment.

    My daughter is currently obsessed by her new baby, and I have been worried that she may be neglecting her older daughter a bit. However, current new baby is v.v. special as she has arrived following 3 losses.

    You have answered my worry. Of Course she is Obsessed! She probably worries that Ellie will 'disappear' too.

    Thank You.

    And thank you to Ally, for your strength, purpose and honesty. kaz xx

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  30. I know this might be rude, but I hope you'll forgive me, ally.

    I just wanted to respond to sheweevil's comment.

    My daughter is currently obsessed by her new baby, and I have been worried that she may be neglecting her older daughter a bit. However, current new baby is v.v. special as she has arrived following 3 losses.

    You have answered my worry. Of Course she is Obsessed! She probably worries that Ellie will 'disappear' too.

    Thank You.

    And thank you to Ally, for your strength, purpose and honesty. kaz xx

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