in the last few weeks, i've learned that some of my very good friends have been dealing with some serious shit - and it's led to some very interesting, thought-provoking discussions with others in our circle. not to mention, the speaker at last week's junior league meeting who talked a lot about post-partum depression really touched me and got me to do a lot of thinking.
i've written before that i suffered a miscarriage before the bean was born. in fact, it was on my dear friend weezermonkey's wedding day that we'd discovered we were expecting. and we were so excited - we'd been trying for a little while, and because of my, uh, "advanced age," i was particularly thrilled. we kept the news to ourselves for a while, savoring it, letting it sink in. and then a mere three weeks later, i found myself with symptoms that didn't look good. we rushed to the doctor (who we hadn't even seen yet, with my first prenatal appointment scheduled a few days out), who did an ultrasound, called in another doctor to confirm what he was seeing, and that was it. i remember waiting just long enough for them to leave the room before i let the waterworks loose. the hub hugged me tight as i cried those hot, bitter tears, and we mourned the loss together.
before then, i had no idea how common miscarriages were. last time i checked, the stats were something nutty like 20% out of all pregnancies ending in miscarriage. and as we shared the news with very close family members and friends, i was really surprised to hear stories of similar losses begin pouring out. while it didn't necessarily make me feel better, it was really eye-opening to learn that some of our loved ones had faced situations like ours.
and a couple of my very dear friends are dealing with some shitty situations of their own right now - one of them being post-partum depression. i remembered how she'd called me not long after the birth of her baby, in tears and totally frustrated over how difficult everything was. i felt so awful for her, not knowing how to help her other than to listen and offer words of support and advice. at that time, the idea that she could be suffering from PPD didn't even occur to me, but looking back, it makes a lot of sense. i'm just glad that she's got/is getting help, and is doing so much better now.
the other friend is someone i have so much love for. she's such a wonderful person, a great mom, and an all-around awesome chick. and we were so excited when we learned that she was pregnant. but then, halfway into her pregnancy, she and her husband were devastated to learn that there were some fatally serious problems with the baby. with the knowledge that the baby would likely not survive to term, or even outside the womb, they followed the doctor's recommendation to terminate. and i want to cry and throw up and scream every time i think about it. i can't even imagine what they were and are still dealing with - after the physical pain is gone, the emotional aftermath has got to be pure hell.why is it that the topics that totally cry out for attention, things that we as women should be able to discuss openly and honestly, so freaking taboo and make those who suffer from them feel ashamed or simply not comfortable enough to talk about it? i'm not gonna get all kumbaya on you or anything, but seriously - you would think that we could be sympathetic (empathetic? i never get those right) towards each other and be supportive. even stuff like formula-feeding vs. nursing, working moms vs. stay-at-home-moms, or cloth diapering vs. disposable are such touchy subjects that get people on both sides all pissed off. oy!
okay, i'm done. i just had to get that out, i guess. yeah.