This is the closest I could get to showing you my emotional-like-a-crazy-person face!
Last Friday was quite the emotional day for us. As we continue working through a whole litany of doctor, dentist and vision appointments (mostly standard well visits times eight), we got some “not so great” news…
First, we learned that our oldest daughter has a 6 to 7-degree curvature of her spine. I know that’s well within normal limits and not necessarily an indication of anything at all…but with a visible curve when she bends over and puberty plus several inches of growth in her future, I still worry about the possibility that it could increase and require intervention.
At my OB appointment, the news felt a bit like my body has forgotten how to do this whole pregnancy thing: My cervix is not dilating, even though I’ve always been 3-4cms at this point of my pregnancy. The baby’s head is floating high, even though it’s been at least closer to engaged at this point. They’re estimating him to be a “big baby” even though I’ve always had small babies. I know none of that really matters or means anything at all, but it’s still nerve wracking.
You know what I need most when I tell you these things?
I need you to understand why I burst into tears after my OB appointment.
I need you to tell me how nerve wracking some news during your pregnancy was or how you were a big emotional mess when pregnant too.
I need you to share how you also hate not being in control or knowing what the future holds.
I need you to empathize even if it’s clear that I’m being dramatic and emotional.
Thankfully, I was surrounded by women who did just that for me on Friday:
My mom said, “That was pretty much everything you didn’t want to hear, huh?” and my sister texted back, “Oh. No. To all those things!”
Several friends at our homeschool group that afternoon listened to me babble through my tears and feelings as I tried to process them out loud.
And I happened to talk to our pediatrician after my OB appointment (when she gave me the results of the scoliosis scan) and although I was out of tears by then, when I told her about the lack of progress, she asked, “Did you cry? I would have cried!”
On the other hand, there’s a few things I don’t need:
I don’t need to be reminded that I’m being silly and dramatic and that none of us are really ever in control of our pregnancies.
I don’t need my fears over my daughter’s future minimized in the name of reassurance.
I don’t need medical explanations or an unemotional evaluation of the problem (at least not when my emotions are running high), although I do like hearing about your experiences.
It’s often said that men are fixers, and that when we share our problems with them, their gut reaction is to find a way to fix it. That might be true, but I think women are just as likely to be minimizers, wanting to reassure each other that the problem isn’t as bad as it seems.
Sometimes, though, you just want to not feel alone, to know that someone understands how you’re feeling, and to have a chance to get all the feelings (and tears) out so you can process the information rationally once you’ve done that.
By Friday night, I was overwhelmed by gratitude for the women in my life—women who listen, who promise to pray, who make me feel normal rather than crazy for overreacting.
As a fixer/minimizer/reassurer myself, it was a good reminder that sometimes what matters most is just being there!