What I really need you to say

What I really need you to say

What I really need you to say...

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!

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. When my oldest daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis, we were so apprehensive, mostly because we didn’t know how bad it was or what sorts of interventions would come.
    And it was lonely. My daughter asked us not to share the diagnosis with friends until we knew what the future held. Even when you don’t know them, there is always a club of other moms out there who “get it.” Never fear. You are not alone.

  2. I can totally relate! I remember having near panic attacks when I was pregnant. My son was breech until very late and I had many sleepless, restless nights worrying about a C-Section. I remember drinking tons of orange juice when he wasn’t active. Every pregnancy is scary and every bit of news can have a major effect on us positive and not so. You are not being silly you are being real! Oh and my son eventually flipped with the help of a chiropractor and the stomach flu, & he was big 9lbs 10oz! Good luck and hang in there! Hugs Mamma!

  3. I am an emotional wreck this pregnancy. Everything makes me cry and you’re right, we women tend to want to make each other feel better, so we have “answers” to things. I’m sorry you’re going through so much at an already emotional time. I hope Lucas moves down soon, and hey, if it turns out he’s big, big babies aren’t so bad. I’ve had 3 very large babies – they don’t feel quite so fragile. 😉

  4. (( Hugs ))

  5. I had basically the same OB experience late in my third pregnancy (just a few weeks ago!) At 36 weeks, I was 2 cm. I spent that week having dozens of very strong, painful contractions daily. I was completely exhausted by my 37 week visit but couldn’t wait to see how much progress I’d made. Zero. Yep, not one millimeter of progress! I barely made it to my car before starting to sob Called my poor husband who immediately thought the worst, and then thought I was crazy. It was a really awful day! The happy ending turned out to be going into labor on my own at 38 weeks, having the smoothest, most uneventful labor of all my three, and getting an adorable 8 pound, 3 ounce snuggle bug out of the deal! But I still haven’t forgotten how crummy I felt the week before! Hormonal emotions are the worst!!

  6. My middle son weighed in at 9lbs 14ozes and my doctor would not induce or did he even think about a C- section, he just kept telling me to wait. I was 4 weeks past my due date and dialated 4cms and he just say wait. He told me that inducing would be the hardest birth I would ever have. I cried the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy every time I went to the doctor and he sent me home. My pelvic bone would pop every time I sat down or got up. I fully understand and can relate to your tears.

    I too have a curve in my spine that was too far from normal and should not cause too many issues and that held true until I was about 40. I was able to do all regular activities and in my 20s and 30s, I taught aerobics and ran 3-6 miles, 6 days a week. I am in my 50s and currently having some issues with my hips, low back and neck, however I think the intense years of aerobics and running added to my current status. I am doing pretty well with God’s and the Chiropractor’s help. I have been told not to overdue and I may be able to delay surgery indefinitely. God is good because I once had days, weeks in pain and not able to lift my left leg. Now, I can do most of my normal activities and walk a mile a day to stay active, but no heavy lifting, no more running, aerobics or extended periods of exercising and I stop the moment I start to feel pain. I have started doing yoga and Pilates (with some small modifications). I will keep you guys in my prayers.

  7. I support you – I have your back. None of this is small or inconsequential – and you have every right to feel any way you choose – and I support you.

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