10 February 2008

More JellyBelly Rantings

I would say that 96% of the time I'm an optimist. I haven't always been this way and I went through the trenches of hell before I realized that I could live my life happily. 

I had a breakdown in university. One that was so bad that I had to be hospitalized more than once. I was suicidal, depressed and I couldn't for the life of me feel an iota of hope. Lucky for me I found a wonderful psychiatrist that helped me through it and ten years later I can't even imagine being that low. 

I took my last anti-depressant in February 2000 and I haven't looked back. I decided to change my life and the circumstances that made me sad. 

Don't worry I'm not going to go all Tom Cruise and say that anti-depressants are evil and that chemical imbalances don't exist. I was imbalanced. Horribly. If it wasn't for the yellow oval pill that I took for four years my life would be completely different. 

My experience with clinical depression has brought me many gifts. I am open with my feelings with the people that matter (and that listen). I try avoid people and situations that I know will cause heartache or stress. I also realize that things could be A LOT worse. 

Which brings me to today's rant.

My hubby's best friend and his wife just had a baby. Wonderful for them, sad for us. Yes? 

The sadness part is something that I've dealt with. My best friend is incredibly fertile. I have numerous friends that are pregnant and have become so with no struggle. I stamp my feet (literally and figuratively) and wail at the universe for a short period of time, then I move on. 

[insert disclaimer for selfish JellyBelly thoughts]

When we found out that hubby's friends were preggo I had the familiar pang of jealousy. A couple of months later HBF tells us that the baby was diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate and that his wife is really upset by this news. We both thought that her sadness would pass and that the excitement of the impending arrival would ease her worries. Well that didn't happen. She continued to be so upset that she said low until the birth. She didn't have a baby shower because she didn't want to face people. They'd cancel at the last minute if we made plans. 

I can appreciate that she would be disappointed that her baby was going to be born with an affliction -- a correctable one, but an affliction nonetheless. I'm sure that most mothers don't dream of their baby having any sort of difficulty and that it would cause great concern. But the one thought that I couldn't get out of my head was that she was pregnant. She was going to have a baby. A baby that had a problem that could be corrected.

Wouldn't it make more sense if I was wallowing in my childlessness? She still got to pick out baby furniture and buy baby clothes. She got to wear the pants with the panel in the front. 

AND MOST OF ALL: SHE HAS A BABY!!!! HER OWN BABY!!!!!

I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that she was sad about a correctable problem. We have friends with autistic children. We work with children with Down Syndrome. I have a cousin that has ADHD and another who was born with a hole in her heart. 

I really wish that I didn't feel so resentful of this situation. I would take a baby, any baby, regardless of the affliction. I'm even willing to adopt a baby with a disability (although hubby isn't too hot on that idea). 

So here I am. I'd much rather be watching the Grammy's than ranting. But I knew that if I carried this around in my head for any longer I would be driven to distraction. I wish I could be happy and send them flowers, but instead I'm going to internally pout about this particular injustice. 

So this is where the 4% comes in, I guess. 

4 comments:

  1. I think I can understand the issues with having a baby that had a cleft palate better than the people who go into huge depression over having a baby that is a different gender than they hoped. In both cases - they still get their baby! It makes me nuts.

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  2. I'm guessing here, but having been through the prenatal diagnosis wringer, I'm wondering if the issue is that the Doctors weren't sure if that was the only thing wrong, and if so, what on earth else could be wrong.

    Plus the guilt of course, since we now know that Cleft lips and palates are neural tube defects and possibly preventable with folic acid prior to conception. All she would've had to do was hear that and she would've been crushed, even though it's not something she would've known necessarily.

    After the birth, when the Docs tell her that her child is really really okay and doesn't have any other related issues, (and there are dozens of other possibilities, some fatal), she may be able to relax, and let go of some of the guilt.

    I understand how you feel, but try to be gentle with her, she needs supportive friends right now.

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  3. I think it's always hard to come to terms when wrenches suddenly get thrown in the works, especially when it comes to something so fraught with emotion as pregnancy. Perhaps your friend blames herself for her child's cleft palate or, as Aurelia surmised, she's terrified something else is wrong. This may be the first truly difficult thing she's had to face as an adult.

    However, this is not to say you shouldn't have your feelings. It can be really hard to deal with your own feelings without any input from her. I mean, if she had a heart-to-heart with you and said she was suffering terribly, your perspective would change, even if on some level you still thought she was overreacting. She may indeed need support, but just like you had to go out and get some help for depression, she has be to willing to receive it.

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  4. i know that i'm not in the place in my own head to be supportive -- i know this is selfish, but i know that i have to get over my envy of the baby.

    my hubby and i suggested that she got some sort of counseling when she was going through the roughest patches, but she didn't want to. i don't understand why she didn't want to help herself when she was suffering so much.

    there's a lot of other issues surrounding our friends -- they don't have a very good marriage and are always in some sort of conflict. i'm not going to get into that here.

    thanks for listening to my rantings. i really hope that this week will bring back some positivity to my life.

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