13 September 2012

Jellyfish can swim

Yesterday was my 41 week checkup with my Obstetrician. Little Mister is being stubborn (he must get that from his daddy) and has decided to make us wait to be graced with his presence. We did a Non-Stress Test to make sure he's doing okay and an ultrasound to make sure he has enough amniotic fluid. He's doing fine for now but we went ahead and scheduled an induction for Monday in the event that he hasn't come by then.

Scheduling an induction brings back a lot of memories for me from when Elizabeth was born and the time that followed after. I hadn't wanted an induction but was pressured and mislead into thinking it was the only option after my 40 week checkup by an OB who was more interested in his own convenience than what was best for my baby and me. The entire experience was very traumatic and I believe that it was a contributing factor to my PostPartum Depression.

This time, things are different though. Last time I felt like I was just floating along in the current with no say over my care and no control over what happened to me and, thus, no control over the outcome and fallout. This time, I've educated myself. I know the facts about childbirth, induction, and interventions. Beyond that, I'm educated about PostPartum Depression. I know what can be contributing factors, I know the signs and symptoms, and I'm not afraid to get help.

We've recently gotten a family membership to the Monterey Aquarium and have been there several times with my mom since she's been here to visit waiting for the baby to be born. We usually spend a good chunk of time in the jellyfish exhibits, partly because the girls love to watch them and partly because I like to watch and read about them. I found it interesting to read that jellyfish don't just have to float along with the current, they can actually swim and control where they're going.

I feel like a jellyfish. Before, I was just floating along wherever the currents took me. Not this time. This time, I'm swimming. This time, I know that I have a say in what route is taken in my healthcare, in everything from childbirth to treatment for depression. I know that I don't have to be fragile and defenseless.

For all of us, it is our own choice on how we respond to the challenges life throws at us. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves and our loved ones so that when the current gets nasty and starts trying to take us somewhere we don't want to go, we can reach out for help and have someone to help us swim against the tides.

I know all too well that when you're in the middle of dealing with PPD, it can feel like you're totally helpless and weak. Those feelings are a normal part of it, but feelings don't have to be reality. We can fight against those feelings and help ourselves get help.

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