Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Not everything is as it seems.

Thanks again for all of your kind comments. Honestly, in addition to my husband, it's what keeps me marching through the days, hours, and minutes.

So last week, I met with the Dean of Students for the l@w school; let's call her Dean. I have met with Dean numerous times before and I have confided in her about my struggles with bipolar, my pregnancy, and then my miscarriage. Specifically, I had to talk to Dean about my options for finishing the semester. Together we determined that I would drop my seminar/writing class and try to finish the semester with the remaining three classes. It was an immense relief, to say the least.

In our discussion about the difficulties of managing the emotional fallout of a miscarriage, Dean revealed her own struggles to have children. Now, she is in her late 50's and a mother to 2 daughters. Her daughters are 16 years apart. She has been through 6 miscarriages and a stillbirth during her efforts to get to child number 2. I found her story particularly compelling.

After the stillbirth, she went to an appointment with an OB specialist. In the waiting room, she found herself surrounded by new mothers and their newborn babies. Outraged, she let loose on the doctor. Her anger and pain led her to scream at her doctor about how insensitive they were to schedule her at the same time as all of these new mothers. Apparently, the doctor quickly excused himself and brought in their staff counselor to help mediate the emotional outburst.

The counselor quickly apologized for the poor scheduling and reassured her that she was right in her outrage. After a compassionate discussion, the counselor added one detail which altered Dean's outlook on the situation. This doctor specialized in neural tube defects specifically. And so, all of the newborns that she saw in that waiting room were babies with severe neural tube defects and other related problems. While this little detail certainly did not invalidate her feelings of anger and pain, this new information added a whole new perspective on the grand struggle to bring a child into this world.

27 comments:

Not so little sister said...

Glad you're able to drop a class. And nice story about perspective. Getting perspective on my problems has definitely been the biggest help in my therapy...

I hope things get better soon.

((((NICOLE)))

Casey said...

I'm glad you're feeling some relief and that you found someone outside the computer who understands.

Take care of yourself, Nicole.

ultimatejourney said...

I'm glad you got things figured out with your classes. It is amazing how many people have dealt with fertility issues. When my husband first found out about the azoospermia, he told his boss that he was going to be out a lot for doctor's appointments and possibly surgery. He didn't say why, but he ended up telling his boss the truth when it became clear that his boss was worried that he had cancer or something. When he told his boss what was going on, his boss confided that he and his wife had lost their first child about 8 months into the pregnancy due to an undiagnosed structural problem with her uterus. Once that was fixed, they went on to have two healthy children. It's sad that so many people have struggles, but it does put things in perspective.

Aurelia said...

I really relate to this story. And I'm so glad your Dean told you about her life and her struggles. It's so important to find people in power who are in a position of compassion and decency.

I hope that dropping the class helps you get through the year. I'm thinking about you.

XX

megan said...

glad to hear you are able to give yourself a bit of a break and made a connection during the processes. keep on taking care of yourself, Nicole.

serenity said...

I am so glad that you were able to drop a class... and the story you relayed really struck me.

I have been thinking of you, hon - whenever I do I visualize sending you these little vibes of peace and love. I hope they're getting to you.

*hug*

My Reality said...

Not everything is as it seems - how very true.

I hope dropping the class makes the rest of the semester easier to get through.

Bumble said...

Glad a bit of the pressure has been taken off. Isn't it amazing how there are women all over the place that have been though this and yet no one really talks about it. I'm glad you two had a chat about it. She probably appreciated it just as much to be able to talk about it with you. X

BerryBird said...

I am so glad you got a chance to talk to the Dean and that she was supportive.

marlena rivers said...

wow. brave of you to confide in the dean and i'm glad she was so supportive and helpful and that you were able to drop a class and make your life a little more manageable. what a story about her experience... keep taking good care of yourself and keep up the posting! hang in there. i really admire your ability to go to law school. just have bipolar to struggle with is difficult enough while in such a competitive environment, much less all the other difficult challenges life has recently thrown at you... you truly are an amazing brave and wonderful person.

Cibele said...

Hi Nicole. I am so glad that you have a plan and have somebody to support you at the Law school. That was nice that the Dean shared her history with you. It is so good to feel understood and not alone
I hope you can manage the remaining 3 classes and soon this semester will be over
All the best
I am confidant that you can do it
!

Dino aka Katy said...

see there is light at the end of the tunnel

Renee said...

what everyone else said and hugs. You're doing great and we're all so proud of you.

Ol' Lady said...

maybe you can get some rest with one less class, you need time to heal.
everything is not always what we see...gainin a little insight sometimes makes a difference.
hope you start have more good days then bad ones...time will help, your a strong woman...just look at your past and see how far you have come, weak people can not survive such things.
hugs to you :)

Venusuvian Debs said...

I was looking for an email address to mail you but couldn't see one (probably don't need stalkers emailing you, wise choice). Thanks for the comment. Speaking of loons - I've been one since the age 5/6 (as far back as I can remember - I was trying to leave a comment on your post yesterday but the net was playing up). I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone - there are so many people including myself that just battle along, sometimes it feels like all the time. My life started off with what seemed like a pretty normal family life except there always seemed to be something not quite right. It turned out that my father, had been abusing my sister since the age of 6 (she is two years older than me) and whilst she got the worst of it, it did spill over onto my side. I married at 21,(to a man I did not love because of pressure from family - I just wasn't strong enough), a man that was manipulative, who ended up having an affair and we were divorced 10 months later (thank God). I'm not trying to hijack your post, I just want you to know you have like minded people around you and the support is from a place of understanding. :)

thirdtimelucky said...

It's good that you are able to take a little more time with one less class.

Also good to find someone so understanding.

Baby Blues said...

It helps that you could open up and confide with your Dean. Glad you were able to figure out how to go about your classes with someone who has been there and understands. Thanks to Dean for sharing her story.

Dream Writer said...

It is always a wonderful feeling when you find a connection with someone.

I hope things get better soon :)

Jenny F. Scientist said...

It was very compassionate of her to share these things with you. What a hard story. I'm glad she's being so supportive and helpful, and I hope dropping the class will help you rest and recover.

((((Nicole))))

thrice said...

When I speak to women, especially women who have finished child-bearing, MOST have had some kind of bout with IF, miscarriage and other losses. Rarely do I find that a woman has had one child by "choice."

The conversations make me aware that I was very lucky to have conceived in the time that I did. If I had tried ten years previous, ICSI would not have been an option.

Adrienne said...

Glad you were able to get your load lightened, Nicole. And your Dean sounds like a wonderful, compassionate woman who has been there and totally gets it. That is a huge plus.

Carrie said...

Glad you've lightened your load a little.

Also it's good to remember that everything is not as it may appear. Sometimes I feel like other people got off easy but the truth is you never know someone elses story.

Renee said...

re: my blog...yeah, it probably wouldn't be a good idea for me to run him down. My family needs me.

jane said...

Stories like this strengthen my conviction that nobody is in our life "by chance".
To me, Dean represents hope.

Christina said...

well, at least your burden is a little lighter and your mood too; )

(hey, the word verification just made me spell...brests...listen you dirty little computer!!!)

Molecular Turtle said...

Sounds like Dean is a smart compassionate woman. I wish you well in your remaining classes.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

Sorry that I missed such a difficult time for you....my heart really bleeds for you. If you need to feel angry and sad, then feel angry and sad. But I am happy to hear that you are also taking action to make life a little easier for you - as in, dropping a class.

Having been married to someone with Bipolar Disorder (not sure which one as she refused to follow through with treatment), I know how complicated the meds can be. But is there any medication that you can take that will lighten the weight of the depression a bit. It sounds like the depression is crushing right now and I just don't know how anyone can be expected to function in that state.

My thoughts are with you!!!

*hugs*