Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WWBD?

Updated 4/26/07: Please know that the following post may get your panties in a bunch. I acknowledge that I am an angry, evil, nasty person right now. I am in no way saying that one must to do certain things to deserve a baby. Everyone deserves to be happy. I'm just not right now.

Sometimes when I am going through my day, I ask myself an age old question-What would Bloggies do? Perhaps you are wondering why I don't ask what Buddha or Jesus would do. Well, I already know what those two would do, and I also know it's not likely that I will choose to do what they do. So instead I ask what others with somewhat similar struggles would do in a particular situation. What would Aurelia, or Ultimate Journey, or Serenity, or Sara or Oneliner, or Lady in Waiting, or OHN, or Bumble, or Marie-Baguette, or Adrienne, or My Reality, or Sara, or Casey, or Megan, or Anns, or Nadine, or Berrybird, or Becks, or Barbara, or Renee, or Katy, or Carrie, or Caro, or Emilija or Mands, or Jane, or NSLS, or Diane, or Colette, or The Road Less Travelled or any of the other many Bloggies do in my spot? (by the way, if you comment I will add your name to the above list with a link to your site; yup shear desperation for friends, well that and I have no shame)

I had an appointment with my OB/GYN on Friday for my 1-month post-D&C checkup. Because they were running late and because all possible inconveniences insist on making their home in my life, I spent a fair amount of time in their waiting room. While doing time in OB hell, I desperately searched for something to read that didn't have the words "baby", "pregnant", or "parents" on the cover. Once I realized that this was too tall an order, I attempted to soothe myself by staring out their picture window at the cathartic sight of a parking lot. Looking back, I would have been better off counting loops of yarn in the waiting room carpet.

So, while I carefully studied the parking lot, an enormous pregnant woman comes into view. I would guess that she was around the 8th month. Instantly, I start to tear up and feel that boulder in my throat. When I caught sight of the next detail, I almost fell out of my chair and most definitely let out an audible gasp. This woman, who is lucky enough to still be pregnant was surrounded by cigarette smoke. Then, I realized it was coming from the cigarette in her hand. She was fucking smoking! I was livid. Just as I was about to march out to the parking lot and give her some of my mind blowing wisdom, the nurse called me in. I made a mental note to glare at the pregnant lady with the cancer stick when I came back out.

So the nurse saved this woman from my unmedicated, hormonal, post-miscarriage wrath. I still don't know what I was going to say, but I would venture to guess that it would have been along the lines of "What the fuck is wrong with you, lady?" or perhaps "Would you like a beer to go with that?". Let's be honest though, I am way too wimpy to have actually said anything to a woman with that much weight behind her. Scary.

So here's the ultimate question, what would you do?

40 comments:

Becks said...

I would want to say "You might want to mess your life up, but give your baby a chance to make its own mistakes". Its a tough call....

Barbara said...

Nicole - It seems unwise to take matters into your own hands. There are professionals who know how to deal with the problems. I'm sure her doctor knows she smokes.

I might be tempted to leave some literature on her windshield about the dangers that smoking presents to her unborn child.

Another option, befriend the woman and support her in an effort to quit smoking.

Renee said...

Is there any chance that she was just fat?
I'm not sure of what I would do. I usually start coughing around smokers.

Last night at DD's gymnastics class a man stood behind me and REAKED of cigarette smoke! It was terrible. Luckily he moved away quickly...before I started coughing as it makes me gag. But I saw him later and his daughter who was in the class. I noticed that she was very small. It got me thinking that perhaps second hand cigarette smoke causes children to not grow properly...my mom still smokes (but not while pregnant, it made her ill then) and I was always a small child until I moved away from her.

Dino aka Katy said...

I would have been upset too. Some people are just not considerate why would you do that to your baby

Nadine said...

Oh yes. I would've been appalled. I like the idea of placing literature under her windshield wipers since I prefer to avoid confrontation.

Casey said...

I probably would have been upset by it, but I would have given her the benefit of the doubt. A couple of women who I am very close to smoked during their pregnancies. The problem wasn't that they didn't know the consequences or didn't care about their babies. Their problem was that they were struggling with addiction.

That's not to say that I don't understand why this upset you. It's just that I've dealt with my own share of preggo judgment, and I'm reluctant to dish it out on others.

Aurelia said...

I would struggle between zen and bitter rage.

Like I do everyday. Hard to let that one go, because even when I was stressed to the max, I didn't smoke or drink, or do anything harmful while pregnant. The excuse of, "I'm too stressed and can't quit smoking while pregnant, because of whatever....", ticks me off because the patch is fine during pregnancy. And resolving the source of the stress is 100 times better for the baby than smoking.

That said, she might've just been told some horrible news and if you said something bitter it might just push her right over the edge. We can't know? Unless you know her personally and know what's going on, it's better to just look away, and write ranty posts on your blog instead.

So we can tell you how bad we feel that you had to have a sucky day at the Dr.s! (((Hugs)))

Sara said...

Pretty much what Aurelia said. I'd have been angry and bitter and hurt and sad, but unable to speak to her.

I inadvertently made my opinion about smoking while pregnant clear when I was three months along. This woman, obviously much more pregnant than I was and yet smoking outside her office, blew a puff of smoke in my face thoughtlessly as she talked to someone and I was walking by. I wasn't bitter yet since I didn't know what would happen to me eventually, but I was annoyed. Totally unintentionally, having just barely recovered from the stench of the barbecue restaurant I'd just passed, I lost it, vomited right there into a garbage can on the street. Whoops.

I suppose I could have been embarrassed, but instead I just said, "I'm pregnant and cigarette smoke makes me sick."

ultimatejourney said...

Your post reminded me of the last time I was at the OB/GYN. I waited an hour for a 5-minute appointment that involved my dr telling me my husband has no sperm. I'm still bitter. I'm switching OBs if I'm ever lucky enough to get knocked up. I think there should be OB/GYNs who only deal with women who have struggled with IF. I bet you wouldn't see any smokers there!

Sorry I don't have any great suggestions for handling irresponsible preggies. Worse than the smoking is that the woman doesn't know well enough to try to hide her terrible habit. Is it possible she's dumb enough that she doesn't know how harmful it is? Yeah, I doubt it too.

carrie said...

I would have also been pissed off, upset, etc. and probably also would not have said anything. I probably would have glared. Maybe coughed. Maybe said something to my doc about how awful that was to see and ask if they see a lot of pg women who smoke. The doc is in a better position to intervene than I would be, so I would hope that somehow it would get passed along.

serenity said...

I would have been ripshit too. But IRL I'm chicken, so I wouldn't have probably said anything. I would have done exactly what you did - not said anything and then put a "ranty post" on my blog.

She sucks.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

I think that I would have chosen to glare at her. I would be afraid what would come out of my mouth when given the chance.

Watching irresponsible mothers is one of the most painful parts of my life these days. Living and commuting in the city, I am surrounded by inattentive teenage moms and screaming children. It sucks because I want to scream and cry at the same time.

Carrie said...

Not a t a doctors but I'm just back from a Hen Night in Blackpool. This is the tackiest place in the whole of England and I saw a few woman, heavily pregnant and smoking, just like you described.
I didn't do anything of course. I honestly don't think that any woman that risks the health of her unborn child would take the slightest notice, probably end up with me in tears and her amused?
I found it incredibly difficult to see. Life is so unfair.

Adrienne said...

Gah! I think my head just exploded!

In my fantasies, I would rip the cigarette out of her hand, throw it to the ground and grind it out with my shoe. "Find something else to suck on for the next few months, bitch!"

Sigh. But that wouldn't happen IRL. I'm voting for the glare - first at the cigarette then at her. She really should know better. She'd have to have an IQ of 2 not to know better.

(FWIW - I was a smoker when I got pregnant with Max. I quit immediately. Cold turkey. It can be done. You just have to want to do it.)

megan said...

it's tough to think of what i would actually *do.* probably nothing, even though i think it's a stupid thing to do. she already knows that it's not good for her or for the baby, so i too would wonder if perhaps she had just been given some horrific news or something. i know that wouldn't necessairly justify it, but we can't know what's going on with her without being her. maybe she's just a dumb-ass who is fine smoking while she's preggers. . . but maybe not.
sorry you had a bad trip to the doc. i always end up reading sports illustrated or knitting when i'm in those waiting rooms! you would think that they would be more sensitive about their reading material.

thirdtimelucky said...

I don't know what I would have said - probably nothing as I'm a wimp but I would have glared. Maybe even said something to someone else but loud enough for her to hear.

Sara said...

Was she still smoking when she walked in the door? Was she still outside heading for the door when you got called in?

IF she actually got in the door of a DOCTORS FRIKKEN OFFICE with a ciggarette, I would have said something. Hopefully something relatively calm, but probably something like "If you want to give your baby prenatal lung cancer that's your decision, but the rest of us like our lungs the way they are."

OHN said...

When I was 25 I would have said nothing and just cried.

When I was 35 I would have glared and said something loud enough to someone that she would overhear.

At 45 it would have gone something like this:
Have you been living under a fucking rock? How can you not know that smoking is stupid? I suppose you drink while you are driving with no seatbelt on. You don't deserve a baby and I hope they take it away from you 15 seconds after you give birth. Ignorant Bitch.

Emilija said...

I would guess that this lady knows that smoking isn't good, but she can't stop it right now. Smoking is not only an addiction, it even has antidepressant effects. Maybe she gets too depressed when she tries to quit. I bet she has tried quitting for her baby's sake, but can't. And she has made the decision to have the baby and smoke. Just like some people make the decision to have a baby and eat poorly or take medication or not take care of themselves. I would try to see her side of the story.

Bumble said...

F&%$K that, I wouldn't try to see her side of the story. Its people like her that probably fell pregnant by accident, take the fact she can reproduce for granted, live in denial about the fact that they really have a real live defenceless tiny human being living inside them (who trusts them to do the best for it) and yet they carry on regardless. That baby has no option but to wallow in her fumes. Selfish bitch. I would have loved to say something rude to her, but I'm a weakling and probably just would've clicked my tongue loudly at her as I walked past staring at her belly. And then ranted about it over here.

BerryBird said...

I would have stewed about it bitterly as well, and would not have been able to hold back the frosty glare had I a chance to use it. That kind of thing makes me so mad, and then I progress to sad: sad for the baby who's mother won't make the most basic sacrifice for them. But even given the chance, I doubt I would have said anything. I am just too chicken.

Anns said...

Wow, I'm in shock, I can't believe that in 2007 someone would even consider being pregnant around cigarettes, far less smoking one. I would have lost it myself -- pregnancy obviously came too easily to her.

By the way, I also get annoyed at all the parenting/child magazines in the OBGYNs office -- it's so insensitive of them.

Thanks so much for all your support yesterday and today, I really appreciated it and hopefully will only have good news for you moving forward.

xoxo Anns

Marie-Baguette said...

smokers disgust me and I used to be one. I bet she is in denial re: the effects on smoking on her baby. Even though I am pregnant now, I am still angry at those teens I see in the subway with babies. They have no idea how to take care of them, except for feeding them crap and giving them juice all day long. Same thing with people driving those SUVs as big as a house, with extra bumpers in the front (against wild elephants???). I look at them and I shake my head.

The Road Less Travelled said...

Probably nothing, why you ask? Well I'll tell ya. I worked in OBGYN for three years, I saw pregnant women drunk, high and smoking, that's if they bothered to show up for their prenatal appointments. I learned to put it out of my mind because I was going to slap someone. That was way before I had to pay thousands in the hopes of getting what they obviously have taken for granted. I now know for a fact that life is not fair. So I try not to work myself up (although that doesn't always work), even if that means I have to go get chocolate or ice-cream to make it better.

My Reality said...

I would have glared and it would have ruined my day - because she wasn't doing everything she could to protect her child. There are those of us that would do anything and, somehow, we aren't the ones 8 or so months pregnant right now.

jane said...

I wouldn't say anything. Look, the lady is smoking in PUBLIC. She obviously doesn't give a damn about her own flesh & blood, do you honestly think she cares about what strangers think?
Had you said something, you would've made her day. She undoubtedly has plenty of comeback lines stored up.

You would have been upset, that's all that would've resulted. I'm glad you were called by the nurse. Don't waste your breath or time on people like that.

Mands said...

I would have given her the death stare, then stomped off, cried, gnashed my teeth, wrung my hands together, got home and blamed my DH for all the injustice in the world.
He wouldn't understand why I would be shouting at him, so I would have cried some more (crying's my thing these days) and then gone to bed.
Clearly my advice is useless.

Not so little sister said...

No what would NSLS do? I'm just playing. :)

I would've been pissed and probably said something to the nurse. I also like the "could she just be really fat?" comment. Sorry you had to see that!

Dianne/Flutter said...

Holy stinkin' crap, where do these people come from?

Colette said...

Nicole...first of all...where is my name...lol...only kidding! Ok...i have been in your shoes more times then I want to admit to my slef or others! I have felt the same way so many times it is hard to count...I have learned we hav no control over what has happened to us...now i think of happy thoughts when i see women in the waiting room...we naturally think that it was easy for that woman to get pregnant, regardless of the smoking. Now i say...i wonder how long it took her to get pregnant or how many miscarriages did she have. It always seems when we are down or hurting that we assume it was easy fo the other person...now I just pretend...she had it just as hard as i did and it makes me feel a whole lot better! hugs and blessings!

Dream Writer said...

I wouldn't do or say anything to be honest..I've learned in life that we can only help people so much and we have to live and let live.

It is her life and that unborn child's life and the only person who will have regrets and live with it is her...the mother of that child!

Anonymous said...

Probably nothing. When I was 25 I might have said something or glared. But now at a sedate 40, I would probably consider that a) she knows it's bad and her doc knows as well b) she might have a non-viable fetus and is upset. I know b) sounds morbid, but that's the only way I could be at peace with myself.

thrice said...

Before pregnancy I would have barked out a nasty comment. On the heels of a miscarriage, it would have been a nastier comment.

Today I wouldn't say anything. It would disgust me just like when I hear a parent lose it with a child, or any situation where the parent doesn't appreciate parenthood. The problem is that there is too much for me to get upset in today's world and I need to tone it down. Especially if it isn't constructive for me. I'm sure this woman has smoked in public, and been barked at before. She's still smoking and doesn't care if she receives more comments.

dmarie said...

Bumble's comment was by far my favorite! LMAO I'm glad you reposted this. I probably would not have said anything because people can be crazy and I'm not trying to get shot or stabbed. I totally understand your anger though.

The Town Criers said...

I really don't know what I would do. I know that I would like to make a difference--if not in her life, then in the life of her unborn child. But I know I probably would have sat there, seething, feeling bitter if I had just m/c and was there for a follow-up appointment and I was faced with seeing the unfairness of the world drenched in cigarette smoke.

Patience said...

Sometimes, saying nothing is the harder thing to do.....

Somewhat Ordinary said...

Ugh, Nicole, I feel your pain. I have a friend that tried for almost 4 years to conceive and smoked "secretly" when she was pregnant. It made me angry, but I couldn't even bring myself to say anything to her because saying something wouldn't have made a difference. She knew the risks and did it anyway. Needless to say the baby was fine and if one of the smartest kids, but now that I'm struggling I wonder how she could have done that.

marlena rivers said...

great post. i've been real busy and want to now catch up on the posts you've put up that i've missed. however it's way past my bedtime so i'll just comment on this one and visit again when my brain is more awake. wow. several obnoxious things come to mind. i live above a bar adn there are always annoying people standing in front of my front door blocking it and smoking up a storm. however they at least are not pregnant. i liked your idea of offering her a beer. somehow sarcasm seems the best tactic.
besides this woman, though, it sounds like going to the gynecologist is majorly traumatic for you, which sucks. i've always hated how they stick mostly pregnancy and baby and parenting magazines in the waiting room. one of my gynecologists had other magazines like home decorating and stupid hollywood gossip magazines as well as other non pregnancy related ones which i thought was really great of her. it just seems like these doctors need to be a little more sensitive as to who their patients are.
anyway hang in there. i'll visit again tomorrow.

Depressionista said...

With my first baby I quit smoking when I found out I was pregnant. I lost her at 21 weeks from incompetent cervix.

With my subsequent pregnancy (my son who is now two), I tried my best to quit and failed. I did "really want to do it" as Adrienne put it, but I simply couldn't (or else I just didn't want it badly enough. I guess maybe I just really wanted my next baby to die too?)

I cut back to one or two a day but that was as far as I could go. And believe me, I beat myself up over it big time. Still do. I talked to my doctor about it and she was supportive of my efforts to cut down. She felt the small amount I was smoking was less risky than the lowest dose patch.

I was an infertile. I used IUI to get pregnant both times. I was also on antidepressants during that pregnancy and still felt like killing myself sometimes because of the overwhelming fear of having another baby die, and then the guilt over smoking with this one and how I was killing it, how I didn't deserve a baby, etc. Unlike Jane suggested, I didn't have any comeback lines if someone attacked me. I would have probably started crying and agreeing with the attacker that I was a horrible, rotten person who didn't deserve a baby. That's how I felt about myself.

Thank god I had some friends who didn't judge me as harshly as most of the women here would have. Like Casey said, we all know the dangers, and yes, I'm sure there are women out there who just don't give a shit, but there are probably a lot who feel like crap about it but are struggling with an addiction.

So I guess I wouldn't have said anything...just like I wouldn't rip a doughnut out of an overweight (possibly diabetic?) pregnant woman's mouth or yell at a pregnant lady I see in a hot tub or ask the restaurant manager to make sure the preggo over at table four doesn't get any blue cheese.

But, then again, according to most of the commenters here, I'm a "stupid" "dumb" "ignorant" "selfish" "bitch" who has been "living under a fucking rock" and "doesn't give a damn about my own flesh and blood" with "an IQ of 2."

We're all human. We all fuck up. If we do the best we can do, that's all we can ask.

Depressionista said...

Forgot to add: I can totally understand how seeing that woman would have been hurtful after suffering a recent loss. I AM sorry you had a tough time at the doctor's office.

I just wish we all could be a little more compassionate toward one another.