August 3, 2012

The Last Thing I Need?

This is a fragile topic, and a girl one at that- I highly doubt any guys read my blog (other than Sky), but I'm giving fair warning just in case.

I've had some problems lately. Things haven't been right with my birth control- lots of unwanted side effects made me finally call and make an appointment. My doctor said she would switch me to something else- something known to significantly raise the risk of blood clots, which I already have in my family history. I asked, "Isn't that the pill I see with all the lawsuits pending on the commercials?" "I don't know," she said, staring at the computer. "I don't watch much TV." And that was that. She called in the prescription and smiled.

A few days later, I called the office and explained that I felt very uncomfortable to try the medicine, and asked what other options they could suggest. The nurse responded, "Just get on your computer and Google around and see what you find out." DIY doctoring, I guess. But that isn't what hurt- it's what she said right after that, when she asked what I was currently taking:

"The last thing you need is another little one running around."

It took a second for stunned to turn into recognition. I've never talked to her or anyone else about the longterm plan for our family, in the doctor's office or anywhere else, so the only possible reason for her to say that was our income level.

I get it. We don't have money. And while it's usually a normal, annoying question that people are asked just months after their first child is born, it's something no one has ever asked me: "So, when is Millie going to have a little brother or sister?" It's supposed to be understood that we're poor and shouldn't want any more children, or shouldn't do anything about it if we do. But no one has ever come out loud and said it. No one has ever been so blunt.

I hung up the phone in disbelief, but it quickly gave way to hot tears. I've always imagined the reaction people would have if I ever get pregnant again- the halfhearted smiles and awkward congratulations that sound empty as soon as they say them. But this taste of it was even more bitter than I expected.

I will never forget asking my boss to sit down with me one morning so I could tell her I was pregnant with Millie- the look she gave me before saying cautiously, "Wow...so is this a good thing?" It never occurred to me until that second that it could be anything other than good. I said, "Yes, I'm thrilled." She said, "Okay- well...then I'm happy for you." Bubble = burst. I made the rest of the announcements at work quickly, just to get it out of the way. Was I supposed to apologize? Was I supposed to be upset? I didn't know what they wanted.

I've struggled with this issue for years now. This is what I believe- more than likely, we will never be rich. We probably won't even have a lot of extra money. But Millie is happy, has food and clothing, a roof over her head, and parents who adore her. Another baby would cost something, of course, but not much at first (re-use Millie's cloth diapers, all her clothes if it were another girl, and no buying car seats, a pack-n-play, high chair, stroller, toys, etc. because we already have all of those things). If I homeschool Millie, it won't cost any more to homeschool a second child.

Will we be in better shape financially in 5 or 10 years? Goodness, I hope so. But I don't want to wait until I'm 37 to find out. If we stay exactly how we are now, then we'll struggle, but not much more than we already struggle. We'll still be okay. I truly believe that.

But of comments that sting, that one definitely made the list.

29 kind comments from you:

Mrs. Y said...

Money is what is keeping Mr. Y and I from having kids. Because if it was just as easy as me getting pregnant bam it would happen in a heartbeat. But I can't. We need money to do in-vitro and already have a surrogate lined up. I know your pain all too well and your worries.

I had to get an X-ray and I was asked if there was a chance I was pregnant. Honestly I said no, no way. But we are trying. Cause that is the truth. The person taking my X-rays said give it time and it will come. That made me smile.

Some people are rude and don't mean what they say. It comes out harsh. If people waited for them to have money would the world be as populated as it is now?

I think the most comment I've received that stung the most was that I had more kids than I truly did. Umm I wish. I wish I wish but I don't. And that hurt. We are trying to open our home to foster kids to at least do something. One step at a time.

Money doesn't make people happy.

Jenn said...

I cannot believe that remark actually came out of someone's mouth. How have people become so desensitized as to think that saying something so hurtful is ok? I'm so sorry.

I'm one of five. Looking back now, I realize we didn't have much. But I think my childhood was the greatest. Y'all are gonna be just fine. :)

Cat said...

Well, that was a rude nurse! There are other families out there who have less money and more children, and most of them just figure it out. A baby is never a bad thing, in my book. (Then again, I'm Catholic, so it's ingrained in me.)

Bethany said...

As long as you can love, feed, clothe, and provide a warm bed for your baby, he/she will be okay. I'm a firm believer that there's never a perfect time (financially) to have a baby...so with that said, go for it! You have so much love to give, and that will be one lucky little baby (plus, Millie will love it).

____j said...

I can definitely see where that would hurt you. I've had very similar things said to me before, shoot, even now that Aaron is an officer! You have to excuse people and their ignorance. Like my Nanny always tells me, 'Take it with a grain of salt.' You are a great mother, whether you have a little money or a lot of money. The love that you have for Millie is enough! "Things" aren't important, the love that you show her [&her future siblings] is.

Poekitten said...

I don't think your financial status is a reason to have or not have a baby. Any child that you and Sky have will be blessed with parents that love them, which is a lot more than many children have!

Also, telling you to find your own medicine? I'd be finding a new doctor based on that, but I'd be doing super fast after that comment!

JG said...

I'm in shock. Just in shock. What a horribly insensitive thing to say. I'm so sorry.

Mrs. H said...
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Mrs. H said...
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Mrs. H said...

We live in a society where children are no longer gifts, but rather a burden or trophies. How horrible huh?

My husband grew up in a family of ten and INCREDIBLY poor. All ten homeschooled, happy, and really great people—all because their parents regarded them as gifts not burdens.

You're an amazing mother; not a rich doctor who married another rich doctor who works all the time and leaves her child to be raised by nannies (sadly I know multiple families like this!)

Fran said...

First of all, if you wanted to WebMD what medicine to take, wouldn't you have done that already? Jeez...

And I probably would've hung up on that lady, drove over there and slapped a b*tch. Okay, I probably would've just cried but I can't believe someone actually thought it'd be okay to say that to someone. If I'm ever in Chambana she better watch out because she'll get an earful from me :P

But honestly, there's no such thing as the right time to have kids, and honestly how many things or how fancy those things are is not what your kidS will remember - *they* will remember the $5 chalkboard they had so much fun with, and the awesome time it was drawing on the end of a newspaper roll, or playing with the on sale play dough/sidewalk chalk. Why? because kids don't remember prices, they remember the feelings, the laughters... they remember the love.

Skinnie Piggie said...

When we were younger my sister and I wore the next door neighbors hand-me-down clothing, going to the thrift store was a treat, and we're am proudly public school educated (free!), both of us ended up pushing ourselves thru high-school and getting a full ride scholarship to our in state university... so, just because we didn't have a glitzy and glamorous younger childhood (my mom started her own business when I entered Jr. High and it helped out a lot financially allowing extra trips/treats) does not mean that my sister and I didn't get to experience things!

Erin said...

I agree with the doctor comment 100%. The fact that your doctor was ignorant of the issues says a lot. They SHOULD be able to consult you on the pros and cons, and let you make the decision to take the meds.

Erin said...

The money thing is such a sensitive issue, and I know where you're coming from. We haven't been successfully able to conceive at this point, and I've thought many times before (when we weren't doing as well) that we weren't ready because we weren't able to give our children a life comparable to how I grew up. I didn't grow up well-off by any means, but my parents had enough to take a family vacation every year, enroll us in sports/after school activities, as well as pay for my college education. I'd want to be able to give my kids the same, and I know I would take it really personally if I wasn't able to do that.

Holly said...

Wow. That is unbelievable! Sometimes people just don't realize... I took that same birth control that you are talking about 2 different times. The first time it worked wonders for me and at that time I didn't know about the lawsuits. The second time I took it was because my endometriosis was getting worse and it had worked so well for me the first time. I think it is pretty safe and helpful, but I still ended up on a different one. I've switched a lot and it's really trial and error. You would think your doctor would be more helpful, though. Geez. Good luck with everything!

Jen said...

Wow! What a horrible thing to say, I'm sorry that you had to be subjected to that. Some people have no tact whatsoever.

Our Little Fam said...
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Our Little Fam said...

I am sorry for the rude comments! What kind of nurse just tells you to search the web? Seriously..

We have two boys. I think I have bought ONE outfit for little brother, everything else was big brothers or from family members. We use the same crib, same bedding, same blankets. I agree with what you wrote, your second would not cost nearly as much as the first.

Thinking of you!

Chantal said...

I can understand how that hurt! How rude of the nurse. And if you have another baby, you will make it work. That's all it ever is anyway, making things work.

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness! I am STUNNED at that doctor! She needs to know what's going on with birth control pills before prescribing them. Are there any alternative methods of birth control you could switch to? I only say that because I had pretty bad reactions to the pill, so we had to figure something else out. You should never take something you feel uncomfortable about, especially with your family history.

Those were pretty ballsy things for that doctor and your boss to say. No one but you and Sky should worry about your financial situation and judge you on it. And if you ever get pregnant again, it sounds like you'll be pretty set. And just know that you have a group of girls who will be thrilled for you and support you in anything!

Karen said...

I'm completely stunned by both your doctor and the nurse. It's not up to them to tell you when you should or shouldn't increase your family size. And the fact that your doctor knows nothing about the side effects of that pill and isn't willing to research them for you - says a lot about them, that's their job, they are supposed to tell you the pros and cons of medications.

I see where your boss was coming from - because if a pregnancy is unexpected (in their mind), they think you might not be happy about it - although I have never known anyone who wasn't happy after they found out they were pregnant, unexpected or planned.

And my opinion is that no one will ever have enough money, the time will never be right, and there will always be a reason that you shouldn't be having a baby right now - but that's no reason to NOT have one. It will happen when it's the right time for you. And I will be thrilled for you and everyone around here will support you 150%. Hugs to you! (and sorry for the novel of an answer lol)

Deanna said...

After Addison was born I wanted another baby right away, and when the doctor tried to urge me on birth control- saying how horrible it would be if I got pregnant again right away, I assumed that she meant because Addison had Down syndrome of course I shouldn't bear any more "defects". Later talking to a cousin who is a nurse, she told me that they tell ALL new moms with two week olds that since your body needs a solid nine months to recover from the first pregnancy. But in your case? You have a gorgeous girl who is getting to the stage where she can be a mommy's helper with a younger sibling. You are an amazing mother with a creative mind making a big life out of little. One plus one equals two. Why would the nurse say otherwise? If you were to announce another pregnancy, I would be THRILLED for you. Don't let other people's rude comments hurt you. Since when do you have to be rich to have more than one kid????

Jenn said...

Rude comments aside, the fact that the doctor did not address your concerns regarding the medicine she was prescribing is reason enough to get a new doctor. Add in the rude comments from the staff and the fact that they told you to google your options puts them on the top of the list for turning them into the state board.

Mel said...

On the doctor part of things - you need a new one. Or to have a serious talk with the one you have. No doc (esp. of the female variety) should give you a medicine you're not comfortable with unless she has talked you through the pros and cons. And it is unacceptable to have you search for your own meds. Ultimately, I would see what you can do about remedying the situation so you can feel comfortable about going to your doctor.

And that's not even including the judgmental and inappropriate comments that were made!

greaterexp said...

You obviously hit a nerve here, but one can see the sympathies are with you, and certainly do not match up with that doctor. Besides immediately finding another doctor, I would reflect on how little our money really buys for kids in terms of what they need. If we all waited for the perfect time (plenty of money, plenty of time, the inclination that doesn't fade when the alcohol wears off [I'm trying some comic relief here.]), no one would ever have kids. Some of my children were not "planned," but turned out to be the most wonderful blessings! We NEVER had the "right amount" of money, but I don't think many kids in this country generally miss out on any material item they really need; what most kids miss out on is their parents' love and time and involvement, which you eagerly provide. Whether you "need" another little one running around is up to you and Sky and God; you're not a social experiment. Good-bye, bad doctor!

Warrior Wife said...

Poor smoor. If everyone has healthcare, food, a roof, and mom and dad are happy in the marriage then you've got everything you need. Not too far back someone named "Susan" basically told me I should even think of having a child because of where Aaron and I are in our recovery. What was super awesome was that I had not discussed *when* we planned on having a kid, just that we HAD plans for it. People suck.

Samara said...

It doesn't take money for a child to feel loved and to be happy.

I agree with everyone else- you need a new doctor.

Erika . . . with a K said...

I really hope you hung up the phone and googled a new doctor! What a terrible way to be treated.

beka said...

that makes me so sad...and ticked off at that nurse who made that comment. my word! :( just because you can't live lavishly or super comfortably right now doesn't give anyone the right to judge or look down on you and your desire --and reality, someday-- to have another baby.

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