The nurse is telling me in her broken English that her husband has told her that she doesn’t deserve children, but that she could try to “prove herself deserving” but since she is too old now it is basically too late, and she has obviously failed (say whaaat?? the feminist in me threatens to scream).
I ask her what her husband’s criteria of “deserving a child is” (which she doesn’t understand so I have to rephrase the question several times). She isn’t sure, either she doesn’t understand me or she doesn’t know what his criteria are- what she had to do in order to “in his eyes” be able to deserve having a baby. This is ridiculous- are there men like that?
She seems to agree with him though, which is almost worse. Is she really that “broken”, she seems to be a nice lady. He must be a real jerk (stronger titles come to mind). She tells me he is American and with her accent this is probably not where she was born, he must be using his power over her, bossing her around telling her what to do (putting on my psychologist hat I am able to analyze all sorts of things about this situation, this relationship, this obvious unhealthy marriage).
It is really not my place to judge and I really shouldn’t meddle- a patient in an ugly green gown, oversized see through panties in a hospital bed (doesn’t exactly shout authority) but I feel truly bad for her, the woman is close to tears, but what could I do to help anyways?
Demand to see her husband (probably couldn’t do that) and when and where, and what would I say and in what capacity? Nah, this is something I have to leave alone, but I feel worried about this forlorn lady, I just hope he isn’t abusive (it sounds like he might be verbally so).
She obviously hasn’t proven herself a “good woman, person and wife in his eyes” (how is that for horrible statements!?) therefore she could not and would not become a mother.
Oh if I would have that man in front of me, I would claw his eyes out (I’m already planning a couple therapy session im my mind where I’m-even if inappropriate; totally bias towards the wife. This poor lady, my insides ache for her and even if I really want to tell her she deserves more, I settle for a quiet and very composed (opposite of what I’m feeling) “your deserve to be a mom and I’m sure you would be a great one”.
To my surprise she looks down and slowly and solemnly shakes her head no. Is that a tear I see falling? Okay, this is truly heartbreaking and again I feel utterly and completely blessed with what I have- my husband, our babies, our family and the relationship that we have.
Before she goes, turning off all the lights, leaving me to ponder…she tells me she was given a book by her husband on Mother’s Day last year. She is telling me that she got very surprised to be receiving a gift on such a day since she is not a mother, “he told me to read it, study it and learn from it”.
Now my interest is definitely peaked. I ask what the book was about and she tells me the title is “How to be a good wife”…
The next morning, I’m wakened at the perfectly normal hour of 5:30 am. I am pretty used to early mornings with my husband and son but not after extremely interrupted sleep- do they really have to check my vitals every two hours; I mean really!? – I know you haters out there are telling me it’s for my own good and that I should be thankful, well yes… I am! AND it gets much “worse” when baby gets home, (I still long and pray for that day) thanks for reminding me, I am aware! I am not feeling great okay, and in between vital checks, strong meds, unnecessarily bright lights and middle of the night pumping sessions, I’m a wreck (even before the baby has come home).
The doctor looks hyped up as he is bouncing (I’m telling you) in my room and quickly and loudly exclaims “well, you my friend are a complete mess” …