In my work as a neonatologist, I've looked after many, many babies. I've seen families of all ages, cultures and circumstances. But I've never seen a mother who wanted to harm her growing baby. Yet too often I still see mothers who use alcohol during pregnancy despite extensive educational campaigns about its harmful effects on the growing fetus.
Cancer. Death. Divorce. Miscarriage. Infertility. What these experiences all have in common is that they make people clam up. People often don't know how to respond, what to say, what to do or how to react. So often, people don't respond. They don't say anything. They don't do anything. They don't react. And that is wrong. Some would argue that everyone is dealing with their own stuff and don't have the bandwidth to take on other people's problems. But if everyone's head is down and people are only worried about themselves, that is a sad and cynical statement about society. Are people really that busy that they can't be supportive of others?
My husband was holding him and I think I may have almost wanted to hit them. I know I wanted something to happen. I was thinking that if I threw that shoe hard enough maybe it would crack the layer of suffocation I was feeling around me. Maybe it would give me some air, or maybe I'd get in trouble and someone would say "Okay, she's clearly had enough. Let's give her a week off from this motherhood thing."
Recently, a lot of media have been reporting on the dispute between Ontario's doctors and the Liberal government headed by Kathleen Wynne, and her Health Minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins. But what is lost in the shuffle is that in addition to the across the board fee reductions, there are a number of targeted fee cuts that have significant implications for patient care going forward.
"How's the baby?" you're asked constantly. "How's she eating/sleeping?" It doesn't take long for you to notice the monumental shift in focus, from you -- the glowing, pregnant woman -- to the baby. That seat that people jumped to offer you on the bus? Taken. It's touching to feel such warmth and interest towards your newborn, don't get me wrong. But how about we save some of that for mom?