Im in a situation (or several situations) in my life right now that are more than just good and bad. They are dense and thick and complicated. They are situations that people ask me about, hows it going with.....? How are things with....? How is it?
And I have no idea how to answer. Some parts are good, some parts are bad, some parts require knowing me for 30 years and understanding how I think, some parts require listening for 5 minutes without stopping or judging, some parts require silence, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. In short, I wish people wouldn't ask me.
So this situation made me think of when we ask women, "How was your BIRTH?". Well it was good because no one died. It was bad because my husband is an idiot and he behaved like one during the birth. It was good because I didn't have surgery. It was bad because I didn't think I would make it. I was good because my mother caught the baby. It was bad because there was meconium adn the baby was aspirated. It was good because my midwife was wonderful. It was bad because she wouldn't stop asking me how I was doing and what I needed. and on, and on, and on.
It made me realize what a rediculous question this is and how it is so hard to answer. I imagine its a bit like, how was your marriage? (after 50 years). How was your relationship with your mother (a bit of everything??)
Anyway, in the end I think that what I am getting at is that I wish people would just listen to what I want to say and stop asking questions. I wonder if thats what women want in Maternal care. Perhaps, instead of asking questions in the Prenatal room we should start by saying "What do you want to talk about today?". And when we ask about MAJOR life experiences we should ask "If there anything you want to tell me about? How can I best listen to you?"
When women have hard births, for example a transport in a homebirth, a cesarean when that wasn't the intention, a cold provider when we wanted some more support, how can we ask women about that and listen to what they have to say without saying: AT LEAST NO ONE DIED.
So anyway, its a bit like this picture. Yes the sun is out, yes the clouds somewhat cover it. Theres a lot to say about the weather in this picture. There's a lot to say about us. And theres a lot that can go unsaid, just by observing.