Friday, May 28, 2010

Postnatally yours

Last Thursday I had my 6-week postnatal check-up, with a very nice nurse at our local doctor's office, "Nurse Patsy". There were a few things about the visit that have made me laugh so I thought I'd share them. Nurse Patsy is a grandmother herself, a very kind lady who was very warm and easy to talk to. She also managed to get away with saying this without making me feel too bad, although I have laughed about it several times: "I am guessing by looking at you that you're breastfeeding."

Now I didn't question her on it but I'm assuming that she based that on the fact that I looked tired and like I hadn't had a full night's sleep in a while (a quick look down reassured me that I didn't have a boob hanging out in the open). Anyway, she was, of course, right, but it has just made me laugh several times since. If Matt had said that, for instance, I think my reaction would have been slightly different! Nurse Patsy and I were actually talking about whether I should be on iron supplements, and I'm waiting on the bloodwork to see if I am a bit low.

One of the things that happens in this check-up is that the new mother has to complete the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale questionnaire. This is a set of questions about how you've been feeling in the past 7 days that is supposed to give an indication about whether you might be suffering from postnatal depression. Fortunately I was within the normal range , although my scores for the questions about feeling anxious and worried and scared and panicky were on the higher side (this was when I was having all my mother-duck-looking-after-ducklings anxieties being released, including my anxiety dream about leaving Noah at a bus stop while chasing Blake into a laundromat). Since then I feel a lot better about these things and know that I don't need to put myself in situations where Blake can easily run off leaving me to run after him and therefore abandoning Noah.

At any rate the first question on the Edinburgh scale is this: "I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things." To which I answered, "As much as I always could." And I have a case in point! On Wednesday I went off to the Dulwich post office to mail Henry Thompson a 2nd birthday gift, which was actually the Christmas present for all 4 Thompson kids which I never managed to mail to them. On the way back through the park, I walked past some sort of construction site on my left. It was a sunny day, and I was enjoying the greenness of the park, watching birds fly by and didn't actually notice the site much, apart from noting that some work was going on. As I passed by, I heard the first notes of the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost that Loving Feeling start to waft through the spring air, and I had this sudden feeling that I was about to be serenaded a la Goose and Maverick in Top Gun - kind of a musically-assisted form of cat-calling.

As a breastfeeding mother, I am still in the mindset of thinking I need to consume additional calories (usually in the form of chocolate cookies), but in fact I'm probably consuming many more than needed. Needless to say, I'm not exactly at my most svelte. So I thought to myself, well, this is kind of nice, to be serenaded/cat-called, even if it just some builders and they probably do this all day. I turned to acknowledge them, and what did I see but two fifty-something men, who happen to have the radio on, enjoying their cups of tea, looking the complete opposite direction to me! My optimism definitely made me laugh, although in thinking about it, it could be seen as slightly delusional! As with a lot of things these days, I'm just going to blame sleep deprivation...

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