Thursday, June 21, 2007

The construction of childlessness

One of the problems with our particular version of not-being-able-to-have-kids is that everyone we have talked to about it, who is professionally involved with it, has a different construction on it.

Doctors and nurses see recurrent miscarriage, and long gaps between (some) conceptions as a medical problem. They can't explain it in our case, but they do have at least some medical interventions which have some success in getting to a live birth of a child genetically related to us, which is their goal.

Alternative practitioners seem to view it similarly - my previous acupuncturist was very focussed on getting and keeping me pregnant, and not on helping me stay sane. Although I had my first reflexology appointment yesterday, and the therapist seemed more focussed on general wellbeing, helping me relax and work through my grief, which my old acupuncturist was not really - she even said "so, you've had a period" when I miscarried at 5w.

Social workers see it as a social problem. If we are able to give up on the idea of having children that are genetically ours, they will be much more willing to work with us towards their goal of gaining permanent families for children who do not have them.

We have not consulted any psychologists (well, I've consulted myself and some colleagues, and I did see the scary shirt man) but I don't know of any particular school of thought that would direct a decision one way or the other, the main emphasis being on being happier with what is happening in life anyway; in other words, it is constructed as a cognitive problem - if you look on yourself as childless, you will not be satisfied, but if you look on yourself as childfree you might be.

Going back to the alternative practitioners, I am wondering about seeing a different acupuncturist and/or a TCM specialist. I feel in need of at least a short break, so now might be the time for some herbs, if appropriate. Any suggestions in the NW of England, or London, gratefully received.

(I have a little more to post about The Hospital Experience but that one seemed to want to come out now).


May said...

I'll definitely email you Dr. Expensive Alternative's details, as soon as I can get the leaflet with them on back off my mum, who has decided he may as well treat the entire family. He seems to be in the 'your health and well-being, physical and emotional, is the important thing' camp. He doesn't seem particularly focussed on baby-at-all-costs. I'm finding that helpful. I'm sort-of buried under the weight of my malfunctioning reproductive equipment at most other doctor consults.

Here's hoping you get the TLC and the view you need.

Anonymous said...

Although my own trials are nothing compared to yours (just the two miscarriages, 6 and 9wks-MMC-ERPC at 11.5 wks)(and I have to stop myself from typing 'two miscarriages *so far*' because I'm desperately trying not to be so negative), I'm also concerned with the 'staying sane' issues of conceiving again after miscarriages. I'm about to start a course of CBT with a local practitioner - an entirely new thing for me. I don't think my GP was particularly bothered about keeping me sane, she just reels off the same old statistics. Well. If they were ever going to reassure me, I'd feel a hell of a lot less panicky and depressed all the time!

I've been reading your hospital experiences. Please post more on this, if you think it'll help you - it does sound as if it's cathartic for you. Take care. Ellie.