Last year I wrote a post explaining why I felt the need to speak out. In it I talked about an encounter, with another preemie mom, that changed my life.
Here is a part of the original post...
One day a friend of mine asked me to join her for lunch. She was meeting a first time client and thought that her and I would like to meet since the client's daughter was born early. My friend suggested that I bring my daughter (who was around 2 at the time) so the 2 kids could play together.
When we arrived I was surprised to see the client was without her daughter. As we started talking we realized that we had a lot in common. Both of our girls were born at 25 weeks, both of us had premature rupture of membranes and surprisingly, both of us delivered at the same hospital (this was odd because the hospital was 90 minutes away).
I opened my trap and started spouting off about how I was frustrated with some preemie moms who say that they wish their baby had not survived. I told her about how the neo at the first hospital told me that I had the right to not resuscitate our daughter. I proudly told her how I flipped out on the doc and that I was then transfered to the 2nd hospital (the same hospital she delivered at) and how they told me that their interest was in saving my baby, and my care came 2nd (I haven't gotten into this much but I will at a later date). I must have gone on for 15 minutes about saving preemies and how mine was such a miracle. I was so immersed in my own glory that it took me a minute to realize that "the client" was looking very angry. I shut my mouth long enough for her to collect her thoughts. She then said,
"I wish someone had given me the choice."
She went on to tell me that the doctors at the hospital told her that her "job" was to endure the time she needed to in order to save her baby (her water had broken and she was admitted). Even though she was telling them that she wasn't feeling good, they ignored her. (this also happened to me at the same hospital-a story I will tell another time). She asked them about having another baby if hers did not make it but they just kept on telling her that her baby would survive. She asked them about statistics but they just kept on telling her that she needed to relax (again-also happened to me at the same hospital).
The time finally came when her daughter needed to be born (due to infection-secondary to PROM). She lost a lot of blood during the c-section and ended up losing her uterus. Her daughter did survive but was massively affected by her early birth.
Again she said, "I wish they had given me the choice. I wouldn't have agreed to all of the meds to stop labor. My daughter suffers so much. I couldn't bring her here today because there is no room for her equipment at this restaurant. I can't even have more children."
My world changed that day. I was able to see "the other side".
Since starting my blog I have met so many wonderful people. With each new relationship came an understanding that we have some things in common. With some it was prematurity or pediatric mental health issues. Some it was a love of scrabble or even long discussions on religion (or lack of).
But, with all of my old and new friends, I do not share ALL of the same beliefs as they do.
Did that stop me from getting to know them? No.
Did that stop me from being friends with them? No
Did it stop me from being able to understand how they feel differently than I do? No
To argue ones point or opinion is one thing. Being nasty to another human being is another thing.
If someone takes a different side on an issue, are they not worthy of being treated with respect?
If you only surround yourself with like-minded people, and treat all others with nastiness and hatred, you will never grow.