Are you doing more harm than good?
I had a rough morning. This morning was one of those mornings I wish so earnestly that I could redo.
A doctor appointment at 9:00. I could barely open my eyes not only because of the lack of quality/quantity sleep I received last night but also because my eyes and cheeks were still swollen from throwing up late into the wee morning hours.
It was drizzling rain and cold. Daphne and I left 20 minutes early thinking that would be enough to get me two miles down the highway to my obstetrician. I find it amusing in a grim sort of way that the rain has a way of making roads into roller coasters and bumper car alleys. The highway was packed and my exit ramp was full of still cars waiting to roll around the loop.
The twenty minutes I gave myself to travel to the office were all used. We arrived at the office and were greeted with “Do you have an appointment today? I don’t see you on the schedule.” My little appointment reminder card was still at home on my magnetic calendar or I would have waved it around in the air like my golden ticket. I endured a rainy slow traffic jam just to be told I don’t have an appointment? She wiggled some things around on her schedule and told me they could fit me in.
Daphne settled on the floor with a puzzle and I encouraged her. One full and soon spilled cup of ice cold water later, we were called back.
Peed in a cup and was weighed. We went to the exam room.
Daphne did very well watching me get my blood pressure taken and waiting for the vitals nurse to finish finding the new baby’s heartbeat (it was 140). We waited for my other nurse to come.
After asking how I was and how I had been feeling, the nurse immediately addressed my weight gain in a matter of fact manner. “We’re at 19 pounds now. You’ve been averaging about five pounds at each appointment. We need to get this under control, the goal is 30 pounds.”
Through my swollen squinting eyes, I just stared at her and nodded. My face frozen with puffy cheeks riddled with broken vessels and red dots from throwing up all night. I told her that I had been sick this past week with some sort of stomach bug and even through that I had been able to work out daily at the gym. She nodded and seemed pleased that I was active.
Daphne was playing with a magazine and flipping through the pages as we finished the appointment. She helped me up and we started for the door.
I asked Daphne to please put the magazine up on the table since we were leaving. Daphne obeyed. The nurse said “Good skills, mama!” I just smiled and told her that I didn’t want my kid leaving crap all over the place.
Deflated, depressed, and lethargic, I left with Daphne after setting my next appointment for the glucose test.
The drive home was tough. I tried not to cry but I did anyway. We got home and Daphne went down for her morning nap and I went to my bed and curled up.
I was so frustrated at the nurse and at myself.
I realize that I am gaining weight—in fact, I started this pregnancy 30 pounds heavier than I did with my first pregnancy with Daphne. I realize that 30 pounds is the recommended weight gain.
I tried to figure out just why I was so upset at the reprimand from the nurse and I think I have it narrowed down to a few points:
-The nurse was doing more harm than good when she made me feel bad about my weight gain. The issue was that she scolded me without offering hope or remedy. She didn’t ask about my diet or workout routine. She didn’t offer me an appointment with the nutritionist. She didn’t offer any sort of help. I would equate it to a person in a boat pointing at a person drowning and scolding them for going in too deep without throwing them a life jacket or a hand up.
-As a person who in a non-pregnant state has body image issues and weight gain problems, commenting on weight gain is a trigger for a multitude of negative feelings and thoughts.
Although this has mostly been a rant about my crappy morning and my depressed reaction to my weight gain, I find questions that can be applied to other areas of my life.
“Am I doing more harm than good? Is it helpful? Is it needed?
By saying what I want to say, am I being helpful? Could this be more harmful than helpful?
Is being brutally honest really worth it if it might hurt another person’s feelings?
Is my comment or remark biting rather than building?
Taking into account the possible effect my words and actions may have on another person have helped me to change my course and humbly act. I think we all should strive to be more aware of the sensitivities and needs of others.
Take a second to look around you and see how you can encourage and build up others. Are you being a giver or a taker? Are you giving compliments and praise or are you taking them? Start listening and looking for holes in the hearts of your family, friends, and people you meet. Fill them with encouraging words and help where you can. Offer hope. Offer a hand.