There are all sorts of jokes made about women not saying what they mean. Instead of saying she’s upset, she’ll say “I’m fine.” Instead of crying when she is scared or overwhelmed, she’ll remove herself to a different room or space. This is the result of hundreds of years of gender rules and ideals on strength and weakness. Women apologize for expressing themselves, and they even apologize for apologizing! We hope this one day will change and everyone can be heard without scorn, but until it happens we will hear what you don’t say.
So don’t be surprised when you call us and tell us the news that you are expecting, we will ask you how you feel about this news. We will tell you it’s ok to be overwhelmed and not overjoyed with the change in plans if you hesitate and say you are scared. We will catch the hesitations and doubts that are unspoken, and draw out your desires and plans.
We will listen to your heart as it speaks in between the words you say, and we will hear what you don’t say.
After your prenatal appointment, you can call us to go over the visit and information that was given to you. It isn’t silly to need more information to calm your nerves, and it is ok to get a second opinion from another provider when things don’t feel right. You don’t have to apologize for the tears that fall on your cheeks as you pour out the fears in your heart when we tell you “that’s a lot of information to process, and you sound a little overwhelmed. Would you like to talk about how this all makes you feel?”
When you are laboring and things are harder than you thought, and you say “I can’t do this anymore” we are going to say “let’s talk about what needs to change to make this easier for you. We won’t judge you when you decide you need pain relief, or an epidural to sleep. But if you just need to say it out loud to get through that moment, we will let you say it without the need to apologize. As you take in your provider’s advise and suggestions, we will listen as you answer and ask questions. We will hear the words you don’t say, and ask more questions to support your decision making. We will ask if you need more time in private to make choices that may be hard. When you cry we will hold your hand, and we may cry with you sometimes. Because we know what it feels like to have words go unsaid, and we will never let you not be heard.
When you tell us things are going “ok” with your new baby, we will ask you what needs to happen to make it better. You won’t need to apologize for not loving every moment, or feeling sad for no reason at all. We will pull out the needs from between the words and help you navigate through the feelings to find the things that are important to you. Because you are so important.