So you had an emergency c-section.
And now you're wondering where you went wrong. What you did wrong. Why it was that your body was unable to push your baby into the world after all. Following months of being told that your body would just know. Mother Nature was clever like that. She designed our bodies to just know. Right?
You had an emergency c-section. Apparently, your body didn't get the memo on childbirth in the end. Your body was last to the queue when it came to strength and stamina. Your mind missed out when it came to courage and determination. You missed out. Right?
So you had an emergency c-section. You know that makes you amazing? Right?
You had a major operation. You did what was needed to bring your baby into this world in one piece. Pink, alive, and breathing. A baby to bring home wrapped in a blanket and feeling heavy in your arms. A baby to cling to your finger as if life depended upon it. And maybe it does.
I had an emergency c-section too. If we're being completely honest, I had two emergency c-sections, almost three. And I'm tired of defending myself. I had an emergency c-section, and I am amazing.
Ok, so I care. I do. I really care. I care about the fact that my very first experience of childbirth was terrifying. I was ignored and laughed at. I was dismissed. I was given drugs and injections and that did not help me. My baby was taken from my body not just once, but for a second time too. I was left in pain. I was taken to the brink of death and my baby almost died. I was sent to sleep while surgical hands reached inside to find my blue baby and bring him out into the world. I was not there. And I care about that. I care so much.
And because I care, I want to make it clear that those first two birth experiences make me amazing. I laboured for hours each time. Alone. Without the support of a midwife to hold my hand. Without the knowledge that I was a strong, capable woman. Without power. I laboured despite myself, for hours, with no pain relief. And just when I thought I could take no more, I was taken for major surgery. The mask over my face and the knife to skin just moments later.
And if you know what it is like to labour so intensely, with the sole purpose of bringing your baby into the world, only to realise that you will need to see that happen in an operating theatre... then you will know that I am amazing.
And if you know what it is like to labour so intensely a second time, with the desperate need to bring your baby into the world otherwise he might die, only for the world to go black and to wake up with a baby by your side... then you will know that I am amazing.
And if you know what it's like to move your battered body a few inches across the bed, to gingerly 'swing' your legs around so that your feet brush the floor, to step lightly onto the ground for the first time since 'it' happened... then you will know that I am amazing.
To stand in the hospital shower weeping in pain each time the water jets strike the cannula in your battered hand; cursing that cannula because you didn't want to be there, in that shower, in pain, not again. To wince in pain with each step you take. To choose to spend the night sitting up in a chair rather than to lie down in a bed because it is slightly less painful to do so. To need a cushion so that you can laugh. To still hold on to the belief that your body might make it next time.
If you know what that is like, you will know that I am amazing. And you are amazing too.
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