You betrayed me.
I fed you well. I made you strong. I spent a year after my diagnosis healing my body and my soul to prepare you for this, and you let me down.
We’d given birth twice before, labored well, and bounced back quickly. I remember beaming with pride after the birth of our first child as the nurse proclaimed that I should have lots of children because I was so good at it.
I remember how powerful we felt after giving birth to our second this time without the epidural. It was hard. We were exhausted, but we were strong.
This time, I was sure we had this. I found the perfect midwife for our homebirth. She had a heart of gold and amazing intuition. I couldn’t wait to share our birth experience with her.
I took the Hypnobirthing course I’d been eying since the birth of our second. I practiced meditations and repeated affirmations. I was ready.
You made me look like an idiot.
Our due date came and went and the comments piled up:
“You’re STILL pregnant?”
“Hurry up and have that baby!”
“When are they going to induce you?”
I found myself ducking around corners to avoid comments at school drop-off. When cornered, I parroted words we had said so many times to others in our position:
“Baby will come when he’s ready,” and “It’s a guess, not an expiration.”
But I began to doubt you.
“I’m sure he will be here soon,” became “This is the longest that I’ve been pregnant.”
Until it became obvious you weren’t going to hold up your end of the deal. You abandoned me in the 11th hour.
The night before Our son was born I had a dream. In my dream, the Midwife was crying. Something was wrong, and we were being sent for surgery. I woke up and showered. I couldn’t shake it off. We called the midwife, expecting to be told it was just stress and everything was fine. We knew better.
“I had a dream too,” she said, “I was at your birth, but my hands came back empty. Pack a bag momma; I think we’re having a baby today.”
Everything was a blur. We were in the hospital. Sterilized, IV in. I smiled and cracked jokes to hide my fear. The nurse was asking questions. I couldn’t think straight. The Midwife answered for me as she paced in the background.
They wouldn’t let her in the OR. She would wait for us, but she couldn’t come in. I should have protested, but I was too afraid.
They wheeled us down the hall, and we said goodbye.
And they laid us out, and cut us open, and our son was born.
And he was big. Boy, was he big. And healthy. And strong. And We did that, together.
But the recovery is hard. Sometimes we can’t hold him. His sister, still so little, can’t curl up in our lap. On bad days I hobble past the mirror and sneer in disgust because you continue to fail me.
I hate you. I hate that I hate you because I had only just begun to love you when we started this journey. I hate you because now I have to start over.
But I know I won’t hate you forever. I know that somehow we will move past this. On the good days I stop to look in the mirror, examine Our scar. His sister lovingly refers to it as “his mark.”
Some day We will be strong again, and I will learn to love you.
Stevie Rae Causey is the author of Ring of Fire. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and 3 children. When she’s not writing she can be found breaking out into random song, dancing in public, and fashioning the English language into well-timed, underappreciated puns.
www.stevieraecausey.com | Twitter.com/stevieraecausey
Photo credit: Crystal Malta
Portrait Photographer, Crystal Amber Photography
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