Monday, October 7, 2013

Day Seven: Me, Now

I miss my cocoon. I miss the safer world where babies only rarely died, and if you did all the right things, it (really) wouldn't happen to you.  

That's where I am now.

As I lay in bed after giving birth to each of my four girls here, I remember my extreme impatience with the medical management I was receiving.  Hand me the baby already.  I wanted the most natural possible experience--straight into my arms--and I found nurses and doctors to be mostly in the way. 

With every labor I had, there was always some reason for them to make a fuss.  Particularly with my first two. Never mind that my second child had inhaled too much fluid on the way out....  I was visibly annoyed at the set faces hovering over her as they suctioned her nose and mouth intently, working around the strange croaking noises she made till they succeeded.  Never mind that my first born was 32 weeks.  I was miffed when they whisked her to intensive care so quickly.

I was too naive to be afraid.  I just didn't get it.  I really did think, "Why all the fuss?  She'll be fine." 

I really, truly believed that.  Fortunately, in those instances, I was right.

My latest and most medically-managed birth experience: Felicity, now 2 :)
But since my loss... I will never feel that innocent bravado again.  I've experienced things going all wrong, for no predictable reason.  I've learned too much about why medics "fuss" and tend to manage all things baby with excessive caution.

To grieve is, in part, to fear recurrence.  And oh, I do.  PTSD is a real phenomenon, wouldn't you know?  You can actually wake up from a troubled sleep and feel, see, hear, and relive horrible moments from the past.  As though you were "there," again.  

My cocoon was smashed when an utterly boring, routine doctor's visit became an obituary, during the "safe" second trimester.

I now live in a world where bad things do actually happen, to people as unsuspecting and unqualified as me.  I was not braver, or stronger, or more special, or more into risk-taking than anyone else.  But it happened to me anyway.

Not that I won't be okay.  Not that I won't continue to heal from the pain of this experience.  Not that God doesn't have a greater plan that all of this is part of, and not that He hasn't upheld me through it all.  But right now... I've aged.  For months I took several pictures of myself, convinced that I really must look significantly different than I had before... turns out, the change was mostly interior.  I feel damaged.  And I'm afraid.

A positive side to this is that I now understand more of life after the cocoon.  I'm more aware of and more grateful for my blessings.  I take less for granted.  I treasure my blessings more.

I don't feel as safe as I once did.  But I have survived my greatest fear.

Now I can learn to fly.

"The Lord found him in a desert land, in a barren and howling waste.  
He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye.  
as the eagle entices her young to fly and hovering over them, 
spreads its wings to catch them 
and carries them aloft."  
Deuteronomy 32:11

1 comment: