Giving birth was traumatic for me. I know it’s a traumatic thing for most, but both of my deliveries were objectively very traumatic. In the first, after 78 grueling hours of (induced) active labor, my 5-week-early son nearly died. We were unsure of his “viability” throughout the entire 78 hours, and then he came out blue. Oh, and my husband was 800 miles away on business—he got back before baby arrived.
Three years later with my daughter, I nearly died. Severe pre-eclampsia escalated into full-blown eclampsia, which is incredibly rare these days (especially while IN a hospital). So, seizures and hallucinations accompanied the most brilliant migraine, and I had an emergency C-section, after which I hemorrhaged internally for three days until I was so low on blood that they did an exploratory surgery to find the leak. I didn’t hold or see my 6-week-early baby until 7 days after she was born, because I was fighting for my life, and she was in NICU doing the same.
But, we’re all here and perfectly healthy! And so, my life just picked up and moved on. I remember later watching a recording of our opening faculty convocation, which I missed, in which the dean said, “She had her baby three days ago! Both mother and baby are doing very well, but they’re still in hospital.” Ummmmm… I was literally bleeding out, and my baby was 4 pounds.
I am a private person and also a perfectionist. It (literally, ha!) nearly killed me to not be able to do this one thing that supposedly my body should be designed for. So, I never talked about any of it. I just went back to work while on maternity leave and perfected my usual dazzling smile and highlight reel.
I realized just this week that I have no desire to talk about pregnancy. I don’t want people to ask me for advice, and I don’t want to rehash anything. The well-intentioned questions from other moms about my kids’ births anger me. I am annoyed by them and the friendship is a no-go from that point on. I saw a pregnant photo of a friend on Facebook the other day, and I actually felt derision. That made me realize I probably have a problem. I made an extra appointment with my therapist to chat… this post will be a series, I think… Day 59.