Vivid Memory #2
WHERE IN HELL IS THAT FAMILY OF MINE? ARE THEY EATING PRIME RIB AND CELEBRATING? I’LL BET THEY ARE. THEY HAVE THE EASY PART IN ALL OF THIS. THEIR THEATER TICKET OFFERS A FREE DRINK AND REFRESHMENTS…while I stroll through hell…
The little girl dances into my world after midnight. Drug free from day one, but moms chucking her insides out and there are four nurses pummeling me, explaining something about blood flow, placenta, oh hell, I don’t know the jest of it all! I was too busy loosing my insides, suffering a notorious headache and begging for water.
Now, the vivid memory.
I am not sure how to write about it, other than to say that it belongs to my Megan. It belongs to her and I. Beginning early in the days before we even left the hospital, something was amiss. Sadly, I felt no maternal bliss, and I feared that I knew nothing. All those books I’d read on childbirth, the before and after. None of those had prepared me for the roller-coaster ride , the journey in to hell and the fear that would one day it would descend into thoughts of infanticide.
I warn you. This is not an easy read, and although Megan is almost two thousand miles from me today, I would give anything to sit beside her and hold her hand as I attempt to answer her questions and to allay her fears. But I can’t, and since I have promised that I would find a way to communicate something to her within the 31 days of May’s Challenge, today is our day.
I could not sleep. For three days in the hospital, and for days, off and on, once we were home. Irrational fears would enter my head and I would quickly try to change my thinking. I cuddled my angel. I played with her. I fed her and I connected with her as best I could, but I was afraid that those so-called baby blues would consume me. I tried talking to my husband about them, but he didn’t get it, and how could he, had anyone in the male species been through this birthing thing?
Days dragged, literally. I became consumed with schedules. I laboriously centered my life around a list of ‘to-do’s’ to fill my time, to keep me busy. But, I still was not sleeping. And then one day I could not eat. Literally. I could not swallow. I choked each time I tried. But I had to eat and drink, I had to sleep. I had a little one that relied upon me and I was breastfeeding, so it was more important than ever that I find a way to get ahold of myself.
Then I found myself dwelling on a pair of scissors. I’d been in the baby’s room wrapping a gift. I saw the scissors, and I remember thinking, “These could kill the baby.”
The thought became obsessive. It overwhelmed me with grief and shame. And try as I might, I could not shake the image, nor the auditory, “These could kill the baby.”
I tried hiding the scissors, but I couldn’t find a place to put them, somewhere that was ‘safe’ … someplace where they couldn’t talk to me.
I forced myself to put them back in the spot where I always kept them. If they could talk to me. I could talk to them. I could tell them, “NO!”
For days I fought this battle, until I realized it was beyond me. I attempted to express my concern for the baby to my husband, but I did not tell him about the scissors, or the voices.
I became so exhausted. And then the hallucinatory began its foray. I was fighting an army, and I was ill-equipped for its challenge.
I no longer felt connected to anyone except for my baby. I felt as if I could protect her I could win the inner war, but I was losing.
The phone would ring. I wouldn’t answer it. I had nothing I could communicate.