Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8 of 31

Three weeks before my son was born, I planned his funeral. 

Pregnancy was hard for me, and I've never known how much of that was abuse related and how much was just the vagaries of fate.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I developed pre-eclampsia late in my third trimester. They put me on bed rest and then induced me 2 weeks after my due date. I labored for 24 hours to no avail, and wound up having a c-section to deliver my beautiful red-headed 9 pound baby girl.

Throughout my pregnancy with my son there were all kinds of difficulties. Early bed rest. No heavy lifting. And inside my head was the question, "Why can't I do something as simple as pregnancy right?" 

That day I went to see the ob/gyn and he said don't do anything until this baby is born. So I went home, glad that I'd hired a college student to come and help with housework. She came that afternoon and I fretted while she cleaned my house and I did nothing but lay on the sofa. My daughter was 3 and as I picked her up, I felt a gush of water. I called the doctor and he said go straight to the hospital labor and delivery. I called my husband.

As we drove to the hospital, I told him if the baby died I wanted a funeral. He was a real person, and he deserved to be recognized as such. I was 7 months pregnant and this was 19 years ago. I didn't know what his odds were, but I assumed they were bad. And yet I was calm. I would handle this.

I spent the next 3 weeks in the hospital praying for my baby to be all right and wondering why I couldn't do things right. Why did I always have to screw things up and make drama?

When my son was born all those weeks later, it wasn't him they were worried about. It was me. I was in intensive care for a couple of days, and I railed at God to please let me live to care for these children. I wasn't scared of dying. I just didn't want to leave my babies without a mama.

Over 19 years later, I look back on that time and the first thing I feel is gratitude. My son is healthy and happy and away at college. He is strong, loving, and full of humor. When I wrap my arms around him I am still amazed.

But the second thing I feel is sadness. Sadness that I spent all those months of pregnancy worrying about what I was doing wrong. All those weeks sitting in the hospital berating myself for failing at something so simple as having a baby. 

The lasting effects of abuse.

But the final emotion I feel? It's joy. Joy for that beautiful baby boy grown into a fine young man, and joy for me that I have pushed through to the other side. Not perfectly, but with resolve to fight to the end to reclaim my life.

linking up with Lisa-Jo and Ann Voskamp


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