May 12, 2020

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memoir

The date, October 11, 1995.

What a perfect day.

Tiny hands, tiny fingers, tiny feet, tiny toes. Everything so perfect. The nurses told me that she was one of the most beautiful new born babies they had ever seen. Even my grandma who was one of the most cynical people I’d ever known told me how lovely she was. So when the nurses came to take her so I could shower, I kinda struggled with it. Their wisdom in this won out.

So in the shower I went. There to my knees I fell. Now maybe just maybe it was postpartum stress. IT was the biggest missed opportunity of all time Tears streamed down my face as I sobbed. They melted away with the hot water from the shower. Unseen and invisible.

I thought about everything that had brought me to this point. The year went back. Back to the year before that.

Starting with me sitting in the bathroom of my mother’s home. I was sitting on the edge of the tub just waiting. Long minutes were ticking by painfully. Closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. WAITING. It must have been the most painful 3 minutes ever. I yanked open the drawer looking down. Two blue lines. What I’d guessed at; yeah it was.

I wasn’t sure what to think. I didn’t have a plan past the finding out. I was pregnant. Not with my new first born baby girl. Yet my first pregnancy ever. Who to tell?

I told Him first. He had a right to know, it was his baby after all. He seemed to take the news all in stride. Part of me thought ok that was easy. Then as things started to happen my world started spinning. Then came the decision. Not made by me. No. By them. As I call them now. The council of three. My mom, His Mom and Him. I was young, with out to much in the way of parental guidance up until this part of my life, I was willing to listen to the “wisdom” that they were telling me.

I was young. I had just started college. I wasn’t ready for a … wait.. baby.

The money, which is an issue for some girls in this “position” wasn’t an issue. It came about rather rapidly.  As did the phone calls to the clinic. I didn’t have to do anything. Just sit there in that whirlwind of action and let them plan it out. I was scared. I was young. Peer pressure in this case was strong.

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The night before I was supposed to go in to the clinic. I remember thinking if I ran away, I’d be ok. Then I felt trapped. I don’t have family. Not the way that other people do. Where would I run to, who would I run to. The next day was beautiful and sunny. Far contrast to what I was feeling. Like all doctors offices it smelled that overly clean smell. I signed what they shoved at me. The councilors told me all the risks and asked me how I felt. I was confused. With my past and knowing what would happen if I angered my family I nodded my way through.

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I was left in a little room to shimmy out of my clothing and don the surgical wear. A knock on the door. A sweet faced woman came in and smiled at me. She patted me on the shoulder. Maybe she understood the inner fight I’d put myself through to be in this place. Maybe she didn’t have a clue. She told me everything that she was doing, as she was doing it. While that might seem comforting to some it seemed cruel to me. Laying back on the padded table looking at of all things the stupidest poster of a beach.

The IT, the missed opportunity that I have. I didn’t stand up for that baby and I could have. That I never told them how I felt at that office.

So there I was a new mother, at 20. Feeling the guilt that I should have had two little perfect somones.

© 2020, Christa. All rights reserved.

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