My Birth Story
(Trigger Warning for Preemie Moms)
Everyone here has a birth story. Our birth story is the day we were reborn as mothers. Motherhood is a calling and it is a journey.
My journey was one of tears, anger, struggle and anxiety. My daughter was born six weeks early. She was a preemie in every sense. She was small, she could not latch but she could breathe on her own. My entire pregnancy and birth experience was not good. I did not have the best care and her early birth could have been prevented with better care. I remember having her and falling in love and immediately the nurses taking her away. I remember lying in my hospital bed sobbing because she was in the NICU and I was not with her. I was discharged without her. I was told she had to stay in the NICU and needed a feeding tube. I remember crying and not sleeping at home. I remember rising early to be there first thing when the NICU opened. I remember the doctor needing to speak to us before we got to see our baby. I remember the doctor crying. I remember panic. I remember rage. I remember fear. I remember sobbing. My daughter had been neglected in the night and suffered an IV infiltrate with protein in the IV. It burned her food from the inside out. I remember signing papers to have her moved to a better hospital with a better NICU. I remember her going by ambulance while my husband drove us by car. I remember the new hospital. I remember the bright lights and the smell. My daughter stayed in this NICU for two and a half weeks. Time slowed down and this felt longer. This new hospital was wonderful and so was the Ronald McDonald House that supported us while we stayed down there. I was crying all the time, I wasn’t sleeping, I was going up and down flights of stairs and pumping milk in curtain cubicles in the hospital. My daughter had to have a skin graft surgery in order to heal her wound. I remember fearing her death constantly. I remember telling my husband that if she died I would kill myself. Raw--doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.
After Lucy came home from the hospital, I was still a mess. I could not sleep or leave the house without her. I started therapy. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I had to be off of work for six months and I had to start medication. This was my dark night of the soul. But being a mom was all I had dreamed of. I so desperately wanted to be happy. I wanted to have all the new mom feelings and experience but my experiences were a trial by fire.
It took me years of self-work to come to a place to want another child. My therapist was adamant that it would be healing to have a better birth story. I miscarried. I wondered if I should try again. Before I had Lucy, I wanted four children. Something inside of me yearned for another life to be added to our family. I felt that this other soul would add balance. I had two miscarriages and then I had our son and everything was great. Zach was early but still a healthy seven and a half pounds. I had a midwife and a beautiful room in the hospital. He latched immediately and proved to be sturdy and healthy. I was able to take him with me and lay in pajamas and bliss for a while. It was healing. Yes, it brought up some of the feelings from my first birth but I was able to push past them. I suffered a tear and some issues with muscle healing which required physical therapy. But I realized that I prefer physical birth trauma to the emotional trauma I suffered before.
I love my children equally. They are my joy. I am grateful for both of them and what they teach me every day.
For more on my story and what I learned from it check out this post.