An OB cut my abdomen and now every year around this time I feel the need to spill my guts. This post is probably going to get (verbally) violent. In real life I'm a very nice young mother who loves her husband and her children dearly. Please know that today, however, I am speaking from my scar.
If you've noticed my counter box to the right then you know that my daughter's third birthday and the third anniversary of my section-surgery is just ten days away. Do you know that I haven't even cried about my section yet? Not once. I teared up a little while telling my "birth" history to my midwife, but that's about it. I WANT TO CRY! Desperately.
As my doula was driving me to the hospital to get cut she told me that everything was going to be fine. I told her I wasn't scared about the baby dying, I was scared that I was going to die. I didn't cry then. I didn't cry as I waddled under the blood-red EMERGENCY ROOM sign, or as I was handed a Property of Baptist Hospital gown and sent to the bathroom to change. When nobody could adequately explain to me exactly why it was that I was going to be cut, and as everyone stood around the hospital bed staring at the beeping machine I was attached to, and as my husband just STOOD there as I was wheeled past him down that ammonia-mopped floor. I didn't cry. When I was in that room with the metal table, needles, machines, masks and knives I didn't even cry. A needle in my arm, didn't cry. A needle in my spine, didn't cry. A pinch to see if I was numb, didn't cry. My arms tied down, a drape over my chest, not being able to feel myself breathe, I didn't cry.
The surgeon didn't even talk to me. I could have been a dead cow on that butcher block for all she cared. Maybe it's because I didn't cry. Maybe if I'd have cried she would have realized I was actually a real, live person with feelings and she was about to cut into me and leave a wound that she would be forever blind to and that would never heal. Maybe...
Then afterwards the morphine made me outwardly giddy and so no one knew that inside I was numb and horrified and dead. You're not allowed to have morphine forever so the next day I was weaned from the poison and given little white pills that were supposed to help. You have a new baby and white pills and sterile sheets so everything is wonderful and you should be so grateful. I didn't cry then because it physically hurt to cry. I was afraid that if I cried my stitches would burst open and I'd bleed all over the pretty white sheets, and everyone would know that I hadn't been a good little girl.
So I was a good little girl, took the pills, didn't complain and healed "nicely". I have a cute little scar to prove it. In the following weeks as I battled to nurse my baby and my scar I was too weak, weary and depressed to cry. The fear of my incision ripping open haunted me for well over a year.
Now here I am. It's January 2, 2008 and nearly three years after my section-surgery. I haven't "gotten over it", nor will I ever. I think that's fine and I don't believe it's unhealthy. I have since had a few birthdays (taking me to my mid-twenties and then a smidge beyond) and a vbac. While I didn't choose to have my son to help me heal from my section-surgery, I did wholeheartedly believe that it would. It didn't. It was a pretty good birth (though it was a planned homebirth turned hospital transfer) and I felt absolutely wonderful afterwards. With my section, I didn't know what birth was supposed to be and how fun it could be. All I knew was that I was robbed of something and that both my baby and I suffered because of it. After my vbac I saw what birth was supposed to be like. It made me mad! So, my daughter and I were robbed of THIS?! I was angry, outraged, shocked, sad. . . but I still couldn't cry.
I know those tears are inside of me. I feel them every day. They burn and they ache. I'm afraid that if I begin crying, I won't be able to stop. Because my pain is never going to go completely away, so why should my tears?