Hurricanes birth story. It was a series of ups and downs and insanity. It started when I found out I was pregnant. The immediate sick feeling I had in my stomach pretty much summed it up. Not happiness. More real. What in the actual FUCK am I getting myself into? And how the hell did this happen?
REWIND: January, 1998
A very young me sits in a hospital gown, freezing half to death. She can hear the doctor and nurses talking in the hall in hushed whispers, and her boss has paged her 3 times. She has been having major troubles with her uterus, and the pain had her scared she might have been having a miscarriage. Which would be a neat trick since she was not having sex with anyone. Finally, the doctor walks in. He has a really peculiar look on his face. The nurse will not look her in the eye.
“Go ahead and get dressed, the exam was fine. But we will have to go over a few things.” he says.
“I will be late for work, just tell me while I get dressed behind the curtain, please”
“Doctor- please! I need to go to work!”
*big sigh from the doctor*
” The procedure went well, [Nix], but… I am afraid I have some bad news. There was a significant amount more damage and scar tissue than we anticipated. If you ever decide to have children, you are going to find it very difficult, if not impossible to conceive and carry a child…”
“And?” says the foolish young 20 year old me. “Who’s worried about kids right now?”
Fast forward: March 2001
Miscarriage. How did I have a miscarriage? What’s a DNC? I am not even supposed to be able to get pregnant. How can I have had a miscarriage?
Fast forward: May 17, 2006
*dials phone* “Hey sis? I need you to come over….Because I have to take a pregnancy test. Yes I am serious. My period is late. It’s probably nothing. I don’t want to tell him yet. He will flip. We have a 5 year plan! And I am not even supposed to be able to get pregnant!”
…..3 hours later….
This can’t be right. I go for my surgery consult next week. I will have them test me.
Surgical consult time. Gall stones be damned they are coming out. Pregnancy test? No need. I can’t get pregnant. Required test for all women? OK whatever, give me the cup. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I AM PREGNANT?!?!?!?!?”
January 30, 2007:
Induction at 5 AM, still in labor at 5:30 PM. In walks my doctor, and he looks scared to talk to me. “So. There is good news and bad news! Good- since I broke your water, you are having this baby today.”
“And the bad?”
*Awesome Doctor slowly backs out of the room ready to run* “My shift is over and [Bitch from Hell Doctor is my relief]
Sidenote: BFH doctor told me at my 4 month checkup I was morbidly obese and should have waited to get pregnant, and since I was already pregnant it was too late, but I needed to gain no more than 18 pounds my entire pregnancy. My husband was and still is a BIG dude. How can I have HIS linebacker child and gain only 18 pounds? I hated her. And now she was going to be the one to deliver my baby.
*In strolls BFH. Does cursory exam of my nethers*
“You are not progressing, and the baby is in distress. We are going in for a cesarean. These are the risks, sign this waiver, lets go”
Why isn’t he crying? The cord was around his neck several times. He was slightly blue. They wouldn’t bring him to me. I was in panic mode. He wasn’t crying. My mom looked worried but kept telling me he was fine. Then I heard it. The loud scream. They brought him to see me, and I looked deep into the eyes of my newborn son. And felt…nothing. Like it was just another day. When my husband came in for the first time to see us, to see him, he looked so happy. This look of pure joy to see his son. I felt…nothing.
Week 1- in the hospital. I had setbacks. Spinal headaches. Some infection they could not control. I could not breastfeed and the feeding Nazi was in my room telling me I HAD to nurse. I HAD to feed. It didn’t matter that I was sobbing uncontrollably, telling her even the pump on the lowest setting made me want to scream in holy hell pain. My son was a delight according to the care team. Nurses held and snuggled and cooed and fought over holding him. Family came and held him. I did some. I tried bonding. Skin to skin. Tried to not let the BF Nazi upset me. My savior. Nurse Babs. (Real name) She came in as I was crying and upset, not holding my son, because I was in so much pain. Feeling like a failure because in all honesty, I hurt. And breast feeding was the farthest thing from my mind. I wanted to love and hold my son. I wanted to care. And I felt.. nothing.
Week 2- We are home. We are getting into a routine. He screams, he eats, he pukes, he screams again. He never sleeps. He screams and screams. I feel… nothing. Wait. I feel something. I feel anger. Resentment. Frustration. He won’t. Stop. Screaming. He is broken. I want a new one. That is cute and doesn’t scream and throw up everything he eats and make me feel like hell. I kind of wish I never worried about him not crying in the delivery room.
Week 8- The only time he does not scream and actually sleeps is when he takes a nap in the sun next to the cat. I lay him on his belly on a blanket by the sliding glass door, while the cat snoozes out on the balcony, he snoozes inside. The only way he will sleep is sitting up or on his belly. I have told the pediatrician 20 times I think he has reflux but am rebuffed and told it is “colic” and will get better. He starts to scream at 4 PM and by 11 PM he has not stopped. King Pig has awesomely put away the clean dishes before he left for his night shift. Which includes the babies bottles, which are missing and he will NOT stop screaming. I try to hold him one armed and slam cabinets open and shut looking for the bottles with my other hand. My neighbor bangs/knocks hard on the wall. I am loud. I am bothering her. I am SO angry, I take the cabinet door and I open and slam it over and over about 10 times. I am done. I finally find the bottles and make him one. He spits almost the entire thing up. In desperation, I lay him on his belly in the bassinet. It is 1 AM. I am exhausted. He settles and dozes off. I do too, my hand on his back as he sleeps. I am awakened by the sound of my husbands heavy footsteps.
“Hey honey! How was your night?” he says
“A million times better since you are home. Please watch him for a few minutes. I need to sleep. I am so glad you got off work early.”
“Honey, what are you talking about? It’s 7:22 AM!”
And then. I felt it. Something. I felt an overwhelming horrifying panic. I was gripped with the biggest wave of choking emotion I have ever felt, even still to this day. I sat straight up in the bed, and shouted “Oh my god the baby!!” and looked over at the bassinet. Where he was sleeping soundly. And right then. I finally felt it. That wave of emotion that they say a new mother should have. I looked at my sleeping son. Who had finally stopped crying and slept several hours. I watched his back rise and fall, and realized he wasn’t dead. And I bawled. I cried so hard I peed. King Pig had no idea what to make of it, so he just wrapped me in a hug and let me snot all over his shirt. But I finally felt it. I was so connected to him in that moment, I could feel every breath he took inside my heart. And now, I feel it daily.
I feel it when he calls me in his sleep. When he falls, when he fails, when he succeeds. When his night terrors grip him. When he watches for me anxiously out the window if my afternoon shift turns into a night shift and I see his little face peeking out watching to see if I am home yet. When he has a meltdown because the situation has overwhelmed him and the world won’t stop moving when he needs it to be still. When he comes to me with his grubby face and fist and no pants. When he argues with me, eye rolls, when he brings me he 3957th Lego creation that he has made, when he goes on endlessly about Minecraft. When he has a flash of anger and lashes out. When he bounces in my room way to early and hollers out “HI MOM!!!!!” When he lays in his bed asleep. I feel it. But it took some time. We had hurdles to cross. We had to build that bond. Maybe that makes me a bad mom. To not feel this overwhelming sense of emotion. But the reality is, love in any capacity is not an automatic thing. Love is built. Even from birth. I didn’t love him then. But now, my love has no description. No end to its capacity. New moms, know, it’s not always automatic. But it will come. In it’s time. And you will love every minute of it. But please know. It’s not horrible to feel or not feel. Let the love grow until you can not let go. ❤