1) Relieved because against all odds,I gave birth to a healthy, 3.8 kg baby boy. And I mean against all odds, because for a while in there, no one was sure the baby would make it. Or that I would make it for that matter.
2) Cheated because my pregnancy was so easy and pain-free in so many ways that I was completely unprepared for the way things went so horribly wrong in the last 48 hrs.
3) Traumatized. I was in so much pain I passed out. And didn't come to again until after the C-Section was over.
And I am still in a lot of pain. Everything hurts. Holding my baby hurts. Moving hurts. Laughing hurts. Coughing hurts. Going to the bathroom. Even now, lying in a hospital bed on my side, typing on my laptop, I hurt if I make a sudden movement. Nothing in my world is pain-free anymore.
Suffice it to say, I will never again believe the hype about the beauty of birth. The only beautiful thing about it is lying sleeping next to me right now. Other than that, it is the most brutal, bloody, ugly thing I have ever experienced in my life and anyone who ever told me otherwise was lying to me.
I don't know why I am so shocked by it. After all, I had a miscarriage before. That should have prepared me. But you see, I thought the miscarriage was so painful because it was a failed pregnancy as opposed to a normal, healthy birth. I let myself believe that 'normal' and 'healthy' also meant the pain would be less, or that, like so many people said, I would be so overtaken by the joy of motherhood that I somehow won't feel the pain.
For 48 hrs I hurt so much I never thought of the baby or motherhood once. The only other human being I had any awareness of was my mother. It was so surreal. My husband, the baby, it was like they didn't even exist. I was a helpless, broken child and I just wanted my mother to make me better. Thank God she was there. Without her, I think I would have just given up and died.
Whatever. I always said I only wanted one child. And now I know for sure. Alhamdulillah one million times that I carried to term this time because now I know what is involved, there is no way I would ever willingly put myself through it again.
4) Glad that I only became aware of my son after the worst was over, that I wasn't awake for the actual birth and that no one tried to hand him to me or expected me to want to hold him in the middle of it. I am forever grateful that my first memory of seeing him was not ruined with all that blood and gore and pain.
More importantly, I am glad he wasn't hurt by the complications of the birth and that he is too little to remember it or be as traumatized by it as I am.
When I had my miscarriage I couldn't get over the feeling that I was a bad, unnatural mother somehow because my body couldn't sustain that baby like a mother's body is supposed to. Now there is joy because this time, even though I went through hell, HE came through it ok.
5) Humbled that the first time I held my son, he stopped crying, that even now, he cries if anyone else is holding him and only quiets down in my arms, that he recognizes me somehow. This means a lot especially because I am not able to breastfeed him yet because of all the painkillers and other medications I am on. I was afraid he wouldn't know I was his mother because of that.
Or strangely enough, that he would bond with my mother - or my husband - first because since I am still not able to carry him unless I am sitting down or in bed, they have to carry him around for me so much. Isn't that crazy? That I would be jealous of my husband or my own mother?
I feel like I've known and loved my son for 9 months already. And it's good to feel he knows too, on some level.
6) So much in love.
This morning, as my husband helped me out of bed to keep me moving around like the doctors said I should, I heard - from others, not from him - how he never left my side, how because he was a surgeon, he insisted on being allowed to scrub in to be with me even inside the theater. Standing there, leaning on him, I had the thought that he'd seen the whole thing, even the parts of it that I wasn't awake for. I thought what that must have been like for him.
I swear, it was like waking up from a dream. I hadn't really thought of him for days. He was just there, in the background. I don't think that until that point, I'd even looked at him properly or said anything to him that wasn't said on auto-pilot since the first few hours of labor.
And suddenly, this blurred picture comes into focus and becomes crystal clear. I have a man who loves me and takes care of me even when I can't love him back or even be aware of him. I didn't know what to say. All I could do was squeeze him so tight I nearly hurt myself.
And he laughed and said hey be careful, your stitches.
He went home to get some sleep a little while ago. And I'm in bed with our son sleeping next to me. I can still hear him laugh. It makes me smile.:)