Friday, February 27, 2015

I'm definitely an epidural kind of gal. I have a pretty high threshold for pain but honestly, I'd rather avoid it. Mace's birth was a scheduled induction. My doctor felt that he'd be another big baby (Mo was 9.5 pounds) and, as he put it, he felt that "there was something to be said for sexual function and bladder control". I agreed -"sign me up", I said. My friend and doula, Courtney (who was at Mace's birth as well as Mo's) explained to me that a pitocin labor is synthetic and that I shouldn't be surprised if the contractions felt stronger and came on faster than with Max. She was right - It was fast and angry. The contractions were relentless. I was in agony but my doctor told me to wait for the epidural because it could slow down the progress or stop it entirely. I didn't wait long, but I waited and during that agonizing wait, all of my grief (which I mostly keep neatly stuffed down I to my inner core) came storming to the surface. 

Labor, if you've ever been in it, feels (to me) like the physical manifestation of grief.

Nurses telling me to breathe through it, reminding me to take one contraction at time, and that this will pass. Lying there unable to hear them...the pain so great, so relentless. The sound of my own heavy breathing, the sensation of my pounding heart drowning out every other noise. Literally wondering how I could possibly get through one more minute...unable to use sensitivity in telling someone not to touch me or to back off. It literally felt just like the long, long year and beyond - of grief. I found myself crying, not because of the pain of giving birth, but because of the pain of losing Max. Awful and heavy and I just couldn't process it. I haven't even really tried since either because now I mostly just feel bliss at Mace's being here. 

Unlike the pain of childbirth, which goes away, and which you eventually do mostly forget. The pain of child loss never goes away and often comes back in heavy waves - like being right back in the middle of contractions. My heart breaking and relentlessly pounding - sending waves and waves of pain through my soul - just as intensely as it did in those early, early days and months all over again.


Bianca said...

Just wanted to say that I hear you and that living with both the eternal agony of missing Max and also the complete joy of raising his siblings is complicated and so much to process. I hear that the grief is always there whether tucked up or crashing down, and that there is room for bliss too. I'm so sorry Maxie is not here with his awesome younger brothers and sister. He should be.

Egreeno said...

Words, as always, defy me in the face of knowing your pain. You are ever more articulate in describing it and helping us understand it and my heart breaks for you and for Maxie. While I know the pain never goes away I'm so greatful that you have bliss in your life too.

Rose said...

I hear you Abby. Xoxo

Jayden's Mommy said...

No better way to describe it. Much love to you.

Anonymous said...

I hear you too. This is something we can never get over.

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