I have somewhat of a moral dilemma. The 14 year old daughter of a friend of mine is very, very pregnant. She just finished eighth grade. (“I don’t understand” her mother said. “She’s such a good kid.”) She is placing the baby (a boy) for adoption and going back to school like nothing happened. That’s the plan anyway. Her pregnancy is on the very DL. So she calls me this morning and asks if I can help her have a birth without drugs.
Backing up, Ella and Amelia were born after Stephen and I took Bradley method classes. That is, husband coached childbirth. It stresses nutrition, exercise, visualization techniques, pain management and the right birth attendant (that would be the doctor or midwife). Both girls were born without medication. Both were extremely healthy. Both are wicked smart. Coincidence? I think not. Moving on…
Birthing a child (notice I didn’t say “delivering”) is a very emotional experience. It requires a fair bit of persistance and a good attitude. It also involves a bit of cheerleading and working toward a goal. So here’s my problem. She’s fourteen. She’s about to hand over a baby to a waiting family. She wants to get it over and get on with her life. How, exactly, am I supposed to do this? What am I supposed to say to her?
We prepared the whole last 4 months of the pregnancies and the diet and exercise happened the entire pregnancy. I had a husband who was supportive and knew me so well and knew what to say and how to touch me and what I needed before I needed it. So when she tells me “Mom said I should call you because you know more about natural childbirth than she does”, what do I say? How do I tell her that there’s no effing way to make this easy? That childbirth without drugs makes you more attached to the person you just squeezed out your hoo?
This is all rhetorical of course. Unless they want me to be in the room. Which I can’t imagine that they do. I would like to be a doula someday but I don’t think I could teach Bradley classes sans husband. But I would like to be a doula someday. If I can’t have my own babies (and I’m not willing at the moment to go to nursing school to be a midwife) I may as well live vicariously through those that can. Just something to chew on for a while…
I took Amelia to the doctor today for the fever that’s been kicking all our butts since Friday night. Of course, she didn’t have a fever in the office and was talking and smiling and acting okay. Why do kids make liars of us in front of medical professionals? Turns out, she just has a viral sore throat. They thought she had strep but no. The fever is better tonight and she’s acting better. Kyle (our family doctor and family friend) gave me a clap on the shoulder and asked how we were all doing. All I could say was “I don’t think my Lexapro is working…but that’s another day…” I didn’t want to tie up his office hours with my mental issue. Not when my kid clearly wasn’t sick enough to be there. I waved of the concerned look on his face and tried not to cry in the hallway.
I just keep thinking that with the change of seasons, should come a change in mood. But it hasn’t happened yet. We get outside every day. We do summer things like go to the pool and to the park. I sleep with the windows open when I can. We eat fresh fruit and veggies all summer. I just don’t get it. I want to sleep but I don’t when I’m horizontal. I want to focus on sewing or reading or cleaning or whatever but I can’t because I see and smell the last year all over again. I dream about creamation and what chemo must feel like. I try to get into his head and I wonder if he really is watching over us. I look through journals and papers, looking for a last love letter that, surely, he must have written and I just haven’t found it yet. I want another piece of him. One more. A load of laundry, a forgotten birthday card, a photo…something new.
And it isn’t there.
I’m not here. Not completely anyway.
And he’s gone. Really, really gone. We prepared so long for our babies that we didn’t prepare ourselves for this. And who could, really?