In just under 6 weeks time, I will be at the same stage of pregnancy I was at with Charlie where you nearly took my life away from me. I have hated you for 10 years.
You robbed me of almost everything. You denied me a full term baby. You took from me the experience of a completion of cycle. You nearly killed me and then robbed me of the chance to bond with my son. You made it necessary for my son to be all on his own in a big scary special care unit and you made me so ill that I could not have too long with my son that night. Just enough time to undress his hands and feet and count his fingers and toes and cry tears of joy and love and confusion and sickness.I sit here now crying those same tears of joy and love and confusion and sickness. Once you visited my body I felt like you never left. The scars run so very deep despite my bestest efforts to rid my brain of your haunting presence.
The worst thing about you is that nobody knows much about you. There are theories for sure but the people that are vital to giving information whilst pergnant.. they know hardly anything.. i feel i know more about you than them and that is a lonely place to be. It's frightening.
Since that June morning ten years ago when I was diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia I have spent some years feeling a total and abject failure. I have wept bucket loads of tears over the ghost of the labour i never experienced, for the process of birth that i never even began, for the stark clinical way my son was born into the world and for not being there for him in those first moments. My one recurrant nightmare since a child was of children in a dark tunnel crying for their mummies and you brought that nightmare into grim reality for me and my son and my husband of the time.
Even though my mum and my grandma never experienced you, only through my eyes, my great grandmother was taken from this world because of you we think, and my grandmother's brother was also robbed of his life because of you. You've caused so much worry this year.. for me, for my love and his family, for my family and my son, for my ex husband and his family too and for my friends who were there at that time and the ones I have made since.
When I visualise you as an entity all I can see is utter chaos and confusion which is why I write rather than draw these feelings out. However I cannot hate you entirely because you also gave me the second biggest gift of my life. Love, Life and the ability to fight death gave me my son but you gave me a glimpse of the edge of life. You gave me that night, a choice which even now I can remember as clear as day, through all the cocktail of blood pressure drugs and morphine, I remember that choice and I remember laughing. So you ripped down walls in my vision that night and showed me the direction towards where I am now and for that I must thank you. For without that experience I would be somewhere completely different , living a different life, would not have had half the experiences and met half the people I have done, and not learnt half of the lessons I have done. So I must thankyou for giving me those things and for changing my life from one of existing to one of living.
That living...the choices for good and for bad I have made, all came together to bring to me a wonderful man who loves me for me, who wants the same things as me and who is already a wonderful second dad to Charlie and who will be an amazing daddy to his son that I carry, and to the next child if and when it happens. I had resigned myself to growing old and never experiencing life growing inside of me again but then my life made an abrupt change of direction, forced me to fight many head monsters and let go of many people who were once very dear to me. And in their place, new people came and a new love bigger than i have ever known and a new life growing inside of me. I can hope and pray that you leave my body and my baby alone this time but that would be silly and immature I feel...I know to hope and pray that you do not return would be to undo mountains of work on my part...Having written this I am starting to feel that I am ready for you. I know you. I am scared of you in the sense that I do not want my unborn child to follow the same route of loneliness into the world that his big brother did. But I also know there is nothing I can do to prevent that from happening if this is what life has chosen for us.
Last time I was so very frightened and scared beacuse I didn't know you... but I do now... so I know I can make everything a hell of alot better if you come back. I know how much more assertive I am now and I know there are so many beautiful people very near to us who will be there for Henry should I not make it, and there for Charlie and Lee too. I am not scared of dying myself but my fear is for my unborn child, that your presence may rob us both of life or rob my little man of his Mummy. I cannot afford to dwell in this position of fear because it harms my little man and I cannot afford to lay that blame solely at your door because I have a responsibility to carry your presence, to exorcise your demons and to give thanks for what you have ultimatley given me - the will and enthusiasm to live and to enjoy life for what it is.
So I end this letter with a prayer...
Universe please keep our wise women and men working and writing and bringing their learning and experience to the wider audience of womankind. Please help these women and men give true information to mothers and fathers and assist those special few scientists researching this condition so that they may find the means to bring their important research into general obsetric knowledge.Please give mothers who come to know Pre-Eclampsia, the courage and strength to fight it, with solid information and knowledge and much empathy from the birthing profession.Please give those of us who fight the fear of what is unknown to us, the courage and strength to rise beyond that fear, and accept it with good grace as a gift that we have a responsibility to work with. And please give us the foresight and ability to be able to work with it and help others through in their journeys.
My hope is that these words are as powerful as I think them to be, and that in writing them, they have given me the strength to overcome my fear now as it is presented to me.
With a heart and mind less-troubled
Birthing from Within
I'm thinking about it... I feel the need to write Dear PCOS and Dear Preeclampsia too. I'm thinking...