Two years ago a phlebotomist came into my room at 5 am. She inserted a needle into the crease of my elbow like someone had once every few days for the last two weeks. I was amazed they were still able to find a vein. Nothing stands out about that particular needle stick. It melts together with all the rest of the early morning wake up calls that involved someone standing over me with a needle and vacutainer.
I don’t trust birth.
There. I said it.
I feel like I’m supposed to be a good little half-hippie, trusting birth and bodies and earthmothergoddessblahblahblah.
I recently entered a mini-essay contest for Tribe Magazine. I’ve published with them before and had a good experience. My essay wasn’t chosen — I like to think because it was a bit of a stretch for the topic. Anyhow, I was just reading a blog post about the NICU and its lack of windows, and it reminded me of my essay. I figured I’d share it now. Might as well dig out of the election-centric posts slowly but surely (Though there will be more. Oh will there ever be more).
I wasn’t sure I would write anything. Nothing I say is going to make any difference. I would be just another voice screaming in the abyss.
I have a confession to make: I really don’t particularly love nursing Rowan. I love the idea of it, but in reality he is at a stage that is something akin to trying to nurse a manic octopus. He claws at my arms, breasts, and face. His newfound locomotion has him trying to crawl while he nurses, gymnastic feats of sticking his butt in the air and doing the nursing equivalent of the dizzy bat game. He can’t seem to keep his top teeth off of me, and occasionally bites down — apparently just for the fun of it. He’s distractible, and he pops on and off repeatedly.
I figured the time around Rowan’s birthday would throw some hard days my way, as memories were dredged up and pushed to the front of my brain in a way they haven’t been in a while. I expected moments of sadness over everything surrounding his birth and the time after — the bittersweet joy of his first birthday.