Four years ago tomorrow before the sun had even risen I went into labor with #3. Two days later just before 11pm I gave birth to her in a hospital room full of angry faces, harsh words, and a bullying doctor and midwife after a hospital transfer from what would have been the homebirth of my dreams. The next morning my midwife called to tell me it was my fault, that had failed, that I had wanted to stall, that I set out to be the failure I was.
And today four years later with Lamictal and Zoloft in my system that I have to take every single night or I can't get out of bed, want to die, can't control my anger... I sign onto to Facebook to see images of the Pampers comercial all over my wall. You know, it's great! Pampers includes a home water birth in their commercial and that is just fantastic! Really! And I can't blame people for celebrating that. But I feel like I have been stabbed through the heart. I can't blame anyone. I'm not blaming anyone. I'm certainly not mad at anyone. But I'm angry. And I'm shaking. And I'm holding back sobbing.
You failed. You set out to fail. You're a failure. I'm a failure. I'm a failure. I'm a failure.
That's what I keep hearing. And I want to vomit.
I remember the pain. The endless pain that ripped through me. I remember hearing someone screaming in agony and then realizing it was me. I remember my husband being unwilling to comfort me and being silent when I turned to him after that godawful phone call. "Do you know what she said to me? She said I failed, that I set out to fail!" and I laughed and he turned away from me and said nothing. I didn't understand "deafening silence" until that moment. His silence hurt me more than if he would have gotten up and hit me across the face. I'm so glad for that woman in the Pampers comercial with a caring family and a caring attendant. Really! I promise I am! But my heart hurts so much right now.
I was doing so good! I thought this year would be the year I didn't have a meltdown, I didn't revisit it all. I didn't even connect the fact that I haven't been able to sleep the past few nights, that whenever I close my eyes I have nightmares of being violated. It just now dawned on me what that has been. I cuddled with daughter #3 today and I felt like I was mourning and I tried not to. I just kept looking at her and smiling. Nothing's wrong, my love! Nothing to see here!
She's so excited for her birthday. She can't wait.
I remember being excited for her birthday, too. I remember all of the hopes and the planning. But now it's "Olive's birth". That's what I talk about in therapy and still yell at my husband over and still hate myself for. "Olive's birth". It makes me want to scratch into my flesh and scream and hide myself out of shame. Don't look at me. Don't look at the failure sprawled out and naked crying and bleeding and so scared. Don't look at me failing. Don't look at my shameful behavior.
But really I am so happy for those who have successful and happy births at home or otherwise. Really! I'm not trying to be a natural-birth naysayer. I still support it, I really do! I just can't see it anymore. How sad is that? Even a comercial does this to me.