Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Boy

Twenty-nine years ago today, I showed up for the appointment made to surgically remove my baby from my womb. It was a trauma: not the birth because he wasn’t birthed but the surgical removal of the infant for a variety of dubious reasons which were given for the convenience of the doctor’s schedule during the holiday season.

Hopeful that my experience was rare and that most doctors aren’t as hard-hearted, I didn’t often share my experience with others. Frankly, I was ashamed of it. I felt violated. I felt stupid and soon after recognized my gullibility, I had acquiesced and placed my child in jeopardy.

Mother’s guilt for bad decisions can be overwhelming but there is a point where you can only be responsible for decision based on the information given at the time. My guts said the doctor was telling me some information but not all. But why would as 18-year-old girl know better than a doctor?

The doctor said that I was unable to birth. He said the baby was too late. He said the baby was too big. He said the baby would die inside of me if I didn’t do what he said to do.

The inner knowledge, woman-wisdom I’ve come to call it, said the baby wasn’t ready. If he was ready to be born, he’d come. I didn’t trust myself. I was afraid. I allowed a doctor to schedule the surgery.

The arrival was disastrous with the anesthesiologist telling me I didn’t feel anything. I was chemically paralyzed but not anesthetized. I felt everything. It wasn’t until I was being wheeled into recovery that I actually went numb.

Numb and dumb in the recovery room, I cried. They took my baby away to the nursery. My baby was jaundiced, a sign of premature birth. I was drugged & out of it until they released us on the morning of the 25th; sent home with my abdomen stapled together, a prescription in hand and a bag of disposable diapers. “Merry Christmas,” they said.

Many years later, I see the beginning was a foreshadowing of things to come. But truth be told, the doctor was a liar. I was the recipient of many lies as the drama based on bad information unfolded.

In this particular case I affirm that I birthed much larger babies than my first and for whatever reason they take longer choosing their arrival date. A wise midwife told me: Babies come when they come; their time not by scheduling on a calendar.

So I light a candle each holiday season: a prayer for pregnant women, that only the truth will fill their ears.


Lydia said...

That's lovely Kate, that you honor your body and woman-wisdom. We always know the right answer-it is in our cells.

Lovy Boheme said...

I wish I could remember the doc I saw on midwifery. The medical industry leaves me sore with their efforts to impose rigid and often faulty standards onto women's bodies. *lights a candle*