Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Baby Shoes For Sale, Never Used.

So there I am on a normal Sunday 
5 months pregnant, it's June, it's hot as hell,
On my way to the hospital to get checked out because I've had some bleeding.
I'm not too worried, my boyfriends complaining about wanting to go get a burrito on his day off instead of drive to the hospital but here we are.
The nurses seem casual. I'm Johnny-Ed up in a semi privet room in the woman's clinic, curtains separating me from a very busy day delivering babies.
After 6 hours of waiting and some brief apologies the head midwife checks me out. 
It's uncomfortable but here we are. The nurses stop smiling. 
They talk to me haltingly as if each word it being carefully selected to remain neutral. 
They get the doctor on call and apologize for putting me through a second examination. The circle of faces peering into me is slack, slight frowns all around. 
Very quickly I'm given a brief explanation. Words that aren't really sticking, "delivery is eminent". The nurse and doctor wheel me up to delivery, they keep saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." I don't know what this means. The joking nurse from earlier tells me that I'm being very strong but I don't have to be and I can cry. Confused tears come spilling out but I'm still trying to keep it together, I'm not ready to let go, not of anything. All I can't think moment by moment is I'm ok, I'm still pregnant, the baby is ok. In this moment it's ok. I'm not ready to let go. 

I will never forget the way the nurse set up equipment in the corner of the room for a birth but not a baby. All these hard metal medical instruments and not a single soft blanket or incubator. 
There's something indescribable in the pain of having your body fail you and knowing this little infant inside you that you've carried for 5 months and got to know each kick, each mood, that is so perfectly healthy and active in your stomach, for no reason at all could be dead in a matter of hours and you are powerless. 
No matter how much you could want something in your life, want your baby to live and grow up, you are powerless. You dont get to decide this one. 
There is the life you see flashing in front of your eyes isn't your own but theirs - tiny clothing and hands wrapped around your finger, first steps and tumbles, first birthday party that you will never get experience, that they will never get to have.
You feel cheated, you feel such rage and you don't even know where to put it or what to direct it at. Angry with the grief that you cannot provide the basics as a parent you cannot give your child safety or life, and all you want it a goddamned blanket to wrap them in, just some sense of normalcy. Something kind, some single thing you can give your baby that isn't horrible or harsh. Something that says they mattered, they were loved and wanted, and they deserve to be handled as delicately as any other newborn in that hospital. 

The baby survived. At 25 weeks gestation she was only a pound and a half at birth. She's a happy 8 month old now. It was rough. We both almost died. I bought her and continue to buy her every soft pink blanket I can get my hands on.

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