We were recently asked if we’d like to review the new HP Instant Ink service, which was great timing due to the fact that our current printer had all but given up a few weeks ago. We’re one of those families who seem to always need something printing out for one reason or another, and emailing them to Ghostwriterdaddy to do at the office has become quite old very quickly! Sometimes I want to run off a quick form for work, or some resources for the little ones etc, and it’s so annoying when I can’t do that! We were sent a wonderful brand spanking new HP ENVY 5540 printer, which comes ready with ink, along with a pre-paid card for the Instant Ink service, and plenty of paper so that we could get started straight away. This is what we thought.
You’re sitting in a room, all alone. You’re seated on the edge of the bed and your body feels heavy as it sags towards the floor. You’re breathing hard. Shallow. You close your eyes because when you do that, the reel inside your head begins to slow and the flickering images start to make a little more sense. But they’re still there and you know that no matter what you do, those images are staying. Imprinted on your soul forever. Because you’re changed forever.
Someone beside you reaches for your hand. They know you’re broken. You’re scared. You’re screaming for help. You don’t know what they’re thinking. You don’t know what they’re feeling. You don’t know if they understand. But you need them. And as they take your hand in theirs you fall into them.
“At least your baby is here, healthy and happy! That’s all that matters.”
And the world comes tumbling down.
I have heard this so. Many. Times. I have learned not to react. Not to shut down and wallow. Not to question myself and my own reactions to what happened. I’ve learned that not everyone understands. They can’t. They won’t. I’ve learned to appreciate that birth trauma is still so misunderstood.
I get comments and emails and messages that question my motives for writing about birth trauma. What happened to me is nothing compared to what happened to them. They went through what I did and they aren’t traumatised, so why am I? They’ve been through much worse, what gives me the right to complain? They don’t have a baby, happy and healthy, at all. So how dare I feel cheated, or mournful or angry?
I won’t dismiss your feelings. But I won’t accept that it’s ok for you to tell me a healthy baby is all that matters. I matter too. My birth experience matters. My emotional wellbeing. My state of mind. I matter as much as you do.
I took a baby home from the hospital and I will always ALWAYS be grateful that I did. I will always know how lucky I am. I will always appreciate the work that was done to save my son’s life. But I will also always remember the horror that was his birth. I only wish I could forget.
A healthy baby is important. But it is NOT all that matters.
As a kid I always remember my mum embarking upon a spring clean. Time to clear the cobwebs and get the house ready for summer. Whatever that meant. But there really is something quite cathartic about having a clear out, re-arranging furniture and sorting through the boxes of junk you’ve been meaning to sort through since winter began. And now, with my own home to sort, I get it. Spring cleaning is something that creeps up on me rather than a planned event, but I really do find it therapeutic to say the least. So while I’m in the throes of this year’s effort, I thought I’d share some of my favourite spring cleaning tips and this really fun little video from HomeServe, in honour of the event.
Not just a clean
Spring cleaning is not just a clean, in that it’s much more than just sweeping and sorting. I find it helps to me to move on too. This week alone I’ve been through the girls’ wardrobe and cleared out all the tiny baby clothes that I’ve previously been unable to part with. I don’t know why; sometimes it’s hard to let go. But once you do, it can feel quite amazing. So knowing that, I’ve tackled other tricky areas of my life too. I recently shredded all of my old teacher files. Now that was a wrench. Admitting I no longer need them. Leaving behind a career I worked so hard for. Saying goodbye (for now, perhaps) to a job that turned my life around. However you look at it, its huge. A chance to wipe the slate clean and start again. And start again we must.
Here are my top five Spring clean tips. What are yours?…
You are no less of a mother just because your baby is birthed on an operating table. The love you feel for your baby (at whatever point it arrives- the love, I mean. It isn’t always instant, and that goes for all mums too. That ‘rush of love’ sometimes meanders rather than races) is no smaller because you did not push her out of your vagina. Your power, your strength and your courage is no smaller because your plans went out of the window. Your abilities are no less potent becaus they sliced you open instead. You birthed your baby AND you had major surgery too.
While most would recover from abdominal surgery by lying in bed, pillows plumped and needs met, you do not. You pull night shifts just the same as the other mums. You feed round the clock. You change nappies. You cook food. You mother.
You are no less of a mother.
You are no less of a mother just because your baby arrived differently. It doesn’t mean you didn’t try. It doesn’t mean you didn’t agonise over the decision. It doesn’t mean you didn’t question your abilities. You did all of that and you went ahead anyway.
You let them have you. You sat on the side of the bed while they injected your spine and you offered yourself up to them. Your life in their hands. Complete trust. Hope. Belief. You watched the hands on the clock turn on and you heard the clink of surgical tools on metal trays and you blinked. Once. Maybe twice. And you continued to breathe. Because what else could you do?
You are no less of a mother just because your baby was born on a table. You are a warrior because your baby was born on a table. Because you knew what you needed to do, and you did it. Because you closed your eyes and you waited.
You are no less of a mother. You are amazing.