Hours after my daughter was born, I woke from the anesthesia. Groggy and a little disoriented, I looked around the recovery room with disdain. I was awake. Since my son was nearby, I held my tongue, but I really wanted to cry out, “Lord, why? Why am I still here?” I silently expressed my ungratefulness and smiled at my little four-year old boy who looked like he was caught in a horror movie.
My daughter had been out of the womb for nearly seven hours before I was able to hold her for the first time. She was so little, weighing under six pounds and barely able to fit into preemie clothes. As much as I loved her and was happy to know she was healthy, I still couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting to get away from everyone. Slapping a smile on my face for visitors was the most painful and dreadful part of my hospital stay.
At a moment when I was alone in the room, the doctor stopped by for a visit. He was excited to share the news that my body was quickly recovering. The large amount of blood I lost didn’t seem to be causing any alarm, and the need for a transfusion was quickly discontinued. I think he expected me to smile and be thankful, to show some sign of happiness. I just stared blankly at him and nodded, pursing my lips firmly together to keep any words from escaping my mouth.
Astute in his observation, he decided to discuss the last few moments I was alert before delivery. Using scientific data and no emotion, I was told ‘it happens’ sometimes. Unfortunately, my body didn’t respond to the medicine in the way it should. Again, I nodded, showing no emotion and no sign or willingness to communicate. I turned my head and looked out the window.
Taking the hint, he said his final declaration that he expected me to be released in the next 24-36 hours. No congratulations, no more attempts to comfort me with good news. A quick nod of his head, a half smile on his lips and he left the room as softly as he when he arrived.
Sitting quietly in my hospital room, it dawned on me that I was going to be responsible for everything again in just a few short hours. Damn, my body, I thought. Why did it have to go and be so quick to heal? I’m not ready to care for anyone; I can barely care for myself. This is not going to work. Something needs to happen. The tears were ready to stream down my face, but my husband, plastered with a big grin on his face, walked in to the room and plopped down in his designated visitor’s chair. Be strong, Carla. Don’t let him see your weakness.
Until tomorrow –
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