1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?
I want to acknowledge myself for pursuing a natural childbirth and for reaping the reward of feeling every pre-labor contraction, every active labor contraction, every sizzling burn from that ring of fire, and the amazing swoosh of my daughter’s body leaving mine for good.
I want to acknowledge myself for refusing to succumb to bitterness and anger at anyone for the loss of my uterus. There is a path of litigation and revenge that many in my situation might seek. I will never know if any of this is someone’s fault, not even my own. Knowing that someone made a mistake (even if that someone is me) wouldn’t make me feel better. And it won’t bring my uterus back.
I want to acknowledge myself for still putting my daughter to the breast to feed at least once a day, even though a majority of her nutrition has come from formula (now baby food) since the day she was born. Her benefit may be small, but she is benefiting nonetheless.
I want to acknowledge myself for the nights I sat up with my newborn and for learning that I can cope with less sleep. I had a deep fear of being sleep-deprived, but it was one of the easiest parts of being a new parent (for me) and also one of the most short-lived.
2. What is there to grieve about 2007?
I am in grief about the loss of my uterus, the loss of future children, the lingering pain.
I am in grief about the memories I carry of being intubated, of awaking in the ICU.
I am in grief about leaving my baby alone for two days postpartum and the agony of her blue-handed scream in this photo.
I am in grief about not being able to care for my baby by myself in he beginning, or being able to cradle her without a pillow protecting my belly.
I am in grief about not coming back from this birth whole and complete, and being able to give my husband a whole and complete wife.
I am in grief from the weight of people being so afraid of losing me.
I am in grief because I have a scar, and stretch marks, and sagging belly skin, wider hips than before I became pregnant.
I am in grief because I didn’t make any money to
3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?
When I was training for labor I tried to focus on the idea that with every contraction that was to come, each contraction was its own thing. Once I had it, I wouldn’t have to have it again. No matter how long it was or how intense. When it was over, it was over. I wouldn’t have to have that contraction again.
I am working toward feeling that about everything that happened to me last year. I am not there yet, but I’m working on it.