The nature of who I am means that my mind is always thrust between intangible times: pasts and fantasy futures. Now, is only important in how it relates to before. I am not a buddhist. I will never be in the now. I will always be dreaming of possible tomorrows and recounting (dwelling? agonizing over? deeply mourning?) the past. As such, I can only tell you about how I am doing right now, by comparing it to how I was a year ago.
It’s a little tough right now, but no where near as hard as it was this time last year. As the first anniversary of my trauma approached, I was so sad I could barely breathe. My daughter started walking and all I could do was feel sorry for myself, for the loss of my infant. I was in deep mourning for the me I was the previous year, happier than I had ever been, so full of purpose and optimism as I readied myself to give birth.
We all know how that story unfolds.
And now, some gory details that I don’t think I’ve shared before.
And at a year out, I still had pretty regular bouts of pain. I couldn’t feel my bladder when it was full. I was often incontinent. My pelvis would ache for days any time I had intercourse (never mind the fact that it took six months before I was successfully able to). My scar itched and burned. I had chronic gas and constipation.
Two years out, and I have regained much of my sensation in my bladder. I still leak whenever I have a hard sneeze or cough. I may have a rectal prolapse, but don’t yet want to find out. A day of walking or lots of activity will leave me sore the next day, but it’s rarely debilitating these days, just generally uncomfortable. My scar still itches, and a flailing foot during a wild toddler diaper change has occasionally landed on my belly and caused me to well up. It hurts, but it doesn’t kill me.
Right now, I mostly mourn the finality of the childbearing question. The fawning strangers who tousle Lyra’s hair and say, “You have to have another one!” aren’t meaning to be cruel. They don’t deserve to have their faces flushed when I sometimes retort, “I would, if I could.”
I would. If I could.
Some days I hate the fact I can’t. I hate tamping down all those thoughts that pop up and say, “With my next one, I’ll do X differently.”
You only get one shot
do not miss your chance
once in a
You’re not going to believe me when I say that I’m doing okay. But this time last year I didn’t understand why I’d survived. Sometimes, my survival felt like a mistake. This year, I know that I’m here because there is one child in this world who was waiting to call me Mommy. And while it doesn’t sooth every hurt, it is: Enough.