Secret mummydom confession
It's time for me to reveal my secret. I need to make a mummyhood confession. When I look at my son's beautiful face, it breaks my heart to realise this: when he was born, I wanted to leave him at the hospital. I didn't want to take him home, to claim him as mine.
Being his mum has been such a strange journey, especially when compared to being his sister's mum. My poor son was the victim of a traumatised mother for the first part of his life (and it didn't help much that he has a terrible temper too). When he was finally delivered via emergency c-section, I was fast asleep. I didn't know that was to be the last peaceful sleep I was to have in a long time. I didn't know I was about to take a glimpse of another life; a life with pain, regret, anxiety and darkness.
They put me under general anaesthetic before they ripped him from me and they never bothered to tell my husband what was happening. He was in the delivery room with me when the monitor went silent. He was there when the fuzzy heart-beat echoed silence and the wires were ripped from my body. He was there when they charged down the corridor with the hospital bed, feet squeaking on the shiny floors and gowns flying behind them. He was still there when they sliced me open and introduced our son to a plastic tube to help him breathe. He was there.
He held our son. He named our son. He waited for me to wake up.
I didn't believe that the baby wrapped neatly in a hospital blanket was the same baby that had wriggled and squirmed inside me for so long. I refused to believe he was my baby. People visited. People congratulated us. Silently, I seethed. Who congratulates someone who has been through such a terrifying experience? Who brings presents and cards and smiles to such an awful place? Why were they expecting me to look after this baby? Did I really have to put this baby to my breast, tend to his cries and gaze lovingly at him? I did these things- except for gaze at him... I couldn't look at him without crying.
Eventually, I found a way to love my son. I started to understand what had happened and I guess it's true what they say, about time being a healer. Now, the most painful part of it all is that I didn't love him straight away.
Through all of this came Maternity Matters: my collaborative blog where I and other amazing women write about these things... because these things are important. Through all of this I am learning how to be my son's mum - and yes, I'm so glad I brought him home.
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