Monday, June 14, 2010

Why So Serious?

I look in the mirror
Lifting a flap of skin, adipose and dimpled
Underneath is a twisted smile of a scar.

It mocks me.
“Why so serious?” it asks
“You have a healthy baby. That’s all that matters”

It doesn’t hurt now. It didn’t hurt then.
When it felt like a pen drawing a line
A line that bled red and exposed my thin, shiny womb beneath
A line that opened to allow hands to roughly grab
Your delicate tiny head
And wrench it free
Pulling this way and that
Squeezing out shoulders and body
Tiny hands flinging out to the sides in distress
In the frigid sterile air
Your first breath a scream
Instead of a sigh

Why so serious?

You were supposed to come
With a rush of pain, pleasure, sweat, work, and ecstasy
Into the water, out of your water
To my waiting hands
To my warm chest
To my ready breasts
Clutched tightly to me
In a moment of sublime – divine -- joy

Not like that

Not in numbness, shock, fear, paralysis, and grief
Into the bright lights
To the gloved hands of strangers
To artificial warmth
To a waiting incubator
Wrapped tightly in a rough blanket
In a moment of intense relief and torrential tears

Your birth
I wanted desperately to give to you
Taken
With scalpels, sponges, clamps, and retractors

Why so serious?
A healthy baby is all that matters.

5 comments:

Julie said...

*sigh* I so hear you. I wish we could sit over tea and commiserate. I planned a water birth with this one and due to complications will very likely end up with a c-section. I'm grateful they caught the complications that could kill us but why can't people understand that I'm still mourning the difference between the peaceful spa-like birth center where I'd planned to have my baby and the cold, sterile, too-bright surgical suite, not to mention the separation. I want my baby in MY arms, not the nurse's.

That said, I'm glad to see you post. Was worried about you.

dmcL said...

((((((((hugs for you))))))))

I am so sorry. I wish everyone who ever said "A healthy baby is all that matters" could read this. This is truth. And I am sorry that this is your story.

I am very glad that you and your son are alive and together with your family, but I am so sad that this was the way of it.

carey said...

many tears for this writing. this is it; exactly, exactly. thank you for writing what i have not been able to.

Housefairy said...

xoxoxo I understand. The grieving took me a long time out from the births...just hugs and glad youre blogging. Would love pics of newbeebee boy!

doula.kat said...

beautiful poem and so profound. this should be read by everyone who has ever said or thought "a healthy baby is all that matters"