Recovery feels like a rollercoaster. You are dipped and turned at will; the wind piercing your cheeks and burning your eyes. The air comes too fast and it's almost impossible to breathe. You are blind to what is in front of you and at mercy to the ride.
I had a traumatic delivery with my daughter. It contributed to my postpartum depression and is the reason I struggle with PTSD.
I had no romanticized ideal about childbirth, nor did I have an official plan of what it would look like. I didn't listen to adorable music or dance around my hospital room. It was rather boring for the first half, honestly. Breathing and pushing and sweating and sometimes laughing, the time seemed to blink by.
The second half halted with squealing brakes, practically audible. It is when every preparation I could have made was shattered. A handful of things went very, very wrong, very, very quickly. Time was no longer blinking speedily. It slowed down and stretched out before me. Each frightening detail had its own breadth to it. Each second a lit and snuffed match, burned into my memory. These moments get stuck in my throat and make me hoarse with tears if I try to explain them. The mental and emotional scars are raw and somehow worn.
I didn't meet my daughter until hours after she was born. I barely remember anything of that moment. There's nothing poetic I can say to make this sound more horrific than it was. These words are as straight and ugly as I can make them. I don't remember. I don't remember most things from the coming days. I don't know why, and I'm not sure that I care to. And this is what I obsess over when it's just me. In the minutes before I fall asleep, or when it gets too quiet. I think about her. And I think about me. And I hope she knew that she was loved the millisecond she was removed from me, even though I wasn't a part of it.
I want her to know that I'm sorry my body failed me. And I'm sorry things were so terrifying.
But I also want her to know that we fought side by side. And we always, always will. My warrior girl.