Not too long ago, I was struggling--I mean REALLY struggling with lingering thoughts from Evelyn's birth. I couldn't get the feeling of loss out of my head. Not even that the birth didn't go the way I had planned. I could find a way to deal with that. What I hated was that I couldn't remember. I still can't. They had pushed so many drugs into my IV, since I was feeling the surgery, that it knocked me clean out. All I do remember was seeing her in a fog, having no idea where I was, who she was, why Chris was pointing to her, or why I was so cold. Typing it/thinking it still makes me feel queasy, honestly. I don't mind the csection, but I absolutely mind not having that flooding feeling of love and admiration for my baby. Hell, I wish I just knew who she was in that moment. That emotional confliction has been very tough to swallow.
So instead of continuing to suffer alone, I reached out to two friends. Of these two friends, one I have never met.
The one I have never met did everything in her power to reassure me as to the normalcy of my feelings. She too had an unplanned csection. She was aware of the feeling of loss. Just knowing she understood and would take time out of her busy day to talk with me about it started to put a bandaid over my heart. I so appreciate her kindness and love.
The other was my dearest friend Susan, who was at the birth. I confided in her that sometimes I questioned my love for my baby, because I didn't love her right away. I know that not everyone feels that intense love right away--cognizant or not of their surroundings. But I know me. And I know that in my right, undrugged mind, I would have. So I wondered if I didn't love her the way that I should because of it. Susan, in her amazing and thoughtful way, sent me a picture she had taken of me and Evelyn moments after we first met. I don't think I had seen the picture prior to this. And in the accompanying email, she explained that even if I didn't FEEL like I loved her, all she had to do was look at this picture, and look at my face. And all she could see was the pure love of a mother enamoured with her daughter.
That email? Basically changed everything.
Being an OCD control freak, it is difficult when I cannot control situations, emotions, anything. I love control. I thrive on routine. I do not do well with spontaneous situations. All of this comes into play with my guilt regarding Evelyn's birth. I could find ways to deal with that on my own.
But it took these two ladies to remind me, and show me, that even if I was not confident about my emotions, they were normal. And they were clear to observers. And most of all, my baby felt so very loved in the moments following her birth. She was wrapped up in the warmth of her daddy before she was given to me, and she could feel that her mommy loved her. Even if her mommy doesn't quite remember. I am so very thankful to have these wonderful people in my life to remind me when I need reminding and love me when I need love.