My head is pressed against the cold glass of our car window. My thoughts are clear and empty as this ride takes me to the end of my birth. The contractions now are just a reminder that my body is still in labor but my heart is not. My heart is paused waiting for what I know will come. A baby, finally, but not how we had hoped.
And what about you, my on call doctor? Will you be kind or curse at me like the first time? Will you think me crazy and ignorant or will you look at me with care and gentleness? I can only hope for the latter because while I am calm, I am still in the vulnerability of labor.
And what about you, my nurses? Will you squeeze my hand when I sign the consent forms or will you callously take my vitals and huff under your breath? Am I a human to you who has earned your kindness by just existing or am I offending you with my previous choices and deserve your disdain? I hope you see the pain in my eyes when I answer your questions and wait for the time when I can’t feel my contractions so my body might match my numb heart.
And what about you, my partner? Are you as worried and scared as me or are you masking it behind the kiss to my forehead? When they wheel me back will you bury your head in your hands and close your eyes or will you pace in front of the doors until they call you in? I hope you know that you are my steady comfort and the reason I can breathe right now.
And what about you, my midwife? Are you in the waiting room wringing your hands in fear and avoiding eye contact with the staff or are you confidently preparing your words and love for when I come out of surgery? Or did you even come at all and allow the intimidation or your schedule to prevent you from midwifing me through to the end of this birth? I hope you know that your choice will stay with me as I am strapped down on the operating table until forever.
And what about you, my family? Are you preparing your speeches in your heads of how you told me so or all that matters is our health or will you grieve with me the loss of our peaceful birth and quiet postpartum? Will you ignore my exhaustion of body and spirit to fill my room while my heart splits wide open and empties out or will you squeeze me tenderly so as not to hurt my new physical wounds in order to let me know you feel the weight and bravery of my choice? I hope you know that your love has the power to make me feel strong when my world has crumbled.
And what about you, my home? Are you still filled with fresh fluffy towels, empty tubs, and affirmation cards to remind me of the sacred space I created to welcome our new life or did someone wipe you away and hide your bittersweet reminders leaving more emptiness than I remember before? Will you always carry the memories of those last few moments where we decided to leave your safe walls or will you someday feel like home and rest and healing again? I hope I don’t always weep in the room alone with my thoughts, but that we can make amends so that I can find peace in you.
And what about you, sweet baby? Did you know that we would end up here before we began or did you lose your way in the process like I did? Would you believe that this was all for you and our deepest desire to bring you here with love and health and safety and tenderness? I hope you know that I would choose this way for you over and again, this birth that belongs to both worlds.