Baby born, 4 days old, a girl, of course. When will the time come when I don’t feel the ache when I look at another’s? Will that moment ever be simple again? I’ve come to realise, it definitely isn’t yet! I feel happy and congratulatory for the mum, who’s had the health baby. I also taste my bitterness for the mum who had the live, healthy baby. I ask, myself, why couldn’t it be me? The moment is so bitter and so sweet, I’ve finally come to fully understand the term ‘bittersweet’. I don’t begrudge the mum her sweet, beautiful bundle of joy, nor do I begrudge her that, rightfully deserved, moment of survivors victory, that only mothers know!
The truth is, I’ve had 2 children and neither pregnancy and labour was ‘easy’ or ‘normal’, they were ‘difficult’ and ‘challenging’. The first, you know, was run of the mill, in that I had a severe, previously unknown, allergic reaction to the run of the mill pain relief which, unfortunately, caused respiratory arrest, where I nearly wasn’t here to be flippant about my 26 hours of labour. The second 12 hour labour resulted in the birth of my stillborn daughter. So, when I hear about 4 hour labours, swollen pregnancy, and chewed nipples I have to forcibly remind myself not to be bitter and not to be flippant about another’s challenge. Following this reminder, I then rediscover every mother’s famous friend, guilt. I find a ‘bittersweet’ joy in my guilt! In that I can say; ‘see I am not so lost, I can still recognise that I don’t want to be this person!’ But I am this person, this is, for now, the ‘new’ me.
The ‘new’ me, is currently unknown to me. The ‘new’ me, is someone I really don’t understand or know. Daily, the ‘new’ me is shocking to me. My reactions to everyday occurrences, like the birth of a healthy baby girl, shocks and shames me.
The irony is, I sound so bitter, I even sometimes feel bitter, but it doesn’t appear that I am bitter. I am, as of right now, ‘bittersweet’ and still discovering who I will become.