Confessions of a Traumatized Mommy

by: Ashley Roman

My due date was Monday, November fourteenth. I woke up and went to work just like any other day- except this day I was hoping to not return home. I had hopes for a natural birth. The doctors told me I was young and healthy, this was going to be great. I kept telling my coworkers I thought my water was going to break; a woman just knows when somethings not 'normal' down there. Late into the night I got into bed and felt a warm gush... just like the doctor said I would. Then we were off! I was so incredibly excited yet calm. We texted, called, and emailed family and coworkers. Life was about to change and I just had no idea what to expect.

We parked in the parking garage and I felt a sense of pride that I could still walk around, although I was definitely leaving a mess behind. My husband made me ride in a wheelchair, which was probably the best idea. He's good at being kind to me.

The hospital was eerily quiet, but it was two in the morning. No contractions started so the doctors had me pacing the hallways in my fancy hospital socks. One hour, two hours, nothing. And then came my first unexpected blow: we need to induce you. Sorry, you're not progressing.

Five hours later and still less than halfway dilated. My heart dropped to the floor when the doctor (the first of three) told me this was going to be an evening baby and the sun had barely just risen. I had no energy left at this point. Then came unexpected blow number two: I asked for the epidural.

Time passed in a haze as I lay in the hospital bed, contracting but barely feeling anything but a heaviness, listening to a repeating soundtrack my husband put on as a distraction. People kept bringing him food; I was beyond envious he didn't have to live through the day like I did.

Late into the evening there was a doctor, a nurse, two nurse interns, and my husband all in the room when my doctor said the biggest unexpected blow number three: you might want to consider a c-section at this point. Baby is not dropping and you seem to not be dilated beyond eight centimeters. That's when the tears came. And the vomit. Did I mention all the vomit? They said it was the medication, lack of food, hormones... either way it sucked. I was so desperate for relief and afraid the baby would never come so I said yes. And I don't regret my decision, I just feel sad for the way I experienced it.

I remember telling Jacob in the hospital that I was never having another baby. We were adopting. That is that. Everyone said I would change my mind... but I think i'm still working through the trauma of it all. We want Eli to have a sibling: to learn how to share and live in community. I just don't know if I can handle that experience again. When you battle anxiety and depression, mixed with wacky hormones, throw in an unexpected emergency surgery, oh and a real life baby: you get fear. I have lived with fear since the moment he was born. Please don't misunderstand, I have joy. I love that child more than I love myself. But there is a degree of fear underlying my thoughts I can't quite put my finger on.

Today and every day I try to live in the present. I try to hold him and rock him to sleep and not to rush this time of life together. I pray, I ask for guidance, call the doctor all the time, and try not to take myself too seriously.

We sure did get lucky with a baby who still smiles at me even though he can't breathe out of his nose right now. My grandma told me he was going to bring a lot of joy into our lives and she was correct. Despite my fear, despite my uncertainty, he is teaching me to just sit there and giggle with him.

Welcome to this crazy world Eli William!