As a warning… this is an emotional story that may be uncomfortable to you.
There’s only brief mentions of violence, but it’s a bit overwhelmingly sad.
You may want to consider skipping it.
For further reasoning on why…
So, as I was only part time at my job, though working 37 hours a week while also in school full time…. I wasn’t covered for paid time off to have Boo.
So, for want of $600 to pay the bills for the month I’d be taking off, I ended up moving to my mom’s new house a month before Boo was born… where I didn’t even have a bedroom set up until the weekend before her birth. (Looking back, I’d have probably made a more desperate attempt to make it work to stay there, but that’s another story.)
So, I was completely switching everything… at 8 months along.
As such, my original thoughts on hospital, birthing class, and support people were out.
I’d planned to ask one of my friends from high school to be there, even though we hadn’t been very close since we’d gone different directions in college…. but my mom decided she wanted to.
Makes sense, right?
So, the original class type I’d wanted to do didn’t have anywhere that teaches it in this area, so it was out. (They now have a cd set and book, but not at that time.) So were any of the longer classes since I wouldn’t be in town until late, so we did a short 1/2 day thing at the hospital that wasn’t even the one I’d be having her at.
So, through a whole ‘nother story, we ended up having her induced.
We were to be there at 6 in the evening, they would administer one med overnight to get things started, then switch to a different one at 6 am to get it moving faster, and doc said she estimated by noon she’d be here. (That probably should have been my first clue… again, another story)
And so we get to the hospital, and things set up in my room by about 8… and then mom announces that she had things she needed to get done around the house before things got crazy this week with the baby, and she’d be back before they changed to the strong med in the morning at 6.
Yes, housework was more important than me having the person supposed to be my support person with me in labor.
I guess you have to have a spotless house to have a baby in it. Baby might be judging you on the dishes in the sink, or get sick from the adult holding it having dust on their feet from a dirty floor?
And so at a time that most people generally have whole teams of support…
I spent the first sleepless night of contractions with nobody there for me but the infomercials and cartoon network.
I know with experience since then with medical people that a lot of times nurses step in for those cases where someone is alone… but as it happened, my nurse that night was mean… telling me they didn’t have plus size hospital gowns, telling me I couldn’t wear my own clothing as a second choice unless it was open at the bottom and I would probably end up getting it cut off of me… only generally came in when the monitor was messing up.
Looking back, I should have thought to call someone else to come be with me after she bailed… but in the age before cell phones, I doubt I would have had their numbers on me… and I’m not sure that I’d have felt like anyone would have liked getting a call at 9 at night asking them to come stay overnight at the hospital abruptly.
Mom wasn’t there at 6.
She still wasn’t there at 8… when I discovered that the hospital had failed at my request for a confidential admission, and that the abusive jerk who is Boo’s dad had noticed I hadn’t been on yahoo the night before and had figured out to call around to the hospitals asking. He’d been told specifically that he would be called afterwards.
It’s sort of an odd moment when someone who once held your head underwater in an aquarium out of paranoia that you were cheating on him and raped you repeatedly since things ended, is actually a toss up that their presence might actually be an improvement.
He sat in a recliner on the far opposite side of the room, and changed the channels to fishing and hunting shows rather than caring what I’d had it on or wanted it on, and was just in general not involved. It was free cable to him.
Is it possible to be more alone than being literally alone?
I suppose at least before I’d had friendly cartoons to keep me company instead of fish.
Mom came in just before 10… and did get some of the stuff straightened out like the gowns.
But given that this was a hospital she had worked at, there were a lot of people in and out of my room to chat with her who were coworkers or friends of hers…. people I’d never even met before.
She did stay the night the next night… and did actually at least try at support when things got bad the next day, but it was more in the way of medical team telling me to go to the bathroom when I had no desire to, timing things, etc.
During the C-section just after noon, many things went south from some medical staff errors, and I ended up on life support (another very long story).
When I woke up, back in my room…. it was just me, the jerk, and those stupid fish.
Not even Boo, she’d had to be taken to the nursery (another story).
After a bit, a friend of the family came in, and the jerk told her my mom had gone to go tell people what happened in person instead of over the phone.
Glad to know that even when I’ve spent part of the day not breathing on my own, other people’s emotional well being is still more important than my own.
Ya know, we wouldn’t have want them to have to be told over the phone, that might have made them feel left out or something by her being there with me instead of making sure they were informed in person as soon as possible.
Telling me I’m not alone, that people would be there for me if I needed them doesn’t work to kill the alone feeling.
There’s been too many times that I guess I just didn’t need enough to rank high enough on anyone’s priority list.
It’s a lot easier to say “oh, but God is there, he’ll be with you, he’s your support” when you aren’t someone who doesn’t also have a flesh person or two hanging around.
He’s there. Yes.
But it isn’t the same thing as having a physical, caring, warm body that can actually touch you… hold you.. hug you… comfort you in an audible voice.
Sometimes you are God still feels very much like alone.