How long does it take to get over a bad birth experience?
Months? Years? It’s been six years and I still well up when I try to talk about my son’s birth.
Is this normal? I don’t mean bad birth in the sense of no epidural, hours of agonising labour or a huge tear.
I mean bad birth in the sense of an emergency c-section at 36 weeks and not hearing my baby cry.
He had a perinatal stroke.
There were numerous paediatric staff milling around him as I cried silent tears asking over and over again ‘is he ok’.
Begging the kindest nurse and my equally shell shocked husband to let me see him.
The first shock of seeing him, so tiny, hooked up to numerous machines and tubes coming out of everywhere.
Three weeks of doctors talking about ‘grey matter on the brain’, ‘seizures’ and ‘management of care’ became the norm.
Until the day the specialist from Temple Street came to see him with the results of his MRI.
The words ‘not life altering’ were the sweetest words I have ever heard.
Tears of relief and joy, phone calls to family and friends followed. It’s all over. Life can begin. And it did.
We are so lucky. Others are not.
My beautiful son is now six, with a brother, five and a darling sister, 18 months.
My family is complete and I couldn’t be happier.
So why do I still get so emotional about his birth story.
Why can’t I just agree it was a bad experience that turned out great in the end.
It seems to be the guilt that gets me.
How did I not realise something was wrong sooner.
Maybe if I had gone to the hospital sooner he wouldn’t have had to go through all that.
And don’t get me started on the guilt I feel for the families that don’t have a good ending.
How can I possibly feel upset when everything turned out great, when it doesn’t for so many others?
Mammy guilt….does it ever end…..