I was already hysterical by the time the doctor told me that my daughter had something wrong with her head, and as she instructed the nurse to call neonatology stat, just like that, my daughter flopped her way into the world at 4:28 PM on Wednesday January 28, 2009.

Furiously.

“Is she okay, is she alive, is she okay, please tell me she’s okay, oh my god, oh my god, is she okay, oh my god, oh my god, my poor baby, is she okay?, is she dead, make her breathe, is she dead, oh my god!” I couldn’t stop the hysterical babble, my voice rising until it was as shrill as a harpy.

“I don’t know, Rebecca, neonatology is coming to check her out” my OB said over my wails. Then she held up my squirming daughter.

My first thought was that I’d somehow given birth to a statue–I can still see her in my mind’s eye–bathed in the glow of the spotlight, dark hair matted down–as she was covered head to cheesy toe in vernix caseosa, and once they’d rubbed that off of her, she was pink and pissed the hell off.

I couldn’t tell you who cried louder–me or her–but I know that mine was the more mournful of the two. I figured that I’d used up all my good luck netting a wonderful The Daver and having two healthy boys. How could I possibly be lucky enough to have another whole healthy baby? I’d spent my whole pregnancy thinking just that: I couldn’t dodge the bullet again.

Apparently, when they hit the emergency button and order neonatology up to visit a patient, it means that the medical equivalent of a marching band swarms your room. So, there I was, suspended in midair (my doctor liked to deliver babies standing up) (her standing, not me) (because that would be very awkward) (especially if I pooed on her head) stuck being stitched up, spotlight still trained onto my vagina when a parade of people entered my room. Like extras from a movie set.

Even more upset, I moaned and cried and delivered my placenta, crying more violently than I thought possible, my ugly grey gown now dripping with the tears I’d been weeping steadily. I could barely breathe, the snot poured liberally out of my nose, and without the Daver to wipe it, it just pooled there on my face.

Dave was obviously where he should be–with his daughter–and had my OB not been eye to eye with my crotch I’d have wobbled my still-numb legs over to join him. I’d have clawed my still-working upper body toward her if I had to, but I could sort of see her over the OB’s head. Pink, pissed off, and hugely fat. Over the din, I could hear Dave trying to reassure me, “Oh Becky, you have got to see her thighs! She has THUNDER thighs!”

It was the most normal part of this whole fucked up situation.

The neonatology team swarmed where my daughter was furiously screaming her ever-loving head off, oblivious to the cacophony of cries in the room. They assessed her and after a couple of minutes, decided that it was probably just a fatty cyst on her head. But, to err on the side of caution, they would order a CT scan of her head the following day, so that the pediatric radiologist could take a gander at her noggin.

And just like that *BAM* the room emptied.

Like the water drained from the bathtub in one loud glut.

All of a sudden it was so quiet, so still. I was stitched back into one piece and lowered to a respectable height, my doctor bid us farewell, and neonatology nodded their capped heads at us as they left. Seemingly unconcerned. It was just The Daver, my nurse, and my daughter left. She begged off too, so that she could give us a chance to bond, and Dave gingerly brought me over my daughter.

I was still shaking head to tow, be it from the precipitous drop in hormones or the trauma that had been Amelia’s birth, and I begged him to stay close. Just in case I dropped her. As I managed to wrangle to gown down, I nursed her and as I did, I examined my new child. My sweet cinnamon girl.

She was the spitting image of Alexander, whom I missed so painfully that I actually ached, although her fingers were longer and more elegant, and her hair was dark black and matted to her head. Her eyes were open and she regarded me with these luminous green eyes which seemed to say, “hey, so you’re my mother, okay.” I was enchanted with her pureness, her loveliness. The daughter I’d always wanted was finally here.

And still The Fear. I tentatively pulled up the hat which had been pulled down over her ears, terrified of what I might see. Sure enough, right along the posterior fontanelle, there was a mass, a solid, pliable mass maybe an inch in diameter that I palpated gently with my fingers. I was reassured that this did not seem to cause her any distress as she still stared at me while I began to quietly weep into her blanket.

It was either a fatty tumor or it was something Very, Very Bad.

I’d read about neural tube defects in nursing school–always the annoying overachiever–so I knew that they could occur anywhere along the former neural tube. Typically, they’d occur lower, on the spinal cord, where they’d cause spina bifida, and while I knew that they could happen anywhere along the spinal column, I had no name for what it was called if it were to occur on the skull. But I remembered it technically be a neural tube defect on her brain and the pit of fear in my stomach grew.

The obligatory phone calls were made in short clipped bursts–by Daver as I couldn’t handle trying to talk to anyone yet–and we were prepped to go up to the Mother/Baby unit. As we rolled past the rooms with happy, seemingly carefree families, I was green with envy. I’d wanted shiny pink balloons and huge bouquets of overflowing roses and cala lilies and flowers and visitors and Vicodin, and an epidural that worked, and I wanted to play “Eye of the Tiger” when I delivered, and I wanted to enjoy my time as a new mother one last fucking time.

But my daughter; something was wrong with her. I couldn’t celebrate when there was something wrong with my daughter.

I steeled myself for our visitors as best as I could, wiping the snot from my nose and trying to ice my nearly-swollen-shut eyeballs so that I looked presentable for my dad, my eldest, my sister-in-law and my friend Ashley. They poured in and I tried to make small talk with them all, choking down the dinner they’d thoughtfully brought me which tasted like sand, and tried not to cry. I showed off my daughter and they ooh’d and ahh’d appropriately and I felt like a fraud.

They each knew that she had something wrong with her head, but I’m not sure whether they were trying to put on a happy face or they were just clueless as to how bad this could be. Above their chatter, all I could hear was a constant buzzing. I later identified this as panic.

Even with the aid of an Ambien and a Vicodin, the mix of which should have knocked me on my ass after the labor and delivery I’d had, I couldn’t sleep. I struggle with insomnia on my best days, and on my worst, well, I am a wreck. I tried to toss and turn and nothing, I couldn’t sleep. Or I could sleep lightly, only to wake up when a squirrel farted in Siberia or a raccoon somewhere in the mountains of Egypt broke a branch (are there raccoons in Egypt?)(or mountains, for that matter?).

Dave, seemingly oblivious, and always the one to assume the best in any situation, snored away, not even stirring when I lobbed condiments at him to get him to stop fucking snoring.

(condiments inexplicably included peanut butter)

(as an insomniac, there is very little as awful as having to sit there and listen to other people loudly sleep when you cannot)

I was almost happy when the breakfast cart rolled in because then I could stop pretending to be asleep. The morning passed as sort of a blur to me, although I can distinctly recall removing my own IV port and not letting a soul touch my daughter. I was like a momma lion protecting my baby and if push had come to shove, I probably would have bitten someone had they gotten too close.

Somewhere around 1PM, radiology came by to escort my daughter to her CT Scan. Dave, always the wonderful father, went with, leaving me alone in a room. Shitting my pants scared and all alone. I felt like a shaking bird with a broken wing, stranded and alone. I think I pounded out a bare bones blog post and read and reread my comments just so I felt a little less alone. Bet you didn’t think how much it mattered to hear from you, but it did.

It was my lifeline.

After something like 38 hours, Dave and Amelia were back, Dave beaming ear to ear. He’d gotten the impression that whomever was looking at the stills of my daughter’s head hadn’t seen anything terribly noteworthy.

For the first time in over 24 hours, I relaxed. My jaw unclenched, my fingers uncurled and my shoulders loosened. I began to think of things like “when we go home” and “I wonder how many Vicodin I can score from the doc” rather than, “is my baby going to die?” or the ever popular “is this REALLY how it all ends?”

I nursed and nursed my daughter, stroking her pimply cheek and murmuring to her that we’d get hats and wigs and we’d make bumps awesome, and that it didn’t matter if she had a little lump, she was so beautiful, and hey, there were always ponytails.

The phone rang, and somehow I disconnected this event with the one before it–the CT scan–and I watched Dave go ashen as he listened. He sputtered out that the NICU was coming and the pediatric neurologist was coming to see her and there was something wrong with our daughter. Something really wrong. We didn’t know what–no one, apparently, tells you shit in the hospital–but it was bad.

In another flurry of activity, the NICU came up to take my daughter from me.

They peeled her out of my arms one white knuckle at a time, and as the left the room I was scared to hear this howl, this wolf-like guttural howl. It sounded like a lion who’d been backed into the corner to die. Or a coyote mournfully begging someone, anyone in the still night to respond. I’d never heard anything so eerie in my life, and my entire body broke out into goosebumps. It was so feral.

It took me several minutes of listening to it before I realized that the noise was coming from inside of me. I was howling as they rolled my tiny daughter away from me. I was making a noise I didn’t even know humans could make. My head buzzed as though a hive of bees had taken over where my brain had formerly been and I shook.

And I howled. I screamed and I howled.

Dave was sitting there, a shell at the foot of my bed, wracked with sobs. I’ve never seen him cry like that before or since and I hope like hell I never have to see that again. We held each other and we sobbed and we howled and we wailed, like two wolves, crying for their dead cub.

I hope I never have to make that noise again. Hell, I hope that I never hear that noise again.

We were clinging to each other like two drowning souls.

My postpartum nurse marched into the room after our daughter had departed. An old battle ax of a lady, obviously well seasoned and not interested in the moaning and carrying on that was taking place.

But this was our daughter and no one had told us anything whatsoever and we were scared shitless. The bump could have contained the meaning of life or Jimmy Hoffa’s body–we simply didn’t know. We wouldn’t know what it was for over a month.

We watched her being wheeled away and a small part of us died right there.

My nurse very obviously didn’t care for my hysteria as she began scold. “I needed to get myself together for my daughter.” Because I “had to be strong for her now.” The sentiment is fine, sure, but you have to understand–because you know the outcome now and you know that she is fine and babbling in her saucer into a set of measuring spoons and it’s so easy to look back onto someone else’s story and say, Jesus wept, she overreacted, and probably I did, but we didn’t know anything.

We thought that she was going to die.

I didn’t appreciate this attitude–I banned her from the room after this interaction–from my nurse in the slightest.

We could have used compassion and reassurance, maybe a hug, not being snapped at that I needed to shut my stupid whore mouth. She insisted that we wait 20 minutes before we went down to be with our child, an arbitrary number; a cruel imposition. The NICU wouldn’t have cared what state we were in. But it is was it was.

Another nurse, a kinder one, who must have heard the verbal slapping we were being handed wheeled in a wheelchair for me so that we could go visit our daughter. I’d just given birth, and although I could have given a shit about the number of stitches or the horrible pain I was in, I was still very, very weak. My eyes were nearly slits in my face, obscured by my swollen orbits, and my face was shiny and raw from being furiously scrubbed with hospital issue tissues.

I hyperventilated and wept on our way down, through some secret set of hidden elevators to what I thought was the basement of the hospital, keeping my face down and away from the other patients, who stared, gaping openly and thanking GOD that it wasn’t them. Rightly so.

I gripped the teeny sock–a lone sock that had fallen off Amelia’s foot earlier and I’d randomly stuck into my gown–like it were a life vest, the last thing I had that connected me to my daughter.

We were buzzed in from an unseen source as we approached the innocent looking white door that would bring us to our daughter, now a patient of the secret place, the land of tears.

I’m not a stranger to NICU’s and I happen to find the tiny babies, the preemies absolutely adorable rather than frightening, and the wall of constant sound–the vents humming, the monitors alarming and beeping intermittently and the quiet swish of the staff, moving purposefully from patient to nursing station and back again–doesn’t bother me like it does some. But this was our daughter and, well, no one expects that their child will end up there.

After scrubbing in, we went to see our daughter, who lay now completely naked under what I always called “The French Fry Warmer” hooked up to a zillion monitors, in the area directly next to the nurses station.

This was The Bad Room to be in, as anyone who has spent any time in an ICU knows, because it is RIGHT next to the nurses station. Which means they are keeping an extra close eye on whomever is there. Comforting if the patient is very ill, frightening if you still don’t know which way is up.

I cried into my gown as the other parents looked up at us, nodding in kind of a ‘hey, you too? Fucking sucks’ sort of way. Because your kid is in the NICU and that’s completely fucked up. What else can you say? It’s not like any of us expected to be there. I tried to be quiet with my sobs, and I got a couple of ghosts of half smiles from other parents who sat vigil next to their own babies.

I saw when I gingerly moved from the wheelchair into the rocking chair crammed into that tiny room with a curtain instead of a door, that someone, some kind soul had made several signs for Amelia, to add some cheer to her room. One said “Amelia” next to a red block letter ‘A’ and the other had some sort of Minnie Mouse also with an “Amelia” right there.

For some reason, this unexpected act of gentle kindness made me cry harder.

Just like all of the amazing emails and comments that you guys sent me. I know full-well all the nasty shit the Internet can do to people, but I will never, ever, ever be able to put into words how much it helped to know that people who didn’t even know us were praying for us. I cannot thank you enough for every single comment, email, anything you did for us. Every time I talk about this, every single thing you say to me, every time someone pops up to say something supportive about this, I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

Sitting here, reliving this and having so many of you reliving it with me, there are no words for how much it helps. I am showing you my secret heart, warts and all, and you are here.

Thank you. I am humbled by you.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

66 Responses to My Soggy Bottomed Girl

  • Maria says:

    I hope we can have a drink together in Chicago, cause I need it after reading this.

    This was so raw, and so real.

    Smooches to lovely Mimi.

    I gotta go blow my nose now.

    Jerk.

  • jenni says:

    Now its my turn to be shattered for you. My middle son was ripped from my arms and taken to a NICU in another town. I was sobbing nonstop, but I knew he would be ok. (just have a little trouble breathing). I would be sobbing for you now, but I know how the story ends (for now at least) and Amelia is perfect!

  • ainebegonia says:

    You brought me to tears. I am so sorry that you had to go through that and that first nurse was a complete jack@ss. I am so glad that Amelia is doing so wonderfully.

  • Cathy says:

    I so hear you on all of this. Honestly.

    It was us, too. So much of it.

  • Jenn says:

    You have done an amazing thing…for us, for you…writing this all down. You can read it any time you want just to see how far you’ve come. You can direct others to it. Amelia can read it some day as can Alex and Ben.

    Love and hugs and cocktails to you.

  • Kristina says:

    Having made a noise like that once or twice myself…that paragraph got to me. Thank you for sharing, thank you for doing it so eloquently. And I am so glad I know the end of the story already…otherwise, I don’t think I would be able to sleep tonight :)

  • Potty Mouth Mommy says:

    I can’t imagine how all this must have felt.
    I’m horrified by the way that nurse treated you.
    I’m thrilled that I know this story eventually has a happy ending.

    Thank you for sharing. It’s another perfect example of how subjective our lives really are.

  • Io says:

    I’m not crying. Nope. Just something in my eye…I’m not all emotional and crying after reading this…not at all…

  • Angellee says:

    oh Aunt Becky! Hug your precious little miracle baby for us- she is so beautiful and you are so blessed to have her!

  • Amanda says:

    My god. I can’t even imagine. I’m so incredibly awed by (and proud of) you. And now I’m going to go be all weepy.

  • Betsy says:

    There are no words. Thank you sharing all of that with us.

  • i am now soggy faced

    whew

    so glad i know this story has a happy ending. because i can’t even begin to imagine… even with you telling the story… how horrible this was…

  • Oh Becky, it took me several hours to finish this one. I kept having to stop and come back. I can’t imagine what that was like for you and Dave. I mean, I can through your words, but I know that words are never enough for such feelings.

    You are such an amazing woman.

  • Lindsey says:

    I am so glad you wrote this. Some day Amelia will read the story of her birth and know, that much more, how Mama loves her.

  • a says:

    You made me cry – how horrible that must have been. I’m so sorry that this happened to you. I know that they didn’t know anything and that’s why they didn’t tell you anything, but it doesn’t make it any better. I’m proud of you for being strong enough to make it through such a horrible experience without killing that stupid nurse.

  • Jane says:

    Wow, you just brought back some long buried memories for me and the birth of my second child. He was whisked away to NICU minutes after birth and I only remember seeing him for the 1st time after with an IV stuck in his little perfect head (I know I must have cried buckets) and then some fuckhead stole my purse from my room. Who would do such a thing?

    But anyways, the long and the short of it is: my darling son Ryan will be 19 in September! He’s a tall, handsome young man with the most wicked sense of humour ever and he is more than just OK, he’s Awesome. And I know that your Amelia will grow up to be Awesome, too. Thanks for sharing your story :-)

  • Maria says:

    Geeze.
    *wipes face*

    I don’t even have anything to say. I just wanted you to know that I was here, and I read, and I was affected.

  • SJ says:

    Coming out of lurker-dom (whooo!) to say that was a beautiful story. Sad and heart-wrenching, but a real testament to a moment in your time and you’ll be glad you documented this in the future. I’m so glad to already know the outcome of this story =)

  • Mrs. La La says:

    Oh sweetie. I am so sorry that you’ve had to go thorugh this! Finding out that something is “wrong” with your child SUCKS! The NICU SUCKS! It all sucks huge, fat, donkey balls and no parent should ever have to experience that.

    You’re story brought back many memories while also giving me courage to face what (may be) to come.

    You are such a strong person.

    ((hugs))

  • kalakly says:

    Oh Becky,
    From someone who has made that same awful, feral cry, I ache to know you were ever for a moment in that hell of a place where you think, or worse, know, your baby is lost from you. I wish I could have been there to hold your hand or squeeze your shoulders or just sit quietly with you so you would have known you were not alone.
    And I am some damn, snot dripping glad, that your ending was entirely different than mine.
    xxoo

  • heather says:

    I remember. I remember those posts and remember wanting so much to do something, to know something, to be there just so you knew someone was there. That someone else (well, hundreds of someones if I remember correctly) was willing your cinnamon girl to be well. Sending you a hug because I know this was a story that wasn’t easy to tell, but one that couldn’t be left untold.

  • Badass Geek says:

    Becky,

    I…. I admire your strength through all of this.

  • Mimi says:

    I am so sorry that I didn’t know you then, that I couldn’t be there for you. I am currently trying to stop the tears from rolling down my face. Someday Amelia will read this and cry and hug you for being the amazing mother you are.

    That being said, your next post better make me laugh my fucking ass off.

  • Meg says:

    An amazing story, thank you for sharing it , warts and everything. It takes alot of courage to show your soul like you have. You are an amazingly strong woman and I know that your daughter will someday look back on this story and see the courage that it took for you to write this and share it with us all. She is truly a special little girl to have you for a mother. <3

  • Sunny says:

    The only reason I didn’t ENTIRELY lose it while reading this post is because I know the happy, beautiful outcome. I can’t even imagine what it was like for you to live through this. Ever parent’s nightmare. You are helping a lot of people by sharing this story. Thank you.

    And screw anyone out there who spreads their hatred with cruel words to you.

  • I’m speechless. So glad you all came through it.

  • RJ Flamingo says:

    You are tremendously awesome, and I’m glad to have found my way into your circle. {{{Hugs!}}}

    Stop by for some cheesecake – you’ve earned a whole one. :-)

  • Wow, just wow. I could not even imagine what you went through and really I do not want to. Even though I know the outcome of the story I don’t know if I can read the other parts to come. Your writing here is fantatic, but hitting too close to home. Not that my daughter has ever been very ill, but for every mother it is the nightmare that haunts our dreams.

  • S says:

    I remember posting on my own blog when Amelia went in for surgery. I am so so so glad that she is doing so well and is so freaking beautiful.
    Oh, Aunt Becky, I would tell you you have a heart as big as your mouth, but I have a feeling it’s bigger.
    All beautiful brashness and furious honesty icing on a truly loving cake.
    Big hugs.

  • Heather P. says:

    Becky this was so powerful and so raw. Totally amazing.

  • Ms. Moon says:

    Oh, baby. What an experience. And it’s so telling that you had such a strong feeling that something was wrong. I’m so glad it all turned out okay and that your daughter is fine and beautiful and strong and healthy.
    You are one hell of a mother to have lived through this.
    Bless you and the Daver and all your beautiful children.

  • Jenn says:

    Now that I can SEE to write (you keep making me cry, you know – tsk tsk)….
    What an amazing strength you have. I’m in awe of you. Really.

  • Anjali says:

    Thank you for sharing this story of your beautiful, beautiful little girl.

  • Tara says:

    You have such a way with words, your story truly brought me to tears.

  • Dora says:

    I know that sound. It’s truly freaky to realize you’re the one who made it.

    Big hugs to you and your cinnamon girl!

  • habanerogal says:

    Glad I read this all in one go because it would have been harder with the waiting. Glad Amelia is so much better now and that she has such an amazing mom & dad to guide her through life. Hospitals should really provide better tissues it just seems so wrong to me. The end

  • Mug says:

    Becky, I’ll have you know I’m emerging from the lurkiest of lurkdom to tell you that I am floored by this. I’m with habanerogal – even though I’ve been following the story since Amelia was born, it’s a good thing I didn’t see this series of posts till they were all up, or I would have been a wreck (even knowing that she’s beautiful and perfect and alive)! So proud of you for sharing this story.

  • Lesha says:

    Wow, even knowing the ending, this was so hard to read. My heart is hurting for you knowing what you had to go through. How terrifying.

    *hugs*

  • daisybv2 says:

    Aww. I am so sorry you had to go through that, my lil one that was born on Christmas was a preemie, I don’t wish having something wrong with your child on anyone. it is sooo hard.

    I cried when I read this… but I know the ending is happy as it mine.

    By the WAY what hospital were you at if you don’t mind me asking I would like to Beat the SHIT out of that nurse!!!! I was at a hospital in Chicago and the nurses were WONDERFUL! I can’t believe she acted like that. What a Bi*ch

    Great Post….

  • Lippy says:

    Can’t stop crying. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • lady lemon says:

    When all this happened was right about the same time I found your blog. I remember reading about it then and thinking how scary it would be to LIVE through. But, now, reading this, I see it was even scarier than I thought then.

    You are brave, AB, to have lived through that and still be sane enough to tell the tale. And I am so glad everything is fine and perfect with our baby girl. (That’s right “OUR”, I like to think of Amelia as at least part mine.)

  • choosy says:

    well good grief.
    I’m at work ya know.

    What a wonderful story of life.
    I find it pointed that you “just knew” something was wrong. As much as we dismiss instinct, sometimes, well we just know.

    What a horrible ride that was. For you and for Daver, and luckily Amelia will just get to read about it all some day.

    Thanks.
    truly.

  • Mwa says:

    Your secret heart is beautiful.

  • Mrs Soup says:

    I am so sorry that you had to go through that. Even knowing that everything is fine now, how heartbreaking. My heart aches for you to have had to go through that. Especially considering I was home myself, cuddling my own perfect week old daughter, oblivious to your own hurts, because I hadn’t found you yet.

  • heather says:

    They never stop scarin’ ya hon. Hang onto your butt.

  • Suzy Voices says:

    I bet that was good to get off your chest, eh? I cannot even begin to imagine how awful that must have been for you and The Daver. (Actually I can, I just don’t want to go there). I’m just so happy that she is fine now!

  • Anna says:

    You are such a beautiful writer. You kept this very painful story real and raw but not so much that I was a (compete) blubbering mess at the end. You are a real person – not just some random internet blogger I follow – and it’s nice to be reminded of that some times.

  • Lola says:

    I remember reading all of your posts from the time you knew you were pregnant with Amelia right up to now, and I stressed with you and cried with you every time you thought you would never meet your daughter, and I worried terribly when she needed surgery and cried tears of joy when they pronounced her “Normal.”

    Why? Because you’re a great writer who writes it all out, warts and all. Oh, and I love you so!

  • Eva says:

    I’m glad we could help in some small way.

  • Roshni says:

    I have a lump in my throat reading this. I’m just relieved that it ended well. Thanks for sharing…and I would have howled too. Stupid nurse!

  • Michelle says:

    I am all choked up reading this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fancy says:

    I totally just cried along with you, again! I’m so glad everything so far has turned out so well. xoxo

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    Jesus, woman. Because I do know that everything turns out okay, I read Parts I, II, and most of this one just fine, until I got to the part about The Daver crying. I guess because men *generally* don’t cry, it’s always such a big, farking deal to me when they do — like it’s much more serious, that I can’t help but cry. I’m now blubbering like a fool at my desk. I don’t know whether to send you a virtual smack or a big, squishy hug. ;)

  • Susan says:

    Wow. Just wow. You made me cry at work.

  • trish says:

    Hot damn you’re a good writer. Lovin’ this story, even though I know the outcome. :)

  • Kendra says:

    Oh, God, Becky.

    I’m having a hellish, awful, “why is my life like this, when I never meant for it to be like this” kind of a week. And I keep thinking of how you would handle it. (I keep thinking, “It’s time to put on your Big Girl Panties. There are people out there with no feet, Kendra! NO FEET!”) And of course, all this is revolving around my kids, especially my youngest, my daughter.

    So here I sit, reading about this experience of yours, that I remember so vividly, overwhelmed by a person I knew only through the computer, who was having an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and I wanted to help and had nothing, nothing at all. And now I can’t stop crying. All my frustration and fears about my own kids seem so tiny by comparison, and yours are the ones that put me over the edge.

  • SCY says:

    I’m sure this was really hard to re-hash my friend, it’s hard reading it again. My heart is with you all reading this again. Thanks for being brave enough to be so honest in these posts.

    xxx

    PS-> Egypt does have mountains – HUGE ones but alas no racoons ;)

  • Fiddle1 says:

    I have read every single word. I’m breathless. While I’ll never fully know, through your writing I can imagine how you and Dave felt. I can barely imagine it. Childbirth is so fucking hard, and how you kept yourself together when you knew there was something wrong is amazing to me. As a nurse, you know that that bitch of a nurse who told you to get it together should be fired immediately from her job. Why is it that so many nurses now adays forget that they are supposed to treat the whole patient? That means physcially and emotionally! I’m so glad to hear you banned her from the room and I hope she regrets her treatment of you and Dave until the day she dies. At that one moment you needed so much more. I hate her.

  • Brooke says:

    you asshole. you made me cry at work. now what will happen to my rep as a badass?

    that cry, the feral howl you describe…god I know it well. And I hope to never hear it again. I remember making that same noise day after day for a month. I remember thinking the first time “so this is what grief sounds like” Its funny how you are so outside of yourself at that moment that the noise seems so disconnected from you.

    It breaks my heart that you all went through this…but I am ever so grateful that your story didnt end the same way as mine.

    Bless Amelia…may she have continued good health…the little cinnamon princess.

  • Lorelei says:

    I have to thank you for putting this post up.

    I am deathly afraid of having children, probably for many of the reasons you’ve mentioned above and I doubt I’d have the guts to write so openly about what a trial any birth is.

    Thank you for sharing, it must be horrible to relive this piece of your history but I am so glad that everything turn out OK.

    I am also glad that you are strong enough to talk about the pain and the fear and the grief (and not gloss over it like most people do).

    Thank you.

    Also fuck that nasty nurse. You didn’t ask for her input. Silly bitch should have kept her opinions to herself. Good on you for banning her.

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  • Misty says:

    My son was less than 15 mins old when he was torn from my arms with a blood sugar count of 19! He was screaming his poor little 5 pound 7 oz head off and the doctors were completely surprised by it. He was in NICU for 3 days. I had him on a Friday in November… it snowed for 2 days (IN GEORGIA). I was completely alone and terrified… at the tender age of [barely] 18. I was told on 3 different occasions that he may not make it through the hour. I fucking hated everyone in that hospital and wanted to just hold my son. I didn’t get that chance until he was almost 24 hours old. Reading your story about Amelia brought back so much emotion to me from 10 years ago. When you talk about “that sound”, I know exactly which sound that is. Nine months later, my son was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. He had 3 lesions on his brain… every time his sugar bottomed out in the hospital, it had caused another one. It could have been prevented had they only listened to me. I was looked at like a dumbass teen mother who didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about. Fortunately, my son’s diagnosis was mild. With therapy (for a few years), you can’t really tell anything is different (except for some muscle control in his right arm)… Ok. Time for me to stop crying and go give him a kiss as he sleeps. Thank you, Becky, for sharing such intimate details of your life with us. ps- I had a bitch-ass nurse too.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      This gave me chills. It broke me up, dude, because yeah, that sound still happens to me. All of the therapy and the regressions that we’re going through right now is bringing all the PTSD right back.

      Much love. Much, much love.

      • MistySpring says:

        It was so hard. He had to have speech, physical and occupational. He still needs physical occasionally, but I’m hoping the older he gets, the easier it will be on him. I hate seeing my little man frustrated because he can’t control his arm like he wants to so bad… but I’ve very blessed to have such a sweet momma’s boy :) Good luck with everything. You’re in my thoughts.

  • StephanieC says:

    Oh Becky… I had never seen these posts before today.

    I just can’t help but want to hug you and tell you I wish I could have been there for you.

    Not knowing is the hardest part. I am so glad someone tried to personalize the space with Amelia’s name. Sometimes the tiniest thoughtful acts can mean so much, especially when you are sad. Sad and terrified.

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