This morning I was sitting down at my desk and a good friend shared this post.
This poor woman. It is already heartbreaking and stressful enough to find yourself in a situation where beloved babies are at risk. I applaud her decision to go ahead and try to keep the babies safe just a little longer – she’s fully aware of the risks, she’s made the decision.
And of course, it’s her body, so it’s her CHOICE.
And you all know I’m all about choice.
So the doctors that refuse to support her? Are fucking assholes.
I read the post, I tweeted my outrage and support, and then, suddenly, BOOM.
I was sobbing. Shaking. I couldn’t breathe.
In just that moment, I was there again, lying on that hospital bed, being told that my surviving boy had to die if I wanted to live. At the time, I was so incredibly sick that I was distant from the situation emotionally. But thanks to PTSD, I’ve relived it more than once now, fully aware.
I remember the doctors on shift being furious at my doctor for wanting to treat my preeclampsia and try to save my still living son. I remember the barely concealed anger on their faces as they came into my room to check on me throughout the night.
I remember the grief and resignation on my doctor’s face the next morning after I demanded to see him instead of the team that surrounded my bed at dawn, telling me that I had to terminate the pregnancy now.
I remember the asshole doctor that did my discharge two days later telling me that trying to have another baby was basically suicide, even as I sobbed inconsolably, and failing to mention that I would likely lactate, an unwelcome development that happened once I was home.
But that’s not all I remember.
I remember the kindness of my nurse, not judging me or being angry when I vomited on her. I remember my doctor taking my hand and telling me how sorry he was. I remember the frightened, sad faces of the young interns and residents assisting in my surgery, unsure how to help me as I wept during the preparations for the surgery.
It was the worst day of my life.
Katherine, the friend that alerted me to this story, specializes in postpartum depression and PTSD issues. She tells me that trauma and stress – like I had with the boys – permanently changes your brain. While this is undoubtably true, I fail to see why it helps me to have a flight-or-fight response NOW to a trauma that happened nearly six years ago.
But it still happens. I can’t fight it, prevent it, or do anything other than ride it out.
Those of us that have been down this path know this feeling well. Luckily, I have been gifted by having good friends and the tools with which to take care of myself, not to mention the technology that makes it possible; I hopped into a Google Hangout (a group video chat) with Katherine, Dresden, and my friend Lynette joined me and listened and virtually held me as I got past the worse of the fear and anxiety.
I still feel shaky, heartbroken, and sad. I’m channeling that now into prayers for Diana and her babies. Join me in sending her good thoughts, won’t you?