I should have gone home that Friday night or Saturday…. I should have been enjoying Easter Sunday with our Pascha basket and our wonderful community of friends… I should have been trying on those new little newborn outfits and hats and taking pictures…. I should have been cuddling him that whole time, as normal births should go….
But had I gone home that day after he was born, I would have died.
Of course, there are all sorts of “what if’s” and “could haves” and “should have dones” that floated around in my post partum mind torturously for two months, as is often the case when we can’t explain an unhappy occurrence or we are grieving.
I have had several people over the last couple of months say a similar message to me, which tells me that the message is inspired:
“Sometimes we have to grieve over something that didn’t go as we had planned… we have to grieve over our preference that was not granted… we have to grieve situations of pain that we can never go back and change…”
”And we have to let them go.”
I am sure that I am not done grieving yet, although I feel much healthier a couple months later. My mind still gets muddled and I still am working hard at keeping anxious thoughts at bay. This particular pregnancy and birth took a deeper toll on my psyche than my previous births (except for my second miscarriage, which also caused grief and PTSD at that time in my life, due to the large tumor found and the length of the pregnancy…). There are still mysteries, many of them, including my own cardiological condition and inconclusive blood tests…
And there is also the mystery of Simeon’s condition.
While he needed added oxygen (which they can even give at home births), the need for the actual NICU is still inconclusive, although we are still awaiting the results of his newborn screening. Did he have an “emergency” before his IV fell out at the beginning of the transport? Was he actually healthy, though needing a little boost, and didn’t actually need the NICU, making all of this unnecessary? Or did he go because God had a bigger plan: getting me to a hospital when I felt fine but underneath was developing rapid-onset preeclampsia?
Was the preeclampsia triggered by the events? This is the question which also remains a mystery, although since I had preeclampsia before (with my eighth), it is said that stress doesn’t cause it, but rather it is more like a disease that can occur or reoccur with no explanation.
In that case, little Simeon, while doing quite well in the NICU, “brought” me to a hospital, when my going to sleep that night at home would have most likely been deadly.
When life becomes unbearable or pain is unexplained and torturous, we oftentimes search for meaning and for answers. Sometimes, in my own self-criticism, I have thought, maybe these “conclusions” are my way of making things right in my mind. Maybe I’m exaggerating a situation….. or maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m under-exaggerating the miracle, regarding my bodily healing and even more importantly, the lenses through which I now see the world, that took place Easter Sunday, 2018….
A baby saved my life.