Readers beware! If you are looking at procreating anytime soon, this may not encourage you. So my suggestion is to avert your eyes, get knocked up and then come back when you are well into your third trimester.
“Melissa, sweetie.” Says the nurse as she looks at me with a crease dividing her eyes. “We need you to turn over on your side. The baby’s heart beat is dropping and we have to remove the stress.”
My eyes glaze over. I hear her. I understand her. My body complies with the request as I summon the last resources of my strength and shift my naked flesh onto my left hip. Pain from the beginning of time pushes it’s way through my bones. It centers at the apex of my thighs as the pressure of God almighty pours out of me.
“You’re doing great honey. Stay focused. Almost there.”
A large strong palm grips my tiny, pale hand. This reassurance is all it takes. I turn in his direction, lock eyes and the tiniest smile brushes the surface of his dark, flushed cheeks. The bright lights illuminate a salt infused drop of emotion that falls from the corner of his left eye. Time pauses. I follow its trail as it stumbles over the small beard that has developed. We’ve gone through three nurses already.
I breathe in slow, deep and with a single-minded purpose – to get my daughter out. Three-minutes on the clock brush by as my contractions come to a stand still; they know it and I know it. The strength to last longer doesn’t exist. It’s now or never.
The rising crescendo of my symphony of pain culminates to a peak. I stop breathing as all inconsequential physical activity dies out. My hands curling into silent fists of rage.
A storm lashes out within the walls of our hospital. At first it’s hot and heavy laden, but then like all storms it recedes even quicker than it came. I breathe as my chest involuntarily begins to suckle at the air. A soft pillow of pleasure brushes against my tender exhausted body. It’s as if it never even happened.
“It’s confirmed. She’s a girl! Here comes your baby. Congratulations!! She’s healthy and beautiful.”
The sounds around me drown out as my mind drives into and through a dark endless tunnel with no lights and no company. I am alone. A wet, slippery writhing body is placed on my chest. I look down and feel complete disconnection as the cord is cut. What once was one, now are now two. Separation slices deep as I feel scissors, needles and tugging in-between my thighs.
My head falls back against the bed and my eyes blink in and out of focus. The lens on life breaking as I see nothing, but disproportionate shapes and the glaring of jagged lights. I feel the large mound of activity fall to my right. My hands hurriedly grip her sticky arms and I bring her back onto the center of my chest. I harden my elbows into place, locking her in position.
“Okay, let’s get her feeding. Try and see if she will start Melissa. She looks like she is searching for it anyways.”
I stare at her with an empty face; my emotions buried under the fresh concrete poured just seconds ago and I find myself questioning.
Questioning how and why I ever wanted this. This life. This baby. This daughter.