Monday, May 12, 2014

I Wasn't There

I finally figured out a way to explain it to Devin so that he would understand.

Pretend you're getting ready to run a marathon, I told him.  You spend months planning and preparing to do this hard thing.  You anticipate what it will be like, what might happen, and you envision it going the way you want it to go.  You think about past marathons, what you did right, what you did wrong, the ways you want this time to be better.  You put months into this effort.

Then race day comes.  You know your body, you can tell when something is wrong and instead of feeling a bit of excitement that the day is finally here, you feel a sick sort of anxiety because you know something is off but you don't know what.

You show up at the race, and a group of race officials rush over to you.  They are clearly agitated and things seem a little frenzied.  They tell you that due to circumstances completely outside of your control, they are going to need you to lie down and go to sleep.  Everything will be fine, they tell you.  They will take good care of you, and you will still get to have a good race.  They just want you to lie there and breathe.  Stay calm.  Breathe.

You wake up, and you see from your watch that it is several hours later.  The officials come over to you, and tell you that you can't have your race medal yet, but that it is waiting for you.  Someone can tell that you seem a little disturbed by this, so they rush out to take a picture on their phone.  They hurry back, and show you the picture of your race medal.

They explain to you that the pain you feel is completely normal.  They warn that it will probably hurt a lot more than if you had actually run.  It will also probably hurt for longer.  But they all smile at you and tell you Congratulations!

Then they finally help you stand up, and give you your medal, and you still just don't quite understand what happened.

That is what it was like for me, when Hazel was born, I tell Devin.  That's why there are still days when I feel confused, and sort of lost.

My baby was born, and it is great and I'm glad she's alive and I'm alive and we're both healthy, but I wasn't there.  The doctor, the anesthesiologist, my midwife, the nurses, and Hazel - they were all there, but I wasn't.

I wasn't there.


  1. I wish you hadn't experienced it, but you described it perfectly.

    I love you.

  2. Oh, Amy, I feel your pain, and I'm so sorry.