You do have one choice though.
How you deal with it.
You can allow it to dictate your life, make decisions for you. Or you can use it to shape your future. You can choose healing. The pain of healing can be awful. But it's better than living with the pain of the damage.
Cancer has to be cut out. Bones have to be re-broken to be set properly sometimes. Burns need dressing. Damaged limbs need amputation.
After writing yesterday's post I was a bit of a mess. I just felt horrid, and was quite upset. It wasn't until later when I was doing the dishes that I started putting the pieces together.
On Monday I was grocery shopping with the kids. As we were walking up an aisle I spotted the student midwife who was present when Charlie was born. I watched her face, a face that was etched into my memory.... but not a trace of recognition flashed into her eyes. Funny. It was one of the most important events of my life, but just another day at work for her.
Charlie is almost 9 months old. I fell pregnant with Charlie when Georgie was 9 months old.
As I was doing the dishes I had so many memories flash in my head. Of my labour with Charlie.
It was.... rough.
Not the pain, not the birth. But the labour. In my entire life I have never felt so bad. It was a completely degrading, humiliating experience. I had pushed it down, and pushed it away. And over time, I think the hurt kind of compounded a bit.
It's ironic really. Georgie's birth was filled with intervention, when she arrived Georgie was nowhere near as healthy, and whole as Charlie. She was small, jaundiced, she didn't feed well. Charlie on the other hand, was born completely intervention free. I didn't even have any pain medication. He was a great big healthy baby, he knew how to feed. He was practically perfect. Yet his is the birth that has left the largest scar.
It could have been worse. So much worse. The actual birth was really quite good. And the labour was short. But it was not good. I'm sure many women have experienced worse, and I ache for them. Maybe what happened to me wouldn't have bothered someone else.
But it hurt me.
You want to know something? Shane has found the two under two thing a bit hard at times. We both have, really. We always planned for a big-ish family. But he jokes about "No more babies!" I hate it. Hate it. But not because I'm scared that he will want to stop having children, and I will want to keep going. I'm scared because I think he will want to have more. And I might not be able to face going back.
I'm really glad that Charlie was not my first baby. He might have been an only child. I'm grateful that I had Georgie, so I know that the birthing experience can be a good one.
I'm pretty sure I will go back. Not for a good long while yet- we are busy enough right now! But it's going to be hard when we do.
I'd do it again, for Charlie, in a heartbeat. He was absolutely, positively, 100% worth it. I adore the snot out of my boy, and I am so, so glad that despite all the yuckiness that is Post Natal Depression, I have never had trouble bonding with him. Ironically, it was the midwife's rudeness that helped me forge a bond with my boy.
But I'm still angry, so angry about it all. As I was sobbing over the dishes I remembered hearing from a friend that that same midwife, the midwife who made me feel so low, is pregnant. In my anger I said "I hope she has an awful time! And gets hurt as much as she hurt me!"
Where did that come from? Have I been carrying that bitterness this whole time? I've still got a long way to go to forgive her. But I'm getting there.
I'm working on healing.
I pull the pain out of it's little box every now and then. The intensity of it knocks me over a little. But each time you examine the hurt, embrace it, and own it.... it gets a little bit smaller when you put it away again. And in time, I will be able to put it away for good. The monster will be small enough to tame, and it won't be able to claw it's way up to the surface, causing pain, anymore.