And I wasn’t afraid. I think, possibly for the first time in my life, I wasn’t afraid at all.
I looked across the room, over the heads of all the surgeons and nurses bent over me, elbows deep in my vagina, pulling out cloth after cloth, soaked in blood and clots the size of golf balls. I could hear the repeated splat as they snapped them into the bucket someone had helpfully brought and set on one of those wheeled trays you eat off of in the hospital. I was in the recovery room, my second born just a few minutes old and held closely in their father’s arms as he stared numbly at the chaotic crowd pulsing around me. I could see he was afraid, terrified even, of losing me, of having these two children I’d always wanted to raise on his own.
But I wasn’t afraid. I knew he’d be fine, that they’d keep each other going and thrive in the huge love they shared together. My family is one of big hearts and fiery passions. I think I was sad about the idea of not getting more time with any of them and especially this baby I wouldn’t get to watch grow up, but it was fleeting, mostly I just wasn’t afraid. I was grateful I’d birthed this baby and this baby was safe. Even though I wound up under the knife again, despite resisting.
My uterus was bleeding and they couldn’t stop it, but I wasn’t afraid. They were in panic – moving fast, eyes wide open and sometimes confusion reigned but I wasn’t drawn into it. I just kept calmly asking them to tell me what they were doing, and reminding them what the last person had done. I was the calm in the center of the storm. I wanted to live, but I wasn’t afraid to die.