Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dreams Invaded

        Last night I experienced a dream where I had just delivered a teeny, healthy baby girl. She nursed with ease and I felt joy in nourishing her. This of course contrasts my last nursing reality, where my baby daughter preferred a bottle to my warmth because the stress I was under stole my milk away. In my bright dream my body was strong and healthy. I was up moving; going places the first day after delivery which, while in the dream gave me happy satisfaction, upon waking left me utterly empty. Because I wake up to a body with three c-sections, all products of the tragedy of my conceptions. Even if I had the miracle of carrying a baby girl healthily to term, I would never again give birth naturally: certainly wouldn't be springing about hours afterward.
        All dreams string along some bit of the bizarre and this dream's oddity was that I nursed my sweet baby for twelve perfect minutes, then laid her to sleep while I left the hospital and visited my sister and brother in law. I shared my triumphant delivery news only after chit-chatting for some length. How had I forgotten such a monumental life event? They looked from my flat stomach to my empty arms and their eyes asked the question their decency did not allow voice; why had I abandoned my baby?
        After that scene the dream’s warm, joyful feelings were drowned out by several sudden fits of panic as I dashed from place to place, ecstatic for the physical ease of vaginal delivery then suddenly seized with fear that I had forgotten to go back and nurse my baby! I was a busy mother of four kids already and I couldn't remember to feed my new girl baby every three hours. What kind of mother was I? How could I take my miracle so lightly? Why didn't the joy I felt lead me to hold and cherish my baby? Was she okay, left alone with nurses and sterile rooms, possibly crying for food? What was wrong with me?!
         I awoke with the wanting of a baby coursing through my body, and the shame of failure bubbling up from my gut. I did love my first two children and their natural deliveries. How could I have known how special those seasons were and what grief I would later carry when I could no longer experience such birthing joys?  Dreaming for a child is simple, pure, filled with love. It is both noble to pursue and magical to experience. I have been given so many gifts in my children, more than many, both in the children living and the dead. As the door for healthy, natural delivery of a Haught child closed, my heart began slowly, ever so quietly to grieve.
        Now, almost two years after my last girl was miraculously born via a reckless C-section – the stubborn fighter I was told was miscarrying – this grief has spilled over. I wade daily through the loss. Last night it poured over into my dreams, though babies were not on my mind the day before. I feel gratitude for what I have been given and sadness that I can not control my family and reproduction like many other Americans. My sadness surprises me! It shocks me. Sometimes it shames me. So here is my confession - a voiced fear. Here's to living with peace, contentment, gratitude, even while dreams are stripped away.