Chapter 2 – Motherhood

Giving birth nearly killed me.
Everything went fine and our baby girl was healthy, already lying on my chest when people around me started getting stressed out. I had discussed and joked with the team for the past hours, but now when they told me to quickly sign the papers for general anestesia, I knew it was time to be serious. The baby was given to the Knight and soon I was pushed through the hallways very fast and was heaved on another bed. I felt the blood rushing out of me and saw that the mattress I had been lying on was already soaked. I got an uncalled for comedy show from an anesthesist who was shouting at the nurses and then tripping over some tubes in a hurry and hoped for sleep to come soon. “Well, if I go now it would be okay”, I thought, “the Knight has our baby and they will be happy.”

I woke up only an hour later. Nobody ever really told me how bad it had been. I only had their reactions and a puddle of blood the evaluate the situation. Weeks later I calculated from my lab results that I must have lost three to four liters of blood. But already the first evening I could guess that it had been a close shot. I decided not talk about it to the Knight in ordner not to upset him unnessecarily. What I did not know then was that he had seen me bleed out while still happily chatting with the nurses and had made the same decision. We found out much later and laughed about how similar we were.

When my daughter was five days old I was sent home from the hospital and fell into a bottomless pit. It might have been the massive blood loss or the history of depression in my family, but whatever it was, it hit me hard.
I didn’t know the meaning of the word FEAR until I became a mother. The moment I had seen my daughter my first thought was: “You will never experience life without worries again.” She was so tiny and seemed so fragile. Everywhere I looked I saw dangers, terrible accidents waiting to happen. I conrolled her breath constantly. I was afraid she might just slip my hold and fall to the floor. It is the same kind of fear you feel in great heights, irrational yet ever present – even if you are far away from the edge, there is this image in your head that a sudden gust of wind might just sweep you down into your death.
The Knight didn’t help much. He was more carefree about freak accidents, handling our daughter with healthy confidence. But he too couldn’t close an eye when she slept out of fear she might stop breathing. And most of all, it was his love for her that scared me. On our second day at home I went into the bedroom and saw him crying, cradling our sleeping baby girl in his arms. “What happened?” – “Nothing. I’m just so happy”, he said, sobbing. This was when something inside me shattered. My biggest fear was not that something might happen to our daughter, it was having to see him live with it. I cannot put into words how afraid I was. Every waking moment was agony. I often thought of escaping all this. I’d rather die early, just to make sure I didn’t have to live with the sadness of losing my child.

I confided in my dad and he paid for a midwife to come round every week to check up on the baby and tell me she was healthy. It was a relief for a day or two at a time, but didn’t quit making me notice every edge and step.

I don’t really remember what I told the Witcher – we only wrote a couple of text messages every other day since we quit our regular skype meeting when I went on maternity leave. However, he must have noticed how bad it was, because he urged me to see a doctor about it. The Knight agreed, for the sake of calming me down, becaue I was “driving him mad with my constant worrying”.
I rarely go to doctors – when I do, I either need a prescription or it is really serious.
I went to see a psychologist in February. It was as I had expected: she was a nice lady, we chatted and I got some pills. I refused the therapy she wanted to talk me into because though our chat was nice, she didn’t tell me anything my friends could not have told me. I did not let the Witcher know that I had given in to seeing a doctor.
The pills only made it worse. I quit taking them after two days.

There was something that did help a little though. There is a British trickster called Derren Brown. I don’t know if this sounds silly but: watching his shows made me feel genuinely better. If anyone of you is going through a hard time I HIGHLY recommend his work to you. And to anybody else as well.

Sometimes I just sat down, forced myself to think positively and said over and over again: “Time is on my side, yes it is.”

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