I love seeing pictures on social media of new parents smiling with their baby from the hospital bed. Those new mamas are always smiling and seem to look great after having a baby within minutes or hours of when the picture was taken. They will cherish that photo forever and it will probably hold it’s spot in a baby book for the lifetime of that family. I don’t have a single one of those photos and it hurts my heart every day.
It isn’t because we just forgot to whip out the camera in the midst of snuggling our newborn. No, that definitely wasn’t the case. The real reason why is that my husband and I were both so traumatized by what took place during the birth of our son, that neither one of us even had the mental capacity to think to take a picture as a new family. What we do have is several pictures of the proud new Dad and his baby boy that our doctor took, and one very raw picture of me and baby as he is lying on my chest. It was a few days before I even knew my husband captured that image from his phone. I am forever grateful that he did as that is the only picture I have with my baby at the hospital right after he was born. I can’t even think about it or look at it without my eyes welling up with tears (even as I write this).
My childbirth experience was both physically traumatic for me and emotionally traumatizing for both my husband and I. It’s left me in a state of repair and recovery both physically and mentally that even after two months post partum, the road to recovery is still in question.
No one can prepare you for what actually may happen during childbirth physically or mentally, and while classes make an attempt, mine was a total waste. What those classes don’t prepare you for is the emergency situations and what truly can happen to you or your baby. There simply isn’t enough awareness. My reason for writing this post is because it’s my experience that no one wants to talk about the bad stuff. However, talking about the bad experiences during childbirth let’s other mothers know they aren’t alone. Or that they didnt miss out on something because they didn’t have this beautiful childbirth experience.
So I’m posting my only photo from the hospital I have. Though it hurts me that I don’t have a picture of us I wanted, the photo I do have is the most real and raw photo I have. It’s of a mother who has just been through the most traumatic experience in her life, holding onto the most precious life there is. I was exhausted from pushing for hours, mascara smeared all over my eyes from crying, and in emotional state I hope to never experience again. But at that moment the only thing mattered was that my baby was alive and in my arms. And that gave me peace.