"I can't do it anymore"
I walk outside.
It's light out, past dawn. Birds are singing. One of our neighbours is backing out of their driveway. There is dew on the car. I am blind with tears and pain and despair. I make it out to the car and then another contraction hits. I'm standing at the car, crying. "I'm DONE. TAKE ME IN. Brett, please... I'm so exhausted, I can't do it... please just let me go in, I'll just have an epidural". I am lying. I know what is going to happen. I am going to go in, get some drugs, and then give in to a caesarean. And then I am going to wish that I would die during the surgery, and I will never recover. I will decide never to get pregnant again, I will have to renounce my faith, never speak to any of my friends again. "I will regret it for the rest of my life. But I don't care. Please let me go."
Brett says "okay. Just let me go get a couple of things from upstairs". He leaves and I'm left at the car, grabbing the windshield wiper and banging it down on the windshield. I consider ripping it off. I consider making a dent in the hood of the car with my head. Oh God, here comes another contraction ohhhhAAAAAAUGHHHHHHHHHHHH I CAN'T DO THIS!!!!!! Brett comes back down the stairs. He comes outside. Lauren tells me later that he is crying. He takes a deep breath and says "It's not time to go yet."
"No. It's not time to go. No."
Brett wasn't listening to my words. He was responding to what I needed instead of what I was asking for. And there is no doubt in my mind that this prevented me from sitting here typing with a second scar on my belly. Here I was, giving up, his only fear about my labour. And he didn't give up on me. He didn't give in to me. He said no.
So I'm grabbing onto the car windshield wipers, crying, begging Brett to change his mind. "You don't understand, I really can't do this" I whined. "Doesn't he GET IT" I scream in my head "I SUCK AT THIS!" I am caught. The contractions continue to be unbearable and I am fighting them and angry and this is definitely not helping. I hang off of Brett. My tears are falling on his tee-shirt, I grip him, hold him as if his body alone can keep me aloft on the terrible waves. I love him so much. I am so mad at him. Deep down, so deep down that I can just barely recognize it now as I remember that day; I know that he is right.... that we shouldn't go.
I flop down on the futon and Meg checks me. This part I don't remember clearly, it goes something like this in my head. "You're almost
[AUGH PAIN!!! PAIN]
complete, it feels like there's a bit of a
[CAN'T DO THIS I CAN'T I CAN'T]
I'm going to try and hold it
[PLEASE GOD SAVE ME]
back and YES! You're complete,
go ahead and push!
Once I heard those magic words that I was
complete, I starting pushing.
The support and love that I got from Brett during this horrible pushing.... I
have to pause for a minute just to see if there are words to speak of it. I don't think there are. He believed that there was a baby. He believed that I could do it. I was lost in my self-centered world of pain and agony and despair and
self-doubt. But he wasn't. And it became enough for both of us. He carried me until I could do it.
And then, I can't quite put my finger on it, but something changed. A realization came upon me. And it went something like this.
No one else can push this baby out for you.
No one else can push this baby out for you. You have to do it. The only way out is through. You have to do it. I have to do it. Me. No one else can do it. It has to be me.
I still didn't believe it. But I knew it had to be me. So I pushed. I pushed
through that pain. I now understand exactly what that phrase means. I want to go back and read through all those birth stories I read when I was pregnant the first time and jump up and down and point and say YES, YES I know what that MEANS now, I really KNOW! I know what it means to push through the pain of a contraction.
I did it.
No one else but me.
There's a baby on my chest.
Someone pushed a baby out of me, but it couldn't have been me. I give up,
remember? I quit when things get hard. I never finish what I start. I'm too much of a suck. I can't do it. I could never do it. Who did it?
I'm in surreal land.
I've birthed my baby.