Recently, I came across an article, “I’m Having a Baby, Not Hosting A Party-Stay Out Of My Hospital Room!” while researching the time of c-section recovery for the mother. With a large, loving, local, extended family, I know that visitors are going to be itching to come and see the new addition to our family. Like the author, Rebecca Eckler, I also feel that “Of course I want everyone to see the baby…but I don’t really want visitors… Like the author, I am having a planned c-section. Like the author, people know about the date and location of delivery. Like the author, I’m worried.
Perhaps ,unlike the author, I am worried about having visitors post delivery mainly because I don’t know how I am going to be, or what I will be feeling, emotionally and physically. After my daughter was born, I experienced the ramifications of both physical and emotional trauma. I was unable to navigate all of the immediate postpartum emotions and physical discomfort with a clear head. I was in shock, physically and emotionally, for the allotted time of “recovery” at the hospital. I had many visitors to the hospital postpartum, well-meaning friends and family, excited to see the baby, yet unaware of my inner and outer turmoil.
Part of my years of PTSD therapy explored the possibility of having another child. At first, the firm answer of “NO WAY” was the only sane answer I could come up with in regards to the question of “will you have another child?” As time passed, and I became much more emotionally healthy, I realized my dream for another child was one that I could not ignore, one that I did not want to lose simply because of the trauma inflicted upon me. The dream of having another child was a dream that was my right, a dream that I could fulfill by continuing to attend therapy and eventually be discharged with a healthy psyche.
Having another child, and facing my trauma, the trauma of a delivery, head on is not something that scares me anymore. I realize that because of the enormity of what I am about to experience, I may be overly emotional immediately postpartum simply because of the nature of the experience. I know I will be able to reclaim, in the physical and emotional sense, what was lost to me during that initial traumatic delivery. I am going into all of this a much more educated and medically supported individual. I have a team of medical professionals that are helping me to succeed physically and emotionally with this pregnancy. I have me, a much stronger, better, advocate for what I need.
I’ve never thought of myself as a selfish individual, but I need to ask myself the following question in an effort to preserve my sanity, my spirit, and to protect my physical and emotional wellness. “What do I need during those first few days?” I need time. I need quiet. I need peace. I need to make peace out of the broken pieces of my first delivery by having this delivery, this experience, be different. How much time do I need? How will I achieve this quiet reflective time necessary for the reconciliation of and reclamation of my spirit? How can I truly be at peace? The answer lies in the events yet to happen during and after delivery. The answer lies in the control that I feel postpartum. The answer lies in my ability to let visitors know that I may need more time, just because, prior to them visiting the baby. The answer lies in people respecting that time that I need. Not only people respecting that time, but people appreciating that I am taking that time to heal, to make peace, to be joyful, to feel whole again. The biggest question of all, the one that I cannot plan for, is how much time will I need? I am unable and unwilling to answer that question at this time. I just don’t know what it’s going to be like. However, I do know that I will advocate for whatever it is I need to remain a healthy and happy individual.
Thanks for reading,