First I was grieving for 5 years over not getting pregnant, which gave way to elation when the 25 pregnancy tests that I took just kept coming back pregnant and even more pregnant-er. (Those lines get darker every day, did you know!? You should know this is not an exaggeration, there are pictures. I dried them all on the driveway on a hot summer day and stuffed them into a Ziploc that was harder to throw away than you could ever imagine.) Everything that I longed for was finally happening. I almost couldn't remember the 10 cycles of heartbreak and the $15,000 long-ago spent. I couldn't wait to get round and to feel the baby move. It was all going to be so perfect and amazing and worth the wait. But the wait was a short 6 months, and I wasn't round, it wasn't perfect. But he was amazing. I grieved the loss of my pregnancy while celebrating the birth of my son and my motherhood. Feeling grateful and cheated all at once. I shouted orders from the gurney in the OR. "Milk the cord as much as you can! More than 5 times. As much as you can! I want my placenta, I shouted."
And I took control and from my recovery bed as I called the lactation consultant on a Friday night demanding to know what I could do right now, while the boots on my legs squeezed; I squeezed whatever control I could muster. The kind nurse who made it her duty to ensure my placenta was kept safe. The tears I sobbed when I saw what they had done to it - hacked it into strips. I wanted some connection to his birth and my birth as a mother. I wanted to see what kept him safe. I wanted them to lower the drape so I could be a part of the birth, but they wouldn't. I wanted a clear drape, but they couldn't. I didn't see them hold him up. I didn't see him for several minutes or hear his cry. (But he did cry!) I was so angry and heartbroken. Then I felt burdened by shame and grief for not simply being grateful and happy.