It was something I should have been looking out for. That this one time, I didn’t.
Water that had spilled out of the dog’s bowl and off the rubber mat onto the slick tile floor. I hurriedly reached for the swinging door to the living room when my feet flew out from underneath me. Hands instinctively reaching back. Landing hard on my wrists and tailbone with all that extra pregnancy weight bearing down with gravity.
It was bad.
I hooted and hollered to grab the attention of my husband from his office upstairs and we painfully made our way to the bed. My mind scrambling to figure out a way to position myself that would make it better.
There wasn’t one.
We called the doctor who advised us to come in right away.
I was lucky. The fall had impacted my right side and the placenta was on the left. Bleeding a little, but the fact that I wasn’t in any pain at the site was a good thing. I was having contractions. But at 36 weeks, he felt the best option was to send me home and to try my best to make it to 38 weeks.
The night was rough. I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom and had to have my husband help me from the bed to an office chair that he wheeled not more than a few feet away to our en suite. But today has been better. I’m able to walk on my own. Not very far or for very long and extremely slowly. But it’s a start. Shoulders pulled unnaturally back to lighten the load on my pelvis as much as possible leaving me unsure if it’s the injury itself or the extra 40 lbs on top that is causing such suffering. A pain that radiates from deep inside my undercarriage and all the way up. Is it muscle or bone? People keep asking me. I have no idea, my whole body feels alien at this point. And unfortunately, until the baby is out, we won’t know shit.
So for now, I am monitoring my left side for signs that my placenta has become detached. Keeping track of the space between contractions. And am trying my best to rest. Though it hasn’t been easy. My mind preoccupied with all the things I could be doing. Nothing of real importance. But that nesting feeling on crack that comes right before the baby. Like if I don’t get it done now. I never will.
And I think to all to all the women out there, like myself. Who have braved pregnancy and childbirth and everything in between. The struggles to get pregnant. Miscarriages. Complications. Sickness. Pain. Even death.
And what badasses we all are.
Not really ever getting the proper credit for anything we do. A fact true of all women, but especially of mothers. And I send a a big abrazo out into the universe. Because it’s tough and more often than not, we take on the burdens that come with such blessings in silence. Especially when it comes to carrying life. The singular act that allows for humanity to continue. Often cast aside by the general population as something that can’t help but be seen, but should most definitely not be heard. Given maybe a few weeks off to recover before being expected to return to the world thin and just as useful to society as before in the patriarchal and traditional sense of the word. Which unfortunately has zero to do with caring for that new life that just popped out of your vagina. A role that can easily become a footnote in the pages of our stories as we are forced to adhere to the unrealistic societal standards set by men and reenforced by all.
My husband starts to speak and stops.
What is it? I ask.
Nothing he says, refusing to finish his sentence.
When he does he admits he was about to complain about some minor pain in his foot. A statement stopped in midair as he looked at me – bed bound and contorted in some weird position that kind of was comfortable.
And in that moment, I felt recognition of the silence that so often goes unnoticed. Because for the first time in a long time, I am being forced to let go of the reigns. My husband realizing the severity of the situation and jumping into the role of head of household as best he can. Scolding me when I got out of bed to clean up hot sauce that my son spilled on his shirt and our white alpaca rug. Bright red staining everything in sight. And shuttling me back into bed when I dare try to sweep up the mess of crumbs that has accumulated next to my spot on the bed. It’s an unnerving and helpless place to be. To lose even more control of my body than before. And I yearn to move with the limited freedom I had only days ago. Perhaps the desire that caused my downfall in the first place. But I’m trying. Shuffling around just long enough to take care of the essentials. Putting the vegetables and fruits away. Placing toys into neat little piles. A quick fold of some blankets. Before I head back to bed. A place where once I lay down, I will have to debate for some time whether it’s worth the struggle to get up again. One that almost always leads to a no until my bladder makes the decision for me.