Early August always brings on the flood of "well, this is the anniversary of the day that I _____________..........", and it all revolves around Mr. L's birth in 2001 and my abrupt, jarring introduction to preeclampsia. Yesterday was the first of many such days to come over the next couple of weeks--the anniversary of the day I went to an outdoor marching band exhibition and was bombarded by veteran Moms telling me to sit down and that I didn't look "well". Gee, just what a preggo lady wants to hear, thanks!
It was my first pregnancy, so how the hell was I supposed to know what it would feel like and what was "normal"? (oh how I hate that word) I kept telling them "I feel fine, really, I'm ok", but would humor them by sitting down in the lovely blue and white striped folding chair because they wouldn't take no for an answer. In 48 hours, I would be in a doctor's office being told that under NO circumstances could I teach school that fall (first day of school was only a day or so away) and that I should now consider myself "on bedrest", effective immediately. 96 hours after that, I was being prepped for a c-section. It all happened so fast, and by now, 9 years later, it's just one big blur in my mind.
Ever since that early August of 2001, I have had preeclampsia permanently stamped on my mind, my heart, and my physical body as well, in the form of 2 c-section scars and lingering high blood pressure. Along the way in this journey that I never chose, I have met so many amazing women who are fellow survivors of preeclampsia, and I am forever grateful for their friendship and the knowledge that I am not alone in what I have suffered. You ladies know who you are, and I consider you all my sisters, no matter how far away you may live. I can admit that my memories are fading a bit with time, and that the emotional pain of the preeclampsia experience is not as sharp or as fresh as it once was, thank goodness. However, it's still there, and here's how I know.....the twinge in my heart whenever I hear news of the healthy, safe delivery of a full-term baby by someone I know. I would never, ever wish my experience on anyone, and I don't begrudge other women their easy, happy pregnancies, their "natural" childbirth or their 1-night hospital stays followed by the joyous homecoming of mother and baby. But you'll cut me some slack when I point out that, no matter how happy I truly am for you, it still hurts, and that's the bottom line.