I’ve been crabby all day.
At first, I thought it was because yesterday was the longest day of teaching I’ve had yet this year: a full load of classes followed by meetings and parent night until after 9 PM.
Then, I thought it might be because I was still tired from taking that muscle relaxer too late last night in an attempt to thwart the back pain I could feel coming on.
But this evening, I discovered the true cause: tomorrow is my son’s birthday.
I hate that I hate my son’s birthday. I hate that every year for the two he’s been alive, I feel this way. What kind of mother wishes she could just skip over that day? What kind of mother wishes it didn’t exist?
It’s not that I’m not grateful my son is here or that I don’t love him. In fact, it’s the opposite. I have never been so grateful for something or so loving of someone as I am my children. Instead, it’s the bullshit that almost prevented me from having my son that I resent so much.
It’s the fact that I went to work so outrageously pregnant for a couple weeks before his birth that bothers me. It’s the fact that going to work likely led me to be dehydrated. It’s the fact that the dehydration and physical strain I suffered because of work likely resulted in that piece of the placenta breaking off and traveling up the umbilical cord, causing my son to have a stroke and killing half his brain in the process.
It’s the fact that I went into labor at 34 weeks, was given medicine to stop it, and was sent home when taking him at that time might have prevented the stroke.
It’s the fact that no doctor would listen to me when I said my blood pressure was far too high for me, even in pregnancy, which could also have led to the stroke.
It’s the fact that I informed not one, but numerous medical staff that what I was feeling wasn’t normal — that I had never felt this way in my first pregnancy — and that all of them dismissed my concerns.
It’s the fact that I had a few glasses of wine during pregnancy.
It’s the fact that I had to take medicine for my back pain in my first and second trimesters.
It’s the fact that I didn’t push harder, insist more, take better care of myself, and protect my kid.
It’s the fact that they couldn’t get him out during the c-section and had to use a vacuum to assist.
It’s the fact that he was unresponsive when he finally did come out.
It’s the fact that he quit breathing hours after birth.
It’s the fact that it took three desperate calls to pediatrics to get anyone to come to his aid.
It’s the NICU with its dinging alarms, feeding tubes, breathing machines, and sickening light.
It’s that I couldn’t hold my child because he was hooked to so many gadgets.
It’s that I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop crying, couldn’t find relief from the pain — both physical and emotional.
It’s that I almost didn’t have a son.
So, yeah. I’m a little crabby today. But you know what? Better today than tomorrow.
Because tomorrow, I’ve got a birthday to celebrate.
And tomorrow, I’m focusing on the positives.