Failure to progress. Failure. Big, fat FAILURE.
Yes, I had my baby. A tiny, mewling baby boy, thrust into my arms when I awoke from my induced unconsciousness, groggy and sore and shattered by what had happened to me. But I was a failure.
Meconium, induction, 18 hours of intense artificial labour. Three failed attempts at an epidural. Failure to progress. Failed forceps. Emergency section, haemorrhage. Massive haemorrhage, according to the words that floated over me.
Depression, anxiety, PTSD. Pills and therapy and concerned looks. He will be an only child for sure. He will be loved. He will still be happy. Will he?
A lifetime ago, and yet still so recent. He is one, and two, and three. Walking and talking and running and so vital, so here. He needs a sibling. He needs a sibling?
And now, it seems, he will. A leap into a role that is at once known and unknown, full of joy and fear. Once more unto the breach and all that. Once more.