Thursday, February 14, 2008

Helpless



Classic incision, vertical
Skew-like scar, horizontal
Early c-section, external
Wrong arithmetic, internal
Two months hence, oh agonal
With baby mine, living hell.

My postpartum, uncontrollable
her prematurity, intolerable
Seeping guilt, abominable
Blaming self, unavoidable.

Looking back, emotional
Heart wailing, eternal
Fading scar, travel journal
Foreign feelings, so maternal.


******


My c-section scars are a constant reminder of my daughter's premature birth at twenty-nine weeks when I was forced to deliver her due to a high risk pregnancy. She was just over a pound in weight and had to spend two and a half months in a neonatal-intensive care unit. She fought her way into this world beautifully and kept fighting until she could be taken home as a healthy four pounder. I will forever regret the fact that I couldn't carry her longer. But time has reduced my guilt. The external scars in my abdomen will forever remind me of my roller-coaster ride, emotional, during a woman's most important phase in life, "being a new mother". The helplessness I felt when my daughter suffered due to her prematurity is something I wish no mother would have to go through ever! It's both frightening and heart-wrenching.


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In response to the Friday Fives prompt, the Friday Fiction prompt .
I added this to the WI prompt to as I thought it was in a way, time
travel for my daughter, an early arrival. You can go to the other
piece from here.
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39 comments:

Jodi Cleghorn said...

This is really moving - incredibly powerful. So much said in just a few words.

It's a shame we didn't have this prompt months ago - I would have loved to have published this poem in the magazine I published on Homebirth After Caesarean late last year.

The first scar that I ever remember was my mother's caesarean scar - classic incision that had been badly stitched together (then seriously infected days later) - then reopened and stitched again with my sister.

Her abdomen always reminded me of a football - saggy flesh stitched up with football lacing - can still see it now - belly button to pubic bone. I'm not sure when I finally realised that baby's did not come from your stomach - probably well into my teens.

Thank you for sharing this painful and deeply personal part of yourself.

M as in Mint said...

Touching poem - but i guess it's all part of God's plan to make your daughter, a warrior in her own right, born to win!

gautami tripathy said...

Helpless, you are not. You both survived that ordeal. That is most important thing.

Hugs!

itchy, scratchy, welted

Michelle Johnson said...

I think this is my favorite poem by you, UL. There is so much emotion carried throughout this strongly written piece. It is already difficult to make that transition to motherhood without the added worry of whether you child will make it. Thankfully you child did and is definitely a fighter like her mom. Thanks for sharing such a tender time in your life. Have a nice weekend.

Scott Clawson said...

This poem touches me deeply. I too was a premie, 3 lbs. 7 oz. and my mother has always told me of her emotions when I was born. I was so small and she was unable to touch at first and how thankful she has been all her life that God saw fit to let me live and grow. Thank you so much for your poem and for your personal reflection.

Square1 said...

UL - I went through postpartum depression after all three of my babies. Two of which I went through pre-term labor with, and my second daughter was also delivered a little early, just barely past the threshhold for what they considered safe. We worry about her sometimes still. I felt as I read this that you were giving voice to things I was too ashamed to admit to myself at the time. This is well written and powerful. I just wanted you to know I was nodding my way all the way through this and thinking, "Wow! I couldn't have said this any better!"

anthonynorth said...

A very touching piece. It shows that we can rise above any adversity, if we set our mind to it.

noahthegreat said...

Intense. I can only imagine the pain you had to go through; I lack the parts needed to hold a child.

My mom didn't have to get a C-section, but right after she had me she had to get a hysterectomy.

tumblewords said...

Striking poem, UL! So much here and the emotions are vividly intense. Glad all turned to the good!

watermaid said...

This is a poem that will touch many of us who have been mothers. My daughter was also delivered by C-section at 36 weeks after she showed signs of foetal distress. I thought she was small at four pounds (2 bags of sugar!) but your tiny baby makes her seem quite substantial. These prem. babies do seem to have a lot of fight. One of the midwives said that when she cried she was like the leader of an orchestra.

Just Jen said...

Hey you! My mom was 2 lbs when she was born, back in the day of no neonatal units. Grandma wrapped her in a blanket and then in tinfoil and she spent her first few months sitting on the oven door and being nursed by grandma. Glad she made it or I wouldn't be here!
You shouldn't have guilt, have pride that you made it and so did she! You are both fighters!

Linda Jacobs said...

It wasn't until the second reading that I noticed the rhyme! That's how good a poem this is!

Paul said...

I don't think I can add much more than others have said. This is moving and powerful.

My younger brother was delivered by C section after a long and painful labour, when the doctors decided he simply wasn't going to come naturally. I think my mother would relate to this, even though he wasn't premature.

paisley said...

what a momentous ordeal the two of you went thru together,, i hope it serves to forever strengthen your bond......

Christine said...

Your poem stands alone as an eloquent expression of the turbulent time you went through, but coupled with your comments below- I'm so impressed with your descriptions.

Greyscale Territory said...

Love the travel journal of foreign feelings. Gorgeous image. But the real power is the subject. Dramatic!

Great write!

Smiles and light

keith hillman said...

As a mere male it's impossible for me to understand what a mother goes through in childbirth, particularly when, as in your case, it happens earlier than anticipated and with the need for surgical intervention. But the emotion poured out of these pieces and I'm so glad I read them.

Jo said...

This is very moving, very well done, Ul. For different reasons I had a difficult pp time, like you wouldn't wish it on anyone, but look where we are now (grin).

Thinking aloud said...

I think this is one of your best poems i have read...heart-rending and touching...

thank you for sharing this...

lissa said...

quite moving, especially the last part. you express it well.

Cricket's Hearth said...

You have overcome - that is what is important.

extemporaneous said...

I know well the c-section scar. i remember how, after 7 years of infertility a complicated pregnancy (I'm diabetic), and a long, nonprogressing induced labor, my doctor said "There is no shame in a c-section. You don't have to be a superwoman." I was like dude, I managed to get myself pregnant - I AM superwoman!!

Excellent use of the prompt, very touching poem. Thank you for sharing it!

Heather

Steve said...

I have a Grandson who was 13 weeks premature. I actually held him in my hand.

To look at him now at nearly 4 ya have to sit and wonder......

Ya know what I mean???

Ya shouldn't have favourites but....he is mine!

Spillay said...

Beautifully written. It's amazing how you can put so much emotion into your creative writing :) . I really admire your skill.

Spillay xx
http://spillay.wordpress.com

Preethi said...

It really is.. heart wrenching and frightening.. this was beautiful as always.

Read my take I live on ...

writerwoman said...

Very touching. I'm glad your daughter got stronger and made it home to you.

Hugs,

Sara

proquik said...

gal, beautiful and realistic.. such a great choice of relative words to present your emotional case.! I wasnt even aroudn when nisha gave birth to saachi, a c section again adn i know she took a lot of effort and time to get out of the psychological, mental, physical pain she went through and I was not even there to help her through it... its then that I feel that we me are actually helpless egoists .. god gave this job in the right hands!! you did it amazingly well taking the right decisions providing the right support and see your darling has grown and ur scars are gone...

Lea said...

Your writing just sears right to my soul... that line, "fading scar, travel journey," absolutely profound.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, UL, I can SO relate; there was a chance my #2 might have had defects. I carried her full term and had a natural delivery, but ... yeah. I know those emotions.

Selma said...

What a thing to have to go through. You communicated the anguish and worry you felt so well. I could feel how stressful it was for you. I am so glad it turned out well!

Marja said...

How touching and powerful. It must have been a deep eotional experience and I can imagen how difficult it must be for a young mother. You and your girl survived it and that's the wonderful part.

Jeques said...

UL,

This article/poetry you wrote just define the real essence of a woman ~ the love of a mother to her child: that's just immeasurable.

As I could remember, this question was asked before in the Miss Universe: What's the real essence of the woman? One answer stand out:

"To be born a woman is by itself a great gift of god, and we must all appreciate it, The origin of a child is a mother and it is the woman that teaches a man how to love care and share, that is the essence of a woman."

I think with your experience you did more than just that.

You and your child are winners!

I wish well.

~ Jeques

walden said...

You have great rhythm in this poem. Please do away with the bold, I think it serves no purpose and is distracting. Very nice diction and rhymes although I don't care for lines 9, 10, and 11; I think they are a bit too "diary-esk". The first stanza is great. Keep writing!

Scout said...

This definitely sent me back to my own C section to save a high risk pregnancy. Luckily, mine was not as premature as yours.

Nicely done.

LittleWing said...

oh man, that was awesome...what a way to use the prompt.. often things are outta our control... and babies being born are one of them.. i ache there is such sorrow in your poetic poem.. foreign feelings so maternal... i can relate... being a new mother... it terrified me and many a night i would stare and wonder how am i gonna do this...thank you for sharing something we don't often understand...

WriterKat said...

That's powerful! Motherhood forever changes your body. It sounds like your daughter was/is a real fighter, and your body did an amazing job.

Lucy said...

how did I miss this moving poem Ul? Like each wrinkle around our eyes signifies a life of smiles, your unique belly signifies your wonderful maternal miracle.

Sandy Carlson said...

This is powerful. That must have been a harrowing time. Thank God technology and medical know-how came to a good use in your situation and your daughter's. New motherhood is a priceless time. I remember it well, though it's been a long while! Mother's are wide open, heart and soul. You make that heart-wrenchingly clear!

Laksh said...

Wow UL, you amaze me! This was sooooooo touching. Hugs!