Allow me to welcome you to another slice of the world that is now your life; you might still be in a daze of awe and disbelief at this stage.
You may still be basking in the light of being celebrated or congratulated for having given birth to the little human you’ve been holding in your arms so protectively all day.
Your body may still be aching from childbirth’s battle, and your mind may be racing with a million and one ideas about how to care for yourself, your husband, your little human, and the swarm of people that childbirth so rudely brings barging into your house. You may not have had time to consider it yet, but things are about to change in ways you could never have predicted.
Allow me to let you in slowly and carefully.
The reality about who you are and everything you’ve ever learned is about to be tested. This glorious birth will conjure up images of dark alleys in your mind. Can you recall the first time that uncle of yours grabbed you in the dark? What were you? Is it seven? eight? But he must have seen rising mountains where your chest’s flat valleys were. When he crushed you to himself and pushed your lips back into an unwelcome embrace, he must have sensed the aura of ripe womanhood around you.
Can you recall the silence? What was it that made you wonder what was going on? the surprise? You knew it was wrong, but you didn’t say anything. You hadn’t been prepared for this. Nobody had told you that men who liked young girls wandered the streets in familiar bodies. Like a book of black magic, you brought it around with you. It was supposed to be opened on days when you were alone with your thoughts, and it was supposed to be opened any time you did. it cast a spell of darkness over you each time you opened it.
Can you recall your uncle? What about the next-door neighbor? In the boy’s quarters, a family friend? The chubby, unkempt primary-school teacher who was almost your favorite before he wasn’t? They all left their mark on you on your path to womanhood – a journey marked by silence, which prevented you from thinking deeply or asking too many questions.
Dear mother, the depths of darkness have now been stirred. Now you’ll sit with your demons in a room filled with baby powder and the scent of terror, holding that warm, squishy body close to you.
You’ll have feelings that no one can name for you, such as the desire to flee and hide forever; the desire to shave your wrists and watch the blood flow; the desire to rake your body, your fragile broken body, with knives until it bled.
You’ll feel things that other women have felt but kept quiet about because they’re wearing a cape around their drooping necks that says “strong.”
You won’t realize postpartum depression is the fancy term for what you’re going through before things start to fall apart. Even if you find a tag, no one can tell you that postpartum depression affects women differently, particularly those whose bodies have been discovered by monsters.
Those memories of groping hands, prying fingers, and playful caresses that you forced to the back of your mind will return with a vengeance. You’ll be too preoccupied with escaping the darkness to notice that you’ve been harboring it within you until you’ve become the darkness.
Having this baby would force you to have a relationship with your body that you never expected.
You’ll need to be gentle with it. The CS scar can make you feel as though you’ve been struck by an invisible force. However, you’ll have to drag yourself to the bathroom or the toilet and gently clean it, lifting flaps of your deflated stomach up to do so.
You’ll have to look after the blood that flows from your vaginal opening. It won’t be as simple as putting a pad on your abdomen every month and timing the mornings and evenings; instead, this blood demands that you respond almost every hour. You’ll have to deal with the part of yourself that you’ve always thought was a curse, that made you less human, that made you a target.
Your breasts, which were practically non-existent before the flow of milk, would turn into the breasts of your dreams, forcing you to look at them. You’ll see slopes and lines in them. You’ll be familiar with colostrum and how to pump milk four times a day so that your little one has enough food to eat when you’re gone. You will need to touch yourself with tenderness, sensitivity, and care because it will determine whether you recover or break.
Dear mother, you will soon realize that you existed. That you were a character in a story that life had written for you and that you had tampered with in order to survive. You had been living outside your body for years before meeting this little human.
In time, you’ll realize that having a baby forced you to deal with a part of yourself you didn’t want to: the wounded version. It’ll be a nightmare. The people who were supposed to understand and accompany you on this long journey would not. You’re going to be lonely. You will weep a lot and consider ending it almost constantly. I want you to know that, through everything, you will get to the other side. You will be especially strong and it will take some time for you to realize just how strong you were. Your circle of friends and family will become such a crutch for you that you’ll realize how concerned God is about you.
You will be cured in the future, mother. You’ve reconnected with your life’s purpose. You’re totally in love with the body you used to despise. There will be days when you are flabbergasted by your body’s strength, and days when the scars of violence and childbirth threaten to resurface.
You’ve mastered the art of sitting with those scars and laying them at Abba’s feet in the future. He is the Healer of All Wounds, and he has already healed yours. At the end of the day, you’ll discover that the path to discovering who you really are begins with admitting that you don’t have it all together and that you need assistance.
Welcome to the state of completeness.