This post is also published over on Maternity Matters today.
When my son was born, I was fast asleep. For just over an hour he existed in this world without his mother even knowing. I hope he didn’t feel lonely. Those missing minutes have caused me so much pain.
A mother needs skin to skin contact with her baby as soon as possible after birth. When they gave my son to me, my arms were dead and my spirit was dying. When they put him to my breast he didn’t know what to do; didn’t know who I was. We both cried.
Those missing minutes will never come back to me and I will never know enough ways to try to make it up to my son. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t able to deliver him properly- without fear, without panic and
without anguish. I wasn’t able to hold him, to love him or to promise him the things I promised his sister.
Those missing minutes are etched on my soul for eternity. In sixty minutes, I can do so much. I can walk five miles in the driving rain; I can teach a lesson and mark half the books; I can make a meal that my children can throw around the kitchen; I can bake a cake; I can read a newspaper. In those sixty minutes, I did nothing. I wasn’t there.
I will spend the rest of my days trying to come to terms with those missing minutes. I will love my son and care for my son and I will listen to my son. I will do all of these things, but I will always grieve those missing minutes. How could I not?