When I woke up

in life •  last year

I woke up in a hospital bed, well more like slowly started to gain consciousness. I could not move and my body felt as if it was made of lead. There where tubes coming out of me from my arms and tummy, I could see someone but I couldn’t remember who it was. I went back to sleep. I can’t remember everything it was very blurry and all I could feel was excruciating pain.

I’m in a ward with beds to each side of me and across. There is a young boy I work with sitting at my bed. I laugh and tell him he looks like a rat. We both laughed, but it hurt. I feel like I’ve been cut in half. The nurse came and put a small device in my hand and tells me to press it when I’m sore. I feel as if I’m floating and everything is so mixed up, when I press this wee button I float higher. People came and went and I can’t remember who they were. I have blocked these memories for so long.

Finally, a doctor came to my bed to inform me of the good news. He informs me I did not need a hysterectomy they only had to take my fallopian tubes away. This meant nothing to me because I knew nothing about the biology of a woman and her insides. I asked, “can I have children, then?” No not naturally! I shut off and did not want to hear anymore, I pressed the wee button in my hand and I kept pressing it. I cried when it was not working as I could feel the liquid it released going in to my veins and it made me float and forget about the pain in my body, also the pain in my heart, and stopped my head thinking. I wish I had a button to press just now.

I started to think straighter as time passed, they reduced the dose of morphine and put a longer delay time on the button. I had to face what had happened. Everyone kept telling me how lucky I was that it was only my tubes I had lost. It meant nothing to me. All I knew was I was not going to get pregnant.

Once the tubes got removed and I was able to get out of bed and go to the toilet on my own, I could pee again and that felt good. I was able to go for a smoke with all the other woman in the ward. Well, I should have stayed away. I was 24 and my life has just came tumbling down quicker than I had worked to change it for the better. I sat with these women, listening to the different stories. They were all in getting sterilized so they could not have any more children. I could not understand why they had kids and could decide they have had enough so chose to make sure they had no more. All I wanted was one, one little person that I could grow inside my womb, something I could do right, a little person I could love. This was just not fair why was I not allowed to do what every other woman I knew took for granted.

I met a woman in her early thirties in the smoke room. She was happily telling me she had just had her sterilisation reversed. She had 5 kids so she and her man decided that was enough. They had the procedure done to prevent her having anymore. She is now with a new man and they wanted a child of their own, so here she is so happy the operation worked and she and her new man can have a baby of their own. I was so angry, I wanted to punch her. I was jealous, I was so angry. Life was just not fair, what had I done that was so bad I deserved this punishment. God had taken my choice because I would be a bad mother. I would not be able to give the love I so wanted from my own mother, so this was my punishment.

My mum nearly died after giving birth to me. I was reminded often when I was growing up of how I nearly killed her. If I heard it once I heard it 100 times, “I had to get my last rights read because of you,” like really? that was my fault? A bit of afterbirth was left inside her. You see, it felt like my fault and I thought it was me trying to stay attached to her so a wee bit of me was hiding in there. I had been causing trouble from the day I was born.

They took me to see the doctor to get examined and make sure I was healing properly. The doctor was explaining what had happened and how a cyst had burst inside my fallopian tube, the poising could have killed me, I was to feel lucky I was alive and I still had ovaries. I did not want to be alive and I did not feel lucky. I had tried to take my life many times as a child and now life was paying me back. How was I ever going to cope? How was I ever going to move on? My mum said, in a poor attempt to console me,
“if they never bring you any joy they won’t bring you any heart ache”

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This is such beautiful honesty and insight. What a horrible experience with lasting effects, and here you are writing it out with grace and compassion for yourself.