What You Can’t See in This Photograph

This is the first photograph of my little girl. She had just been handed to me. She was four and a half weeks early, but she was healthy and prefect. What a relief!

But I was haemorrhaging. The placenta had not come away as it should have, and I was haemorrhaging. A moment after this picture was taken the umbilical cord that they midwife was tugging on, snapped. The attending nurse hit the alarm bells and men came rushing in. My husband took the baby and I went into surgery.

This was 9 years ago. I hardly think about it. But yesterday it came up in my therapy / healing session. It came up as a strong dull ache in my uterus. Suddenly, I was back there holding her, so relieved she was okay, but I could see dark red blood coming out of me. Not the watery liquid of amniotic fluid that is normal, but dark red blood, in waves. I knew I was haemorrhaging and that it was really dangerous.

I felt physically sick as I remembered the scene, the dull ache in my belly growing stronger.

In the scene I couldn’t fully focus on her because I knew I was in trouble. I remembered handing her to my husband, but in my vision of the experience she desperately wanted to come with me into surgery, she didn’t want to be separated. She wanted to lay on my body straight over my heart and upper chest. I could almost feel her tiny arms wrapping around my whole body clinging on for dear life.

In my mind I let her come with me, she lay still on me until I woke up in the recovery room. There she was, resting on me, totally still and held. Deeply connected to me.

In the first moments of her life, we were separated, and I feared for my own life. I feel like a piece of the jigsaw has been put back in. When I think of the scene now, we are not separate, she is resting peacefully on my chest. For me, this was a deeply healing process and I am left with a deep sense of gratitude for both the healing and therapeutic work I do on myself and with others. It changes my life every day.

I wrote this to give some insight into what ‘healing’ is, and because the scene is still so ‘alive’ in me right now.

I’d love to hear some of your healing stories, there is so much richness in this community.