Today’s Sunday Snippet is from memoir The Classroom Of My Life by Keshia D. Keith.
About memoir The Classroom Of My Life
In this memoir, the author, Keshia Keith, recounts the turbulent experiences she endured, as a result of having postpartum depression. In this captivating book based on her personal account of the physical, emotional, and spiritual battle to cope, Keshia takes us through periods of uncertainty, sadness, frustration, and triumph. During this tumultuous period, Keshia finds herself in the psychiatric hospital wrestling with what is real and what is not. Having been a graduate student for the past two years, she truly entered what she would so accurately title this book-The Classroom of My Life.
Chapter 4: Bringing Forth Life In Silence
Remember in the beginning, I told you my birthday was approaching? Well, it was early in the morning on that calm April day when I woke up in a hurry. My heart was beating fast and it was as though I didn’t know where I was. It was April 4th, my birthday. Only a few days before, I had forgotten that this day was even drawing near.
I had given birth to a beautiful baby boy just a month ago. He had been born by emergency cesarean section because his heart rate
was dropping. During the birth, I felt no pain but I felt every tug and pull the doctor made, as she was cutting my son from my womb. My husband
was seated at my left shoulder waiting patiently for the arrival. As our son was delivered, my husband and I waited for him to cry. You know
that wonderful sound you hear on all of the television and special birthing shows. The sound that will awaken you in the middle of the
night, but the one thing you can’t wait to hear after delivery to let you know all is well.
We were waiting for that landmark moment. We heard nothing.
When I say nothing, I mean nothing. My husband said to me “shouldn’t he be crying by now?” I said, “Yes! He should”, but we still heard nothing.
The only noise was that of the doctors and nurses scrambling about behind the draped sheets. I could not see them but I could hear them. They were trying everything they could to get him to breathe. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we heard our son’s first cry. Relief fell over us at that point. The doctor called my husband over to cut the umbilical cord. They cleaned our son up a little and then handed him to my husband, who leaned over me, so that I could see our new bundle of joy. I kissed him on the forehead and the nurses whisked him away to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). I remembered being shown the NICU during a tour of the hospital and I remember praying that my baby would not have to go there. Now, here we were right in the very place I did not want to be.
Isn’t it interesting that I didn’t want that to be me, but I was there? I was not exempt from experiencing uncertainties and difficult times in life. It’s funny how the mind leads you to believe that this is in some way payback for all of the wrong things you’ve done in your life. That’s the rationalization when things don’t go as planned. But I had to remember that God’s thoughts towards me are “…thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (Jer. 29:11).
I was unable to see our son again, after I kissed him goodbye, until around midnight. I had to go to my room and begin my own recovery. I remember the nurse coming to get me and saying that I needed to walk around, if I felt up to it. I said I was, so we took three laps around the halls of my floor. I finally received an awesome reward, as I was able to go into the NICU to see my son. He was the biggest baby in the NICU, for usually babies in the NICU were born prematurely and had a low birth weight.
So you see, this was all quite odd for me to be experiencing such an event at a time when I just knew this would be a normal delivery. I dismissed the NICU during the tour, but I was really getting the grand tour, since the birth of my son. That was some more of the arrogance in me to think, “oh this won’t be me. It can’t happen to me”.
But, why not me?
What was so good that I could never possibly experience some wind and waves in my ship? The answer is there is nothing so good that I have done to avoid any given situation. God was truly about to teach me how to rely on Him without the pretense of thinking I could handle it. After all, I had just handled a yearlong deployment. I was good. Right?
As the time went by, I was both excited and worried all at the same time. I did not know what to expect from here. I mean who goes into pregnancy thinking if my baby has to go to the NICU I’m going to do this or that? Maybe someone does but not me. I had a nice birth plan all typed up and I just knew this was the way things were going to go. Besides, I had read the book every new other lives by, What To Expect When You’re Expecting. I was supposed to know everything about baby development and childbirth now, right? Of course I was. There is such a false sense of security in having a plan. I would often quote Winston Churchill, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
Today, even the plans I had made were failing. So, what now? I couldn’t have planned a more peaceful and enjoyable birth than the birthing plan I had. I was going to listen to my favorite songs, hold my husband’s hand, mom’s hand, or a good friend’s hand. I was going to hold somebody’s hand here, because my birthing plan said so. Lol.
Boy, was I wrong!
I was going to have this scheduled induction, deliver a beautiful baby boy with no complications and then go home. Besides, I had spent months in the doctor’s office being monitored due to gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. I did not think I could be any more tired than I already was. With all of the finger pricks and medication I was taking to regulate my blood sugar, the rest should have been like a walk in the park.
You can order a copy of memoir The Classroom Of My Life on Amazon