Making friends with fear

Each day, we’re given many opportunities to open up or shut down. The most precious opportunity presents itself when we come to the place where we think we can’t handle whatever is happening. It’s too much. It’s gone too far. – Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

Fear has wrapped itself around my heart again in the last 24 hours. I lived with it off and on for the five and a half months of my pregnancy and it’s been a frequent companion since then.

I am afraid because my incision hurts. I feel like I’ve been thrown back weeks in my healing process – the one thing that seemed to be going smoothly. Unfortunately the new glasses I’ve been given through which to see the world don’t include x-ray vision and it’s a holiday weekend. I called the doctor’s exchange. They tried to put me through to Labor and Delivery, to the doctor on call. It rang and rang and rang until I hung up, feeling too embarrassed to have a harried nurse answer or to try again.

I called the midwife who has been such a kind, gentle, helpful resource over the last months. She had me lie down and check my pain level in three different areas. It’s tender but it didn’t make me want to jump off the bed. She suggested rest, fluids and leaving a message for my doctor on his exchange.

The operator refused to take it. I didn’t have the strength to push it. So I am doing my best to take care of myself. It would be odd – I think – to have an infection show up so late in the healing process. I’m hoping it’s just inflamed from me stressing it and a few days of rest will put me back on track. Still, I will call the doctor first thing Tuesday. I want to feel confident getting on the plane Wednesday that I’m not going to have to rush to another hospital somewhere.

Talk about pushing me to my limit. I want to be well, want to feel healthy and strong. I want the physical reminders of this tragedy to fade into distant memory. I want to stop being scared.

Which means I need to sit and cry, hard, and soon. As I was putting Ada to bed I was repeatedly squeezed by the fear that she would be taken from me too. I want to throw up just thinking it. It terrifies me. I know that when that terror is present, it’s because I am not allowing myself to fully experience my grief. The dance between the two feels like more than I can handle some days.

So I’m going to state for the record, just in case anyone who has any control over these things is paying attention – I am doing the best I can to heal my body, my heart, my soul; to allow the grief and find the joy; to be loving and compassionate with myself and those I share my life with. I will make friends with my fear as best I know how. I will honor my grief. Just please, please take care of my little girl. Let her live a long, full life. Let me watch her grow up, skin her knee, fall in love. Let me hold her hand when I am old, loving her more than I ever believed possible. I don’t get to do that with my son, please let me have that with my girl.

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2 Responses to Making friends with fear

  1. Jessica says:

    I’m so sorry you are in pain in more than one way. Emotional is bad enough. I hope that you can get some relief and that soon you can talk to your doctor and feel a bit relieved. I pray that your family stays safe and I think of you very often. Your daughter is lucky to have such a wonderful mommy. **hugs** I had a bad day too. Here’s hoping tomorrow is better for us both!

  2. Melissa says:

    I too have the same fear about my living son. 😦

    I hope your physical healing gets better soon. It is hard going through that on top of the grief. I pray that your incision is ok.

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