I was lost.
I knew I was lost. The darkness felt physical and my form seemed to melt into it. I reached out my hands hoping to connect with a surface or an object. Anything really. There was nothing and nothingness.
I tried to cast my mind back, to try to mentally retrace my steps, that was very difficult. The darkness made it hard to think, to remember anything before this present moment.
I let myself slide to the floor and closed my eyes. Keeping them open did not provide sight anyways. The ground underneath my feet was my only connection with anything. I felt wetness seeping through the fabric of my clothes to my skin. It felt clammy, it made my skin crawl. It may be water, blood, urine, or could be none or all. I wasn’t sure I should care.
That hazy feeling came again. That feeling of not quite being there but yet being somewhere. I felt faint like I should curl up in the floor and wait for death but I knew death wouldn’t come. I didn’t know how I knew but I felt like I had crossed paths with him already and if I was still here it was because it was not yet time.
Then it started. The pain. It started first like a dull sensation which did not quite belong to me. Then it grew hotter and hotter. My brain recognized the mind numbing pain and I opened my mouth to scream but nothing came out, not even air. I closed my mouth while my mind screamed and my body revolted but remained pinned to the ground.
The pain was unbearable now, I was sure I would pass out any minute. My stomach felt like someone had scooped out my gut and replaced it with a raging fire. I tried to cry but my eyes remained dry. It was in that moment that I heard her, frantic and desperate. She was calling my name!
I wanted to tell her not to bother. To tell her that I was pinned to the ground and couldn’t move. She called my name louder, she seemed to be getting closer. The wetness under me seemed to spread between my legs like I might have lost control of my bodily functions.
I didn’t care. The pain consumed every fiber of my being. Her voice was closer now, pleading. “My baby please open your eyes. Can you hear me? Please open your eyes.”
Her voice broke.
I heard another voice. “Madam calm down, she is breathing. She is going to be okay” She ignored them and kept pleading with me to open my eyes.
Breathing? My lungs didn’t feel like they were working. I tried again to scream. To tell these people that I was dying from the pain. Still no sound escaped by dry throat, it felt closed.
I willed my eyelids to open. They cracked just a bit. I heard her gasp. ” Her eyes! She is opening her eyes!!” Tears were running down her cheeks. Her wrinkles and creases seemed to deepen.
The tiny opening of my eyelids let in light. It was much too bright. I preferred the dark. I wanted to shut my eyes and float away but she had asked me to open my eyes so I did. Then she came into focus, slowly. Face creased with worry, eyes searching my face. “Baby can you see me? Can you hear me?” Her voice shook from the tears.
My mother was begging me.
I tried to open my mouth. My tongue felt dry and unused. “Mummy it hurts” I managed to whisper as a tear slipped out of the corner of my right eye. “I know my baby but look at your son! He came out alright!! He needs his Mother.” I tried to turn in the general direction of her hands but my body still refused to cooperate so she lifted him up into my line of sight.
His face was squished and his skin looked reddish. His eyes were shut and he had his hands up by his face as if in a kickboxing stance. So delicate, so perfect. The pain in my tummy seemed to fade in relevance.
My lips twitched in what would have been a smile.
I was found.
Three generations now stood in that room, My Mother, Me and my Son.
Image credit: http://www.yonghui.sg/lessons-from-motherhood/712