I think I need to express a bit of my pain. But not just today’s pain, the pain that I’ve lived with my entire life.
I think in order to understand this, to come to terms with what’s happened, I need to go right back to the beginning.
Right to the first person that was taken away from me.
To the beginning of this chain of death and misery.
My mother died during my delivery. As the story goes, apparently there were some complications. The umbilical chord had wrapped itself around my neck and nobody had noticed. My mother was told that her baby had died in the womb, but that she had to give birth to me anyway.
She was screaming hysterically -- it took everything that my father had just to calm her down, he’d said. The doctors then talked her through delivering her stillborn baby. Although she did what they told her, she kept screaming through the whole process.
At one point, in the middle of the final push, she let out a gut wrenching scream, what happened to be her last mortal contribution to this world, and my head finally cleared her cervix in a huge rush of blood. Pushed down on the full flow of blood, the rest of my body came out so fast that the doctor and nurse who’d been ready to receive me didn’t catch me. I landed on the floor with a wet slurpy thud and the strangest thing happened next.
I started crying.
The labor room staff were mystified.
Somehow, I’d come back from the dead just as my mother had breathed her last breath.
I’m told that my father didn’t even know, even as the staff scrambled to pick me up, cut the umbilical chord, clean my eyes, ears and mouth of the amniotic fluid. Despite the loud and unwavering crying I was making, he didn’t even know.
He just held my mother and cried -- his own crying much louder than my own.
Welcome to the world, Peter.