In this passage, I have just endured a hideous and dangerous delivery for both me and my baby. She was born at 9:24 am and I didn’t see her again until almost 7:00 pm that same day.
Excerpt from Chapter 33…Fruit of the Womb
Nine long, tormenting and tearful hours later, I was introduced to the love of my life. It was the single most reverent and holy experience of my existence. The endless hours of pain and suffering seemed to melt away. I couldn’t keep from touching her – everywhere. I counted fingers and toes, traced her eyebrows and ears, marveled at her perfect heart-shaped lips, melted when her tiny hands grasped my fingers, connecting me to her as she held on for dear life; this totally helpless, vulnerable gift from God, was mine to cherish.
As my eyes skated over this beautiful helpless creation, I realized I was looking at God. Not that my child was God, but that she was a small piece of him that he had given to me to love, raise, and protect. It was truly an overwhelming and daunting responsibility. An array of emotions as well as hormones, flooded through me like a tsunami. This was my baby, my flesh and blood, my number one priority in life. Nothing short of death would prevent me from protecting this precious little miracle.
As tears welled in my eyes, I bowed my head over my daughter’s body and made a silent, solemn vow before God. To the best of my ability during her life with me, she would come first. She would never know loneliness and solitude. She would never fear physical violence or mental and emotional abuse. She would never doubt my love or question my devotion to her. She would never question or value or her worth. She would never know guilt or shame, or be made to feel like a burden to me. She would be allowed to thrive and grow to be her own person and not be made to feel guilty for doing so. She would be allowed to flourish, to think for herself, and be praised for her efforts.
Most of all, I vowed she would never have to fear her father, or any other man – ever. If he or any man ever touched her inappropriately or abusively, I swore before God, I would cut his testicles off with a dull knife and force feed them to him while watching him bleed out. I promised her then and there as my tears fell lightly on her forehead and cheeks, as she blinked at me, “There will never be a monster in your closet, or under your bed, my love. I swear it, on my life.”
Here, I have had three days of breast engorgement, unable to breastfeed my child. Suddenly, my milk let’s down and we are finally joined for life…
Excerpt from Chapter 34…I Knew
My mother placed her in my arms then stepped away, tentatively. I had donned a nursing bra so I could pad and staunch my actively flowing breasts. I nestled her in the crook of my arm, exposed my left breast and nuzzled her cheek with my nipple. Instinct and biology took over. With minimal help, her little mouth latched on to my breast and she began to suckle as I cried.
If you have never had a child at your breast, it is hard to describe the phenomenon. Words are grossly inadequate and fail to describe the miracle of God, nature, and survival. It is a holiness that is visceral. It is a melding of flesh and bone, blood and Manna; a heart and soul converging during such a small, yet immensely intimate act. I was bound by the ferocious need to protect– like a lioness protecting her cubs. At the same time I was awash in a fusion of innate softness and a boundless, tender love so intense that I was sure my body was aglow. I was so full of love for this tiny creature, my body couldn’t help but leak with it…mother’s milk and tears.
To feel the pull and tug of your breast as your helpless, vulnerable, and utterly dependent child suckles the life-giving, life-sustaining, substance unique to your body alone, is an overwhelming and heady thing to wrap your mind around. It not only validated, but strengthened my belief and faith in God; my belief and faith in our future as a family; my belief and faith in myself as a mother. It also awakened disturbing questions in my mind about my own mother.
Even though my novel is a tragic story all too familiar to many, and similar experiences (sometimes worse than mine, and sometimes not as bad) are shared by a growing group I affectionately call “The sister/brotherhood of my soul,” I also share the light and hope I so desperately clawed my way out of hell to find. If there is one bit of inspiration I can impart, it would be this…I’m no longer a victim. I’m no longer a survivor. I’M A WARRIOR! For good or ill, I bared by soul to the world on behalf of all the children who have no voice, no one to listen, and no one to protect them. I bared myself naked to the world on behalf of the little girl inside my book…inside of me. The “Telling” of my story has set me free. I no longer live in shame and darkness, afraid someone will find out about my dark and dirty secret, then tell. I’ve already done that. The little girl inside my book…inside of me is fine. I protect her now.
Children are the living footprints in a world we leave behind. So bask in the beauty and joy of Motherhood. Hug yourself and say “Job well done.” There truly is no greater love, than the love from a mother…
My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal
About this Guest Poster:
Taylor Evan Fulks is a practicing Registered Nurse First Assistant, specializing in open heart surgery to pay the bills. She’s also a wife, a mother of two very challenging (in a good way) teenage daughters, and an ardent “nocturnal gardener” due to her fight with skin cancer. She resides in a quaint and picturesque town in Southern Ohio along the banks of the Ohio River.