Writing my Way Through Trauma

From Women Writers, Women’s Books:

I never kept a diary or a journal. Writing was never my thing. I am a talker. Put me in a room with people and I will talk non-stop. Don’t get me wrong, I like to write, but it was never something I really did.

All that changed in 2010.

I was pregnant with my second child (after multiple miscarriages), and I went into early labor. This wasn’t just a little early. This was seventeen weeks early – meaning I was only twenty-three weeks pregnant. It was too soon. I had to make it to that magical viability mark of twenty-four weeks.

I spent six days lying in a hospital bed trying desperately not to give birth. My head was tilted down thirty-degrees below my feet. All the blood had rushed to my head. I was in pain, scared, and the only thing I could do was keep my eyes closed and breathe. I didn’t talk much those six days. Talking made me emotional and being emotional made it hard to lay still and stay calm.

My son, Sam, was finally born at twenty-four weeks and two days and weighed in at a whopping one pound twelve ounces. Two days after having Sam, I was alone for the first time in a week and it all started to hit me. Everything I had been through. Everything I had experienced. I was overwhelmed and felt like I was suffocating with all the thoughts and emotions swirling around in my head.

It was late at night, and the only thing I had nearby was my tablet. I opened it up and began writing an email to my brother who was living in Lesotho at the time. I wanted to update him on how his nephew, and I were doing.

Once I started writing, however, the email to my brother took on a life of its own. I ended up writing a long missive that was dumping ground for everything that was trapped in my head. I released it all on “paper”. The anger, the fear, the pain, the hope… all of it. When I was done, I felt relief. I was no longer weighed down by the thoughts swirling in my head.

The next day, after a long, hard day of learning about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and what lay ahead for me and Sam, I turned to my tablet once again. Writing allowed me to process all the information I had gotten during the day and gave me a safe space to work through the trauma of it all.

It was then that I knew writing was going to save me. I quickly purchased a URL and installed WordPress. Two days after my son was born, my blog, Tales of the Anti-Preemie, was born. At first, the blog was just for my friends and family. But soon, I started seeing comments from total strangers who had either been sent my blog or found it on their own.

Link to the rest at Women Writers, Women’s Books

And here’s a link to Tales of the Anti-Preemie where, if the photo correctly depicts him, it appears that Sam is doing well.