PPA Part 1: Empty

7 Apr

Thank you all for your support on my last post. “Coming out” so-to-speak has brought on a renewed barrage of inspiration. This is a first in a series of slightly more abstract posts that have come to me. I’ll get to the practicals later. I’m still in the process of writing these, and it is cathartic. I hope you stick around to read them. 


Bunny was born three hours ago. I barely held her. Barely registered her being and they took her to the nursery. That’s what they do. They need to monitor her. She’s a gestational diabetes baby. They need to monitor her.

The nurse that took her at 4am – I asked her to let Shmerson come too. She said he could come, but couldn’t stay. I was upset. I don’t remember how, but somehow someone told her about Nadav. I didn’t want to leave my baby alone. She promised she would hook her up to a heart monitor. Just so I could feel better leaving her without us.

Just so I know they’re making sure she’s breathing. But that’s my job. I need to make sure she’s breathing.

4:15am. Shmerson texts me a picture of this wonder – this miraculous creature who I only got to hold for a few minutes. She’s hooked up to a monitor. They did what I asked.

I send him home to sleep.

5am – I get wheeled into the ward.

“When will I see my baby?”

“Probably around 7am. You should get some sleep”

Yes. Sleep. It’s Thursday morning. I haven’t slept since  Sunday night.


I get to my room.

6am – A nurse helps me out of bed so I can rinse off two days of induction and a hard-fought labor.

“When will I see my baby?”

“The doctor checks them between 6am and 7am – then there’s a shift change. They’ll probably bring her to you around 8am. Get some sleep.”


In my room I stare up at a ceiling and close my eyes.

And I do what I’ve done 100 times before in the last four months – since I felt the first flutter.

I start to count. 10 in an hour. But usually with Bunny I get ten in 15 – 20 minutes. I wait for a kick.

A kick doesn’t come.

I start to panic. I put my hand on my stomach.

Where is she?

She’s here. She’s just not with you. But she’s here.

I start to cry. Is she really? Is she really here?


I jump out of bed. Barefoot. Wearing a half-open gown. Traces of the last 48 hours still all over my body.

I don’t care. I run to the nursery.

The door is locked. The doctor is checking them. The door is locked.

The panic rises. I start to cry. I start to pace back and forth, back and forth in front of the sliding doors. Waiting. Panic tickling my throat.

My hands are on my stomach.

I feel so empty. Where is she? I’m empty.

An eternity later the door opens. A nurse sees me. She sees my distress. Nobody is supposed to come in at this hour.

I cry. I beg. She lets me in. I walk up to the bassinet. Bunny. She’s here. She’s here and breathing and sleeping. She’s here. She’s breathing.

But the nurse says I have to go.

“Can’t I take her with me?”

“We’ll bring her to you at around 8:30.”

“No. I want her now.”

“We need to check her blood sugar again.”

I see the small bandage on the bottom of her foot where they drew her blood. Tears well up again.

“When will you check it?”

“Very soon.”

“Then will you bring her? Please. I can’t wait until 8:30. Please bring her to me.”

The nurse looks at me with pity. With exasperation. With something.

“Ok. Try to get some sleep.”

Sleep. I haven’t slept since Sunday.

I go to my room. 7am.

Sleep? Who can sleep?

7:30am – my amazing, miraculous, beautiful baby girl is wheeled into my room.

I sink into three days of blurry, sleepless, unadulterated bliss.

11 Responses to “PPA Part 1: Empty”

  1. nickeecoco April 8, 2014 at 00:51 #

    Really powerful post. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Angel April 8, 2014 at 01:38 #

    I cannot imagine. I have PPA and I also had a GD baby. Thank God in high heaven that I gave birth in a hospital where she never left my sight. No nursery, nothing. And I still sat up many, many nights watching her breathe. You are so strong and so brave- thank you for sharing your story. I would have lost my sh$$.

  3. Theresa April 8, 2014 at 02:16 #


  4. NewMom April 8, 2014 at 06:23 #

    You are such a wonderful writer.

    I am shocked that they didn’t let you keep Bunny in your room with you! I had GD and my son’s blood sugar was checked in the room with me. His tiny foot had scars for a month after. I would’ve been the same way if they hadn’t let him stay. I am so sorry that even happened. Checking blood sugar is a simple thing, and unless it gets out of wack the baby can stay with the mom np.

    ps Read the other post. Girls are horrible. Probably why I have only have one “girlfriend” I’m sorry you had to deal with that BS.

  5. Kristin April 8, 2014 at 07:52 #

    Wow, such powerful words. I feel like I was there.

  6. Esperanza April 8, 2014 at 07:54 #

    It’s very brave of you to put this out there. Thank you for your honesty and courage.

  7. Heather April 8, 2014 at 13:48 #

    That really sucks that they separated you for so long! I had a brief separation for tests too but it wasn’t that long.Moms and babies need to be together.

  8. Courtney April 8, 2014 at 14:51 #

    That’s a crazy long separation, intolerable for most anyone these days. It reminds me of the stories my grandmas would tell about their birth experiences, and then their surprise at how much time we girls now spend with our babies in the hospital. Your experience sounds like a strange little time warp.

    It is so strange waking up, forgetting you’ve given birth, and that moment you wonder where the baby is. It’s a fleeting moment but so scary. I’m sure you were terrified. If only for a moment, you had to be just terrified.

    I’m glad you pushed to have bunny with you earlier than “they” planned. After everything you’ve been through, all you needed was your baby, in your arms, snuggled up to you.

  9. Daryl April 8, 2014 at 16:03 #

    Wow, Mo, this is powerful. And I’m glad writing it has been cathartic for you. I’m sorry they separated you from your baby girl for so long.

  10. RelaxedNoMore April 8, 2014 at 22:11 #

    My heart clenched as I read this. Not to have your baby with you after giving birth must be absolute torture, even more than this post can relate.

  11. pjsarecomfyn April 8, 2014 at 22:12 #

    I never had this experience, but I can put myself right in it with this post and I feel it deep in my soul.

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