Saturday, 22 August 2015

A fear of the departed - fear of the unknown continued

I have a keen interest in psychology, specifically criminal psychology. I find the minds and actions of psychopathic serial killers fascinating. I read book after book, watch every documentary I can find and will research anything from Dennis Nilsen flushing his victims body parts down the toilet to the Suffolk strangler brutally murdering prostitues. But my fear has always been seeing a departed human being. 

I've been frightened for as long as I can remember and I have no idea why. Let's face it, they can't hurt you. As a teenager I would often take my horse out for hacks alone in the woods and down secluded trails. I always worried I would come across a body, how I'd feel and what I'd do. (Maybe I read too many serial killer books). 

It's that fear of the unknown again. I had never seen the body of someone who had passed. In fact I've been very lucky in my life, apart from the death of my paternal grandparents when I was very young I'd had no deaths of anyone close to me. 

I've lived with this as fear, as I'm aware, the best part of my life. But it was Albie that made me overcome that fear. 

I was anxious about Albie's birth for the obvious reasons but more so because I didn't know what to expect about the way he was going to look. The fact that he would be sleeping panicked me. And the two days leading up to his birth that's all I could think about. I had no idea if he would look like an ordinary baby, how big he'd be and what colour. It was terrifying.

Labour was hard with Albie. The pain increased rapidly and I took all the pain-relief I could (apart from an epidural - another fear of mine). So throughout those few hours the worry of meeting Albie wasn't on my mind. But when the time came and I needed to push I suddenly remembered. 
I panicked but it all happened so suddenly. By the time my mum had rung the emergency bell and all the midwives came flooding in he was pretty much out. 

And then the pain stopped. This was it. This was when I was going to meet my beautiful little boy. Brent couldn't look either. He had his face buried in the pillow beside me. I took a deep breath and the midwife handed him to me. 

He was gorgeous. He looked like an ordinary baby. Yes he was tiny but he looked perfectly formed. You wouldn't have been able to tell he had anything wrong with him at all. And just like that the fear was gone. I wasn't scared anymore. 
My mum urged Brent to look at him. He did and I knew then that Brent had been as scared as I was. 

We spent a fair amount of time with Albie he was wrapped in the shawl that had previously wrapped Lily, myself and my 3 brothers. We spent most of the time cuddling him and talking to him and the midwives had brought in a Moses basket so we made sure he had his teddies in there. We took pictures of him and prints of his tiny hands and feet. 
It was so peaceful and I wondered what I'd been frightened of. He was my baby. He wasn't scary. And I realised that I'd spent my life being afraid of something that was so calm and harmonious. In a way I felt silly. 

I think of things differently now, I'm not afraid of a lot of things that I used to be and I have more empathy. All thanks to a little boy who was just to perfect for this world. I just want to make him proud. 

After all, life goes on.