'I Thought My Baby Was a Little Horse': Why Some Women Trip After Giving Birth / Broadly
When your baby finally arrives, exhaustion follows—that's a given. But some women have it far worse, tumbling into a nightmare of their mind's own making.
When I opened my eyes, there was something on my chest. It was making a loud noise, like a high-pitched shriek, and had little arms and legs. Wait—was that a BABY?
I catapulted from the bed, still clutching the tiny thing. It was hot and its face was red. My husband's face swam up from the shadows. "What's happening?" I yelled at him, and thrust the child into his arms. "I can't hold this baby."
I looked wildly around. Where were we, and how to escape? Maybe through that window, if my abdomen didn't hurt so much. "Sit down," my husband said, leading me back to the bed where I was, I soon learned, recovering from an emergency cesarean section after 24 hours of trying to give birth.
The short version: my uterus hadn't been able to push the baby out; I had a temperature; the baby was distressed, so they performed the surgery to save both our lives.
But all I knew was the walls were too close, the air too thin, and I definitely needed to get the hell out of that room. It took ten minutes of deep breathing before reality came flooding back: I was in hospital, and that baby was my son.
About an hour later, the walls stopped shimmering.