Labor memory triggers

Someone recently commented on here mentioning the tv show House of Cards. I was immediately thrown back to the day I went into labor. Valentine’s Day 2014. I was in the hospital, patiently passing the final weeks of my pregnancy, enjoying each day under continuous monitoring until I hit 39 weeks, the planned time for induction. At 36 weeks I thought I had plenty of time. Chris and I planned a romantic date in the hospital- he was going to pick up sushi (cooked rolls for me) and we were going to watch House of Cards, which was released that day. While he was at work I was having cramps on and off all day and when I saw a little bloody show, I called him, suggesting he come right to the hospital after work. I was scared something was happening. But as the day progressed and nothing seemed to move forward, I called him again, telling him to go ahead with our plan- get the sushi, but stop at home first and pick up Mabel’s blanket- the special one I had ordered, just in case. (just in case she died. I wanted her to have a special blanket to hold her in) Once he made the trek picking up all the necessities, we settled down to a nice dinner, each of us sitting on one side of the hospital tray table on wheels. I was a little uncomfortable with the cramping through dinner and so we decided to walk to the lobby and pick up some ice cream. The hospital café recently started stocking Ben & Jerry’s so we grabbed a pint of peanut butter cup, with full intentions of snuggling together in that one person hospital bed, chomping on ice cream and watching House of Cards. By the time we got upstairs to my room and I had a few bites, it became too uncomfortable to sit down. Labor had started.

Reading the House of Cards comment, brought me back to my labor- not in a bad way. It’s nice to be able to recount my labor in such a safe space. I don’t often tell my labor story outside the babyloss community because the follow up questions and comments can be rough- I didn’t realize you have a baby! Or How old is your daughter? I know I have every right to chime in, like any mom of a living child would do when something brings up a memory like that. But if a simple remark about how xyz reminds me of my labor then leads to my child’s death, awkwardness inevitably ensues- we all know what this is like. And I don’t want to seem like I’m fishing, looking for sympathy. Honestly, most of the time I simply want to remember and share my story- be a regular mom who can tell these things without consequence. I don’t want the awkwardness, or the pity- in some ways I just want the gentle laughing at how these seemingly random things remind me of childbirth. But it’s often just not the case.

I think of my labor whenever I think of sushi and Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter cup ice cream. I remember eating them and throwing them all up later. I think of my labor when I am reminded of House of Cards or Valentine’s Day. These are my little triggers (delightful triggers in a way) that remind me of that day. A scary day that led to a sad day, but it’s still part of her story, so I take pleasure in remembering it.

Do you have random things or associations that trigger memories? Do you share them?