The night my water broke, I waited at least three hours and a confirmation from the doctors before calling my mom. Several hours later, as I went swiftly into full-blown labor, I had the most terrible anxiety attack I can ever recall. I remember lying in a hospital bed and gazing down at the plastic grey frame, wondering how I might possibly grip it hard enough to endure the pain. I had a terrifying moment of not feeling as though I'd survive, that I didn't have the strength. I lost my ability to breathe evenly and got very agitated and upset, throwing myself out of the bed and walking to the bathroom, where I had this unbearable urge to pee and waves and waves of pain that landed me on the floor and a nurse flipping her shit, hurriedly calling the anesthesiologist to put the needle into my back.

It probably lasted three minutes. And I have a history of anxiety attacks, but they never finish themselves. I was fine 20 minutes later. I slept for several hours and by the next afternoon I pushed and she was out. My mom and Matt were with me. We named her Ginger after she laid on my chest and moved her face toward my husband, recognizing his voice. I've never slept since. I never will. And, that's okay.

My mom never slept until now. I mean... of course she slept during the other bouts with cancer. But, she never slept when we were growing up and even after all that she still didn't sleep well.

Today I woke up and had a dreadful feeling. It's a scary little hovel where we wonder. I have a terrible, weak and selfish fear that it's not going to be the same again. What I wouldn't give for it. I just want so badly for her to bounce back, to laugh and have it remain. I am so very angry at some doctors. I carry awful, heavy and boundless guilt. I want to fight but I don't know how. I can't figure out the right way to be. I need to support my dad and channel his sense. We've flip-flopped. My head isn't on and is it because I know we can't get by with knowledge and good insurance and an even better surgeon? Is it because they have miles of two-lane roads between an expert who goes home every night to some great dinner and hundreds of speaking invites and a glass of wine? Is it because I'm spread too thin and always on a plane or driving in my car and trying to remember if I filled out my kid's homework? Is it because I know it's better to protect her when we talk and tell her the good stuff, or that I open up and let her be my mom and order me to shape up? (You can shape me up, mom, you can.)

All I know is a terrible anxiety that I wander in and out of, curious and knowing and then being unsure of whether or not I can figure this out. I want to curb my anger and I'm so grateful for everyone who helps and cares and loves her. It's easier to slide it under my laptop or my iPad when I arrive at work, checking it for daytime hours in worrycare, letting someone else figure it out. I pull it out in the evening, nearly forgetting my coat in the October snow and I walk to the parking garage while reading my phone. Then I pull out and start driving to get my daughter while hitting dial. I talk and hear what the people up north have to say about her. Sometimes, I talk to her. Other times, I talk to my dad and he tells me to get it to together whilst apologizing for scaring me (which he doesn't). I drive. I stop at lights. I grab my girl. We go to the library or swimming lessons or somewhere that requires a debit card. I hit the garage door opener.

But, no.

I need to go home.


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