In the summer of 2014, I gave birth to a baby boy. He was born with a perfect Apgar score, after a very easy delivery. But my labor had not been smooth—in fact, throughout the day and a half of contractions, I believed there was something decidedly wrong. I also felt that way as I held him for the first time, and he writhed violently under my hands. In a video taken about 10 minutes after he was born, he can be seen lifting his head up off my chest. “Ooooh, look at how advanced he is!” someone can be heard trilling in the background, before her voice is overtaken by my own. “Don’t do that, love,” I say. Then, to the camera: “Does he seem like he’s in pain to you?”
It took my husband and me three years to understand that in fact I was right that day in the delivery room. Our son was hurt. And it will take him years to heal—longer than it should have, and that is on top of the injustice of the original wound—though I thank God every day that we figured it out.