My boys were each born via c-section: Tucker, because he was breech, folded in half with his legs straight and his feet by his ears, and he was sitting in my pelvis; and Tyler because his brother paved the way for him to be born most safely that way.
I'm quite familiar with the warmth of the epidural as it takes effect, the foreign numbness as my body seemingly detaches from my brain, and the hours after surgery, when things aren't quite yet back to normal.
I remember Robb's parents and mine visiting me and the new baby in the recovery room; Robb's dad teased me, asking me to wiggle my toes. "Go ahead, Trish. Wiggle 'em."
"Oh, sure. Of course." And in my mind, I wiggled my toes. But they stayed perfectly still at the other end of the bed. I thought and thought about wiggling them; I willed them to move. No dice. There was a disconnect.
We all had a good laugh about it at the time. Frankly, we were all delirious with joy over the baby boy we passed from one to another, and the wiggle-free toes were a silly side effect. There would be no wiggling for hours to come.
I've thought a lot about that recently, about the things I know how to do, the things I can even will to happen. But it doesn't happen.
I know how to go grocery shopping. I know the steps involved. And yet? I can't do it.
I know how to write thank you notes, and the list grows endlessly of the people I want to thank for gifts great and small, each of immeasurable magnitude. And yet? I can't do it.
I know the steps involved. I know the bulleted list. I know the process, the algorithms of life. I make a list every single day, with hopes to cross things off. I know how.
But there's a disconnect. It just doesn't happen. It's like watching my toes, thinking their wiggling, but they really don't move at all.
It's quite the side effect, let me tell you.