The silence was loud when my baby was born.
But her cries penetrated deep inside my heart.
I laughed when I saw her.
She was so beautifully perfect.
She opened her mouth wide and her voice was music to my ears.
I was "allowed" to call my parents and tell them that I had given birth. A few hours later they arrived and I proudly showed them my healthy baby girl.
After they had gone, I lay back on my pillows and felt happy.
And then M came in . He had taken his mother home, and then returned to see the baby.
He came in from the nursery and sat down on the chair next to my bed.
There was no small talk, his words came out sharp, full of red anger.
"The baby looks like a mouse", he snarled.
"This is what you give me, an ugly mouse?" his blue eyes turned dark with rage.
"What kind of woman are you, you dont even know how to give birth to a pretty baby"!
And with those words he stormed out.
This time the tears flowed.
His words reverberated in my brain until I could no longer think clearly.
My soul was drowning in sorrow and sadness.
I had given birth not five hours ago, and I could not cope with M's anger.
I allowed the tears to flow.
I could not sleep that night, I cried for all the pain and suffering I had experienced since I married M, 10 months earlier.
I cried and I cried.
And I begged Hashem to save me from this evil man who was my husband.
(Continued June 1989)
I spent the next month in a constant state of anxiety. I was worried that my baby had been hurt. I went for my regular checkups, but I could not take in the information the Dr was offering. Listening to my baby's heart beat was no longer reassuring. I could not tell the Doctor what my husband was doing to me because I was afraid that his threats would become real, and he would kill me. I also felt very ashamed of what was happening and I did not have the courage to admit the truth.
As my due date approached my anxiety heightened. I so badly wanted to get beyond the birth, and find out if my baby was healthy.
One night in the middle of June I went into labor. My husband drove me to his parents house to pick up HIS mother, and from there we went to the hospital. Upon arrival I asked for the phone so that I could call my mother and tell her to come. Alas M refused to allow me to use the phone. He told me that my mother was a terrible person and she didnt deserve to know that I was about to give birth. I swallowed my tears and instead gave in to the pain of the contractions.
Soon I was in a bed and connected to a monitor. I could hear the steady heart - beat of my baby. After I was settled, M's mother came into the room. Mother and son both leaned over my bed and began to talk in low voices. They told me that I was not allowed to make a sound no matter how bad the pain became.
M told me if I made any noise he would do terrible things to me.
He said I should act with respect and not scream and yell like a wild woman.
I listened to him wide eyed and full of fear.
Needless to say, I remained silent throughout my labor and delivery.
M and his mom were on guard just waiting to hear my voice.
I did not give them the satisfaction. Hours later my baby was born, and I uttered not a sound.
The pain was incredible.
I felt as though my body was being split into two pieces.
Deep inside myself I screamed and screamed.
And no one heard my cries of pain, because my voice had been silenced.