Just a warning, this blog is about to get serious, ya’ll. So if you get emotional easily, stop right now. Just click the back button, I won’t blame you. 🙂
This is a short essay (? . . . if that’s what you want to call it) that I wrote in 2009 when we lost our baby girl at 22 weeks 2 days gestation. It was then “published” in my college magazine. I use the term “published” loosely. I decided to post it on here because I know from personal experience that there are women out there who have had stillborn babies, miscarriages, late-term miscarriages, elective termination to save their lives or because the baby was in pain or unable to survive, D & C, D & E, infertility, etc., etc., etc. and are looking for women to share in their loss. I remember scouring the internet looking for women who had the same experiences as me, who had cried, screamed and felt the empty ache of arms without a baby to hold.
I’m sorry if you’re reading this because that has happen to you. I don’t have the answers. I can’t tell you why or when it will get better but I promise you it will get better. Every day I look at my beautiful children and I am so happy. But some days, when I have a sorrowful look in my eyes, my husband guides me to a beautiful cedar box we keep in our china hutch. He gets it and out and tells me to spend time with our little girl. In there are is a beautiful ceramic heart with her ashes, pictures of her little hands and feet, the hat we dressed her in and the blanket she was wrapped in. I smell it, though it smells nothing like her and all of cedar. I weep, despite the playful giggles that I hear from my living room and I tell her how much I miss her. Then I go one with my life. Because despite the fact that this happened, my life is still beautiful.
The Littlest Wish
My Darling Girl,
There are many things I’ve wished for in my life. I remember wishing that recess would last longer or that Santa would bring me my favorite toy. I wished that the boy would call, that I could pay my bills that month. I wished for enrichment, for love. Wishes that changed as I grew. Wishes that showed the woman I was becoming.
Then you became my wish. I wished for two little lines to tell me you were real. I wished that you could hear my voice. I wished I could feel you kick. I wished for fuzzy blankets and mismatched socks. I wished for that sweet baby smell and Goodnight Moon. I wished for giggles, first steps, first words, first loves. I wished that I would watch the woman you would become.
Then I wished the doctors were wrong. I wished that every test said you were fine, healthy. I wished that someone would run into the waiting room and shout “IT WAS ALL A JOKE!!” I wished the second and third opinions were different. I wished I would wake up from a bad dream. I wished there was something I could do to heal you. Make you better, make you stronger. I wished they could tell me why so I had someone or something to blame, even if it was myself. I wished the doctors would stop telling me that there was nothing I could have done, because I would have done everything, EVERYTHING to save you.
I wish I had never turned my head when your heart stopped beating. I wish when I held you, I had cried harder, screamed louder and let go of every social norm that held me back from the anguish of losing you. I wish that your hands had been big enough to wrap around my finger and you had been able to look at me and know I was your Mama.
I have had many wishes in my life. I’ve had many mentors, lovers and friends. I would trade them all for just one wish. I would trade them all for you.
I love you, my darling girl,
Our baby was born after her heart stopped. I delivered her naturally, already knowing she was gone, with my husband and the women who were closest to me present. Together we all worked and cried to bring our beautiful baby girl into the world, even though she would never see it. She was 1 pound, 9 ounces, 10.63 inches. She also had her fathers lips and her brothers nose.
If you are experience the loss of a child, pregnancy or conception, please know you are not alone. There are many resources out there that offer counseling at little or no cost. If that is not an option, visit your local library. There are books to help you including; Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by, Deborah L. Davis. They offer books for children who are experiencing the loss of the sibling as well and I highly recommend; We Were Going to Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead by, Pat Schwiebert. Also visit the websites, http://grieveoutloud.org/ and www.iamtheface.org
Lastly, find what’s therapeutic for you. I liked to journal and walk. I also liked to throw Kleenex boxes and scream into a pillow. (Hey, if you gotta, you gotta.)