Photo Credit: Akane Noma
It was supposed to be one exciting day of my third pregnancy.
I was going for my 15-week check up, and if I’d passed this one, my husband and I were going to break the happy news to our family - including our first born 3 year old who was dying to become a big sister!
I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks the prior year, so didn’t want to get my daughter excited too early - it was ‘just in case’.
The same doctor who said my baby was growing just fine a month ago, ran the ultrasound and I even videoed the screen for my husband who missed hospital check ups due to COVID restrictions.
I knew immediately something was wrong. There was no movement of the baby, and I couldn’t see the blue light which always showed the heartbeat and was my biggest comfort every visit.
The doctor said he can’t find the heartbeat, and it’s a miscarriage. I quietly stopped the videoing.
Four days later, I was back in the hospital to deliver my sleeping baby. I don’t remember how I spent that weekend before returning to the hospital, except crying endlessly holding tight onto my husband who must have felt the exact same devastation.
Once back in hospital, I said to myself I’m going to give the birth my baby so deserves, and that’s what I have to do as his mother. The doctors hadn’t spotted yet, but I knew it was a he.
On Tuesday Feb 8, just passed noon, my baby boy was born at 5.5inches/120g. My waters didn’t break and he came out wrapped in his sac and the nurse told me it was a “mermaid birth”. Supposedly the most safest way for a baby to be born, both for the baby and the mother, and it’s rare even with stillbirth.
He was in perfect state, just so so beautiful. We took him home for the next three days, before he was cremated. We had to keep his body cold so he was in a separate room during the day, but at night after my daughter went to bed, we would bring him to the living room and my husband even poured him his beer to share.
I loved looking down on his small beautiful face, and countless times I told him how we love him and will be in our hearts forever.
The night his body left the earth side, we saw stars in the sky. We never find stars where we live because of the city smog, but that night was different. We knew he’s safe back up there.
I couldn’t give him the life he would have had, but I was able to give him a dignified birth. I’m proud of myself for that. And he responded back in so many ways: how he was delivered, the perfect state he stayed in for the three days he was home, and then the clear sky with stars. That should be enough. More than enough.
Thank you Akane Noma for sharing your story. Shared with permission.
Pregnancy and infant loss can leave grieving parents feeling isolated and unsure how to navigate the heartbreaking circumstance of living without their precious baby. Unexpecting delicately helps grieving parents navigate the complexities and heartache of life after loss.
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