Photo Credit: Julia Williams
Other than first trimester migraines, you have a wonderful pregnancy and your baby passes all check ups with flying colors.
You find out it’s a boy and start imagining your life with him. You feel him move in your belly and play jazz and classical music to watch him dance to the beat. You choose a name, sign up for a daycare, fully furnish and decorate the nursery, wash all the baby clothes and neatly fold them, buy a stroller, pick a pediatrician, and officially start your maternity leave.
Then one afternoon, you realize you haven’t felt your son move all day. You start to feel nervous, but your husband comforts you saying that he may have grown out of space and simply doesn’t have much more room, or is just tired from the long walk you took with him.
You went to see the doctor two days prior, and everything was perfect, so you go to bed thinking you are just over-exaggerating. But you can’t sleep the entire night, longing for him to move. At 5:45 am you decide it’s enough. You get up, make a coffee and eat half a pack of chocolates to trigger his movement.
You drive to the hospital thinking that he will be okay, but when you get there, the doctor tells you that your perfectly healthy baby‘s heart has stopped beating, and there is nothing they can do.
You are 35 weeks pregnant. Your entire world crashes and you feel a pain deeper than anything else you have ever experienced before.
You are induced, but before that you are sent home to gather clothes for your hospital stay and asked to bring a nice outfit for your baby. You are so scared and frightened to deliver and meet your dead son. You are waiting for labor to start and once it does, are experiencing an unbearable physical and emotional pain.
Then the doctor can see your baby’s head, and you know you are about to meet him.
Your husband tells you that he has a head full of hair. You start screaming and crying. You push one last time and he is there. No screams, just deafening silence.
The doctor places your perfect baby boy in your arms. You still feel the warmth of his lifeless body and hope he will wake up. But then, for just a few moments, you forget that your baby is not alive.
You feel a love you have never felt before and are in awe of his beauty. You count every toe and finger and examine every little part of your first born. He is 50cm tall and weighs 2622 grams. You notice he has daddy’s feet and mommy’s chin. You hug him so tight and cover him with kisses.
Then you need to say goodbye.
You come home and stand in his nursery. You hold his blanket and sit in his rocking chair. You cannot breathe. You cry yourself to sleep and can barely open your eyes the next morning.
Your body is hurting from the delivery. You now have the body of a mom, but your child is not with you.
And then comes all the paperwork and formalities. You need to request a death certificate, pick out an urn, coordinate the autopsy with the hospital, and arrange the pick up with the funeral home.
You desperately look for answers, but there are none to find. Even the autopsy results are inconclusive.
You try to move forward, but keep reliving every single moment over and over again. Your heart is broken, but you now understand what unconditional love is and are forever thankful that your perfect baby angel chose you to be his Mama.
Thank you Julia Williams / @jollego for sharing your story here. Shared with permission.
Through stories, research, life tips, and creative and mindfulness-based practices, It's Okay That You're Not Okay offers a unique guide through an experience we all must face as loss parents, showing us to live with compassion during a season of grief.
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