Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A's Story - Part II

Continued from Part I.

E and I decided to induce that night. First, we had to walk home and get our hospital bag. The instinct was to dig my heels in; refuse to return to the hospital. I did not want to deliver my dead child. I did not want to face this reality. I did not want to think about it at all.

Though our eyes were red from crying, practicality set in and silently we threw last minute items into the hospital bag. I also began removing things we wouldn’t need: nursing bra, lanolin ointment, the stack of baby clothes and blanket. E speaks up, “Why don’t you leave the clothes in? You may want to dress the baby.” What a sweet, thoughtful man. He had such clarity in the midst of intense emotion and tragedy. His perceptiveness throughout our ordeal continues to impress me.

We drove back to the hospital. It was pouring now.

Together we agreed not to call any family members or friends. We would do this just the two of us.

After hours of hospital BS protocol like paperwork and blood draws, the induction finally began. We labored through the night and A was born late the following morning. I remember finally opening my eyes after the last push. The nurse was crying, the midwife was crying, the tears were streaming down E’s face.

A was absolutely perfect! I was so awed by the beautiful baby placed on my stomach that it was a full minute or two before I even thought to check if he was a boy or a girl. He looked very peaceful. I found myself anticipating him yawning, stretching an arm as if he was simply sleeping. Kept waiting for him to awake.

After some time of fawning over our son, we decided to call our parents. A is the first grandchild for 3 of the 4 parents. They each dropped what they were doing and raced to the hospital.

We had a wonderful day together as a family checking out every feature and detail of his flawless body, holding him, kissing him, talking to him, singing to him, taking photos, pressing his footprints. A truly memorable day.

We asked our folks to leave so that we could have an hour or so together, just the three of us. When the time came to go home, I placed him in the bassinet, wrapped in his blanket we had brought. I kissed his soft, cold cheek and we walked out of the room, closing the door behind us. I lost it right then and there. I couldn’t leave him!

E calmly said, “Let’s go back in.” We go back into the room and simultaneously, each kiss one of his cheeks. We again walk out and close the door. The cleaning lady is working in the room next door. “Is there somebody in there?” she asks. “There is.” replies E. “I won’t go in if someone’s in there.” she responds.

I bawl the entire walk down the hallway. Propped in the corner of the elevator I am sobbing. Crying like a banshee E escorts me toward the exit door. I cannot bear to leave my child. Deep down inside I know the second we walk through that door, I will never see my son again. As soon as we cross the door to outside, I collapse on the ground. E patiently sets down the gigantic hospital bag, picks me up, holds me, kisses my forehead and talks to me. Calmer, he hoists the bag to his shoulder again and we walk to the car for the short drive home.

The cord, placenta, membranes all looked normal. No immediate explanation for why he died. No warning signs that anything was amiss. We may never know for certain what happened.

What I do know for sure is that A will always be our firstborn. He will always be a part of our family, a part of our lives, a part of ourselves.


  1. Hello mama. thank you for coming by my blog. I just read your story and I am just so sorry you don't have your baby. It is tragic this life without our children. I think we will always ask ourselves WHY? and no answer or lack of one will ever actually help with our not having them in our arms. It is so unfair. I am here to abide with you.

  2. Logically I know it's futile to ask "Why?" but my heart won't relent. If I could "understand" what happened, why he died, then it might be easier to cope with. Thank you for your kind words and empathy.

  3. Your description of leaving the hospital without A is heartbreaking. My second daughter was stillborn in January and I will never forget how awful and unnatural it felt to leave her alone in that hospital room. I'm so sorry for you, for your husband and for your sweet little boy.

  4. Hi Daffodil Lover - Walking away from A was by far the hardest thing I've ever done. In retrospect, I am happy that we were the ones to walk away. That it was in our own time, in our own way, instead of some hospital personnel coming and taking him from us. This of course appeases logic but does not bring me much comfort.

    I am so sorry your darling Anja is not here with you and your family. She should be! She so should be.

    Know that there is support here in the blogosphere. You don't have to walk alone. Sending you healing energy.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by Michelle. I adore the photos of Jack. He's so full of life, so vibrant. Funny how so much personality can fit into a baby-sized body. Thinking of you and Jack and Baby in your womb.

  6. Oh that moment when you expect your baby to just move - gasp in a deep breath of air and shock everyone. I still run re-runs over in mind where he does... If only.


    1. I honestly think that for the rest of my days I will play in my mind the version of my life where he lives. How can I ever stop imagining the what if alternative?

  7. Hi there POM,
    You stopped by my blog today. I'm surprised I hadn't found yours before as we follow multiple overlapping blogs. I just read A's story tonight. I am truly sorry your perfect little awesome A is not here with you.