You were here, my angel: A mother’s grief in pregnancy loss
In the quiet stillness of the night, as I’m rocking my newborn son to sleep, I think of you. I can feel his sweet little chest rise and fall. As his breathing deepens and he starts to snore, I think of you still. On the baby monitor to the left of me on the nightstand, I see my other son sleeping soundly in his bed. He’s in a twisted position that only a young child could fall asleep in, with toys and books scattered all over his bed. They both sleep. Not me though, because my mind is with you.
My two sleeping sweethearts are your brothers. And you are our angel.
A few weeks ago, a day passed on the calendar that probably didn’t mean much to most people. But for me, April 16 will always be a part of my soul. It was the day I went into the doctor’s office to see you at my 12-week ultrasound. I’ll never forget seeing your little body on that computer monitor. The ultrasound tech had gone out to get the doctor, and they were both standing over me observing the image on the screen. I could see your little barely formed face, your little undeveloped hands, but I couldn’t hear your heartbeat as I had been able to just a month prior. You were gone.
You were here though.
You were here when I told my mom and dad they would be getting their fourth grandchild that fall.
You were here when your daddy and I went on our first tour of our new house.
You were here when I stayed in bed, sick to my stomach with morning sickness.
You were here on Easter, when I was just starting to feel your presence in my belly.
You were here when I chased your brother around the house trying to get him dressed.
You were here for at least 20 grocery stores runs, picking up things I was craving because you were here.
You were here for St. Patrick’s Day, when I wondered if we’d give you an Irish name like your older brother.
You were here for so many things. For 10-and-a-half weeks you were here. You were ours.
Although I found out you had left about a week prior to my 12-week ultrasound, you were still there.
You were there when I was sent home that afternoon because there were no spots left on the surgical schedule.
You were there when your daddy left work to meet me in the hospital parking lot after that appointment.
You were there as we held each other and cried together for our lost baby.
You were there as I secretly tossed up a prayer to my grandmother, to hold you and take care of you in heaven until I’d be able to someday.
You were there that night, as I lay in my bed, dreading what was to come the following morning.
You were there as I cried myself to sleep that night, knowing I could feel your tiny lifeless body inside of me.
You were there when your daddy and I went back to the hospital the next morning.
You were there when they wheeled me in the operating room.
Then you weren’t. You were gone. At the advice of my doctors, for my own safety and well-being, and for the fact that my body just didn’t want to let you go on its own, you were taken away from me.
I cried in recovery. I cried for you every night for the next six months. I returned to my everyday life as a mom to your brother, secretly knowing something would always be missing.
It’d take me a long time, and another pregnancy lost not so far along, to put it all into perspective. You may not have been able to come into this world, but you are in fact still here. Although I’ll always wish you could be here with us … you are a part of me. You are a part of your daddy. You are a part of your older brother. You are a part of your new little brother too.
By all accounts, your little brother is what everyone would call our “rainbow baby.” He is our little blessing, but a rainbow is a beautiful occurrence after a storm. But to me, you were a ray of sunshine. I think that maybe your light was just too bright to be viewed for more than a short period of time. Like when one stares at the sun. It’s beautiful. It’s glorious. But, you cannot look at it for too long or you’ll hurt your eyes.
So, until I am able to look at your beautiful, glorious light again someday, you will remain my angel. I will love you always, my little sunshine.