There are days where it still aches. And there are days when the pain is not so tangible anymore.
But there has yet to be a day where I forget.
My baby was supposed to make an entrance into this world, bright and breathing and full of life today. That life left this world months ago. Today will be a day that I will always remember, but never a day where I get to hold my baby close.
I loved my baby, and I always will. That sweet little child, just the size of my thumb, with the cutest little tongue I’ve ever seen. I wanted to stare at Z’s tongue forever, and never let my baby go.
When the contractions started, though full of sorrow, I was determined to deliver my baby at home. I remember telling God that if I had to lose my baby, I needed him to at least let me hold my baby. Being in the hospital wouldn’t give me that option. I came across lots of reasons to go in for a D&C when I started looking up natural miscarriages online. The bleeding and passing could take weeks. It is too traumatic and emotional to deliver a baby who is already gone. There is a risk of not passing everything, or bleeding too much. But I knew this was the right decision for me.
So when those contractions started, I went into delivery mode. With every contraction, I encouraged my body to keep going and deliver my baby. They started around 3pm, very similar to how my previous labor began. Throughout the evening they became more intense, but nothing I wasn’t expecting. I gave birth to my son without intervention, and this baby was much smaller than my 9# first born.
One of the saddest parts was allowing myself to take ibuprofen. It’s a medicine you are not supposed to take during pregnancy. Taking it that night only confirmed one terrible thing – my baby was not alive.
I labored for a while in the tub as the contractions got more intense. With every contraction I relaxed my body and coached the muscles to do their thing, all the while thinking, “I will hold my baby.” I congratulated my body after the hard contractions. And I wept between them all.
My son was still breastfeeding and I nursed him to sleep every night. This night was no different. I needed him close. I needed to know he was healthy and strong and full of life. And from my crunchy, natural mama research, I knew that nursing him would encourage the contractions to get stronger.
And they did. I delivered the placenta just as my husband put my son to bed. The next couple hours were filled with stronger contractions and more laboring in the tub. It was around 9pm when I began to think maybe I wouldn’t hold my baby after all. Maybe my baby was much smaller than I expected.
Just as I decided I had somehow missed my baby I felt the urge to push ever so slightly. Squatting in the shower I delivered my baby, small as my thumb, in the gestational sac. Alex was there in the bathroom with me. I asked him to come in after our son was in bed. I opened the sac, cut the umbilical cord, and asked Alex if he wanted to see our baby. We cried. And we marveled at such a tiny human. A tiny little human who looked to be so perfectly formed and knitted together.
The contractions kept going, and I kept losing blood. After talking to my midwife we decided to go to ER to make sure there weren’t any complications. I am a very matter of fact person and spent the next hours in ER without any tears. Everything was fine.
My body did an amazing job in a terrible situation. I was able to hold my baby. I studied every little detail. Only two inches tall crown to rump, but full of wonder. Ten toes, ten fingers. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth. Itty bitty tongue. Just twelve weeks old.
I will never know in this lifetime why my baby left so soon. July 30th will forever be a day that ends with more questions than it does answers. It will be a day that I will not hold my baby as long as I am here on earth.
But there was a day that I held my little one. It was a sad day full of weeping. But it was a day that I will forever be grateful for. It was a day that testified and served as witness that there was life in my womb. And that life was beautiful.