A journal of infant loss - part 1

16 years ago today I held my first child in my arms.  Today is also the anniversary of his death. 

He had been diagnosed with Trisomy 18 halfway through my pregnancy.  The term used by medical professionals to describe our son was "not compatible with life".  Those horrible words have been seared into my heart since that day.  I despise them because even though our sons life was short, it was still a life.  His life may not have been what every parent hopes for their child but he was definitely compatible with love.

This afternoon I dug out an old pregnancy journal that had been stuck away in storage and began to read it.  This is where it begins...

April 2, 2000

I bought this journal today because I want to record this pregnancy.  I want to be able to look back at this time in our lives and remember the time I spent with my baby. I am now 25wks pregnant.

I am feeling you moving all the time now.  Each week the thought of loosing you becomes more unbearable. Some days I think I've accepted it and seem ok with it. Others, like today I feel like I could break down at any moment. On those days an intense sadness grips my heart and a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness cloud over every aspect of my life. I long to be able to hold you and show you how much I love you.  All I can hope for at this point is the chance to see you alive. I don't know if that's too much to hope for or not.

{ Lord, please let us see our baby alive.  We've accepted the fact that he will be taken home to heaven early but please leave him with us for a moment }

Your Daddy got to feel you move recently. It's so nice for him to have a physical bond with you now. Although, I have been amazed at how much he loves you and feels connected to you even without ever knowing you, feeling you move, or seeing you (other than in ultrasounds). You're his son and he's been proud to call you that since we found out you were a boy.

We have your clothes all ready for you.  Grandma and Grandpa B made you a quilt and pajamas.  Grandma and Grandpa W made you a little sweater set.  They love you too.

When I feel you move, you feel so strong and innocent.  You have no idea that anything is terribly wrong with you or that there is supposed to be anything other than the womb you know as your whole world. I feel guilty preparing for your death when you are still so much alive.

April 3, 2000

I'm having a much better day today.  I have a burst of unexpected energy and rejuvenation. Maybe it's the sun.  I went for a long walk down to Office Max after work.  I bought some little cards and paper to put your foot prints on.  I bought you a little Beanie Lamb.  It's tiny and cute like you. Every baby needs a little stuffed animal whether you'll know about it or not.

I feel kind of silly sometimes. People might think I'm over reacting or getting too much stuff ready for you but that's what feels right. I want your life to be as significant and memorable as possible.

I still want to take pleasure in you and take pride in your existence. I almost feel ashamed of those feelings like I have lost the right to be a proud mother. I have already lost the innocence of knowing a normal pregnancy.  I don't know what it's like to prepare for a baby, to dream about the baby wiggling inside me, or wonder what his future will be, all the natural things that have become something unnatural and foreign to me.  I do not wait in anxious anticipation for delivery and a baby to nurse and cuddle.  I'm in uncharted territory but it feels normal to me now.  It's all I know. I long to know the joy everyone else feels during pregnancy.

                                                          to be continued....  (part 2)

No comments: