Saturday, June 4, 2016

10

Ten years ago today, almost a week past her due date, my first baby girl, Abigail Ruth, was born sleeping.  At the age of 33 and pregnant for the first time, I was naive when it came to childbirth and didn't know this could happen.  Of all the books I'd read and shows I'd watched and stories I'd heard, stillbirth was never discussed, mentioned, noted.  Nothing.  God forbid we scare the pregnant women.

Ten years later and I still live with regret.  I blame myself.  I regret not calling the doctor the night before.  I thought the pain I felt was labor.  I was past her due date after all.  Maybe my guilt was ignited by the finger pointing that occurred when I arrived at the hospital.  No, I didn't take any drugs.  Yes, please run as many blood tests as you want.  No, my water didn't break.  MY WATER DID NOT BREAK!  There was almost no amniotic fluid left.  I know from the autopsy that she suffocated.  Too late, but now I've done my research.  With barely amniotic fluid for cushion, her lifeline was crushed.  I live with that.  Ten years later and I still remember the last kick she gave me at five o'clock that morning.

I regret not holding her for longer.  For not pulling back the blanket she was swaddled in to cradle her tiny feet. I regret the fact that the few photos I have of her are shitty.  There are no do-overs with death.    

I fear she will be forgotten because she only ever lived within me.  Time marches on and people forget.  I'm sometimes afraid to say her name for fear that the response will be "who?"

Count the kicks, kiss your babies, hug your little ones and realize that all you have is beyond wonderful.

15 comments:

Megan G said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My sister was still born 31 years ago and I still think of her often. I know your girls will think of their sister as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Julia said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story and making us aware of both the possibility and of how people who have lived this feel about awareness and talking about your little ones.

I am sorry you had to go through the blame throwing at the hospital. We know the prodding and testing is statistically and often specifically necessary and correct, but it is offensive when we know we are not the subjects the procedures are intended for. Not to mention health workers are often terrible with human relations and assume everyone is guilty until proven otherwise. In my country, a similar situation happens with miscarriages: abortion is overall illegal except in a couple of situations, and women who suffer miscarriages, on top of their own sadness and pain, often face horrible accusations and mistreatment in hospitals because someone always presumes they are lying about it being spontaneous.

Ruby Reads said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My mom's first baby was born sleeping 48 years ago in very similar circumstances. Your daughters will remember their sister even though they never met her, just like my sisters and I remember the brother who lived and died before we were born. Charles has always been a part of our lives. Abigail will always be part of her sisters' lives. As they grow up and you share with them about your pregnancy, hopes and dreams for Abigail she will be very much alive for them.
xx

Ali said...

I know this might sound odd, but thank you so much for sharing this. Thank you for not keeping it to yourself, although it's painful and sometimes you might feel like keeping it for yourself.

Farah said...

My heart breaks for you. That precious baby. Thank you for sharing this. It is easy for me to get aggravated when my 3 week old son won't sleep and fusses when he's not being held or nursing. Through the difficult times, I'm grateful that he's alive and healthy. He's only going to be this little once, and one day he won't need me like he does now.

Tracey's Life said...

Sarah, I don't know any mother who has lost a child that ever stops grieving. I think you writing about her and sharing your thoughts and feelings is healthy. There are some who may have differing opinions, however they have not walked your walk or lived your grief. Whatever avenue you find that gives you even the slightest bit of relief, that is what is right for you. I can't say I know your pain, but I do have friends who do, and they keep their child's memory alive by sharing. I think that is special, wonderful and a honor and a privilege to bear witness to your words. Don't stop <3

Tammy Moss said...

Words do not exist to comfort a mother who has lost a child. You writing tells me of the love you have for Miss Abigail.

Kandice said...

Thank you for sharing this. I know it must be hard to put into words what you feel every day but especially on her birthday. My friend's first son was still born and hearing your thoughts reminds me of her and the pain she went through and still has every day.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I can only imagine the emotions between this milestone, coupled with your last day of work last week. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you.

Siné said...

Thank you for continuing to write about your sweet Abigail. She lives on in your words and her sisters will know her through you. This weekend at Mass, the priest gave a homily directing everyone in the parish to pray for parents who have lost a child. As a mother who has lost 3 babies before birth, I appreciated it, but it was also a good reminder for me to keep praying for others who have lost children. I am praying for you and Rich this week.

Katie said...

My heart just breaks for you. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I know it is something you will carry with you for the rest of your life and commend you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, which I'm sure is very difficult. My heart is with you.

Carrie G. in MN said...

Thank you for continuing to talk about Abigail. It's always been clear to me how very much you loved her, and I'm sure that love you have is clear to your other three girls as well. You're a wonderful mom, and I admire you.

MCox said...

This story really struck a cord with me because when I was past due with my son, one of the concerns was that the amniotic fluid could be drying up. This didn't turn out to be the case because it turned out I had so much fluid, doctors feared prolapsed cord--which was another story altogether. I guess what I am trying to say is that this could happen to anyone. I am sorry for the grief you will always carry. I cannot imagine it and I don't think that anyone who has not lost a child ever can.

The Houstons said...

Thank you for sharing Abigail with us, always. She will never be forgotten. She lives on as a whisper in the quiet part of my thoughts. When I am exhausted or frustrated with my twin toddlers and 5 year old, I recall how precious and short lived the difficult times are and that I am damn lucky to have them. Thank you, Sarah.

BreezieGirl said...

I was behind in reading, but I still wanted to comment on this one. Lots of love your way. <3