I remember the day that I first saw you on the ultrasound. Being our third child, we didn’t want to be surprised about whether you would be our son or our daughter. However, you had your own ideas as you kept your tiny little legs clamped together the entire ultrasound. Your Grandma commented that your profile in the ultrasound photo looked just like your brother J, more like your Dad’s side of the family. We would find out much too soon that she was right.
Even though we couldn’t be sure from that one test that you were a little girl, I knew. I knew you were going to be my Hannah from the moment that I knew about your existence.
I remember one night while working, your normally tiny little flutter became one giant kick. I actually grabbed my stomach and commented about you letting me know that you were there. I didn’t know at the time that it would be the last time that I felt you move. I believe now that you were saying goodbye.
Later that night, I felt that something was not quite right. It wasn’t anything physical with me, just a feeling about you. Since I worked on a labor and delivery unit, we listened for your heartbeat. They reassured me that you were still so very small and it was nothing to worry about when we didn’t hear your heartbeat. I wanted to believe them. But, I knew.
A couple days later, I went to my normal appointment. The girls at work had already warned my doctor. He asked me why I didn’t talk to him sooner. At 22 weeks, what could he have done? I was in denial and waiting allowed me to hold onto you for a bit longer.
He sent me to the hospital for another ultrasound. She excused herself from the room. My worst fears were quietly confirmed in that moment. Dr. L burst into the room a few moments later. He grabbed ahold of me and told me how sorry that he was. I was crushed. Truthfully, I still am!
I was admitted to labor and delivery to be induced. The girls that I worked with took care of me. Our pastor came to see me. The medication made me very sick. At some points, I became delirious. Your Dad even had to carry me to the bathroom a few times. He witnessed me at my worst.
But, I always knew that God was with me. I remember during the labor that I looked to the doorway and saw my friend and her sister in law standing in the doorway holding hands. They were surrounded by bright white light. Later, I would learn that they did not visit but they had prayed for me.
You came into this world with your amniotic sac intact. Grandma kept me from seeing when they cut the sac open and you emerged. They announced what I already knew, “it’s a girl.” The nurse, my friend, told me that you looked like your brother, J. Dr. L noted 3 kinks in your cord where you had twisted around. One looked as if someone had actually placed a hemostat on it. They hadn’t.
After they took care of business … weighed you, measured you, foot printed you & took your photo, I held you. You were so tiny. Your skin was so fragile and dark. Someone took our photo as a family. Those photos became lost at the hospital. Your hair was just fuzz, so we couldn’t take a keepsake lock.
Since you fell below the weight where you had to be buried, my doctor offered to “take care of you” for us. I was in shock and let your father decide. I regret that. I cannot get the vision of you floating in a white bucket in formaldehyde out of my mind. But, to be honest, I am not sure the vision of you nestled in a tiny coffin underground would be any better. And when we left Texas, I would have had to leave you behind.
Once we went home from the hospital, we tried to go back to normal … for your brother’s sake. But, nothing ever goes back to normal after losing your baby. Nothing!
** I have combined two posts today into one. My last day for the Black and White Photo 5 Day Challenge AND today’s assignment for the Writing 101 class on Blogging U.
Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.
Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.
Part Two Coming Soon!