the story

Thanks to everyone who sent sympathy my way. On Wednesday I saw my OB and still had a closed, although shorter cervix. That night I started having contractions. The pain was so much and so different, I went to triage. When they checked me, their eyes told me it was over. I was effaced and dilated. All they could do was make me more comfortable. I couldn’t believe it. My daughter was still moving inside me, I could feel her, she was so alive, and they were telling me that I would have to deliver her, which would kill her.

I got an epidural. The pain went away. Many times I was asked if I would want to hold her or get pictures of her. I asked if we could have the body cremated. But I was living in a blur. It was just a nightmare, it couldn’t be real. I was numb but deep down I was screaming. I refused to eat or drink, terrified of feeling her movements knowing she would soon be dead. My blood sugar dipped down to 54, and I was given D5 and agreed to drink juice. My teeth were chattering so violently, my body in rigors, they decided to check me. I was complete and they told me I could push. Could push? Do I push or not? No one would give me a definitive answer. I pushed 3 or 4 times, I think. I delivered my daughter not into life, but into death. She was born “under the veil”, or inside her amniotic sac. She never breathed a breath in this world. I felt nothing, physically, until the moment of her birth. An animal like moan came out of me that I heard as if it was from someone else. It was the deep moan of so many women before me, delivering alive or dead babies.

Before she died, her name came to me very clearly, and I know, directly from her. Someone asked me what I would name her and although I’d never had this name in my mind before, it came out immediately, from deep down. She told me her name was “Avalon”. She is that place of beauty and wisdom that has drifted away from our world, never again to be reached but always to be sought after. I was given Avalon to hold. She weighed 7.5 oz and was 8.5 inches long. Her skin began turning brown quickly, her organs swelling. Her eyes were unopen. She had perfect hands and feet. Her left hand was bent up and covered the side of her face, just as she had liked to have it when I watched on ultrasound, just as mine had been when I was born, according to my mother.

We held her in a little pink blanket. We kissed her still bald head. I put my finer into her delicate, perfect hand. I touched her lips. Meanwhile the doctors pushed and pushed on my abdomen, and I felt the contents of my uterus gushing out every time they pushed. I was so drowsy, so deeply tired, I was so afraid I’d drop my baby. They took her away and I passed out. I woke up again as they told me I’m going to OR, to get the rest removed. I remember being moved down the hall, being stretched out on the OR table, my numb legs being positioned for me. Then nothing.

Again, waking up, this time I was alert. I screamed and cried and my called the nurse. They gave me ativan and I slept again. They sent me home the next day.

Now my body aches, my boobs are rock hard and screaming to be emptied, but there is nothing. No daughter, no dreams, no hopes. No counting each week till viability. No imagining her playing with her cousins, growing up on the lake. No maternity clothes, no doppler, no giggling and laughing with delight as she kicks at my hands from inside.

No more nothing.

Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

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