When I gave birth to Adrian this summer I thought, “Is there anyone in this hospital delivering an angel like I did three years ago (minus one week)?” When I heard screams from other women in labor, I prayed for everyone’s safety. When I heard babies crying, I hoped no woman was hearing those cries who was going home unexpectedly without a crying baby of her own. I even heard a cart being rolled down the hallway very quickly – almost in a run – and it tore me up inside to think about the reason the cart (possibly containing a baby, of course) would be in such a rush to get somewhere.
When I learned that Adrian had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck during delivery, I was so thankful I had a doctor I trusted so thoroughly. There was a part of me that couldn’t even address it, though, because the scenario scared me as I could have lost him so quickly in those moments when my doctor was cutting his cord so he could breathe.
And, now, sometimes I remain completely shocked at the horror of delivering my son who had already passed – the four days in the hospital waiting to deliver…the excruciating contractions without an epidural…the reality that I couldn’t change no matter how much time passed or how many tears I cried…
And to know so many women have a similar story. I literally know so many of them now. They go on to put themselves through pregnancy again in the hopes of a miracle…like I did, I am realizing as I type this. What brave women we are to deal with this knock-us-out loss that we aren’t supposed to talk about and somehow keep living – and even keep having babies. And even then, some of these subsequent babies make it into this world breathing and, for women like me, so many of these babies don’t.
So today, I remember the pain. I remember that you can’t grieve if you never loved in the first place. I honor all of you brave humans that have risked it all for love. Sometimes the most common things are the most unbelievable, whether it is life or whether it is death. Because of these memories that I pause for today in a special way, I will always have a deep gratitude for my Adrian that I don’t believe I could have felt without loving and knowing my other four little lost ones.
Today, yes, I remember the pain, but I also remember all the love, especially as I cuddle and kiss my little, chubby, healthy three-month-old sweetheart.