As you may have surmised from the previous post our third child has preceded us to heaven. At our thirteen week appointment they couldn't find a heartbeat. They rushed me into the ultrasound room to take a closer look. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do, since I knew I was looking at my dead baby. Damm wasn't there; we hadn't had any inkling of anything being wrong so I thought it was just going to be a routine, in-and-out thing. It was a Tuesday. Friday we went into the hospital so they could induce me. I asked for another ultrasound, not because I thought they were wrong but because I knew I would have nightmares if I didn't make sure. Once again, no movement, no blood flow, no heartbeat.
So they put the little pills in and we settled down to wait. Once the pain hit I asked for drugs because I didn't want to feel anything. For six hours Damm and I sat together, trying not to feel or think. Then my water broke and I did too. All the emotions I had tried to control became uncontrollable. I asked Damm to read verses to me from the Bible about heaven. Then our midwife came in and was able to pull the baby out. I asked to see, dreading it but knowing I needed to. I think that was another worst moment; I vaguely remember sobbing the words "Oh God" and then "don't let me drop him" (they were able to determine it was a boy" as they gave him to me to hold. We took pictures, they took pictures and it's something I don't think I will ever share. He was perfect; I could see all ten minuscule fingers and toes. Then they left us to recover and to monitor my condition. An hour or so later I asked to see Cayden again. I hadn't been able to say I loved him or say goodbye when I had first held him. They brought him in, four inches long and weighing barely anything wrapped in a little knit hand towel. We said goodbye, I said I loved him, and then I asked them to take his body away. Once they determined everything was ok with me they discharged us. I asked for an Ambien so I wouldn't dream.
Then another few days of torture began. We scheduled his funeral for the following Thursday. Dreams, horrible ones, haunted me and I didn't want to sleep. I didn't feel like I could properly grieve until after the funeral. The day of the funeral I held myself together remarkably well. It was very small, very beautiful and just what I wanted. The baby area looks like a butterfly garden. That night the dreams stopped; I knew Cayden was safe in heaven and also safe on earth. The grieving, the kind that only time can try to subdue, has just begun.
People ask me how I am. I say I'm functional. Really, though, only Tolkien suffices:
“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep...that have taken hold.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King