Had a midwife appt yesterday... and she couldn't find the heartbeat. I thought he'd felt less active, but I've been contracting a lot, prodromal labor, in pain, exhausted and distracted and it was hard to tell.
The hospital visit confirmed what I just somehow knew and had dreaded... our baby was gone. The ironic news was I was 6-7 cm and 85% effaced... those ctx really had done something.
He was born at 10:14 pm on April Fool's Day...some joke... a tiny 5lb 4oz - tiny like his sister was. Tiny and perfect. There was no sign of... anything. No knot in the cord, placenta was normal, he was normal, no infection, no fever, nothing in the bloodwork. No explanation.
At first I couldn't believe the universe would do this. My dad died in February... and we named him after both grandpas. We were going to surprise my mom with his name. And now this? Really? Could anything be more cruel?
The birth was thankfully fast - they gave me a tiny bit of pit, but I pushed him out pretty quickly. Although I've never had a more painful birth, in more ways than one. It was like my body didn't want to do it... it was all me. I had to make the conscious choice to birth him, and part of me just wanted to hold on...
The kids were there... not for the birth, we had a friend in the waiting room with them, but after... and we did get to hold him... the staff took pictures, and were very kind. Things are so different now than back in the days when they whisked the baby away and you never saw them...
The only thing I keep thinking is, "Why?" And there's just no answer and probably never will be.
I feel like I've stepped across some threshold into another world. The dark side of motherhood. We carry so much, when we carry life. We're carrying death with us all the time as well. I knew it on an intellectual level... every bit of anxiety or worry, everything I did or didn't do, questioning... but I had no idea what that felt like, not really... not until I stepped through this door and birthed my baby still.
And why do people say inevitably say all the wrong things? And why don't I care? I always winced, as an outsider, when someone said the "wrong thing" to someone who was grieving... as the one grieving, I can only look from outside myself at them and know they're trying to comfort themselves... they can't touch this pain... they try so hard, they want to understand, but the unimaginable is, truly... And when we're outside of it, we can sympathize, but I think we try not to picture it. I know I did. A good defense... there but by the grace of god go I... so sorry for your loss (and thank god it isn't me...)
And then it is you.
Last night, I didn't think anyone could possibly understand. But in the light of day, I know that even this pain has been born and survived by women, all of us connected. I'm truly humbled. As broken and destroyed as I feel, there is a small part of me buoyed knowing there are women who have been here, too.