last week I was watching Grey's Anatomy, which surprisingly has always been a show that does so well portraying the loss of a baby. this last week- they had a mom with twins (spoiler alert) who had only one that was going to live. after the doctor does his best to try to save the other twin - and sees that it isn't going to live, he picks it up off the operating table and holds the sweet baby until he dies. I don't know that doctors can or do this- but the mommy who lost a baby likes to think that they do. because we need that. we need to know that our babies lives matter and are real.
it immediately reminded me of the morning after Sophia was born. the hardest moment of my life has been that moment that I handed my baby over to the nurse to take her away. I had to hand over this sweet baby whose life had been entrusted to me for 37 weeks. who was alive and kicking right through her birth. who I had planned on loving no matter what, but that was taken from us. she was our sweet girl! I gave her one last kiss and hard look trying to memorize every little bit of her... from the curls on her head to her cute little toes. but I can't tell you how thankful I was to not have to put my baby on some cart to be wheeled off... I got to hand my baby over to a nurse to hold and to simply carry her off wrapped up in her blanket and smelling like the freshly washed newborn that she was. who I hoped smiled at her and loved her all the way to her destination in the hospital. i hope that all the people who came in contact with her through the hospital, through the morgue/autopsy, through the funeral home- all took special care of her and loved on her just a tiny bit. i hope they all acknowledged her sweet life and carried her with them in their hearts just a little while- and maybe went home and hugged their full of life children so much harder that night.
i'm a hot crying mess today because someone very dear to me is going to have to do this today with their sweet baby. her darling girl is going to be born and they will have some time to love on her, but they will have to hand her off to someone, never to be seen on earth again. i can't tell you the ache and pain that this carries. all i know is that i have never experienced a pain in your heart so painful that it is physical. your arms literally ache to hold your child again. you think- how can i do this? how can i give away the most precious gift i have been given? but you do. and you carry that sweet baby with you forever. it's almost 5 years ago now that we held our first daughter Sophia in our arms. and although the pain has gotten easier to bear, it is still a big spot in my heart. tender and painful at times.
i have walked along a lot of mommas in the past 5 years (mostly friends and friends of friends) helping encourage and give them advice on how to say goodbye to their babies. i can't say it gets easier, as my heart truly aches for these mommas, but i love helping them love those sweet babies the best they can and making as many memories as they can- because in the end, that is all we have. sweet memories that hurt so much but are worth all the pain.
with it being infant loss awareness month... i have been praying every day for all my friends who have suffered loss. i know i don't talk about it a lot but i am still the momma to Sophia and am honored to walk with these mommas. i hope my sweet girl is welcoming them all to heaven- healed and waiting their for their mommas to hold them again.
if you care to give in honor of these sweet babies- I recommend www.stringofpearlsonline.org to help support those who support mommas all over country that are carrying sweet babies.