Her daughters were stillborn, but born still.
This is her story:
here comes another one
i know. i can feel it.
oh this is a big one
yes. i feel it.
my father sat in the corner, still and quiet until he saw the line on the screen start moving up, showing my contractions not only for me to feel but for the room to see. he announced each one to us five. it was all he could do. the best way he knew how to handle it, and that’s the only reason that it didn’t drive me crazy.
each clench was readying my body for something i was willing every shred of my being against. what we all were wishing against. we watched as the line went up…and down…sometimes higher…then lower…
i was in denial i guess, or shock. whichever. i wasn’t reeling in pain or wracked by sorrow. i was focused. i sat and felt my belly pinch and waited for the announcement.
another one is coming
T had panic attacks. my mother called all the nurses and doctors she had on speed-dial. my sister stared. my brother called and cried. my nana called and cried.
my father and i watched the screen.
the screen that showed my babies’ heart rates, as perfect as they were. the screen that showed my contractions; big, small and in between, ex-fucking-actly 4 goddamn months too soon.
until she came in. she said it was time to unhook the monitors, said it wasn’t necessary anymore. and in a moment, dad and i were back again to the quiet, still place. T tried to control his rage, my sister still stared. my mom talked and nursed and fixed my blankets and monitored my pain.
i felt my girls kick and bubble and turn. how could i tell them it was their last day, their last hurrah? why did i have to let them go so easily? you would think the one thing in the world you would be able to, absolutely need to do is fight for your children’s’ lives, right? i should have been able to motherfucking fight.
it was quiet. too quiet. i longed for my monitor back, and i asked the nurse for it every time she came back in the room. suggested it as a solution to whatever random issue she happened to be concerned with at the time.
maybe we should put the monitors back on?
and the same answer came every time; somber, no. she heard the undercurrent in my voice, growing more desperate with each request. no. she didn’t explain. she just said no.
now i know why.
even now i’d give anything to be back in that room. (a room that i can hardly imagine continues to exist, holding happy families and living babies)
back in those moments when i had them, even under those horrifying circumstances. i’d give it all up to be there holding them inside, watching the screen with my father. looking from right to left and seeing people who loved me and my daughters. we had waited for them so long and we didn’t even get to fucking fight to keep them. they just slipped away.
but what i wouldn’t give to be back there.
back when they weren’t safe for long, but held for now.