Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Having Nathaniel

I have a difficult story to tell. But it is one that I feel very strongly needs to be shared with others. It is a story that is going to lay bare very grieving wounds for me, and for those who read it who share in our sorrow. It will also open wounds in those who have experienced something similar. My hope is that Nathaniel's story can help heal both our wounds and perhaps begin a path of healing for those who still carry deep grief within them from the loss of a child. This is part one of our journey.


I am so very grateful for the courage I was given to make the choice that Monday in November to bring you forth naturally. I desperately want to know what happened to you, and needed to see your beautiful little face and hold you in my arms. I was afraid- so afraid I would not be up to being strong and facing my grief for your loss. I needn't have worried. From the moment I went into labor and delivery, I knew it should be this way and no other. Most importantly, I was selfish. I wanted more than anything else to have stolen moments with you that we could only have in this way. I was so aware of the fact that I was caught between two worlds. Your life had gone out within my body perhaps weeks ago. Though I knew your soul could no longer be found within my body, your body was my Earthly connection to you. When they found my cervix to be en tact I was again happy to have been granted a few more precious hours to carry you within my womb. Daddy and I rested with you knowing the long emotional hours that lay ahead of us. I placed my hands over my belly most of those hours just trying to memorize and feel your presence. I knew only too quickly the time would come for us to be separated and I just wasn't ready for you to leave me physically. Being pregnant with two small children in our house isn't the same as being pregnant with your first- or even second. Time flies much too quickly and it is difficult to be aware of every detail- and in a lot of ways, I resented, or more accurately lamented, this truth. In so many ways, I knew you would be my last time to carry a baby and I so wanted to relish every moment. The reality is that you struggle to get through the day- but you do because you know that incomprehensible prize of joy is waiting at the end. All the while you worry that you are taking too much on, you remember to eat healthy, and you cradle your belly at those precious times of rest when you can be alone with your thoughts of the new little person growing inside of you. You worry about the economy, the state of the world, the state of your house- and then you realize all you have to do is love and care for this little one, and that, my son, is so easy.

When the doctor gave me the medicine to start my contractions I was so sad. I was still so excited to see you but this was happening in a way that I had never imagined it ever would and I was struggling with that truth. As I was trying to come to terms with your leaving my body four months too soon, I was well aware of the next phase of my grief and that was having to give your precious little body away. I prayed for some time to calmly sit with you inside me before my contractions began and we were so graciously given that time. It gave me the courage to shun the epidural. I wanted to experience this birth to the fullest I possibly could- even the pain. When I recognized the contractions, I began to summon up the strength to do the most difficult thing I have ever done. Whatever time has been stolen from our future, I wanted to have these hours with you- in the only way that was given to us. When the pain began to get really hard to handle, they gave me something that took off the edge. By some miracle, it wore off before the last three or four violent contractions. A short time of peace then occurred and one of intense clarity. My waters ran forth, and I felt your little body drop into position. And then, there you were.

1 comment:

mama bear said...

Our baby boy will always be with you. He is, as is Wren and Dane, so fortunate to have you as MOTHER. This is a beautifully written tribute to a beautiful little boy and a beautiful woman, not only in face, but in spirit. I thank God for you and your gifts every day.