He should have been breathing. He looked so beautiful. I could not take my eyes off of him, only to wipe my tears away. As we sat there in silence together, Mother and Son I felt so much love and sadness all at once. I wanted to kiss his lips, and his cheeks but I was to afraid. His skin had already started to deteriorate off of his hands and his neck. We could tell that he had been deceased for at least a full day. His lips were a dark shade of purple. He was so delicate and so fragile. I was afraid I would break him when holding him. I studied his eyes and the shape of his head and could see in fact that he did have Trisomy 21. I could see that he did have Downs Syndrome. After a few more minutes of staring in shock at his beautiful face my Mid wife held up his umbilical cord to show me a “True Knot”. The knot was so tight you could have missed it. We believe this knot was the cause of his death. When I saw that Knot I was furious. What a tragic tragic thing to happen. What a horrific accident.
I looked around the room and everyone was silent and most of every had left. I gave him to Eric to hold on to and I watched my Husband’s heart break. It is a rarity to see Eric cry. When I did see his face covered in tears I knew this was taring him apart. He sat down on the couch next to his Mother and cried. “This isn’t fair. This isn’t right.” In that moment Eric and I shared an un bearable pain. We were sad for Jack, but also sad for one another.
Stephanie our sweet Nurse put Jack in this adorable hat and suit. He just looked so handsome in it. I wish I had kept that suit!
It was to much to handle. My brain could not wrap around the fact that this baby was gone. We were all gathered around a beautiful baby boy who was gone. The room should have been filled with love, filled with joy, filled with Laughter. I remember the day we welcomed Scarlett into the world. It was the happiest day of my life. It was day and night what we were experiencing. This was not joy at all. This was a cruel joke.
I remember dozing off. I was so out of it. I was so intoxicated with sadness and exhaustion from labor. I eventually passed out. When I woke up the nurses were trying to feed me and bring Jack back to the room. I was so tired from being upset and crying over him, I asked them to give me time. This decision is something I regret. Looking back I wish I had held on to him as long as I could. I wish I could have snuggled his body as long as I could, but I was tired, and there was only so much my heart could take. Holding your dead baby wipes you of everything you have inside of you. I was tired. I was sad. I was inconsolable. I wouldn’t eat, I wouldn’t drink much. I just laid there lifeless on the bed staring at the ceiling. Eric kept trying to get me to eat but that was impossible. I felt sick to my stomach. My Son was not alive to eat, so why should I eat?
My Family began to trickle in to say good bye. Everyone was headed home. I was afraid of this because I knew that I would have to be alone. I would have to be alone with my feelings and there would be no distraction. I started to feel anxiety and fear once they left. Fear of life, fear of my life, fear of the future. Once my Family had completely left my Nurse Stephanie came in to say her good byes as well. Her shift was over and she was headed home. Stephanie was with me for the entire delivery and never left my side. She took care of me and made sure I was bathed, and fed. She was there for me emotionally as well. Whenever I felt weak or scared she was right there talking me through it. If there are Angel’s … I think Stephanie might have been one. She was incredible. She hugged me and leaned in, looked me in the eyes and said “You are going to have more babies, you are going to be okay. You have that 4 year old to live for and to be strong for.” And she left the room. I told her Thank you over and over again. I was sad to see her leave. She was so attentive and loving. I hope our paths cross in another life. Perhaps she will be there for my rainbow baby!
The sadness came rushing in and out of my body throughout the evening. Eric and I ate dinner and we went to bed early. As we sat together in the hospital we had a few moments of laughter and a few smiles. I am not sure how it is possible but Eric and the nurses cheered me up and I was able to eat a decent meal before going to bed. We were in a very happy place (delivery floor of a hospital) experiencing a really terrible thing. Glimmers of hope showed up here and there.
The next day I awoke to those terrible emotions of heart ache and fear. I could not believe what I was experiencing was my reality. I could not believe that this was real life. I woke up Eric with my sobbing. I cried all morning. I screamed into my pillow and I held onto my belly willing my baby to return to my body. I did not want to hug on or snuggle his lifeless body anymore, I just wanted him back. For the 8 months he was in my body I fell in love with that boy. I anticipated his arrival day in and day out. My life revolved around his arrival. My world was Baby Jack. Every morning I would play handsy footsy with him. I would push my belly and he would kick back. I would giggle quietly in my bed and hug my belly thinking about the joy that he is going to bring to my life. This baby was my silent world. When no one was looking, he and I had out little moments together.
Every night before I would fall asleep I would sing “Twinkle Tinkle Little Star” to him. Every single night. I did this hoping that he would remember when he was born and would feel comforted by the sounds of the song. On this day I would sing to my boy for the very last time. We were told that it was time to go home and it was time to say our final Good byes to Jack. I fell apart and cried. I had to leave my baby in the hospital. I had to be removed from his body completely to never ever see him again. I would have to hold him one last time and know that for the rest of my life that was it. After we packed our bags Jack was brought to our room. The nurse said “Okay here he is. I know you will want to say your Good byes so I will leave the room.”
There are no words to describe the agony I felt when he lay in my arms. His lips were black. His face was so cold. I sat there and I stared at him for what seemed like an hour. I tried my hardest to memorize every single inch of his face. I tried my hardest to remember the exact color of his hair, the length of his fingers, the size of his toes. I brushed my lips against his for head and tried to memorize what that ice cold feeling felt like. And then I sang. I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to him and hugged him as tight as I could. My tears splashed his face and my voice was muffled by the hard lump in my throat. I rocked him back and forth and told him that Mommy will always love him. I promised him that I would never forget our time together. I promised him that I have always loved him. I told him how sorry I was that Mommy could not save him. I told him that I was sorry that Mommy could not bring him back to life. And that was it. The nurse came in and he was taken away. My last words were “I am so so sorry.”
My final moment with Jack.
Here we are 6 weeks later and I dream of that final moment with Jack. I imagine living in that moment forever. I long to feel that cold skin on my lips. I’d love to be able to tell him in person that I love him so much. It pains me so much to know that I will never see him again in this life. I want so badly to believe that I will see him in another life, but I struggle to have any Faith in these days. Everyone says to me “Oh you will see him again.” “Oh God had different plans for him.” I struggle to believe that. I want to believe that, but its not in me. There was a time in my life that I truly believed in Heaven, and an after life, but that believe has left my body. There was a time that I believed God would always have my back as long as I prayed. That has become very hard to believe in these days.
I am in the healing process every single day. Some days are better than others! Today … today is a hard today. Tomorrow may be completely different. All I know is that I miss him, and writing about him helps me to feel what I felt for him on the day I got to hold him and that is priceless. So thank you for reading this and allowing me to heal out loud.