I felt the darkness when I knew I'd never hold you again.
We weren't ready. I could have been your mother for sixty years and not been ready to say goodbye.
Like I have every month, I had a routine maternity appointment. This appointment included a glucouse test. Needles and blood. Not a fan. I hashtagged #onlyworthitcauseillholdyousoon on a baby bump photo on Instagram. I meant fifteen weeks soon, not less than twenty-four hours soon. I wasn't ready to hold you yet. At the end of the visit, the doctor checked for your heartbeat. I could hear it playing in my mind, a quick and steady rhythm, but only static filled the room.
The doctor made a lighthearted comment about how good you were at hide and seek when she gave up searching for your heartbeat and went to roll in a rather primitive ultrasound cart. The machine took too long to boot up, and then I was laying staring at a white doctor's coat while she moved a new tool across my skin. I couldn't see the screen with your body on it, but I could feel it in her search that she hadn't found what she was searching for.
She closed down the machine with some comment about lack of heart activity. I had felt you move just the night before. Just the night before you were alive. Then she was giving me pointed instructions about calling my husband and driving to labor and delivery at a hospital I'd never been inside. On our hurried way back up to the front, a nurse called to me, and the doctor silenced her. The last thing she said to me was, "Labor and delivery. They'll be expecting you."
I had been calm and quiet in the doctor's office, but calling Matt brought tears. He would meet me at the hospital, though I still thought there was a chance he'd be leaving work for nothing. After I got off the phone with Matt, I called my dad. He cried with me in prayer. He already knew what I hadn't accepted. He thanked God for the peace He had previously given Matt and I about His plan for you.
When Matt arrived at the hospital, I laid down on that hospital bed for the first time while a nurse and doctor set up the ultrasound machine. We'd only seen you twice on ultrasound, but both times, even when you were only twelve weeks old, you were moving like crazy. This time it was too obvious too quickly. You were too still. Your heart wasn't beating on the screen. She kept looking, moving, stopping, checking, and though I wanted your heart to begin again, I knew then that I was going to have to give birth to you dead. I wasn't ready.
I won't bore you with the details of the afternoon, evening, and night. Your daddy and I cried together harder than we ever have, because we love you. Neither of us had ever lost anyone, and we weren't ready. This morning, January 3rd, 2015, at 8:23 a.m., I gave birth to you with one push. You were 1 pound 4 ounces and 12 inches long. You had my lips and your daddy's blonde eyebrows. I spent hours today touching your little parts, staring at your tongue, fingers, and nose. I could name every part of your body with such affection that you might believe you were the only baby I've ever held.
But holding your beautiful, lifeless body made it painfully obvious that you weren't there. You were never in that room with us. All the soft kisses and whispered words were lost on your empty shell, because you, my beautiful son, were in heaven before I even knew you were missing. When I thought I was holding you, you were in the arms of God, which is far better. I can't wait to meet you someday. I can't wait to thank our gracious God for allowing us to love you. I can't wait to thank Him for loving us enough to allow His only Son to leave Him.
Hundreds of people here on earth love you. They're weeping with your daddy and I as we say goodbye before we got to say hello. I've dreamed of you my whole life. You made me a mommy.
We love, love, love you.