Stages of the Heart
This is a sad day for me. I am remembering May 21, 1979 like it was yesterday. It was the day I lost my first baby. She was due August 28th, but because of a tear in the placenta, she was born on May 21st. I keep thinking if she had been born now, they probably could have saved her. She was born in a small, rural hospital in Texas. They didn't have a neo-natal unit at the time and there wasn't time to send me to a larger hospital. My labor and delivery lasted only about 4 hours, but to me, it seemed like an eternity. And, to top it off, I was only 16 years old. I did not know why this was happening and I just knew they would be able to stop the labor. They couldn't. My tiny baby girl was born with her heart beating, but they could not get her to breathe. They couldn't save her. Love couldn't save her. She was so tiny, weighing a little over a pound, but she was beautiful. I so loved her. Back then, they didn't let you hold your baby afterwards. They just took her away. I did not get to hold her or kiss her goodbye. Friends and family came to the hospital to offer their condolences. There was no consolation. Even though I was so young, I was her mother. She was the heart of my heart. It was devastating and I was broken. I remember counting the days afterwards. I wondered when things would get better and when the pain would go away. I felt so very alone. Even though I was so young, I wasn't a child anymore. It seemed as if the whole world had moved on, but I hadn't. People don't know what to say or how to act. People would say, "It's ok honey, you can have another baby". I didn't want another baby. I wanted my baby, that baby. The pain was incredible. I don't think there is anything worse than losing your child.
To this day, I think about her. I don't like Mother's Day because it brings back too many memories that I've tried to bury inside. I wonder what she would have looked like. Would she have light or dark hair, straight or curly? Would her eyes be sparkling blue or deep dark brown? Would she give me cards on Mother's Day or call me for no reason, just because she wanted to hear my voice? I look at other young ladies who are now around her age and it hurts my heart. I don't think it's something you ever get over.
So today, this posting is for her, my baby, Amber. This peice is titled "Stages of the Heart". The first heart is "Hopeful". The second heart is "Broken". The third heart is "Healing". Thank goodness there is art. What a healing way to process emotions that there are no words for.
Even after all this time, I am still healing. But I am also hopeful, actually I'm certain, that I will see her again and we will never have to say goodbye.