The loss of my baby, were we cursed?
I tried not to believe that we were cursed-I believed we were gaining an angel!
"Jeffrey do you see what we got for you?"
I wrote the poem below in honor of my first born child, Jeffrey Oliver, who was a full-term stillborn. (Full-term stillborn means that the baby was healthy and growing for nine months in the womb but was born dead or died right after birth). I still remember the agony I felt when they told me there was no heartbeat. I still remember packing up the crib, the clothes and the bottles as tears flowed down my cheeks. I would hold each item near my heart and whisper “Jeffrey do you see what we got for you?”
The Blessing of a Baby
Brightness filled her days as her belly swelled, preparing for the coming event.
The crib, the rattles, the clothes and bottles, oh how much money she’d spent.
The family all cheered as the moment drew near, their patience was nearly gone.
When would the child come out of the womb and finally become daughter or son?
The final visit with doctor and nurse to verify that all would go well.
A picture of baby floating in tight quarters waiting for nature’s bell.
But the information they find must be wrong; how could it be otherwise?
The child, they say, has passed away, their spirit has flown to the skies.
What was the reason?
I do not know if my family has been cursed; I have always believed it was because we needed angels to watch over us for some reason. I know that each of the daughters in our family (including my grandmother's grandmother's mother) have all lost babies and the majority of them have lost their first baby. I hope, with all of the technology now at hand, that no other of our family will suffer such a fate. I do know that my own daughter was next in line to have a baby and we were so worried that she might lose the child as all had done before her; but she had a beautiful baby girl who is now a teenager. We did it!
Floated in my consciousness like fish in water
More to the story
When I was little, my mother used to tell me that she had lost a baby full-term stillborn. I did not understand what she meant. But every year we went to a cemetery and visited a grave with initials carved into a rough hewn stone. Then when I became ‘old enough to understand’ , I was told that my grandmother and my mother’s sister had all lost their first babies. Again, the information just floated on the surface of my consciousness, like the fish in the water, until that fateful day when I lost my beautiful baby boy with thick dark hair and a beautiful angelic face. Then I understood all too well what she had been saying.
I would not be able to visit the grave of my little boy because my husband at the time was in the military and we were stationed a long distance from my home town. There is no stone to visit. No place to put flowers and tell him how much I love him. No place, that is, except in my heart.
Do I believe in curses? No, but I do believe that things happen for a reason. Whether it was a curse or something else, I guess we will never know. But I have found my peace and I hope everyone has a chance to find theirs.
Losing a child, no matter whether you are the mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or even friend or neighbor, is hard to deal with. However, being a mother who has lost a child, I am somewhat biased on how I feel. I think a mother, who builds a special bond with her baby while still carrying her precious cargo in her belly, has the hardest time getting over the loss. As I said, I am a bit biased. But I believe I have that right.
I wonder why our family was chosen to suffer so many child deaths. Were we cursed? Were all of our daughters to suffer the same fate? But then, I try to console myself with the belief that they may have been needed elsewhere. Is that true? I don’t know, but it has helped me to cope with the burden of losing so many babies in our family, and especially with losing mine. We all must continue on and do our very best to follow what our hearts tell us must be done.
I sit sometimes, watching the snow fall, or seeing the Christmas Lights flash or a toy train racing in circles and feel a tear escape and slide down my cheek for the baby boy I never got to hold and tell I loved. But, I love him just the same and I know my family loves all of the ones who have died throughout the generations. And then I remember that I have children, and grandchildren. I can hold them and love them. I have not lost a child, I have gained love for he is in my heart.
Sometimes a distraction can also help you see the beauty and wonder of this world.
Talking about it helps
Sometimes, talking about the loss is the best thing you can do. If you are suffering from the loss of a child (or any loved one), whether that child was a baby in the womb, a child grown to adulthood, or anywhere in-between, the best thing for you to do is to talk to someone who will be kind and understanding and who will allow you to vent. You need to vent the anger and hurt that you suffer. It may be the only way you can get through it. Talk to friends, family, spouses, even support groups for people who have suffered the same thing. TALK, TALK, TALK, it is your best hope. And remember, you are not alone!
Perhaps we have finally broken the curse. Perhaps we have not. Perhaps there never was a curse in the first place. But I will always have hope for the future generations and love for all the babies in this world whether they are alive and blossoming or have passed on to bigger and better things.
© 2012 Cheryl Simonds