my baby died

What else is there to say? I feel a little dizzy and a little numb.

I can’t say I didn’t know it would happen…in my heart I knew from the moment she was diagnosed–but sometimes I hoped and loved so hard that I couldn’t see that anymore. I could reach past the breathing tube, ng tube, layers and layers of tape, and find a sweet baby’s lips.

If I hadn’t been holding her when she died, I don’t know if I could truly believe that she is dead. She turned blue so much faster than I thought she would. But until that moment, you could have almost pretended she was healthy. The seizures were causing her to make the kind of movements a newborn makes in sleep. I worried that it meant she was in pain but the nurses told me that with everything she was on, there was no chance of pain; and with all the damage, she likely could not comprehend pain anymore.

When she was truly gone, I held her up to my chest. I hadn’t been able to do that in months because of the breathing tube. I held her the way a baby should be held–head resting on my heart so my heartbeat could lull her to sleep. I put my face in her hair, because I knew I’d miss that hair. It was the last time she still felt almost like a baby; after that she felt like a doll.

 

The Little White Hearse
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

Somebody’s baby was buried to-day—
      The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back,
And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay
      As I paused on the walk while it crossed on its way,
And a shadow seemed drawn o’er the sun’s golden track.
Somebody’s baby was laid out to rest,
      White as a snowdrop, and fair to behold,
And the soft little hands were crossed over the breast,
      And those hands and the lips and the eyelids were pressed
With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold.
Somebody saw it go out of her sight,
      Under the coffin lid—out through the door;
Somebody finds only darkness and blight
      All through the glory of summer-sun light;
Somebody’s baby will waken no more.
Somebody’s sorrow is making me weep:
      I know not her name, but I echo her cry,
For the dearly bought baby she longed so to keep,
      The baby that rode to its long-lasting sleep
In the little white hearse that went rumbling by.
I know not her name, but her sorrow I know;
      While I paused on the crossing I lived it once more,
And back to my heart surged that river of woe
      That but in the breast of a mother can flow;
For the little white hearse has been, too, at my door.

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