Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Day, A Lifetime

This week has been incredibly difficult. Anya was born, Anya died 11 weeks ago today. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime, sometimes it feels like yesterday. Still it hurts, it hurts like nothing I've ever experienced before.

There are moments when I feel I need to justify my pain... to justify that I am still aching two months later. No one has invalidated my grief... but I feel the need to tell you in case you don't understand...

Anya was my daughter. She was my child. She may have lived less than an hour, outside the womb, but I love her as much as you love your children. It doesn't matter that she had already died by the time I got to cuddle her in my arms. I held her with as much love as if she had been alive, with every fiber of my being, just as you did when you held your newborn baby.

When I think back to December 19, I not only think about the shock and sadness of losing Anya, I also think about the love we shared. I really think we only shared half the story when we told you of Anya's birth and loss.

We spent that day together, as a family.

My dearest Anya,

Our day together was the most beautiful (and most sad) day of my life. I held you close, my daughter. You fit into my arms just right. You belonged there.

You were so perfect.

I remember how you felt in my arms, at 5 pounds, 13 ounces (bigger than your mom as a newborn). You felt so light, so small. You felt so real, so concrete. A whole human being. 

You were perfectly still. Neither limp, nor rigid. Just like the most perfect doll.

I remember your smell. You smelled like my womb, like inside me. You smelled so familiar and so good! With just the faintest smell of soap mixed in.

I remember the feel of your skin, so smooth, so flawless. Your lips, so small and gentle and lip-like, just like your dad's. Your hair, so soft, almost as soft as down feathers.

That day, I held you - and dad held you - and we poured all our love into you, and into each other. And we knew all the love you had for us.

That day was all I could have hoped for... sort of...

My strongest wish, my need, was to hold you skin to skin. That is something I got to do. Our connection in the womb, and skin to skin was so powerful, so amazing. Though my need to hold you against my skin is still so strong... I find comfort in dad now.

There are many wishes I had. I wanted to feed you from my breast, to bathe you, to take you home to our nest. I wanted to have more time. But all these unfulfilled hopes and wishes are simply summed up: I wish you had lived.

Love, Mom


  1. As a fellow mother, I understand completely why you are still aching -- I know the intense bond we feel with our babies from the moment we find out they are growing inside of us. Eleven weeks is such a short time, really. You will likely continue to have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, for much much longer. I read once that "grief is like like the ocean; it come on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim." And I think you are doing an amazing job of swimming.