Hearthside Maternity Services

pregnancy, birth & lactation services… at home

There we were, we two, alone…

Tomorrow, August 19th, is the International Day of Hope, instituted by CarlyMarie Project Heal. I just learned about this a little over a week ago. It’s especially important to me because the losses of my sweet babies both happened in August, one year and one week apart.

August 19th is a day to honor our babies by talking about them. It’s a day to remember, to honor, to speak up, to heal. I wanted to be involved in some way so I decided to share something with you that I don’t even know has been shared with my family. I wanted to share something of my experience to honor my children- see, just by your reading this, their lives are having an impact of you. Their story is changing you. Like a pebble dropped into a pond, the ripples of their lives continue…

So here’s what I offer: both of the births of my Peridot babies were unassisted births.

Calan was born in my bathroom. I was totally alone when my first-born arrived. I was completely undone, confused, in pain, in shock. But there we were, we two alone, and I took a few moments to look at my baby- my sweet, longed-for, beautiful baby- and I said hello and good-bye (for now- I believe we will meet again). [ETA: I was 8 weeks pregnant with Calan at the time.]

Last week, August 11th, was Calan’s birthday. For the first time in many years, I couldn’t get out of bed. Calan is still my longed-for baby…

Anduril was born in a hospital bed after a long night of Cytotec and Ambien, the Cytotec producing unbelievably painful contractions and the Ambien knocking me unconscious in-between. It was hellish. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t think- I have a vague memory of my husband and the nurse talking and then being given an epidural my husband had consented to on my behalf…

It was morning- light streamed through the window and my room was silent. It seemed that there had always been people bustling around throughout the night (I was very ill), but now I was alone. My eyes opened and I was suddenly aware that my baby was sliding down out of me during a contraction I couldn’t feel. He was breech- his body delivered and it was just he and I there in the room. I couldn’t reach the call button for the nurse and had to reposition myself. Once I’d reached the button and the nurse saw that I had indeed delivered my son’s body, the room again flooded with people. Anduril’s birth ended with the next contraction. Today is his 7th stillbirthday…

We spent some time with Anduril- way too little- that morning and again the next day. We said hello in the hospital room and good-bye in the family cemetery where we laid Anduril next to his great-grandparents in a grave my husband dug with his own two hands. That single moment in time when I delivered my son in a silent, sunny room has come to mean so much to me. There we were, we two, alone.

So here are my two unassisted birth stories. Here are (parts) of Calan’s and Anduril’s story. I say part, because their stories aren’t really finished. Every single baby who is conceived, impacts this world. My babies’ lives continue to have meaning through the work I do spurred by my love for them. The meaning and stories of their lives continue- that gives me hope…

If you or someone you love has experienced child loss during pregnancy or around the time of birth, please know there is help. Contact Stillbirthday for compassion, resources and support.

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