I got out of bed and I went downstairs,
It was time to let his sisters know he was poorly.
I sat them and told them with tears in my eyes;
‘But he will be okay mummy, surely?’
I didn’t have the strength to say at that point
That, actually, no he wouldn’t.
I didn’t have the strength to tell two 4 year old girls
That their brother was dying, I couldn’t.
I would tell you what I did for the rest of that day,
If only I could remember.
But one thing I’m sure I will never forget,
Is the time we all spent together.
I somehow fell asleep that night through sheer exhaustion,
Knowing that it wouldn’t be long.
He rolled over, he kicked my left hand,
And we both fell asleep to his song.
I woke up the following morning,
I told my dad that we needed to go.
‘We need to go to the hospital’, I said.
He’s gone. And if he’s not gone, he’s going. I know.
And so we got in the car and we went on our way,
It was around an hour long drive.
I was hoping that he was just sleeping
I was hoping that he was alive.
We arrived at the hospital and we were ushered straight through,
In to a scanning room.
And I saw him, and he had a heartbeat,
Resting peacefully in my womb.
But he wasn’t moving, he was still,
And I knew that it was time.
We stayed to be rescanned later that day,
And when they checked again, he had died.
I grabbed hold of my bump wrapping my arms around him,
As my dad wrapped his arms around me,
‘No. No. No. No.’ I shouted.
This simply cannot be.
How can he be here one moment,
And the next he is gone?
This isn’t how this was supposed to be ending,
I want to take my baby home.
We walked silently back to the car,
As we went to a different hospital to give birth.
I wasn’t ready, I knew that him being born,
Would lead to his last day on Earth.
We arrived at the hospital, it was 4pm,
I was booked in and went straight for a shower.
He was a water baby, I was hoping he would move,
And I did everything in my power.
I poked and I prodded, I danced and I sang,
I shouted at him and I cried.
‘You cannot let this be true, baby.’
‘You need to come back. You can’t die.’
The following day induction began,
And contractions came thick and fast.
In the midst of confusion, of anger, of pain,
I knew I had to make this memory last.
So I did what I could, to do this for HIM,
It was peaceful and it was calm.
Though my little boy was no longer living,
I didn’t want to do him any harm.
So I avoided the ‘strong stuff’ for as long as I could,
But it all became too much.
In the end I had everything I possibly could have,
An epidural, gas and air, morphine, and such.
While all the medication took the physical pain away,
There was nothing that could be done for my head.
I knew every contraction was leading to the end,
And I would soon see my child, and he’d be dead.
At 4:19am, just as the sun was rising,
He made his appearance Earthside.
He was absolutely perfect in every single way,
Minus the fact he never cried.
I had visions beforehand of ‘breaking’ in that moment,
Upon laying eyes on my child that was stillborn.
But I couldn’t, I was amazed by his beauty,
Overwhelmed with the fact he was still. born.
He was still my baby,
He was still my son.
The absence of his heartbeat,
Makes me no less of his mum.
So I made the most of the time we did have,
Knowing we only had that one chance.
I held him, I read to him, I cuddled and kissed him,
I held his naked body to mine and I danced.
I sang a lullaby to him as my tears fell down on his cheeks,
And I told him all the stories I know.
And when the time came, 72 hours later,
It was time to take my baby home.
Not to the home where we thought he would grow up,
But to the only one he would ever know.
He rested until his burial 5 days later,
In a tiny bedroom in the funeral home.
And then the day came for saying goodbye,
It was time to lay my baby to rest.
I broke as I approached his tiny blue coffin,
Clutching his teddy to my chest.
The girls lit a candle as my letter to him was read,
Surrounded by our family and friends.
It was in that moment as I looked around,
That I realised this was the end.
Then we got back in the funeral car,
And we went on his final journey.
From church to cemetery, to the baby garden,
And all I could think was ‘why not me?’
Why did you take my baby?
Why before I had even give birth?
Take me instead, I beg of you, I will take my last breath,
So he can take his first.
I approached his burial spot,
With my family right by my side.
I watched as his song played, as his coffin was lowered,
And I knew that was really ‘goodbye.’
And I went home.
And I waited for him to come too.
And I’m still waiting.