Grief is everywhere. Reminders are everywhere. Triggers are everywhere.
The world of Babyloss is a special kind of hell. It is brutal in its uniqueness. Everywhere I go, there are pregnant women or sweet-smelling babies. The pregnant women are either superficially annoyed by the inconvenience of their condition or basking in the joy. They do not know how much I would give to still be pregnant. The babies coo contentedly or howl in discomfort. I would gladly cradle either, if it were mine.
I never had the chance to meet my daughters since they were both gone before ever taking a breath of air. I never held them. I have no memories of our times together, no conversations, no photos. I do not know what they would have been like, or how they would have looked. I can guess: muted black hair and dimples, like their brothers. But I cannot picture their faces. Not as babies, not as toddlers, not as teenagers, not as adults. They never got to play with their brothers. I was robbed of knowing them.
Babyloss disrupts the order of the universe. It is unexpected. To some extent, we expect the living to die, at some point. We don’t expect those to die who have not yet been born, or just been born and still in infancy. People who lived and walked on the earth and died are mourned by others. Those who experience Babyloss grieve their babies alone.
I could do nothing to save my girls. Pregnancy loss feels like the ultimate failure. I would have put my body through undue amounts of risk if it had meant keeping them alive and hearing first baby cries in the delivery room. Instead I was helpless. Instead, the cries in the delivery room were my own.
What dates do I commemorate? The days they were born hardly feel like birthdays since their tiny lives had barely started. More like a Death Day than a birthday but the reality is that I have no idea what day their hearts stopped beating. My due dates? Nelle would be 2 months old now. Iris was due in July.
Finally, I’m crying while writing after what seems like an eternity of medication-induced tolerance of the days. I’m not sure which is worse: feeling the pain or feeling nothing. Thinking about the lives that they did not live is intolerable. Nelle. Iris. They never turned in the direction of my voice when I spoke their names aloud.