I have written a thousand words in my mind over the past five days, but now, as I lay my fingers to the keyboard and ponder the immensity of this tragedy, none seem to suffice.
The simple heartbreaking reality is that our sweet Margot June never had the chance to enter into our lives. She was there alive, all seven pounds, eleven ounces of her, only days away from emerging, when a tiny misstep sent Kari's protruding belly into the sidewalk. Her placenta ruptured on impact, cutting the oxygen off to our little one and altering the story of our lives in a single, solitary moment.
For nine hours, her swaddled body was with us. She was there against my chest when I mourned over her in a private room while waiting for her momma to wake from her emergency cesarean. She was there in my hands as I held her out to Kari and told her the news. She was there, her body curled up in my forearm, as I begged Kari to keep fighting until the blood and platelets could be transfused into her system. She was there, taking care of me, as I listened intently to any words Kari uttered, wondering if they would be her last. She was there clinging to my body as the seven nurses and two doctors rushed Kari around the hospital to the coronary care unit for more blood and platelets and a morphine drip and IV's and fluids and oxygen. She was with us two hours later, lying in my lap, as I began seeing clots of blood emerge from Kari, the first sign that Kari might be stabilizing.
She was there in the arms of a few family and friends, who quietly wept at what was going to be. She was there lying between us, as we spoke to her softly, telling her that we were sorry and that we loved her and that we were sad she didn't get to meet her big sister, who would have loved her as much as we did. She was there when we unswaddled her and tried to memorize every inch of her body. Her wet black hair, jet blue eyes, Jackson nose and Bray cheeks, her enormous hands and big Stella-like belly. And she was there as we said goodbye to her for the first and last time.
Though only a few hours, her presence carried me through one of the most decisive moments of my life.
As the grief sets in, a new story begins.
Stillborn March 24, 2011