Today is one week since our Day with Lydie. I still keep looking at the clock, thinking about what exactly we were doing one week ago. She was delivered (I just heard the phrase “born into the arms of angels”) at 12:14 pm. Today, Justin and I lit a candle and shared some quiet moments at 12:14 pm.
When I found out Lydie had no heartbeat, my doctor talked me through my options. I asked if we would get to see her, and she said if we wanted to. I told her I had never thought about whether I would choose to hold my dead baby or not.
But the answer was yes. Yes, I want to hold my dead daughter. As long as I possibly can. In fact, I never want to let her go.
I spent all day holding Lydie, whispering to her that I love her, that I’m sorry. When Justin was holding her, I sat next to him, holding her hand.
She became more fragile as the day went on, making it more difficult to hold her, more difficult to pass her back and forth. Her nose was bleeding, and I kept wiping it, again and again and again. I realized what a futile effort it was, and then I thought “I am her mother, and her nose is bleeding. I will continue to wipe it.” I’m so glad I did.
Her blanket got blood on it. I remember thinking at the time, I can wash this. Now I don’t want to. I actually find those spots on the blanket, and I rub my fingers over them and I think of her.
I wish I had sung to her. There are a million songs I wish I would have sung to her. I especially wish I would have sung that song that gave me comfort when I was a kid: “And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand.” Why didn’t I sing that song to Lydie? Because my voice is awful? Because I didn’t trust myself to get the words out? Because I’m not sure that I believe in God anymore?
It will never be enough. The time we had with her will never be enough. How do you fit a lifetime worth of hugs and kisses into one afternoon?
I have to remind myself that it wasn’t really her. She was already gone.
I have to remind myself that she knew how much we loved her. She could feel that love, all 34 weeks I carried her. As my cousin’s wife who also lost her baby so eloquently wrote me, “Know that she knew how much you loved her. She always felt your warmth and the presence of her father. She would have felt and heard the hustle and bustle of her brother. All she knew was love.”