I’ve never met you, but I loved you. I watched you grow inside of me, and I gave you a name. It was a strong name – Eliezer after Eli Wiesel. Please hear me: I wanted you. I need you to know that I wanted you. I’m telling you right now even though you are gone. I couldn’t. As much as I wanted to do this, I could not. I don’t know what went wrong; I’m not sure why my voice was left unheard when I asked for help. I told myself it’s my fault; that it’s because I am defective, not capable of carrying a human being inside my womb. My body rejected you, but my heart, my soul, never did.
I feel broken. I watched your tiny body on the ultrasound screen, black and white. Your small head so fragile, I wanted to reach through and touch you. I wanted to tell you who I was, your mama. But I turned away and cried. I knew that something wasn’t right. They told me the pregnancy wasn’t viable, that it was “just a matter of time.”
They were right. I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye to you. I cried, and my best friend held me in the cool stark doctor’s office. I pushed my boyfriend away. Not because I didn’t want him, because I wanted to protect him from what was going to happen.
It was sudden, no warning. It started with spotting, then bleeding and cramping. I talked to you; I told you I would see you someday. We would meet again when I passed on. I would see you again in heaven or wherever you were going. The pain startled me again, and I didn’t want my boyfriend to see you leave us. I kept him away and went through the anguish by myself, holding my knees to my chest crying my face off, pleading with the universe to let the emotional pain pass. All I could do was hang on.
I’m sorry I was not able to be your mama. I wanted you, and I was ready to show you everything I knew about the world. I know there were so many things you had to teach me. But it wasn’t the right time or the universe decided to crumble underneath me because for the first time I admitted that I wanted something. I wondered if this was the last chance for me to have a baby. I lay there on the bed crying. There was no sheet on the mattress, and it became stained as I lost you little by little. I lay there ironically in the fetal position devastated, broken, sweating, and alone.
I shouldn’t have pushed my man away. I shouldn’t have tried so hard to shelter him from your loss. You were a life that we shared together, and he had the right to say goodbye to you too. He was your father, is your father. We both wanted you, baby. We loved you in our ways. Your father is grieving you harder than even I am. He doesn’t know how to talk to you like I do. I’ve told him to be strong. I said that your name is a powerful one. In the eight weeks we spent together, I was physically ill, but I heard you speak to me. You were a fighter, and you let me know that.
I told your father to fight too. I know you would want that for him. I let him know that he can cry, he can mourn your loss and honor that pain.
We will never know you, and that hurts. It hurts me, and I know it hurts your daddy. I remember when I told him that I was pregnant I said: “are you excited?” He replied, “Of course, it’s our baby.” I smiled, and then I cried. We created you together with the power of your love and connection. But my body failed you, baby. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to give you what you needed to thrive. I tried the hardest I could, and it didn’t work. I’m so sorry.
I will see you someday. And in the meantime, I will talk about you in therapy. I will honor your name. I will process my grief in the best way I know how: naming it. Going through the stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. They sound so generic and cold, those stages. I know this is the path I need to take to heal from your loss. But that doesn’t mean my love for you isn’t strong. I love you, and I will always love you. I never stopped loving you even after you were gone.