When I was thirty-three, my husband and I lost our pregnancy, at five months, and our beautiful baby, whom I held and kissed goodbye on her small and incredibly sweet forehead.
I held her and grieved, and I did not spend a long time with her that morning of September 3 rd., in the hospital. Deeply saddened and in shock, I remember after holding her in the warmed blanket for a few minutes, asking my husband very calmly, “will you please take her back to the nurses? because I cannot have her.”
We named her Kelly Marie. Kelly means warrior and Marie was for Mary the mother of Jesus. Somehow Mary was with me throughout this test of faith and this baby had been a fighter throughout a pregnancy that was not right from the start.
I remember going to the Doctor for my check up one day, and a woman in the doctor’s office, like a prophet, looked at me with great empathy after I told her my story of my intermittent spotting. She asked me “have you prepared yourself for the worst?” A perennial optimist, I said “I want to feel hopeful and do not like to worry.”
The spotting stopped from 14 weeks to about 19 weeks. I told my Doctor when it re-started and even with resting a lot, about a week or so later, one morning I awoke very early to pass a good size piece of the placenta. They felt it was best for me to come into the hospital. I was frightened but summoned my courage.
At almost five months into the pregnancy I was filled with hope and faith that I would return like I had the first time I was pregnant. I would bring home a beautiful baby. I knew I would be on bed rest but I was hopeful. I had Placenta Previa, which was a condition that 50% of the time ended with a baby going to full term.
As my womb continued to grow larger, we had a placental abruption which means it separated from the wall of the uterus. One week after entering the hospital, our baby went to her heavenly home and I had so much anger at God, I felt I would die too.
Our 2-year-old daughter helped me to keep my feet on the ground as did a loving therapist who helped me through the grief and loss of a baby who was wanted and loved so much already.
When I cried hysterically to my sister Ann “it isn’t fair, I even had a Caesarian section, and I don’t even get anything for it.” She answered me, “no it isn’t one tiny bit fair.” I will never forget her just being with me, hearing me and responding with a kind and mirrored response to me.
After the physical wounds were beginning to heal, and a good deal of the outside support I received had faded away, and my mother had gone home, I started to really experience the grief. It was so severe I thought I would not make it. I cried so much and felt so drained, and I did not want to frighten my daughter.
One day as she caught me staring into space, she said, “I miss you Mommy.” I hugged her and cried more, and then did my best to pull myself together for her sake. It made me realize that I needed more consistent support. I went to a trusted therapist who helped me and let me express my anger and hate at the world- at God, and ultimately helped me heal from this unbearable loss.
During the first 6 weeks after we said goodbye to Kelly Marie, I was exhausted, but unable to sleep when my 2 year old took her naps, but one mid-October day, as she napped, something shifted in the grief I was experiencing.
The warm sun poured through my living room window, onto the couch where I rested and this serene and glowing light relaxed my body into a peaceful sleep. The bright sunlight enveloped me and as I slept I dreamt of a bright white light that was intensely beautiful. In that illuminating light which so awesome and filled the entire screen of my mind, and in this light a Divine being appeared. She was standing within it, and when I woke up I knew in my heart and have always known with a deep certainty, her message of love and encouragement was for me. She said two things to me. I will never forget them. I listened to her words, “Everything will be alright next time. There will be a boy.” I woke up from this beautiful dream, feeling rested and peaceful for the first time since we had said goodbye to our baby.
Not knowing for sure if it was just a dream or a visit from the dearest of angels, I talked it over with my therapist. She helped me look into my heart, and I knew the dream came from deep within me, and was real, a gift to help and comfort me.
The following June, as life blossomed around me, we found we were pregnant again. I shared Mary’s words, this messenger of God’s hope to me, with my husband and he encouraged me to hang onto her message through this new pregnancy.
I continued in therapy throughout the pregnancy, so I would be able to more easily let go of the normal fears that might happen to one who is pregnant, after a loss. The pregnancy was healthy and easy, and we chose not to know the sex of the baby ahead of time.
In March, I was nine months pregnant, and on our way to the hospital to deliver this baby, we were hopeful for a healthy outcome. My Doctor had assured me I was a candidate for a VBAC, a vaginal birth after a caesarian, which I wanted.
My labor went on for a long time, and progress was at a standstill. The doctor came in to my hospital room, and said I may need to have a C-section as they were concerned the extended labor may have found our baby in distress. I was very scared and tearfully shared that I did not want to have a C-section because it would remind me of the crises in the hospital in the middle of the night when we lost the baby.
The Doctor asked me if I had any control over when I got my period. I said “No.” She assured me I was not in charge of when or how a baby comes, either and told me to do my best to breathe and relax in knowing that I was only the vessel. I had a deep realization that what she was saying was true; I was not in control of something as big as birth. She said, “I will give you 15 more minutes, and then we will have to deliver this baby.” It was all that I needed to hear and she came back to check on me and said, “Rosemary, you are dilated to 9 centimeters- you can push- let’s go!”
Within minutes, our son, Christopher was born. We all cried with relief along with this big healthy new-born born boy who made his way into the world, helping me heal.
“Everything will be alright next time; There will be a boy.”
These words of hope echoed through me and my entire body trembled and would not stop, could not stop. I shivered until this baby latched onto me and took his first earthly drink, and a calm humility came over me. I was no longer interested in controlling everything in God’s world but only being a servant to what was in store for me.
The birth of one baby and loss of another is a mystery, but even now with this baby boy grown into a beautiful young man, who is now has had his first baby, I am filled with that all-encompassing faith.
When I met our baby boy, Christopher, fed him, and felt our angel’s arms wrapped around us both, I experienced a re-birth of my own, a connection to my Spirit and a gratitude that was profound.
I knew deep within my soul, I would meet, hold, and know our Kelly Marie someday in heaven, that she was with us here, in spirit, and I knew with a certainty too, that everything is right in God’s world.
Rosemary Hurwitz, MA.PS