Thursday, January 22, 2015

Losing Ellery

I think I started showing some time around Christmas. It depended on what I wore, but my permanent bump from ten pregnancies started to grow, so that (to me) it was obviously not a leftover "mummy tummy"—this was a new baby bump. I continued to wear my normal clothes until this past week when I tried a maxi skirt over my bump and thought, "hmm, it's getting time."

I wore a pair of maternity jeans the day before I lost the baby.

I had been bleeding on and off for several weeks, but I've had bleeding at this stage many times before and we'd never lost a baby. One time it turned into an abruption and premature birth. We handled the rest of our "threatened miscarriages" with bed rest. We figured we knew the drill. 

But we always knew this was a possibility. The bleeding picked up. Sunday morning I woke up...different. I stayed in bed for a little while, until cramping and bleeding—more than bleeding—drove me out.

It was all relatively mild. All the same, it reminded me unmistakably of the immediate postpartum phase. Only this time, there was no emotional allowance for the messy processes of my body, no happy thoughts occupying my mind from the next room. Likely I would have had a similar aversion to the gore of childbirth that I felt now, had there not been the overwhelming joy of that new life at my side. 

Likely the baby died days or weeks before.

It may seem odd to feel in that moment a kinship to the women who undergo abortions. The ones who choose this end and particularly reject that overwhelming joy and that new life. But I did. I felt the desire to remove myself and let my body take care of this without me. I felt a sense of dread at what I might see, even as I had moments of near panic that we would never have Ellery's little form to baptize and bury. I felt revulsion at every physical proof of my transition to "not-pregnant."

Mostly, I don't feel guilty for feeling this way. It's well within "normal" to have such reactions to suffering a loss. This is a time of grief for me.

It is for them as well. The ones that choose.

I'm getting back to normal, and I missed the baby. We told the kids earlier this week, and we all miss the baby—the baby now, and the baby that would have been. But we're all getting back to normal, whatever that will be. I love my family. All of them.

Ellery Raphael, pray for your mama. Pray for all the mamas, and their babies. Pray for all of us, your family. Jesus, have mercy on us, and keep my little Ellery close.


Charlotte (WaltzingM) said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My Natalie told me and we said a prayer for you and your family.

Nicole Stallworth said...

Thank you, Charlotte. I'm still processing, and writing about it scared me a little; thanks for "checking in."


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