The last time I felt Christian kick was 11am on Thursday January 24th 2007. I was standing in our bathroom brushing my hair. I remember looking into the mirror at my reflection. I knew it would be the last time. I just knew. I had carried this little boy for his entire life. My womb, the place he lived would now also be his resting place. It had been over a day since I had felt anything. I began to pack a hospital bag. I took my comfy clothes, my birthing necklace that I wore when I laboured with Scarlett, it is woven silk with aqua aura stones. I took the gifts for Christian from Katherine, some pens and paper, a big piece of clear quartz crystal for me to hold, some toiletries and my camera.
I was admitted to hospital.
Jan came to see me along with the head midwife. We had a talk about my wishes and concerns. I was induced and they told me that I would deliver Christian within any time from 2 hours up to 2 days. I was calm, mostly because I was overwhelmed by sadness. I had barely any energy.
The Hospital Chaplin came to visit us. He was a gentle soul and had much sympathy for us. He explained our options for Christians body. We made the decision to have him cremated at the hospital.
The hours passed and my family came in with Scarlett to visit me. I didn’t say much to anyone. I felt nauseated. It was a time of little talks. I could hardly speak. My parents embraced me and told me how much they loved me and that they would be there for us through this journey. They left at around 7pm. I remember watching them leave, knowing the next time I saw them this would be all over and I would be a mother to two children only there was not going to be a fairy tale ending.
I noticed as the hours were passing that the pain was getting worse. I was given an epidural but it did not work. At around 12:30am and I was in agony. The pain was so much worse than Scarlett’s labor. I cried with every inch of my body. It must have been so excruciating for Sam to witness. The pain was unbearable. They had warned me that the drugs they used to induce the labor could make the labor much more painful but it didn’t help that Christian was breach. I knew that I was not in control of this situation so I closed my eyes and imagined my spirit guides and angels surrounding me. It helped.
At 2:08 am Christian was finally born. The room was silent. There was no sound. There was no movement.
He was born into Sam and the midwife’s loving hands. I remember Sam whispering through tears to his newborn son. Sam cut Christian’s umbilical cord and the midwife wrapped him up in a blanket and passed him to me. There he was, my beautiful little Christian. He was lovely and pink. He had a button nose just like his big sister. I remember the love I felt at that very moment, however that love was flooded by heavy sadness, the deepest grief known to a parent. I could not believe that he wasn’t alive. He looked like he was only sleeping, but he was never going to open his eyes. He would never wake from this sleep.
After some time I gave Christian to Sam as my placenta would not come out, that was the last thing I needed. The midwives were getting me to do all sorts or weird things to try to get it to come out. I was completely humiliated. They advised me that I would need surgery to have it removed. I remember looking over at Sam. He was sitting in the rocking chair with Christian. He was just staring at the wall. He was completely shattered and emotionally and physically exhausted. I knew the last thing he needed right then was for me to be rushed off into surgery so I just prayed. Thankfully my placenta came out. It was over.
I felt like my heart had been ripped out, stomped on, run over and then thrown back into my chest.
Sam and I sat in the dark together with our son. Sam sang a song by U2 to Christian as he rocked him in the chair.
And may your dreams
If the thundercloud
So let it rain
Rain down on him
So let it be
So let it be
And may your dreams
If the thundercloud
So let it rain
Let it rain
Rain on him
It was a moment that I will never forget. My husband’s grief was so beautiful. I never imagined that the words grief and beautiful could ever go together.
Sam gave Christian back to me and I placed him on my chest and closed my eyes. I covered us both in white light and prayed to Mother Mary. “Take my son Mother Mary, care for him and love him, keep him safe. Let him always know the love that I hold for him. May he watch over us always. Mother Mary, please hold my hand as I grieve for my beautiful son. Please guide me to mother him from afar. May he grow in Heaven and may his light shine brightly over this Earth. May we feel your presence over us at this time. Thank you.” I envisioned her coming to take Christian from me. Her face was so gentle. I could see her wrapping Christian up in her robe and placing one of her hands over his head. As I opened my eyes I witnessed something that I cannot explain. A beautiful blue light flashed out of the room. It was as if there was a light in the room that was on and when I opened my eyes someone switched it off. Only there was no lights on, we laid there in complete darkness. I knew my prayers to Mary had been heard and that she had come and so a sense of deep peace fell over me. I laid there in complete silence with my hands over his little body. His hands placed on my chest and his head over my heart. I whispered into his ear “I will live for you Christian, I will carry you everywhere I go”.
I knew that Christian’s life would shape and mould me forever. I knew that I could take either 1 of 2 paths. I could let his death destroy me and our family or I could let his eternal life be the beginning of something beautiful.
At 3:40 am I called my parents. I could hardly speak. My grief was so intense at that point that I could barely string a sentence together without pausing for long moments. They were so quiet on the phone. Heartbroken, they told me that they loved us all.
Soon enough the sun began to rise. It was a warm and rich amber glow over the hills on the horizon. It had taken forever to come. The midwives brought in a bassinet for me to put Christian in. I had the epidural removed from my back and I sat on the end of the bed and looked at the little lifeless body in front of me. Sam organized with the midwife Carole to give Christian a bath and take his hand and foot prints.
In came Carole with a bath of warm water, some ink pads, paper and a camera. I sat on the bed and watched my beautiful husband bathe our little boy. Sam’s eyes filled with tears. His tears dropped into the bath where Christian’s body floated peacefully in. I soaked up this experience. The sound of the water spilling from Sam’s hands onto Christian and then back into the bath. I watched. I listened. I cried. Sam took Christian’s hand and foot prints. I remember how gentle he was with Christian, it was almost like he was frightened of breaking him. What an honor it was for me to witness such a beautifully heartbreaking moment between a father and his beloved son.
It was 11am and I could tell that Christian was starting to lose the colour in his face. I said to Sam that I felt it was time to let him go. I wanted to remember him as the lovely little pink body that he was and not the little grey body he was becoming. We advised Carole that in about half an hour we would like her to take him for us.
Saying Goodbye to a child that never got to hear the word hello is an experience that I never want to go through again. The universe felt so off-balance. This was not supposed to happen. I remember kissing him and praying. I felt so many things. It was pure heartache and sorrow at its strongest. Letting go of him was the hardest thing I hope that I will ever have to do in my life. I whispered good night into his ear and I gave him to Sam. He said his goodbyes and then the moment came. As Carole took Christian from Sam’s arms we cried and held each other tight. We watched her walk out of the room with our son. We would never see him again. Ever.
We laid on the hospital bed in each others arms and sobbed. Never have we felt so empty. Some time passed and my Mum called. She was downstairs with Dad and Scarlett. I left my room and started walking down the hallway. I saw the lift open and there was my little sweetheart Scarlett and she was walking. She was 11 and a half months old and of all days to start walking she decided her brother’s birthday would be the best. I felt blessed to have her. I wrapped her in my arms and told her how much I loved her. We all walked back to the room. As I opened my door I noticed there was a big blue tear drop sticker on the front of it. They must place them on the rooms of women who lose a baby so that people know before they enter.
After a few hours of our parents visiting us I decided that I needed to leave the hospital. I was still very weak from giving birth but I just wanted to be at home in my own bed. I told Carole and she went and organized a memory box. Carole was the most amazing woman. I have not spoken enough about her. Carole’s heart is as big as the ocean. She cried along with us. This wasn’t just a job for her. I was so blessed to have such a gorgeous woman as my midwife. After a while she came in with some paperwork for me to sign and a box of memories. Inside were his birth details, a beanie that Christian wore, some little clothes, a small album of photos that the midwives took for me, his hand and foot prints and some information about grief counseling.
Sam went and packed up the car and we walked out of the hospital with a memory box instead of our baby. I remember walking out the front doors and the heat hitting me in the face. It was 42 degrees a real typical Australia Day. I was faint and weak. I remember looking back at the hospital, we had left our son in there. It felt wrong . . . it felt so wrong.
We spent the night with my family. We had a Pavlova birthday cake for Christian and from memory there was a bottle of champagne. I remember collapsing in a chair and weeping to my Mum while Sam sat in our room with his Dad. Our situation was completely hopeless, there was nothing anyone could say to make us feel better. We were empty. We were lost. We were heartbroken.
In the early evening Mum and Dad left. They took Scarlett with them so that we could just go straight to sleep. I will never forget waving good-bye to them out the front of our home it was still 41 degrees. I remember the sunset. It was amazing with rippled pink clouds. I wish I had of photographed it. We went inside and got straight into bed. The day was finished. It was over. We cried ourselves to sleep.