Stillmothers.com is devoted to supporting families who have lost children through stillbirth. It contains deeply moving personal stories of loss, and I have found myself becoming lost in the words by these brave parents who are willing to share their experience of grief and loss in order to help others. Today I read Melissa’s beautiful words about her daughter Alyssa http://www.stillmothers.com/2016/09/21/on-holding-her-and-photos/
My daughter was perfect, all six and a half months of her. But even if she had been much younger, I know I would’ve felt the same. (…)
Some moms don’t want to see their child because they think it will be easier for them, and it is scary. Some are not given the choice. Either way, it is not our fault that this happens. No one gave us the rule book in pregnancy loss. No one told us “just in case your baby dies, this is what you do.”
I was fortunate enough to see my beautiful daughter. I was fortunate enough to pull back her blanket and kiss all her toes and fingers. I kissed her body all over, and at her wake later that week, I kissed her lips. My husband and I cried over her so she would go with our tears. I slept with her in the hospital, still groggy from the medicine, and held her little body close to mine as I rested. We took pictures, and so did the nurse. And after she took pictures, I asked for more time with her. I stayed with her as long as I could.
I still have regrets though.
My husband was able to look at her eyes as he opened them and says they were blue, just like his. I felt that I was disrespecting my daughter, and I was scared, so I looked away. I never got to see her beautiful blue eyes. I don’t like the pictures I took with her, my hair is wild, and I’m visibly crying. My husband has a picture where he is looking lovingly down at her, and I am glad for that. (…)
Because you only have that one chance to see and hold your child, unlike the non bereaved, who get the rest of their lives.