Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Homecoming

Today is really the anniversary of the worst day of my life.
The day they wheeled me, because I was too sad to walk, to the front entrance of the hospital.
The nurse who was pushing me didn't know what to say to me.

Greg met me there, in our little silver car. I looked in the back seat.
The car seat was gone.
Later, I asked him where it was. He told me that when he had come out, early in the day on the 13th of May to get our bag from the car, he had taken out the car seat himself, unbuckled the seat, removed the little locking clip, and then taken the baby things out of the bag, and he had put them into the trunk.

My heart ached for him, imagining the pain radiating up his arm as he lifted the tiny seat, carrying it in defeat around the side of the car and putting it into the trunk. Closing the lid with a slam, and a click. Door closed. Chapter over. Book done.

We drove home. It was a beautiful, brilliant day. The lilacs filled the air with their sweet nectar, mocking our grief. We arrived home, and my family was there. Our family, all of them. They watched, barely able to, holding back, not knowing what to do, as Greg helped me from the car.

I leaned into him, almost staggering, as I came up the path. My belly pooched out under my shirt, that baggy, strangely empty, postpartum belly. My breasts were bare under my red shirt: I only had nursing bras, and I could not bring myself to wear one.

I crossed the threshold. I was back in my home, technically the same home I had left the morning before. My sister had made up the pull-out couch in the living room, because I couldn't go up the stairs. I didn't want to go upstairs. I didn't want to see the little baby room, the bed where she had died in my belly. I couldn't face the towels on my bedroom floor, cast there when my waters were pouring down my legs, me not knowing my baby was suffocating as it flowed.

We stayed downstairs for one week.

7 comments:

Shannon said...

Not that this is the same as having to put your car seat in the trunk, but last month after my second miscarriage, my husband quietly took all our pregnancy books from our nightstands and put them back in the box in a messy corner of our office. I happened to be checking my email at the time and he held up his one pregnancy book, "The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-to-Be", and asked me if he would ever get to finish it. I made me really sad because it made the dream of having a baby seem like a lost cause.

Jen said...

Carol, you are very good at describing the exact dimensions, the exact size and shape, of staggering loss and devastation. I am so appreciative of your openness and your willingness to navigate some of your grief here.

I was thinking of you and Charlotte so much today. I was observing some lilacs today and thinking, there must have been lilacs blooming at this time five years ago; how cruel of them to bloom. And then I saw this post.

Awake said...

I'm so glad for you that you have found a little corner here to write, to express, to speak.

And I hope that your lilacs, if blooming now, offer a little comfort, and less mockery.

Take care Carol.

Rebecca said...

Have you ever considered using your blog as the basis of a book? There are many memoirs of grief out there and each is personal and unique but your writing is so sensitive and precise and beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. Just a thought.

Shannon said...

I think Rebecca is on the money, that would be an amazing and powerful book. I know I would buy it. I bought a book that was created in that way, it's by Martha Brockenbrough about her first pregnancy experience and very funny and light called "It Could Happen to You". She has a blog at http://marthabrockenbrough.blogspot.com/ but she hasn't updated it in a while. Her main website is http://marthabee.com/

Charlotte's Mama said...

I really, really want to write a book. It feels like an insurmountable goal. But I really want to one day.

stephanie said...

Your writing is incredible and I think your blog in and of itself contains much of what would make up a book. Maybe it would feel less insurmountable if you started by putting your entries together in a way that makes sense to you. I was also thinking that cousin Sabrina might be a good person to talk to about this...