Hearing the news was definitely the worst part. “There is no heartbeat.”
It broke me. I fell.
Giving birth to him was the worst part. “Keep going; keep pushing.”
I pushed for 4 hours because dead babies can’t help.
The silence was definitely the worst part. Even though they warned me, I was still waiting.
It’s still the loudest sound I’ve never heard.
Leaving the hospital was the worst part. They had let me stay for 24 hours, but in the end, my traitorous legs climbed into the car.
Waking up was definitely the worst part. I was swollen with milk and no baby to feed.
Why couldn’t I just sleep?
Answering the phone was the worst part. People were persistent. I had already been overdue.
“He’s dead!” I finally screamed.
Planning a funeral was definitely the worst part. How do I honor him? What do I say?
How do you write a eulogy for a child who never breathed?
Living with a postpartum body was the worst part. I still looked pregnant, existing in society.
So many strangers asked when I was due.
Going back to work was definitely the worst part. Some people pitied me; some people stared.
Some people said absolutely nothing, at all.
Losing friends was the worst part. People I trusted; people who came to the funeral and cried with me. People who asked me, not even a month later, why I wasn’t smiling.
Did his life mean so little to the world?
The first Thanksgiving was definitely the worst part. My boss asked me to dinner, but his wife looked at me so funny when I took a picture of elephant next to the table.
And what was I thankful for, anyway?
Moving without him was the worst part. Packing his nursery; boxing his things.
Would it be weird to set them all out again in my new city?
Starting a new job was definitely the worst part. Having a strict schedule, without room to grieve.
I felt thankful for opportunity, and also very trapped.
Thinking about a subsequent child was the worst part. I had always planned on only one—but the intensity and need!
And will this child feel like a replacement?
And is there enough of me?
His first birthday was definitely the worst part. I planned a celebration; sent formal invitations…And almost nobody came.
Have we forgotten the meaning of RSVP?
The whole second year was the worst part. Because the first year was over, and everything was supposed to be easier.
…Why isn’t it easier?
I’ve lived my life since then, and I’ve found that every new piece is another worst part. Accepting reality; losing friends; every moment and milestone and missing and difference.
My son should be here. And he isn’t. And that is definitely the worst part.