It’s been almost four years since my daughter was stillborn.
It’s been almost four years since I went home without my baby. A day I wish I could forget.
And somehow, I remember that day like it was yesterday.
On that day, I changed out of my hospital gown and packed up my belongings. I collected my discharge paperwork and picked up my prescriptions. I walked down the hallway, my husband’s arm around me, while the nurses said goodbye with sad smiles and sympathetic eyes.
On that day, my hands shook as I pressed the elevator buttons. My eyes filled with tears as a couple passed by pushing a baby stroller. My legs could barely carry me as we approached the double doors to the parking garage.
On that day, I walked to my car and got inside. My husband started the engine and drove us home. We left our baby behind to be cremated and we would never hold her again.
On that day, I went home and tried to resume my normal life. I pet my cat, ate pizza on my couch and watched reruns of 30 Rock in silence. I put on my pajamas, crawled into bed, and cried myself to sleep.
Because on that day, my life forever changed.
On that day, I learned that being pregnant does not guarantee a living baby. I realized what a privilege it is to leave the hospital with your child. I truly understood why many people are afraid of hospitals.
It has been almost four years since that day and I remember every moment of it. I simply don’t understand people who think I would forget. How could I forget a day like that? Who forgets the worst days of their life? I think it’s possible to block those days out, but I don’t think a person ever truly forgets.
Trauma has a way of sticking with you.
I don’t want to remember the day I left the hospital without my baby. If it was up to me, that day wouldn’t exist. I want it all to be different. I wish I didn’t know what that day was like. But, I do–and I can’t forget it.
I won’t forget it.
Because on that day, I began to live my life as a grieving mother. It has been a difficult life to live. Even my happiest moments are dulled with a twinge of sadness. Because almost four years later, I still remember what it was like to become a mother with empty arms.
Originally published on An Unexpected Family Outing