These are the moments I want to live in:
- The moment when someone asks about the baby. The normal post pregnancy questions are brimming in their minds because they know us just enough to be excited for us but not well enough to know he’s dead or because they hardly know us at all and are just making conversation. I want to live in the space between their question and my answer. Where the outcome is obvious and standard. Where there is hope and joy and excitement. Where there are sleepless nights, trouble nursing and sibling relationships to manage. Where there is nothing wrong. Where babies are born and they live.
- The moment after Harvey was born but before my husband realized something was wrong. He had been cheering me on, the baby came in moments and he made an exclamation of pure joy and relief, his voice like I’ve never heard except when our daughter was born. The happiest he has ever been, again. The midwives began suctioning Harvey, squeezing his little legs and feet and all the things they do with a “slow to start” baby. I began screaming because I knew and Danny started saying “He’s fine. He’s fine.” Right there, where my husband still had hope. I want to live right there where my husband is comforting me because our baby is fine.
- The moment before Harvey was born. The triumph I began to feel after such intense labor. After progressing normally. About to have a vaginal birth. About to feel the relief of the intense pain and pressure of a bony head and heavy body between my legs. About to have a home birth. About to take my mewling, helpless little baby into my arms and then into our bed, like I’ve dreamed of doing since I learned about home birth and began planning for one 6 years ago. And then he is out and I see the back of his body and the midwife lowers him into her arms and begins to turn him over. And stop. Right there. I want to live right there.
- All the moments of my life before my baby died.