I lost my baby. 

I watch the nurse as she carries my child’s body away. She walks so slowly. So gently. I no longer remember that nurse’s face, but I can still see her moving with such care as she holds my little girl wrapped tightly in blankets. 

For two days, I sit, numb, in a hospital bed. The TV flashing. Phone calls, forms, cremation arrangements. Nurses and doctors float in and out of the room. I don’t hear what they are saying but nod my head pretending to listen. 

My mind can’t think. I simply stare blankly ahead at the white, sterile wall. 

Minutes and hours swirl together until I am released from the cocoon of the hospital room. I sit in a wheelchair clutching my stack of papers and small bag of keepsakes as we navigate hallways dotted with smiling mothers and the sound of newborn cries.

Exposed and raw, I hang my head low in defeat. I squeeze my eyes so tightly in pain and prayer that the tears are unable to escape; I want to be invisible. 

Outside, I feel the cool morning air and sun on my skin. We drive home in silence. 

I recognize nothing. 

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Time slows to a stop and the horrific, unplanned reality comes crashing down. I feel her phantom kicks in my hollow abdomen. My C-section incision throbs and cramps as I curse my engorged, aching breasts. I physically feel the emptiness settling in my broken heart. 

I imagine her lifeless body being kept in a freezer. I imagine my perfect, little girl being driven to the crematorium. My baby is alone. Alone. No one to hold her, no one to comfort her. I need to be with her. I am her mother and I need to be with her. 

The thoughts buzz angrily in my head. I can’t escape the unnatural ache of being childless. 

I feel sick. 

I spend my days trying to find ways to pass the time, searching desperately for some form of comfort. I will my legs to move, force myself to walk. I wander around from room to room in a dazeback and forth, back and forth, back and forth like a caged animal pacing aimlessly. 

Inevitably, I wind up standing in front of her crib staring at her belongings. I anxiously flip through ultrasound pictures trying to remember every detail. I replay the memories of my time with her, burning the minutes into my brain, so I don’t forget a second. It is not enough. I curl up on the floor or the bed, clutching her hospital blanket, and sob uncontrollably. Anguish turns to exhaustion and eventually sleep overtakes me. 

I wake in the middle of the night, my body longing to be with her, the bedroom swallowed in calm darkness, and I cry quietly into my pillow. 

Morning brings the hazy realization that this life of mine isn’t a dreamher empty crib is my truth. I cry.

I cry when my husband leaves for work. I cry making toast. I cry in the shower staring at my mutilated and deformed body. I cry in the car. I cry at the store, in the parking lot, in the shampoo aisle. 

I cry so long and hard, at times believing my tears are the only connection I have to her; that they form an invisible string holding her in Heaven, and if I stop she will somehow be forgotten. The fear of forgetting my child . . .

More tears. 

I never realized a soul could spill so many tears.

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Suddenly, anger boils and rages. I scream hysterically, uncontrollably, only to be left crumpled and breathless on the floor in front of a growing shrine of sympathy cards and flowers. 

This loss has brought me to the edge of madness. I don’t know what I want.

I don’t want noise, I don’t want silence. I don’t want to be alone, I don’t want to be near anyone. I want to be held, but I do not want to be touched. 

I need everything to stop spinning and the excruciating emptiness to end

Helpless. I can’t fight anymore. 

I force myself to breathe as I take grief’s hand and simply surrender. I allow myself to feelall of it.

Another deep breath.

Feel. 

Surrender.

Originally published on Still Standing Magazine

Amy Cirksena

Mother and freelancer living in Maryland. Lover of little details and all things pretty. A firm believer that coffee is its own food group. Writes about love and loss to honor the memory of her daughter while exploring a journey of renewed hope with her two bubbly little boys.