Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The veil

It is a sobering fact that birth and death are closely related. Flip sides of the same coin. Thankfully, birth and death are usually spaced far apart in one's life.

Not always, though.

This month, two of my dear clients have lost their babies, much too soon. Both babies passed from their bodies within 9-10 days of each other. The first in the 26th week of pregnancy, the second in the 33rd week or pregnancy. Otherwise known as intrauterine fetal demise. I don't like that term, though. It sounds much too cold to describe something that deserves all the compassion we can muster.

As a midwife, this felt like a bad dream. Could this really be true? I felt like my heart had been riped out.

The days and weeks that followed have been a time that I can only describe with one word: humbling. I have been in utter awe at the strength of each of these women, in birthing their babies and subsequently saying goodbye to them, and each of these families, in grieving and doing the hard work of moving forward and healing. These babies were/are both dearly loved and very much wanted.

I cannot describe in words how these two babies have touched my life and my work. They will never be forgotten, and will be loved and remembered. Though their time with us was much too short, the gifts each baby gave to all of us whose lives they touched are many.