Harry, My Angel

 

The blue lines

Announce your presence.

But I knew you were

With me,

Before

Any pee on a stick

Proudly

Displayed life.

~

Such a quiet

Soul

In my womb.

Always quiet.

All 21 weeks

We were together.

~

Your peacefulness

Told me

There was unease.

That you weren’t meant to stay.

~

But,

When we heard

The words

“Anomalies”,

“Termination”,

“Decisions”,

A knowing shock

Overtook me.

~

Awake with you

For the week

I was still

Holding you

In my womb,

Still giving you life.

~

The day arrived.

Remember, remember

The fifth of November.

A homely room

For two.

No, for three.

~

“Take this pill”

They said.

The pill

To ensure

You were

Born sleeping.

Too shocking

To comprehend

~

You would come

Earthside

That same day.

~

“You don’t

Have to endure

Pain”

They said.

~

A live birth,

In another room,

Meant

No pain relief.

For hours.

~

Oh the blinding

Pain.

Until finally,

The big needle

Gave some respite.

~

Fireworks

Exploded outside.

While inside

Oh so peacefully,

You arrived.

Silent.

Forever sleeping.

So tiny.

~

Dressed as an

Angel,

I held you close.

I kissed you.

~

We said goodbye

To you.

And then,

They took away

Your physical body

~

There were no tears.

Just a chasm,

So deep,

No emotion

Could surface.

~

No baby

To hold

On the journey home,

After birth.

Just your tiny

Hand and footprints.

~

In the days after,

Life-giving milk

Flowed

From my breasts.

How utterly

Futile.

~

But still no tears.

Until I saw

Your toy-sized

Casket.

And finally,

We wept together.

 ~

“ARC is the only national charity helping parents and healthcare professionals through antenatal screening and its consequences

Around 800,000 women in the UK become pregnant each year. More than 40,000 will be told there is a risk their baby has a serious fetal anomaly. Naturally, this causes a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty. Most parents will ultimately be reassured the pregnancy is progressing as expected. Sadly, some will receive the devastating news that their baby has a serious, sometimes lethal condition or might be told that the outlook is very uncertain.

ARC offers non-directive information and support to parents before, during and after antenatal screening; when they are told their baby has an anomaly; when they are making difficult decisions about continuing with or ending a pregnancy, and when they are coping with complex and painful issues after making a decision, including bereavement.”