Harry, My Angel

***Trigger warning. Contains description of baby loss***

The blue lines

Announce your presence.

But I know you are

With me,

Before

Any pee on a stick

Proudly

Displays life.

~

Such a quiet

Soul

In my womb.

Always quiet.

All 21 weeks

We are together.

~

Your peacefulness

Tells me

There is unease.

That you’re not meant to stay.

~

But,

When we hear

The words

“Anomalies”,

“Termination”,

“Decisions”,

A knowing shock

Overtakes me.

~

Awake with you

For the week

I still

Hold you

In my womb.

Still giving you life.

~

The day arrives.

Remember, remember

The fifth of November.

A homely room

For two.

No, for three.

~

“Take this pill”

They say.

The pill

To ensure

You are

Born sleeping.

Too shocking

To comprehend

~

You come

Earthside

That same day.

~

“You don’t

Have to endure

Pain”

They say.

~

A live birth,

In another room,

Means

No pain relief.

For hours.

~

Oh the blinding

Pain.

Until finally,

The big needle

Gives some respite.

~

Fireworks

Explode outside.

While inside

Oh so peacefully,

You arrive.

Silent.

Forever sleeping.

So tiny.

~

Dressed as an

Angel,

I hold you close.

I kiss you.

~

We say goodbye.

And then,

They take away

Your physical body

~

There are no tears.

Just a chasm,

So deep,

No emotion

Can surface.

~

No baby

To hold

On the journey home,

After birth.

Just your tiny

Hand and footprints.

~

In the days after,

Life-giving milk

Flows

From my breasts.

How utterly

Futile.

~

But still no tears.

Until I see

Your toy-sized

Casket.

And finally,

We weep.

 ~

“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.”