Today we had to say goodbye. We visited the place where you were born and had to walk away just the same. It didn’t make too much of a difference to you but it was bittersweet for me. My heart holds on to things, unable to let them go. Today I’m grieving the loss of this birth center. Walking into the farewell party felt warm, felt like home, surrounded by dozens of women who shared in the same care that I did. Dozens of babies your age and younger crawled and played across the floor.
Moms from our new mom’s group sat around each other, all of you babies have grown immensely since those first few months. So many women spoke kind words to me about my own words here and I feel filled up, sad, fortunate and not forgotten all at once. As I made my way through the center I spotted someone I used to serve with in church, his wife held their newborn baby girl in her arms. She was glowing as their baby slept peacefully in her arms.
You placed your head on my shoulder when Jamie walked up to chat with us. Her belly perfectly round with her second pregnancy. I remembered when we sat for coffee together and I asked her every detail of her first birth at Baby and Co. I imagined every detail of your birth, I wondered if I would have you in the tub. If you’d come suddenly or take your sweet time.
A woman who I’d seen at story time with her little was there. We recognized each other, had no idea we had this connection and chatted about how sad this all was. Her little girl scurried around her legs, you squirmed in my arms.
Oh my dearest Felicity, I hope that if you are ever blessed with a baby one day that you would have as wonderful an experience as I had birthing you. Of course I’m already thinking that. Because though you are only 10 months old one day you’ll grow into a beautiful woman, as strong as I was on that day. Certainly right now you’re just a baby but from the moment the sonographer ran her wand over my belly telling us you were a girl your whole life flashed before my eyes. Twirly dresses, bows, heartbreak, daddy daughter dances, love, marriage and eventually far far far away from today your very own baby. I hope that you hear the words in that moment that I heard. You are so strong.
You are amazing and you got this. With strength only God can grant you, you will make it through, it’s only a moment. Take a breath, a breath, another breath and breathe. He will comfort you and remind you of how valuable you are to bring new life into this world.
It’s not easy Felicity. It’s hard work, but it’s more than worth the labor. You will never be the same in the best sort of way. You’ll be stripped of everything you thought you were and discover who you truly are.
I hope that wherever I go next and wherever you go will make us feel as comfortable. I hope that the doctors, midwives and nurses help us to feel as confident under their care.
Felicity, dear sweet Felicity I wanted you to see, before they fold up the sheets on the bed. Before they switch every lamp off, before they close the doors and say goodbye, before it fades from our memories completely, where you were born.