I wake up in a panic.
Though I don't know it yet (I will soon), waking up for the next few months, is the worst part. Waking up and realizing what has happened, waking up and realizing my baby is dead, waking up and realizing that my baby is gone, this, this is the worst thing ever.
In the moment between waking and sleeping and realization is where I want to stay stuck.
At midnight, the nurse came in and gave me another cervadil. I was in labor and starting to dilate, but not by much.
So one more cervadil goes in. More morphine goes in. I have a magical button that I push when I need more morphine, and it magically dispenses the morphine directly into my bloodstream.
Then, 3 a.m. comes and I am dreaming (or am I awake?), I don't know, but I am suddenly floating above the room. I see myself below. I see my belly. I see my dead child. I see my body, and suddenly I am aware that I want to die, that I am dying, that a piece of me is dead.
It is an out-of-body experience. It is a near death experience more than likely brought on by the morphine, but I wake up and realize I am no longer floating above myself, that I am in fact still inside my body. And I realize that I no longer want to be inside my own body. That I really and truly want to be dead. I don't want to be alive.
Are these suicidal thoughts?
I will discover much, much later, that many other moms have this same experience of not wanting to live, of wanting to die, not so much out of wanting to die as much as wanting to be with their baby.
I want to be with Grace. I want to be where Grace is. I want death.
I stop the morphine. I call the nurse. I ask her to remove the drip from my body.
She asks me if I'm sure.
I am sure.
I want to feel this birth, I tell her. I tell my midwife that I am done with the drugs. I want to feel Grace. I want to feel this birth. I want to feel whatever it is I need to feel.
Still, I want to die.
And now I am bleeding.
Blood is everywhere. They can hardly stop the bleeding. My blood count goes way, way down. I hear them talk about transfusions. I think once again that really I might die. I wish them all away. Just leave me alone, and let the blood run out of me.
And then the bleeding stops.
I fall asleep. They go away.
I wake up at 6 a.m.
I am still pregnant.
Grace is still dead.
The world still makes no sense at all.
It is June 1st.
Today, I will give birth to my dead baby.
Today, I will give birth to death.
The day, the week, the month is suddenly longer than I can ever imagine.
Grace is dead and no miracle, I realize, will ever bring her back.
And then the work of hard labor is about to begin.
Soon, my labor will begin and in six hours, Grace will be born. Only hardly born at all.
Still, she will indeed, be born. Still born. Born still.
Spin it whichever way you'd like.
The story ends up the same way every time.
Grace is dead.