Soft pink matter

What’s her favourite sound? Hearing the chirps and cries of babies and small little children.

The joy of finding out that there was a life of a little one breathing inside of her was overwhelming. It was a dream come true. We were finally going to be parents. The baby names we picked out when we were wrapped in each others’ arms, while staring into each others’ eyes, witnessed by the moon and stars out by our favourite spot down by the beach, came back ringing as if it was just yesterday.

After six years, finally. Finally we would be able to put a face to Hope. Hope Ramirez.

Just like every other first-time expecting couple, preparations were well underway. A pink and yellow flower-themed nursery filled in every corner with plush toys and teddy bears. A small knee-length stocked bookshelf of story books and bedtime stories that Vivian and I handpicked for Hope. A white cot placed near the window, where sun rays crept in through the blinds, casting beautiful shadows inside the room. We were ready to welcome Hope into our lives and our home.

~

Love.

Love was what brought us to this very day, and love is what’s going to get us through the darkest of storms.

26 weeks into the pregnancy, Vivian had to be rushed to the hospital due to an internal bleeding and bacterial infection in her womb. That day, the heartbeat that we once felt from Hope was lost forever.

“Mr Ramirez, i’m really sorry, i’m afraid that we’ve lost your baby…

and if that wasn’t painful enough,

…your wife is more than 6 months in, she still has to deliver her child.”.

I was an amalgam of emotions- devastated, confused, angry and worried.

Why God? Why?

Then it struck me. How selfish I was. If I was feeling like this, I can’t imagine how Vivian must be feeling. I have to be strong for her and for both of us. We will get through this.

As I held her hand, and she gripped onto mine while she pushed, I prayed the whole way through, hoping to God to keep my wife safe and strong. Seeing the tears roll down her face, I uttered words of encouragement under my cracked voice, trying to contain the pain and sadness that engulfed me while still appearing strong.

After seven excruciating hours, Vivian safely delivered Hope. No cries were heard.

As sad as we both were, the faith and resilience I saw in Vivian’s eyes as she held on to the soft pink matter that was our stillborn, reminded me of why I loved her in the first place.

“Hope, mommy’s here…and look, the man crying over there is your daddy. Although your life in this world has been short-lived, I just want to say thank you for the joy you brought mommy and daddy. Heaven couldn’t wait for you. God loves you more…”

If there ever was the perfect display of undying love, that was it.

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