I gave birth to Poppy 8 months ago today. I’ve lived without her almost as long as she was living inside me. Time is passing quickly and yet these last 8 months feel like an eternity. Life is so different without her, without the dream of her.
My husband and I went camping this weekend with a small group of friends. Saturday afternoon we escaped from the group and took our puppy for a hike in the woods. I tried so hard to be present to the beauty surrounding me. There were moments when I connected with the spongy earth beneath my feet and the fresh piney air that filled my lungs, but most of the time I was lost in thoughts of my daughter.
I fell apart later when I saw a young mother and her toddler sunbathing at the riverbank alongside our camp. She was basking in the sunlight, her arms reaching for the clouds, dancing gently in the breeze. Her child sat beside her and watched in awe. It was gorgeous and heartbreaking.
Alone with Eli in our tent, I mourned the dreams we had together of raising our baby girl. Poppy never got a chance to live in this world. She never felt sunlight on her skin. She never even opened her eyes to see the light. So many of my tears are simply for all the life she didn’t get to live.
I haven’t listened to very much music since Poppy died, but I recently connected with a song by Trevor Hall called “You Can’t Rush Your Healing.” The chorus has become a mantra for me…“You can’t rush your healing. Darkness has its teachings. Love is never leaving. You can’t rush your healing.” Truly, I just wish all this sorrow, this darkness, would stop. But it won’t and I can’t rush it.
Poppy’s purpose is beginning to take shape though. Recently I heard from a childhood friend who has followed our loss on Facebook and is also reading my blog. I asked permission to share her story here. She readily gave it.
My friend gave birth to twins on April 18, 2016. Her pregnancy was high risk and she was watched very closely. At 38 weeks her OB was pushing her to be induced. She told me that she was “VERY hesitant” to induce as she really thinks babies should choose their own birthdays and come when they are ready. I completely agree! She gave the decision great thought and prayer. Here’s where I was shocked. She told me that she kept having visions of me and Poppy. She agreed to be induced that Monday. It turned out that her baby boy had the cord wrapped around his neck. Even more serious, her daughter’s placenta had partially detached from her uterus. She wrote: “all three of us could have died in a matter of a few minutes had I gone into labor naturally and not gotten to the hospital in a hurry. It was the right choice to proceed in a controlled environment. A placenta abruption is basically an OB nightmare. I wanted you to know that I would not have made those decisions had it not been for you and Poppy and your decision to share your story. So thank you. I know we haven’t been in touch in years but you are very special to me. Hope you are taking care of yourself. I do feel like people come into our lives for a reason and maybe this was mine with you.”
I never dreamed that sharing my story could actually help save the lives of other babies. I have felt before that Poppy’s life was a sacrifice, that she came into this world for reasons I can’t know yet. But as you see, Poppy is already making a difference. I am so proud of my little girl. As much as I mourn every moment I’ll never get to spend with her, I am eternally grateful that her spirit is guiding my life and the lives of others.