Thursday, February 24, 2011

After dying, before being born

It is wrong to die and then be born.

More proof that Aurelia apparently is never really far from my mind.  When I saw the title "Relative Size" in the list to the side, I assumed I had written something about the relative size of Chiron and Aurelia at their birth.  We do not have a picture that shows this, as Chiron was whisked away to the arms of those who would help him to continue his battle and thrive while Aurelia was wrapped in a blanket and set to the side to be dealt with when there was a moment.  There remained nothing urgent to be done for her.  Yes, things needed to be done, but the timetable was not critical. 

The difference in attitude towards them at their birth is what came to my mind first, but it's obviously not the real/only explanation for why we wouldn't have a picture of them together.  Honestly, I don't think I could have put newborn Chiron, representing such a battle for life, crying heartily, next to his sister who was not just demised, but had been dead for six weeks. 

But relative size was one of my most poignant reflections after their birth.  Aurelia had been dead for six weeks when they were born and her body was forever trapped in the perfect 24-week state it had been when she died [the perinatologist is the one who brought the word perfect and viable into the picture, the day before she died].  However, her body had been through a lot in that time.  She no longer was producing fluid or had a functioning placenta and so her body was what they called macerated.  As a result, she weighed just 344 grams.  This is in contrast to her 1,402 gram brother.  That time she spent waiting after dying and before being born was the last gift she gave us.

We have six pictures of her.  I held her twice.  In one aspect, my c-section experience was more normal because I did have a baby to hold in the recovery room despite Chiron being in the NICU.  I thought she was perfect.  Even at the time I could recognize that her body had been through the ringer, but there were details such as her mouth that remained perfect.  I looked at the pictures a week or two ago and while I will definitely keep them, I prefer my hormone and surgery addled brain's view of her as perfect.

She’s been actually dead for 15 weeks today and legally dead for 9.  Shouldn’t it be easier? How do you miss someone you never met?

1 comment:

  1. I am not a mother and I have been blessed not to have lost anyone close to me so far in my life. So I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like for a mother to lose a child. God made Aurelia beautiful and perfect, and His reasons are good, if not understandable by us. And one day you will see her again - and when you do, the "why" won't matter.