part a, part b, part c, part d
Going back home was surreal to say the least. Our house seemed emptier than before. Quieter. Robert and I feel onto our bed and cried. It was the first time I had ever seen him cry. He tells me that it was the first time I really cried since this whole ordeal happened. Cry I did. My poor eyelids weren't just puffy, they actually bruised a little. Only one other time in my life have I cried so hard that my eyelids bruised. During our first hours alone Robert did something that helped glue our young marriage even tighter together. With the gentleness and care of a nursemaid he helped dress me. He patiently took waited as I sat on the edge of our bed slowly putting one leg into my dark blue shorts and then another. He was down on his knees filled with love and care. It was like nothing else mattered, like we had all of the time in the world.
Neither of us could escape the constant sound of monitors beeping. Paige's heart monitor. We hadn't realized just how present those monitors in the hospital were until then. For the next few days that beep, beep, beep would play over and over in my ears and heart. It was a sound we wished we could stop. That same beeping would sound in my eardrums every now and then over the following months.
My mom and Grandma drove across state lines to come see us. I don't remember just how long they stayed. They cooked, cleaned, answered the phone, made sure I ate. It did me good to have then with us. They helped as much as they could. How do you take your daughters pain away? How do you help heal her grief? They did it the best way they could, by mothering me.
Meals were brought over the next week. Tears were shed over the babies we each had lost and the hope of life moving on was planted. I can't tell you what we ate, but I remember the faces, the stories and the love. One of my friends made a small embroidery that said Paige in mint green thread and a heart below it. She framed it in a delicate gold frame. That sat on our bookshelf for some time.
Another thing that sticks with me is the way my body reacted. I still had post delivery contractions, that were almost as bad a the real ones and my milk came in. Nothing to relieve them except time. These were both something no one told me would happen. I remember sitting on our rust colored sofa telling Doreen about the contractions. She said they were normal and would go away soon. My contractions stopped and the milk eventually dried up too. Gone were any signs that I was just pregnant. Any signs that we had just had a baby girl.