The Ballad Of The First-Born…

Guest post by Stephanie Cole

I was a young girl
I was hopeful
I had been waiting for this
I was ready for it all
I saw purple lines
I felt my heart open wide
I was excited
I was already so in love

I was careful
I ate good food
I did yoga
I read and read and read
I rubbed my belly
I told her I loved her
I sang songs to her
I walked around the pond every day

He was a young man
He was so new to all of this
He tried so hard
He made me anything I wanted to eat
He loved to feel her moving
He put his face close and whispered to her
He asked a million questions
He knew nothing could be more important

She was getting bigger
She was moving of all the time
She had the hiccups often
She loved when I ate peach ice cream
She went to concerts with me and danced
She traveled inside me to ten different states
She was so wanted
She was already so very loved

I was throwing up all of the time
I was laughing about it, sometimes
I was crying about it, also
I was almost always happy
I bought a pink snowsuit
I filled her room with green and bears
I built a bookcase by myself
I was ready for her to be here

We were lying in bed
We were all together
We felt her rolling over
We felt our hearts fill up with her
We were all growing
We knew life would never be the same
We knew nothing could ever be better
We felt like this was meant to be

She was inside
She was healthy
She had a perfect heart
She was always dancing
She moved to the sound of her daddy’s voice
She was growing every day
She was almost here
She was just about to be

I woke up late
I didn’t feel right
I called my husband
I called the doctor
I put our clothes and pillows in the car
I grabbed the video camera
I drove to the hospital
I found my mother waiting for me there

I was listening, but
I did not hear the missing sound
I was looking, but
I could not see the small, still heart
I was calling my husband in tears
I was demanding someone fix it now
I was unable to breathe
I was refusing to put on a gown

It was happening
I was a reluctant participant
I was contracting
I wasn’t connected to any of it
I was pushing
I was incapable of letting her go
They had to cut me
They had to pull her out on their own

She was here now
She was a pretty, little girl
She had brown hair
She had mama’s high cheek bones
She weighed almost eight pounds
She had long, delicate fingers
She had the softest skin I’d ever touched
She was finally in my arms

I was a mother
He was a father
She was our daughter
We were a family
We were all together
We were so broken
We were not happy
She was already gone

Stephanie Paige Cole has been writing ever since she learned how to spell, but never as ferociously as after the death of her daughter, Madeline, in January 2007. She is the author of to linger on hot coals: collected poetic works from grieving women writers and Still: a collection of honest artwork & writings from the heart of a grieving mother.   Her work can also be found in Wild Onions Journal, Still Standing Magazine, Stepping Stones and Craft for Health. Stephanie is the founder of Sweet Pea Project, a nonprofit organization that offers comfort, support and gentle guidance to families who have experienced the death of a baby. <a href=”http://www.sweetpeaproject.org” />Sweet Pea Project</a>





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