You said congratulations, and I said thank you.
What you don’t know is – I would have done anything to be in your shoes.
At the hospital where my son Jordan was born, labour and delivery and the NICU are on the same floor.
Jordan died minutes after birth from mermaid syndrome; a rare congenital developmental disorder.
He beat all the odds of Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes (PPROM) at 20 weeks and made it more than 14 weeks before I went into spontaneous labour and needed an emergency c-section because he was breech.
When moving from labour and delivery to my room, I had Jordan swaddled and was carrying him in my arms while the nurse was pushing my wheelchair. We were waiting for the elevator, and you walked past me out of the NICU.
To you, I looked like any other mother who was taking her baby up to the family newborn unit where you likely longed to be with your babe.
In reality, I was going up to a room where I would spend my final few hours mothering my dead baby here on earth.
You said congratulations and all I could think to say was – thank you.
Much to the surprise of my family standing behind me.
What you didn’t know is that I would have given anything to be coming out of the NICU. We were well informed of the odds of beating PPROM at 20 weeks and, even making it as long as we did, we were still expecting an extended NICU stay.
You were essentially living our best case scenario.
We didn’t know our baby had mermaid syndrome until shortly after his birth. Even with over 15 ultrasounds during my pregnancy, it was never picked up.
We were expecting complications due to the PPROM; we knew the odds were still stacked against us, but we were ready to fight.
I was ready to fight.
I wasn’t ready to have no real options.
I wasn’t ready to not know the sex of my baby for weeks after he was born.
I wasn’t ready for my husband to not meet his son while he was alive.
I wasn’t ready to tell my older son we wouldn’t get to bring our baby home.
I wasn’t ready to come up with a gender-neutral name after painstakingly picking out perfect names weeks prior, and I wasn’t ready to tell you that my baby was dead.
I was ready to fight.
Still, I think of you and hope and pray that you got to bring your baby home. I hope that you are not a member of this club. This awful club that no one wants to be a part of.
But most of all, thank you for being the only person to congratulate me on the birth of my baby.