By: LaCara Biddles
I reclined in profound stillness upon the unsettling confines of the hospital bed. Beside me, my husband tossed and turned as he attempted to fall into a deep slumber.
I stared at the black and white clock above the door frame. The minute hand navigated the clock’s circumference, whispering the passage of minutes without an audible sound. Time had not stopped, yet somehow, I felt stuck in it.
I knew what was coming. I spent every moment working to prepare myself mentally and emotionally for the inevitable. The reality, nothing can prepare you for an experience so life-changing, devastating and heartbreaking as the one I was about to endure.
Three days after receiving the news that my membranes had ruptured, I went into active labor with the help of medical intervention. It was Friday, July 24. Contractions were now regular, and I needed to push. I knew the time had come, and I told my husband to call for the nurse.
I was now in active labor, and at this point, I had disconnected emotionally and physically from my body. It’s a strange feeling. Being numb, though, also feeling the contractions and burning sensation accompanying the delivery of a baby. Yet, the physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional despair to come.
I just wanted it to be over; I wanted nothing more than to crawl into a dark hole and die. Days prior, everything in my life felt like it was in alignment. I had done everything exactly as I had planned.
- I obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
- Found a caring and loving partner.
- We bought a house to create our home.
- We travelled a bit here and there.
- I established my career and secured a position supporting my long-term goals.
Growing up, I learned that hard work and planning would yield rewards. I worked hard to accomplish my goals and dreams. Yet I found myself wondering, why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?
After forty-five minutes of pushing, my baby arrived. The nurse’s voice cut through the silence in the room, “She is beautiful.”
“It’s a girl,” I said to my husband. The nurse handed my daughter to me, wrapped in a pink blanket with a matching toque.
My heart ached as I cradled her close to my chest, breathing in her scent. I moved my head closer to hers. As I pressed my lips against her forehead, I could feel the warmth of her skin move through me.
My husband caressed her tiny head and looked up at me. “I’ve never loved anyone so much,” tears filled his eyes. I understood completely. I never believed in love at first sight until that moment.
She showed me that unconditional and irrevocable love did exist. She was mine, and I was hers.
My gaze was locked on her. She was perfect. She didn’t make a sound. She never opened her eyes. She looked as though she was in a peaceful slumber.
Agonal breathing set in, and the nurse gently placed a stethoscope over her chest. Her heart rate was low and steadily declining. As her heartbeat slowed, mine declined alongside hers. The monitors captured my heart rate at 38 beats per minute. My daughter was dying in my arms, and my heart was breaking.
After a few minutes, the nurse said, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”
Agony pierced through every part of my body. How could I continue to exist in a world where my precious baby no longer breathed? The line between reality and a cruel dream blurred. I struggled to breathe—a heaviness pressed into my chest.
Was this what death felt like? Is this what my daughter had experienced? Did she experience some form of agony and pain? My mind became inundated with a constant barrage of questions and wonderings.
Amidst the chaos, I heard a faint, reassuring voice whispering, “Everything is going to be okay.” It didn’t come from anyone within the room, though it had emerged from within. With the message came a sensation of peace and calm; whoever said it, I believed her.
On July 25, 2023, a significant milestone approaches – it marks three years since I cradled my precious baby girl in my arms.
Tears flow freely down my cheeks as I write this, and an indescribable pain pierces my core. It feels like I have been transported back in time, reliving that fateful moment that shattered my world and altered my existence forever.
My story is one of heartbreak, unimaginable loss, and the transformative power that lies hidden within the depths of grief. There was a time when I yearned to bury these memories, to escape the excruciating pain accompanying a mother’s mourning. How could there be any beauty within the immense sorrow and grief of a mother who has experienced the death of her baby?
Yet, life has a way of unfolding without clear explanations or justifications. Sometimes, things happen without a discernible rhyme or reason.
As I grappled with my pain and grief, I discovered a profound connection to others who have also experienced the heartache of losing a child. I found my voice within the depths of my grief and unearthed a purpose I had sought for years.
I realized the power and fulfillment of bringing comfort, peace and solace to others navigating the darkness of grief. Because within the pain and heartbreak, there lies beauty and immeasurable love.
It’s not just my baby’s life that has had a profound impact; it’s the life of all babies, no matter how short their lives. It’s through our children that we experience unconditional and boundless love.
It’s a powerful force that can propel us forward.
My daughter’s life, though short, reminds me that strength and purpose can emerge even from the most devasting circumstances. Our pain does not bring forth our purpose, though it can bring clarity to our conscious minds to decide; we can choose to create purpose from our pain.
Grief is a lifelong journey, and as I continue to navigate its intricate path, I have learned to embrace all that accompanies it. I am grateful to have uncovered a strength I never knew I possessed and a purpose that transcends my experience and offers solace to others walking a similar path.
Our actions are forever intertwining the legacies of our little ones, forging an indelible mark of our boundless connection and love. With each breath and step we take, we honour them. We carry their legacy within us, keep their memory alive, and the unbreakable bonds we share remain ever-present as we move forward in our grief.
About LaCara Biddles
LaCara specializes in providing compassionate grief support for women who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss, leveraging her extensive nursing career and personal journey. In 2020, LaCara faced a devastating tragedy—the death of her first daughter, Kailani. This profound event ignited her passion for supporting women as they navigate the intricate landscape of pregnancy and infant loss.
LaCara candidly shares her journey through her published book, “Heavenly Seas,” a touching tribute to her beloved daughter. This heartfelt work is a testament to LaCara’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that no one walks the path of grief alone. www.lacarabiddles.com/babylossbook