by Bethany Conkel
I sat on the couch preparing myself for all that would take place the next day. In a few short hours, I would go to the hospital and give birth to my 5th child… just not in the way I had hoped. Three days prior, our world once again came to a halt when we learned our baby had stopped growing and no longer had a heartbeat. This was the third baby, OUR third baby rather, that we had to say goodbye to.
After we received the news that our baby was gone, I was sent home to see if my body would give birth naturally. Since that did not occur, we decided the best course of action would be to schedule a D&C (dilation and curettage) to give birth to our little one. We also decided to name our sweet baby Daisy Noel. Before going to bed that night I wrote on my Facebook wall:
“Tomorrow will be Daisy Noel’s Birthday… I will go to the hospital and my baby will be born. Sadly, I’ll never get to see my baby, hold my baby, or hear my baby’s cry. I’ll never introduce my baby to family, friends, siblings, or show off pictures. I’ll never get to do all those things we get excited about when a baby is typically born.
In reality, most people won’t even recognize the fact that a birth has taken place. Daisy Noel’s birth will be viewed as a procedure or surgery… a D+C. Many people will not even recognize Daisy’s person-hood.
BUT, tomorrow is my baby’s birthday!!! And we will celebrate. We will bring cupcakes to the hospital… just like we did with all our other births. We will have a Happy Birthday sign and at some point we will sing Happy Birthday…. And, we will thank the Lord for the life of Daisy Noel.”
When morning came, I showered with special pre-surgery soap. I packed a small bag, then my husband and I went to labor and delivery. We signed in and were brought back to the prep area. I changed into my gown and had an IV placed. We talked with the nurse, anesthesiologist and our OB. We took a few pictures with Daisy’s cupcakes and Happy Birthday sign. We tried to keep my pre-birth space as positive and upbeat as possible. We even cracked a handful of jokes and laughed together. Although we were sad about our loss, we also wanted to embrace our baby and find the joy in our child’s existence.
Finally, the time had come. I was given meds that made me quite loopy. Then they wheeled me to the procedure room – the place that would become my birthing space. During the short trip to the room I burst into song, singing Happy Birthday to my little Daisy Noel, then I went to sleep.
While I slept my body was assisted in giving birth and my baby was brought earth-side…
When I woke up I was back in the prep area and my husband was waiting. We shared cupcakes with the staff, told a few more jokes, and celebrated the brief existence of our little baby. When we were released we went out to lunch, then back home to our other children.
Despite the fact that our baby was not with us very long, we still talk about Daisy Noel often and celebrate each year on the day I gave birth to our 5th child!
Although this is not the birth story I would have chosen for this little one, I am still happy to share both the life and birth of Daisy Noel.
Other ideas for creating a lasting memory when there is no tangible baby to hold: