Monday, October 15, 2012

Destiny Starr

When an Angel Falls: The Day My Daughter Died

Tonia Rich
I never wanted anything more than to simply be a mother and a wife. Call me old-fashioned, but it's really everything I ever desired. Up until now, I had it all. A passionate artist whom I was married to, a man who wept at the birth of our first son. A man who hugged me so tight I could scarcely breath when I showed him the positive pregnancy test of our second child. Oh, our world is simple and lovely. But I am on this cold winter's day. Lying alone in a midiwives office dressed in this damn paper gown that looks to me for all the world to be nothing but an oversized napkin. Lying on deli-style paper on this bed. I feel like a freaking sandwich. I cannot even laugh at my own twisted humor at this moment. I am too scared. Too scared to face what I already know is TRUTH. The ultrasound machine sits a couple of feet away, its screen turned away from me as if it is too ashamed to show it's face to me. I am too chicken to sit up and turn it. The technician had asked me, just a few moments ago if I have had had any bleeding or pains at all. At four months pregnant I am not concerned about that anymore, didn't the threat for miscarriage drop significantly by month three? I breezily replied "Nope! None at all!" It was not until she left the room with her lame excuse to retrieve paperwork that it hit me why she would ask such a question.
Oh god, no.
For some reason they would not allow my husband in the room. He is out in the hall on an orange plastic chair. I think they knew. Knew before they saw.
I know I did. Something within me whispering that this child was not mine to keep. So, here I am in this dim room, listening to the hum of the ultrasound machine and obsessivly counting the dots in the cieling tiles because this is safer than allowing my mind to think. I am counting, dividing and multiplying...I hate math and am no good at it but the concentration it takes feels safe.
Finally the door swings open. The technician comes back in, followed by the head midwife whom I have met before. She looks at me sadly, with pity and begins to speak (Good God, is she really going to tell me this when I am lying here half naked and alone????)
"Tonia, I have bad news...."
I sit bolt upright and the words pour out fast and jumbled though somehow in the right order nonetheless. "Canmyhusbandbeinhereplease?"
Then there he is, my sweet, strong knight, looking confused and concerned and a little scared as well. (Here beside me, hold my hand, baby. This is gonna hurt like hell.) I am sure he is hearing every word that the midwife says but it flows over and through me, and I cannot absorb it all. Certain phrases pop out and stab me like knives. "No heartbeat, no growth....cancerous mass....." I sob loudly into his shoulder. He does not tell me it will be okay, just says "shhhhhh" and I feel I must be embarassing him, embarassing them all so I dry up, shut off. The midwife asks when I want to do a D&C operation to "remove the fetus" She speaks of risk of infection. My baby has been dead within me for nearly 8 weeks now and I never even knew. I feel like I have failed at this mother game. I tell her I need time. When we go outside the air is bitter and it looks like it may begin to snow. Home then. I use the bathroom and peer into the toilet for blood.
There is none. I contemplate that maybe they are wrong. Denial is a tender friend but it serves no purpose.
Later that night my Prince leaves for work. I tell him I am fine. I lied. After our son is tucked into bed I sit by the livingroom window, staring up at the stars and I sob, angry, loud, impolite sobs. I try to pray. But I am angry with God and I end up cursing Him instead. (It will be 5 years before I find my way back to trusting God) I pour out my hot tears like blood but it cannot bring back my lost baby. The next day I yell at my husband for not grieving as openly as I do. I cannot understand this. It is not until years later that I understand he is trying to be strong so I can fall apart.
A week later I go to the hospital for the D&C. The operating room is larger than I expected and I feel very, very small. I want my Mommy. I am freezing, shivering uncontrollably and a kind nurse covers me with three blankets and I cling to her hand. Then I am asleep.......
I awake groogy in the recovery room, a blood-soaked pad between my legs, my head refusing to clear. They wheel me through the halls and outside to where my mother's car is parked. Something is not right, I cannot focus, cannot make my thoughts fit together..... I stand and then fall, crumple like a discarded piece of paper, eyes wide open but totally unconsious due to massive blood loss. My mother runs, yelling into the hospital demanding for a doctor NOW. I lie unaware on the icy sidewalk while a scared candy striper stands beside me. I dream. Dream I am in the car with my mom. We are driving along the interstate, the baby in my arms and I demand for her to slow down. Slow down becase the baby is here with us. She is talking to me "Tonia...Tonia...." I awake to find her calling my name, the fear in her voice so thick and raw.
I beg them not to do a blood transfusion. I just want to go home. I miss home. I miss my son, my husband. I come THISCLOSE to needing the transfusion but my count begins to creep back up. My husband, whose boss had refused him time off today, walks right out of work after my mother calls him. He clutches my hand on the drive home and won't let go. At home he helps me to the bathroom. I catch a glimpse of us in the mirror, my face yellow from the blood loss. He sets the iron pills on the counter. I go to sleep and dream. Of our child. She is so beautiful it hurts to look at her. About three years old with wavy dark hair and my big blue eyes. Her smile looks like her Dad's. She is so close but just out of reach. I awake calling her name, my palm on my flat belly. I cry then, mourning the loss of what I never even got to have. Mourning the loss of a part of myself, of our family, of the future she will never have. I named her Destiny Starr. I miss her still.
Published by Tonia Rich
I am a freelance writer and stay at home mama in Western North Carolina. My days are filled with raising four sons,dancing, singing,cleaning house and writing. God is my faith, My sons are my joy, my friends... View profile


Post a Comment
  • Angie LaBonte9/25/2007
    You know you are a great writer when your words make the reader feel every emotion you did... very proud of your first publishing!
  • Theresa Brown9/14/2007
    When an angel falls is emotional,heartbreaking and full of fear. Very impressed-great work!! Looking forward to another great story. Tonia, you were born to be a writer!
  • Alisa9/13/2007
    Tonia, I remember when u'r mom e-mailed me about u'r condition...I was praying for u and u'r husband.
    I am so very sorry about u'r loss the loss of a child is the most painful emotion a parent could ever go thru.
    Know that all things do work together for good even if we don't understand...God always knows what he is doing and why..We just have to trust, even when it is so hard.
    Lexy just went thru almost the exact thing eccept for the blood transfusion..however her problem is they can't get her Hormones down and they are dangerously high it has been over a month already.
    She can relate to your pain more then alot of people who try to understand and have sympathy for u, but it will never be as clear to them unless they experience it first hand.
    Congratulations on u'r writting being published :)
  • Rose Petersen9/12/2007
    Wow Tonia!! This is great! So emotional and sad. I only wanted to read more! You truly are a STAR!!!! Keep writing-You are sooo talented!
  • Genie Walker9/11/2007
    This is a extremely well written article. You are a master at stirring up emotions. I gotta go wipe my eyes before trotting off to work.
  • Angela Russell9/11/2007
    It's a horrible thing to go through, and while the pain eases, you always remember.
  • Elena H.9/11/2007
    You write so beautifully about such a sad event. Your gift for expression is amazing. I look forward to the rest of the story of your life.I know there is more because of the phrase "It will be five years before I find my way back to trusting God". Welcome.
  • Celeste Parker9/10/2007
    I'm so sorry for what you went thru. Having a miscarriage is an awful hard thing. I have a few and it's something you never completely get over. This is a wonderful article.
Displaying Comments

Post a Comment as

No comments:

Post a Comment