18th of December. My first post about our love story in the facebook group: 'Termination for Medical Reasons'
I wrote my last post few days before giving birth to Ida, but now I feel like it's time to speak more about her to you.
Your presence and especially the strong presence of 'my special one' from this group was really important to have a positive experience of her birth and the time afterwards until now. Grieving is easier when you know you are not alone and that mourning our baby the way we want, for how long we want it's healthy and necessary.
Grieving is easier when you know you are not alone and that mourning our baby the way we want, for how long we want it's healthy and necessary.
Ida Saoirse is my first baby girl, born at 16+5 weeks after 24 hours of contractions. I've been induced for her trisomy 21 and cardiopathies that would have make her life in pain since the very beginning.
Getting there was hard. Since the NT scan our life took such a twisted path and the scariest I could have ever imagined. After that followed CVS, followed the diagnosis and the total crisis.
I started mourning my baby since the day I received the diagnosis, because I started the testing knowing what we would have chosen for her in case of bad results.
Even though I knew it was all for her I started having nightmares, I dreamed of my labor and discovering she was healthy, I dreamed of her born with her disability anyway and me screaming at everybody to let her stay with me anyway. I dreaded those empty arms.. I couldn't accept to have just a broken heart. We loved and love her so much, but I don't have to go on talking about this, because you all strong mums here know...
We arrived at 8am on Wednesday 29th November, my mum as an advocate, from her I didn't feel judged, I was free to follow my body in labor and my baby in death.
The whole hospital was a strong pro-life hospital, but mine and my mums words, our story, our love, our birth plan to honor Ida were speaking the truth for terminations of very wanted babies. The whole hospital supported and respected us.
I felt her kicking for the first time few days before the induction, I felt the last kick after few hours of the first prostaglandins they put inside me. I kept whispering to her I loved her for as much as the pain allowed me to.
Contractions were stronger and longer than I've seen in my midwifery placements with healthy pregnant women giving birth... I was thinking at what I told women to help them cope with the contractions 'Every wave brings the baby one step closer to you, surf it, don't let it drown you'. I was sinking under her getting further from me one step at the time.
At midnight my waters broke, then my pain became more regular and I was feeling it moving from my uterus to my cervix, opening and lifting itself up like a curtain.. My body was doing well, I thought.
I went to the delivery room and my two midwives were very supporting and unobtrusive, soft touching, soft speaking.
My mum was still there, broken and strong for me and for Ida, quiet and loving us.
At 10.05 on the 30th Ida was born. Just when the midwife was ordered to start inducing me again. Just 5 minutes after my last pain and contraction. I didn't push, she just gently slide outside my womb, like if she wanted me to stop feeling pain.
This moment was surreal, my body and my heart were waiting for her and I was so happy and relieved to meet her. My mum and midwives were congratulating to me, they lift her and moved me to the other bed keeping her safe next to me until they cut the tiny cord that was holding her very precariously to her placenta.
I held her withing the blanket I learnt knitting for her, I kissed her and remarked how she was looking like me or her dad in different things. Her neck and head had already visible signs of the health issues she had, but she still was so beautiful and perfect. We took photos which now are the most precious in the memory box we decorated for her.
My mum calls this day a miracle she witnessed, the biggest demonstration of love, and its contagious effects.
I hated to say another goodbye to her when they brought her away from me. They D&C me for the placenta and I woke up in my room. I wanted to go home and I was so tired that my feeling were not so loud.
At home I broke down. And again. And again. Her memory box was made, many tasks of my to-do list I created not to fall in complete panic were accomplished and now we are almost at the end of this list.
The milk coming in abundance made me so happy and proud. Almost with the illusion she was still there. That ended as well after one week.
Today was another goodbye. We buried her under a rainy and cold day. On her coffin there was written 'Abortion. Gloria Coccoli' and I felt like screaming. I didn't kiss the coffin. I put the first handful of soil over her. And then dig with my hands to plant some bright flowers over her. The things I can do for her are done now. She doesn't need me anymore, but I will always need her.
What's left now is remembering, love and broken hearts.
Raw feelings arise again, we are so angry, I feel so jealous and angry. And then broken and helpless. And then grateful because I wouldn't change her for any other healthy baby in the world. Because she is. Because she existed. And she will always be the only one.
It is what it is, what it is hurts so much to long for death, but I wouldn't be changing what it is. She is the one I love more than my own happiness and my own life.
She made my life important.
And I am her mom.
Ida Saoirse Scherer,
our first baby girl, who was born and died at 16+5 weeks on the 30th November 2017.
Resources about Termination for Medical Reasons
Sister-friend Emily writing for her first son Amari Regan (Fragile X Syndrome)
Katrina's blog for her second daughter April Rey (Trisomy 13)