Poetry and Prose
by Lindsay's Mom

These writings are lovingly dedicated to the children who make our hearts sing.
And especially Lindsay, whose radiance will live within me always.

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There are connections between us, Lindsay,
That span the distance between life and death.
Like an umbilical cord,
the attachment is strong and secure.
Only now you sustain me
You give me strength
You give me hope
For life, eternal.
Our welcome to you in this world
was barely a whisper in comparison with
Your welcome to us in your world.
We will hold you again, Lindsay.

Hello, Honey
May is the month of your birth
Honeysuckle is a sunny May gift
And so are you
Sweet Bright Light
I love you
Wish you were here
Hello, Honey

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Page One from a Journal ~ Dated May 26, 1989

Oh God, I’m dying!!! I want to scream obscenities at you. How dare you take my baby?! How dare you! She’s gone and I love her so much! My mind is staggering to comprehend all that has happened in the last sixty-six hours. A whole life has come and gone. Only three days ago, I held her so securely within the private chamber of my womb. Nightmares plague my sleep now. Newborn cries haunt my dreams. Baby kicks still awaken me, but she does not live there anymore. We were so happy Tuesday, getting her room ready, folding her little clothes into the drawers, placing the cradle next to our bed. We were preparing for a new life. Not this! Oh God, not this! I feel so cheated and confused. I carried her nine perfect months without knowing her heart could not live on its own. Why didn’t I realize? Why didn’t I know? What kind of mother am I? There are no words to describe the way I feel right now. In a few hours we have an appointment with a funeral director to plan the funeral for a baby who is three days old today. (Shouldn’t we be planning our homecoming from the hospital?) Twelve hours ago, we rocked her to sleep . . . Eternally . . . Forever! And I still love her! I just can’t get over loving her! My mind is in such disarray. The thing they are telling me cannot be true. I can barely say the words: “mybabyisdead”. “Dead” is not a word concerning newborn babies. We did not learn this word in Parenting class. Tomorrow we will lay her to rest. Not in the cradle still waiting by our bed, but in a casket. A casket that will be lowered into the ground. Into a grave I did not prepare for my baby. I love her too much to let her go! This is such an ENORMOUS death for such a perfect little person.

Oh, how could the moon rise tonight on a world peacefully sleeping? How could the stars twinkle in that vast, velvety blackness? How can anyone sleep? My baby is dead. And I will never sleep again.

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Funeral Daze

I am led toward a ghostly white box
cradling a beautiful baby girl.
She is wrapped in white satin,
adorned with pink ribbons and bows.
A teddy bear slumps by her side
and a cross is draped across her hand.
I reach to her cheek, straighten the teddy,
remove the bonnet covering her hair.
Part of my mind tells me this is my child
Another part protests in disbelief.

Everything is pink and white:
The flowers, the candles, the bonnet, the baby.
Pink and white . . . Everywhere
Like our wedding day
Like a little girl’s party.
She is wearing the dress we bought to take her home.
We never dreamed she would wear it forever.
Just tears and tears.
Nobody knows what to say.
Family and friends gather ‘round,
weeping, laughing, not knowing what to say.

Then Christopher rushes to her side:
A brother mourning the death of his baby sister.
He places a hand on her chest and whispers,
"Why is Lindsay frozen?"
Nobody knows what to say.
Just tears and more tears.

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Nobody asked how much she weighed
or the color of her eyes.
Nobody asked who she looked like
or if we ever heard her cry.
Nobody wanted to talk about her;
No one knew what to say.
They want to pretend she didn’t exist,
They think that’s the easiest way.
The funny thing is, that isn’t true.
(And you may disagree. But . . .)
I don’t mind being asked about her,
I love to talk about the baby.

Just a few words of what to say
if the need should arise again:
“What can I do to comfort you?”
“I’m here if you need a friend.”
“Is now a good time to come for a visit?”
“Would you like to get out for a while?”
“I’m so sorry about your precious baby.”
“I know you miss your child.”

And don’t forget as time goes on
to mention her with a little word.
There’s a certain kind of comfort for us
Just to know that she is remembered.

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Life Support

I will never forget standing over our baby girl, listening to the gentle whoosh of the ventilator and the rhythmic beeping of the cardiac monitors. She was lost in a sea of arterial lines, surgical tape and syringes; her cries silenced by an endotracheal tube. She lingered in a delicate balance between life and death, oblivious to the array of gauges and alarms surrounding her to tell of impending disaster. The bonds between mother and child before birth are crucial, but now the connection has been severed. She cannot live on her own. Needles feed her, machines breathe for her, and medications allow her heart to function.

I will never forget thinking:
All it takes to keep her alive is the high-powered world of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit . . . or one umbilical cord.

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