The new normal is knowing that I will never get over this loss, in a day or in a million years. -Unknown
I was holding Audrey’s lifeless body in my arms. She was beginning to turn cold and I was ever so desperately trying to keep her wrapped up and warm. Even though in my mind I new that no amount of body heat or blankets were going to be able to prevent the inevitable from happening…the impending coldness forced me back in to reality. The reality that I was not just holding my sick, sleeping baby girl, but that I was holding my child who had died.
The nurse came in and told me that the funeral home was on their way to pick her up. I was terrified. How in the world was I going to be able to hand my baby over to strangers. She had barely left my arms her entire life, and now we were down to the last minutes that she would ever spend in them. This could not be happening.
The nurses came back about twenty minutes later to say that they were here to get her, and it was time to let go. I became so angry. I thought, how dare they tell me when the right time to let go is. Looking back today, I know that they were right. That if they hadn’t of forced me to hand her over…..that I would still be sitting in that same pink cold plastic chair holding my precious Audrey.
I remember pure panic setting in as they re-entered the room. Knowing that this was it, that the time had actually come. Realizing that all this was indeed real. I remember squeezing her so tight, trying to take in a lifetime worth of cuddles in just a single moment. I remember begging her to just wake up for the last time. I remember kissing her cold and blue, but still so soft lips. But most importantly I remember repeating I love you, I love you, over and over again.
I handed her to my husband because I knew that I could not bare to give her to someone else. Once she left my arms I sat there in disbelief as I watched him kiss her goodbye. The image of my strong husband breaking down in pure hopelessness is a sight I will never forget.
When I seen him begin to hand over our daughter to the nurses I began screaming. I regretted letting her go. I wanted her back just for one more moment, just one more second so I could feel her again. I felt so helpless. I have never begged or cried so desperately in my entire life. The pain was indescribable. and just like that...just as quick as she had came into this world…..she was gone.
As I sat, still in the pink chair, stunned but now with empty arms…I realized that not only was my mind not processing that she was gone, but that my body wasn’t either. I looked down and realized I was sitting there in flannel stripped zebra pajama pants. Pants that I hadn’t been able to change out of because everything had happened so quickly. Not only that, but I was soaked from breast milk that had leaked all over my clothes. My breast were extremely sore as they were reminding me that I hadn’t fed my baby in some time. I was a mess. I was mortified. I was exhausted. Mentally I was completely done.
Since that day I have been waiting for the pain to stop. I have been waiting to be able to begin to get back to ”normal.” The new normal that people have talked to me about. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I have been searching for something that I already have found.
That everyday since Audrey has left my arms has been my new ”normal.” That not being able to focus on anything but her on most days is my new normal. That living each day without her, knowing that she is never coming back is my new normal. That the absence of a crying baby in our home is my new normal. Knowing that life from here on out will never be the same, but that it will continue to go on.
A new normal that I also never had before this….one that I am thankful for…is my faith. A faith that is going to carry me through in the days ahead. The days where my oldest daughter will return to school and the days when my husband and I will return to work.
I am scared as life in the very near future goes back to how it was before her death. I am dreading it, but as more of my new normals fall back into place, I now know that not only will she not be forgotten, but that God is also with me to help….in ways I have never let him before.