It's crazy how much you forget about the days after your baby dies. I don't remember these things until they come up again. I find myself saying "oh yeah. I remember when Riley died..."
The days after I leave my baby at the hospital I can smell him/her everywhere. My hands, soaps, certain foods, my skin. I can't eat certain things because they smell like or remind me of my baby. Applesauce bread, red meat, salad, bacon, eggs. Most of those aversions will stick with me forever. I still can't eat hamburger since Riley died a year and three months ago. I'll never buy hamburger again.
A few weeks after I have seen my baby for the last time, the smells start to fade. I will find myself shoving my nose in his blanket, sniffing the hospital gown that I stole (because I held him on my chest in it. He stained the whole front between my bionic breasts. I took it knowing I'll keep that scrap of fabric forever), taking deep whiffs of the Kleenex I put between me and him to try to keep him cool so he wouldn't break down as quickly. The smell will fade, but I will continue to search for it and for him
Riley's smell has faded from everything she touched, so I know Archer's will too. The thought crushes me and throws me into fits of panic.
I don't want to shower and haven't since giving birth. I did the same with Riley. I feel like I am washing Archer off of me. It feels like I am washing the bit of him that I have left right down the drain. The amniotic fluid that we shared, his blood and his fluids right down the drain when I want to keep it forever. (I am aware of how crazy this sounds. Especially if you haven't lost a baby or had a child whose body was still in good shape because they hadn't died very long before you got to see them. I know. But unfortunately, some of you will understand...).
I know I am done having children. Losing 4 is too much. I can't do this again. I can't give birth to and hold dead child all night again. I can't say goodbye to and leave another baby in the hospital. It is too much.
Knowing that I am done, hurts almost as much as Archer's death. Never again will I be pregnant. I will never feel a baby kick again. I will never have another newborn. I will never give birth again. I won't get to feel another baby grow and move inside of me. Although pregnancy was always rough on me, (I was sick, bitchy, and exhausted) I loved getting to feel my baby. It was this amazing special connection with my baby. I'll never get that again and it's crushing.
It means my son is alone. He doesn't get the baby brother/sister that he has been told 3 times will be coming to live with us. I didn't want him to be alone.
I would love to adopt a child. But I find it hard to believe that anyone would give a child to a woman who is fighting an aggressive form of Stage 3 breast cancer. "I might not be around in 3 years, but please can I have that kid you are in charge of?" I would never chose someone who is sickly and might not be around later to take care of my baby. Of course, I would chose the healthy couple; I would chose stability. Not the home with a mom who is sick from chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries and unable to care for herself, much less a new kiddo.
I know this all feels very self-defeated but it feels like the truth of the moment.