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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Silent Birth

Recently, I had the honor of supporting a Mother and Father who delivered their stillborn baby. While heartbreaking, I find it extremely special to be trusted in such an intimately devastating setting like this. I was their birth support for their now 3-year-old daughter and their 1 1/2-year-old son. We very much looked forward to their third, anticipating sometime in May. 

They decided to be surprised by the sex. Just two days prior to finding out that they had lost their baby, an ultrasound showed a healthy, active baby. As Mom felt no movement over the next two days, the doctor urged her to come in. Her greatest fear became a reality. Nothing could prepare them for this devastating surprise. 

Twenty-seven hours by her side as she endured the most incredible pain. Just over 20 weeks old, they later discovered that their sweet baby was in fact, a son.

Images of this experience still shake me today. The Mother was incredibly brave and broken. She chose to be fully present through labor and delivery, and both her and her husband held their son all through the night. It was incredibly selfless, heartbreaking. . .beautiful. 

The Father was also brave. He supported his wife in a tender way, while allowing himself to break. An image of unity so incredibly bound, as they broke over their stillborn baby. The three of us in the room that day have a stronger bond than I will ever be able to describe. 

You cannot walk from this standing tall. You cannot hide grief when it grips you this well. And so, I wrote this yesterday, and shared it today at their sons gravesite with all those present. Grief from a Mother's perspective...

©  2019 Kaley Kiewiet. All rights reserved.

A Silent Birth

Deeply, I wanted you

Bravely, I fought

Trusting to be with you
Instead, I’m at loss.

Gratefully, I carried you
Painfully, delivered you
Heartbreakingly lost you
Into the hands of God.

You knew the sound of my voice
The steady rhythm of our choice
To love and keep you well, my dear
For all the days you had numbered here.

Not one. Not even one moment with me
Instead, your first breath was eternity
I held you close, though cold and frail
You were mine to love. You were mine to care

Silence never hurt so bad
It pains me to wake with empty hands
My life is less without you here
But I know your life is better – free

Why did you have to go so soon?
And leave me with an empty womb
The only hope I have today
Is that I might see you again one day.

Your kicks, they reminded me
Just how wondrous motherhood can be
Your heartbeat, a lifeline of mine
It moved me to tears every time.

If ever I have doubted a God above
A headship, or a higher power
I know now that one must exist
They are blessed to have you - to hug and to kiss.

Your sister, will never know you
Your brother, would have adored you
Your Father, dreams of raising you
Your Mother, aches to hold you

Your birth planted a seed of grace
To face this nightmare I will replay
Over and over again in my head
Trying to make sense of this brutal end.

Death’s grip was stronger than my desire to keep you
Helpless, I had to succumb.
It angers me that God did not leave you
Here with me. He knows I adore you.

The plans we’ve made
The trips we’d take
Walking to and from the lake
Have all gone up in a raging fire
All but a shattered dream…

Darkness has taken over now
Joy, but a fading memory
But not forever as you’ll see
Love will grow inside of me

I may have lost my heart to death
But this is where death loses depth:

Heaven gained an angel, soft
Sadness weaved our hearts, strong
Mercy, opened my eyes to see
Greatness in people, greatness in me
Gratitude, will overtake
My life is rich in spite of heartache.

Death, you may have gripped my heart
But you did not win this war
My son, you see, lives inside of me
His life will be a legacy.

Oliver Matthew, while we do ache
Dreaming of a life we cannot create
We promise to go from here, in hope
Love and courage will help us cope.

Because of you, I was forced to look up
Humbled at the very thought
If a Creator does in fact exist
There you are, by His side, with the Highest.

Enough wasted mind space on what life could be
We choose to live now – intentionally
We choose to make the most of every day we are given
And trust that God’s grace will rebuild again.

Until we meet again, sweet boy
I promise to be better, to seek out new joy
I promise to trade-in my tainted perspective:
That life ends here, with endless depression.

You’ve shown us how to love in pain
To journey-on in grace and heartache
You’ve shown us all humility
A need for a Savior - our desperate plea

I will ache for you all the days of my life
But I will not give up my desire to strive
It pains me, deeply, to let you go
But where you are, death has no hold.

This is where death will die
Where hell loses power. No angels will cry.
In the hands of our Creator, there you will be
Forever guiding us toward eternity.

Dear God, give me strength to live again
Our son would want us to love, to forgive.
Sweet mercy, if in fact you are there
Please fill us with your tender care.

We release you, son, to the hands of God
Where pain has no home; where fear is not found
Your reflection in, still waters and sky
Will be a guiding light of your legacy, wide.

The necklace reads "I love you to the moon and back"

This shadow box was created by the incredible Metro Health Labor/Delivery Nursing Staff

©  2019 Kaley Kiewiet
All rights reserved


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~ a memoir of motherhood and life