If Hazel had lived and had made it to term, she would be arriving via c/s either tomorrow or Friday. I was walking outside, on this wonderful, cool late spring evening, and it struck me how different this night should have been. I should have been great (and I mean great) with child, Hazel should have been kicking around inside with little room left. I should have been filled with joy and anticipation—wondering what gender the baby would be and what he or she would look like.
Instead, I am faced with this terrible week, knowing that some people think I shouldn’t be so sad anymore (it’s only been 8 weeks!!), that my mother is dealing with so much right now that she can’t help me deal with this (and I can’t help her), that I will never, ever get to hold Hazel again in this life. Even if another baby comes our way, she will not be Hazel.
Early on, I was horrified by the gap Hazel’s death would bring. Even if we had another child eventually, there would be this 5 year gap. I could just imagine having to explain, “we didn’t wait 5 years after Noah, we had a daughter, Hazel, who died.” Just thinking of that gap, that empty space, made me ill.
I also felt an intense desire to “get another baby fast.” I had fantasies about adopting quickly. My sister called me and said, “I have great news!” and I thought, “You have my baby!”
I know now that these intense desires and strange fantasies are normal. Another weird occurrence that happened early on was my aching arms. I couldn’t believe how much they hurt, literally. I came upon this quote in the book Empty Cradle, Broken Heart last night and it explains my feelings exactly:
“The biggest thing I remember was empty arms. My arms just ached. I’ve read about this and it’s hard to believe, but to me there was actually a physical emptiness. I could almost feel my arms cradling, but there wasn’t anything there.”
I don’t want to forget that feeling—how my whole body ached for Hazel, how even my arms missed her, my sweet still baby.