The only thing that got me through that night was the love and support of my husband, Jamie. This was just as painful for him, but he was so strong to support me. I couldn’t bear to cause him even more pain. I needed to get through this for him.
After eighteen hours of labor with no real progress and worsening vital signs, I was taken to the operating room for an emergency c-section. Jamie and I barely had a chance to say goodbye. As the anesthesiologist put the mask over my face, I wondered if this would be the last breath I would take.
My memories of waking up after the surgery are more like snapshots. I remember the brightness of the operating room. I remember voices of people talking around me. I remember seeing Owen in the bassinet and Jamie handing him over to me. I can barely remember seeing him for the first time. I remember the nurse showing me a knot in the umbilical cord.
As I lay in the hospital holding my sweet baby, who would never take a first breath. Never giggle. Never play. Never open his eyes. Never grow up… As I held him, and looked at him, and saw all the ways he looked like both of us combined—the shape of his lips, his fingers, his ears… I knew he would still matter to this world. I would not let him be forgotten. As his mother, I owed it to him to give him a life.