I originally wrote this piece as a guest post on Modern Alternative Pregnancy in 2013. Writing it was cathartic and healing, but around Bean’s birthday, which is this week, wisps of this old sadness still rise. I hope sharing it again here will give some mama somewhere permission to voice and heal her grief, whatever that looks like for her.
I cried when I came home from the hospital with my newborn daughter. I walked through our rooms, cleaned and prepared for us by my sister and my best friend, and sobbed. They had washed and put away the dishes. They brought a bouquet of flowers that nearly filled our dining room table. They put the red silk comforter back on our bed and deflated and put away the birthing tub that I never got to use.
Our daughter was supposed to be born there, delivered into warm water and surrounded by candles. I wanted her father to catch her body and bring her to my breast. I wanted the soothing music I had carefully selected.
Instead, on the morning of my third day of labor, when I was still only dilated 3 cm, exhausted and scared, we sat with our midwife and came up with a new plan.…