Content Notice: This birth story mentions the loss and death of an infant, pregnancy loss, grief, medical anomalies, and stillbirth. Please navigate away if you are sensitive to these topics.
I only pushed a few small times before she left my womb to enter this world. The silence ringing in our ears. The heavy weight of what was happening enveloping us.
It was there with us too.
As my OB caught her they wrapped her in a blanket and placed her on the warming table. They were cleaning her up some.
That’s when I first saw her.
I glanced over at her as tears clouded my vision and sobs escaped me. I couldn’t hold them in anymore.
My beautiful daughter.
My Peyton Grace.
I was numb, and not just physically.
Emotionally I was just going through the motions. Not really thinking ahead or behind. I was lost in another dimension it seemed. Time felt so strange. Stagnant.
At that moment I didn’t think of it as a birth. Just something I had to get through.
I didn’t know if I even wanted to hold her.
My motherly instinct felt like I needed to.
I needed to see her and feel her in my arms. I needed to see my husband hold her. My family who was in the waiting room supporting me from there needed to see her too.
Because she existed.
I didn’t have anyone with me who had been through a loss of a baby. I wish so badly I could go back and take 100 more pictures of all her tiny details, like her little button nose.
I should have held her longer.
Talked to her longer.
Kissed her sweet face so many more times.
But I didn’t get that opportunity.
And I never will.
How I would’ve loved to have someone there with me, who had felt that same ache, hold my hand. Tell me I was going to survive this. Encourage me to spend more time with Peyton.
Love me through the storm.
This is why I’m a birth & bereavement doula.
The painful sting of the day is still carried with me, I will forever carry her memory and honor her through doula work.
And not just in bereavement support. Although, that will always be where my heart is.
She’s there during all the births I attend. The ones where the family cries happy, joyful tears. Proving to me that birth can be an amazing, beautiful experience.
She’s there in my own hands I use to comfort a laboring mother.
The words of affirmation I speak.
All the childbirth education classes I teach.
All the postpartum bellies I get to wrap.
She’s there in my own rainbow babies. Who speak her name and know they have an older sister.
Her life was not a waste.
Her life meant something to me.
If you have ever been there, in the silence. In the thick heavy air.
Between the sobs.
Between the “what could’ve been.”
No matter the gestation.
Chemical pregnancy. Miscarriage. Ectopic. Molar pregnancy. Abortion. Loss of a twin. Live miscarriage. Fatal diagnosis. Stillbirth. Infant loss.
Your baby was not a waste either.
Your baby was a beautiful soul.
Worthy to be loved and honored and remembered.
I will remember them with you.
Until I’m gone from this Earth, I will continue to honor the babies who left this world too soon.
Please join me in remembrance today.
Allie McFadin is a birth and bereavement doula with Orchard Births. To find out more about Allie and what she offers, please check out her profile.
Peyton, we are so thankful to have your mama on our team. She has blessed so many families as she serves them and honors you. She has profoundly and selflessly stood by families as they navigated similar situations. She forges paths and is brave, as she tells your story. It is our greatest privilege to serve beside her. To continue her work to make your name known, we introduce Peyton’s Graces, an effort to share your light with others in small and big ways.
You existed. You are remembered. You are loved.
Your Orchard Births Family