“Now You Are Still”: Losing My Baby Girl
Tara Carpenter, NC., CPES
I wrote the poem below in 2006 while in the hospital recovering from a sepsis infection I got moments after losing my baby girl. You can read more in detail about that loss here, please know there are photos that may be disturbing to some in that post.
In the palm of my hand, you are at peace, you are still.
Moments prior you were stretching, kicking.
Now, I explore you who spent 15 weeks inside me, warm and safe.
Now you are still.
The indent in your chin, the graceful curve.
A girl with long fingers and toes like her dad.
Fresh tears come when I remember.
Now you are still.
In a box all your own, empty of spirit.
Only bones that are strong and delicate as can be.
Kissing your soft head ever carefully.
Bruised from your entrance into this world.
Hands gently close, legs pull in.
Quiet and still, you lay in my palm.
May your journey be smooth, and you return once again.
Baby girl of mine, I love you.
I am a lioness, licking tenderly to taste your saltiness.
Craving you, holding back urge to bite into your cord and eat you whole.
I suck the blood from your cord.
I want to eat you, take you back to the depths of my womb.
Where you can grow and be the girl you are.
Your body so defined my heart burst in pieces.
Shattering to the world to know my agony.
I birthed you 3 days ago and I miss you.
You who are still, still as can be.
Little you, still as can be.
I am sorry if I caused you to go.
I ache for you, for the daughter you are, the sister you would be.
For the woman you were to become, the mom you may have been.
I will hold you close and wait for you to come.
I will listen for you.
I am your mother, you are my daughter.
On a quiet Thursday afternoon, I kissed you lightly feeling waves of love.
You lay there still to receive.
I could have held you longer, loved you more ….
took better care of myself …. better care of you …. wanted you more …. resented you less.
I will tread lightly through these woods of guilt.
Remembering you and the curve of your chin.
I will move through life and love you more.
I love you baby girl; may you be still.
July 30th 2006