**Please be aware that the content of this piece may be triggering for some individuals.**
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. At No Ordinary Women, we whole-heartedly believe in the power of learning from and supporting one another through sharing our personal stories, even when those stories are painful to tell, hard to hear, and so much to hold. This month we are honoring those women who have suffered immeasurable loss as well as the fathers, partners, and husbands who have experienced all the grief alongside them. We love you, we see you, and we welcome your grief and vulnerability here among us.
The First Child I Never Had
I can’t remember which day I learned of your existence,
Just that you tried so hard
With faulty blueprints.
(My fault, or his?)
Death’s design, one way or another.
I can’t remember which day you died,
Just that it took three weeks
Until I saw your heart beat for the last time
(I knew what to look for by then)
A white blip across a black screen
One tiny supernova flashing bright then gone.
I can’t remember which day you finally left me,
Just that you lingered
Clinging, even in death, to the birth that should have been yours,
In the end, they had to cut you from my body;
(Where did they take you?)
My womb wept for weeks.
It’s been seven years,
And I don’t recall dates anymore,
Just that you were due in the fall
And died in the spring.
Two more children grew in your place,
Bright as sunflowers, and as tall.
I think mostly of them now,
But in the quiet moments when death usurps my reveries,
I find you waiting
And realize, I carry the ghost of you still.
About the Author
Cristina Reitz-Krueger is a psychology professor by day, an artist and writer by night, and a 24/7 mother of two. You can follow her art on Facebook and Instagram under her pen name, Sabina Krueger.