Discovering Me

Me on having babies, losing babies, trying to have babies and hoping to bring this one home.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


As we drive by the old church with the old cemetary, the one with the fading and falling headstones, I have to stop. I'm drawn to it. Drawn to the cold and loneliness of this place. There is no one around but me. I stare at the rows and rows of stones. Big ones, tall ones, some that are ornate, some that are small and very simple. All are very sad. So alone.

I get out of the car and begin reading them. Fathers, mothers, soldiers, sisters and sons. Families together. Some of them children. The very old, the very young. All there. All that is left of them in a few words carved on those stones.

I look past the big iron gate and see a row of small stones. All with one word across the top. Stillborn. The word burns as I read it seven times. Oh my God. Seven. I scan each one looking for the names. Each one says daughter/son to John and Sarah. Seven stillborn babies in seven consecutive years. The first in 1896 and the last in 1902.

I think of my own hurt. My own pain and the pain of the others I know. I stare in awe and wonder aloud, how did they survive that? How did they keep on having babies? Why?

I weep. So much pain. I feel the hurt. The utter anguish and loss. I shudder and sob at the thought of what she must have felt delivering a stillborn year after year. What would people have said about them in those days? Would there have been gossip? People would certainly have thought they had done something to deserve all of the loss and pain. Did they wonder, like me; why? What have I done to deserve this?

I look to the next row and see John and Sarah. John and Sarah who hurt year after year for the loss of their baby. The loss of hope. The loss of their very souls. John and Sarah who are for all eternity with their sweet babies. Finally there to protect and care for them. To hold them and watch them sleep and play.

I notice Sarah died in 1903. No baby in 1903, so I have to assume there was no death during childbirth. Did she die of a broken heart?

I surely would have.


  • At 5:48 PM , Blogger Catherine said...

    She was a much stronger woman than I.

  • At 6:00 PM , Blogger A place to call my own said...

    She never gave up.

    There is light.

  • At 8:02 AM , Blogger kate said...

    My God, i can't even imagine...*tears*

  • At 8:28 AM , Blogger Rosepetal said...

    Oh God - like Kate those are the words that came to mind. I cannot imagine the suffering, the pain and the probable judgement they must have endured. I hope they are all together now.

  • At 5:52 PM , Blogger Ruby said...

    A broken heart, I agree. Maybe because she didn't get pregnant that year, maybe her hope for a live birth was gone. Heart wrenchingly sad.

  • At 2:20 PM , Blogger Jill said...

    I hope they are all together forever too. That kind of pain is so far beyond what most people can even begin to comprehned now.

    Good luck with the transfer too. I'll be thinking of you!

  • At 3:50 PM , Blogger niobe said...

    Or maybe, just maybe, there was one last baby in 1903. Sarah died as or just after she brought the child into the world, but the baby survived, which is why there's not one more gravestone.

    Yes, I know, probably far too optimistic. But it might have happened that way. I hope it did.


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