When the Bough Breaks: A Serialized Memoir
Babies die. It’s a terrible truth, but a truth nonetheless.
Much has been written on grief and loss, but little focuses on the unique devastation that threatens to crush a family and those close to them after the loss of an anticipated baby.
Our second pregnancy culminated in a joyous birth, and began a life that lasted 2200 minutes. Labouring through our baby’s dying was unprecedented in our family’s experience.
Nobody told us, “If the body undergoes a post-mortem, the family will want to bring a cap for the baby to wear during the viewing, to hide the autopsy wound.” Thirty years later I still regret not knowing this.
Someone did say, “Take a locket of hair before your baby is interred. Once the coffin is closed, it’s too late.” To this day I treasure that little brown lock, safely tucked away.
We carried out the customary burial arrangements, but they were disturbing, unsettling, in a way that was hard to define. Perhaps it was because her body was so small.
Join me as I tell the story of our family’s search for a new normal.
Parents, relatives and friends going through a similar event will gain insight into how we managed to persevere or, at times, simply abide.
Thank you for reading Wendy’s story online. When the Bough Breaks will be published in hardcopy December, 2016.