the absence of a heartbeat. three healthy sinus rhythms knocked out of sync with that one realization. admission into a labor, delivery and recovery room. to labor and then deliver a dead baby, and somehow recover.
there was never a question in my mind. hollie is my friend. her baby was the excitement of our semester. our graduation present. i squealed and danced and sang to her stomach, with more enthusiasm than any family member possessed. 5 days ago now. holding baby clothes and gushing over ultrasound pictures. singing to the little girl who can no longer hear me. hollie jeapordized her life for this baby. dialysis 6 days a week. years of waiting for a kidney transplant. a phone call 3 days ago with a match that had been found. the pregnancy disqualified her as a recipient candidate. "you'll lose your spot on the waiting list. good luck next time" said the representative. 72 hours later: no kidney. no baby. high risk is an understatement. somehow we lost sight of the risk; thought she would be okay.
a family was formed in the past 48 hours. the 5 of us forever linked with this one experience together. watching our friend hurt, die in her own way, grieve, and reach out to family members who failed her. the experience of surviving nursing school together made us family years ago, but the loss and love in that room these past two days solidified a place in one another's lives that will never be replicated.
epiphanies realized in silences and stares. laughter when there was no other choice. we encircled hollie in the hill-rom bed, let nicole say one prayer that surpassed different beliefs and envoked tears in all of us simultaneously. a simple touch can do so much. holding hands and lying our legs on top of one another, our resolve was strengthened and hope appeared in a darkened room where none had existed before.
hours later, delirious with exhaustion, we were given the honor of choosing our daughter's name. she now belonged to all of us. after hours of arguing and laughter and more tears, taylor mackenzie lawson was agreed on. the time that passed between the moment of agreeing on her name and delivery was filled with heartache and blows to our spirit and loss of hope in people who should have been there, but were not. i personally think taylor mackenzie should've had hollie's last name, considering the fact that her father never appeared until hours after her birth. there is no excuse. none whatsoever. but we are only responsible for ourselves.
yesterday i said to my friends "we need a grown up." and we did. we were thrown into the storm without preparation, without guidance, and we all reverted to wanting a parental figure present. but you can't always have what you want. and when i emerged from that hospital lobby today and the sunlight saturated my body and soul i knew immediately that the child in me from the night before was gone. she left with mackenzie.
taylor mackenzie lawson. 10 ounces. 11 inches. tiny, but perfect, save the absence of surfactant in her lungs and lack of a heartbeat. the loss of a would-be miracle child to punctuate the beginning of fall. her soul was wished away with love and light from her new family.