Many thanks to Sherene Cauley for graciously and bravely sharing her beautiful story with us. Your writing, and your heart, are beautiful and healing.
Content Warning: Miscarriage/Infant Loss
“I felt her sweet and gentle spirit for the first time several years before as I passed a field at harvest time. And then in 2010 on Halloween, I told my husband she’d be here this time next year. Do you really want another, he asked. I can just feel this little spirit that wants to be with us, I told him. And on January 17, I knew she was on her way; preparing to arrive on the Harvest Moon, October 11, 2011. I refused to take a pregnancy test, why would I, when I could feel her already. I knew my body. This was the third time I’d felt the shift, the dance within, as my body prepared a safe home for our daughter. And yet, this time- I felt anxious. There was a something, and yet nothing, that was not quite right.
The weeks added up, and plans were made. Cravings for seasoned curly fries, and lemon popsicles. Knitting patterns, yarn. This little one didn’t need anything, so I was free to craft anything I’d want. My clothes got tight, my waist thickening.
SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. I heard it so loud, just before I opened my eyes one morning. But what, what is not right? Everything is right, this is just right; I want it to be right.
Another week or two. I phone my midwife. It is just a few spots. It is just light bleeding, no cramping. It is pink, it’s so little- I know it’s nothing to cause alarm. And I do not feel alarmed. My spirit, my spirit already knows.
There is no heart beat, she moved the doppler, she moves it all around. I drive to the sonogram. She’s had a doula meet me there. And my mom is on her way. I didn’t invite anyone, I wanted to not be worried about their feelings. The office is quite, we are the only ones there. And there is my beautiful girl on the screen, perfect in every way, accept the heart that is not beating anymore.
A whole week passes before my body finally gets the message: there is nothing it can do.
With far more torment than it took to bring forth my other girls, my body finally lets her go. A teeny tiny perfect child. Hands crossed over her heart, head bowed. Not in any kind of prayer but full of divinity. This moment of heart break and longing, is also a moment of grace and beauty. An absolutely sacred moment I am honored and grateful I was allowed to share with my baby. It is the only moment I will ever have. Yet, this moment will be carried with me forever because in that moment, I suddenly understood humanity more deeply. I was suddenly connected to everyone as I realized that every person who had ever been born, and ever would be, had started out as this tiny miraculously divine being.
Yet, for the first time in my life, my body and spirit were arguing. One wanted to hold onto this child, and the other was begging for another. My body tried to tell my spirit how comforted it would be when I looked towards the future. But when I looked, all I could see were my plans for this child wiped away and so much emptiness in it’s place. Now as a busy mama of two girls, I had a full calendar. But space was made within my mind, and body and within our lives. And now what?
This is part of the life we are living. It is not life, and is not full and radiant without us also hearing and feeling our sadness and pain. Living fully in those days proved this to me. Without pushing the pain and the fear away, I got to take possession of my story. To make sure it is mine, the one I want to live. I proved to myself, I am indeed who I think I am. And so are those around me.
Because of this, I can be at peace, and know my baby is too. But I can also be terribly sad, even all these years later. This sadness has a gift within it. The passion and celebration that infuse my life burn even brighter. The intuition that spurs my actions, is louder. And my connection to the universe, and it wisdom, even more profound.”