Wednesday at the store brought a very special visitor. Anita, the OB nurse who took Leila's photographs, stopped in to say Hi and see how we were doing. My unlikely friend. She's kept up with me for these last two months, calling and leaving messages that she's praying for us. Listening when I just needed to talk. Another example of the many earthly blessings Leila has brought me.
Anita isn't just a talented photographer, or a very caring nurse. She also unbelievably gifted in the art of listening. I should say the dying art of listening. She got me talking about what I would have done differently, hindsight being what it is.
Regrets, I have a few. Things I wish I would have done with Leila. Like brought something personal for her, and have her pictures taken with it. To have been more present, and fought off the numbness. Slept with her. Held her through the night. To have insisted on the nurse breaking the amniotic sac and give her to me as soon as she was born.
All this time, I'd been under the impression that Leila was a live birth, and died on the warmer. Alone, wrapped in a towel.
And I said as much to Anita. I wished I would have held her until she went Home.
Anita dropped the bomb on me. Leila was stillborn.
I don't know how to feel about that. Betrayed, that my body killed her by putting her through labor when she was clearly too small to survive the contractions?
Or relieved, that I was holding her as she went to Jesus. True, not in my arms. But she was never alone.
Anita's a cancer survivor, and she has an amazing faith in God. She left me with these beautiful laminated cards with the precious scriptures that got her through her recovery, to help me get through mine. I treasure them, they stay in my purse so I'm never far from them. They're always at the ready when I need a dose of comfort.
Thank you, Anita. God bless you.