When I found out I was pregnant, I waited a long time to tell people. And I really wanted to tell my parents before most anyone else. Since they were coming in from Florida just a couple weeks before my mom’s birthday, I decided I would beat out my siblings with the best birthday gift ever! So we invited my parents to breakfast, and I gave my mom this gift.
|A newborn onesie with a note that said “bring back at christmas”
I’m not sure who was more shocked and thrilled, my mom or my dad. I’m grateful for that moment. As I think back on pregnancy and see it as a gift, this was just one of the moments that makes me see it that way. Even now. We didn’t know then that Christmas would look so different. We didn’t know then that he would never wear it. We just celebrated the anticipation of a new baby in our family.
The morning we found out there was no longer a heartbeat, my mom again was among the first to know. I called her from the hospital after it was confirmed. My mom answered the phone with the joy she often does. For anyone who has called her, you know what I’m talking about, “Why hello Nooooeeeelle.” I remember her saying something else too, something along the lines of if there was news. She was waiting for this call, the call with baby news. Unfortunately it was a very different one than either of us wanted. I cut her off in the midst of her question and told her I had bad news. This is the first time I had to say the whole thing out loud, “My baby died, and I’m going to have to deliver him/her tonight.” I was in shock. The words seemed foreign coming out of my mouth. My mom immediately and with great sadness and heartbreak said, “Oh Noelle, I’m so sorry.”
The next time I talked to my mom on the phone, she said, “I’m going to get to you as fast as I can. I’m leaving early in the morning, well, maybe the middle of the night.” You could hear the desperation in her voice. It reminded me of a conversation we had when my sister had her first baby. As we were waiting to see her and my nephew at the hospital, my mom said, “I’m more anxious to see how my baby is doing, than I am to see my grandbaby.” She noted how that was different than she anticipated, especially for a first time grandma. For some reason that conversation has stuck with me for the past 20 years and played in my head as we talked. This situation was no different. She wanted to see her baby.
I don’t think my mom let my dad stop for much during that ride from Florida to Ohio. Little stops. No time for eating. Eventually they made it late Wednesday night to hug me. It was good to see them. When initially thinking through when they would come to Ohio, the plan was once the baby came they would come and stay through Christmas. It made sense. In my mind there would be plenty of time for them to meet and cuddle our new baby. Plenty of time. Never did we anticipate this scenario. Never. Sadly the 11 hours we got with Enoch was not enough time for my parents to meet him. And as they were heading back to Florida my mom hugged me goodbye and said with great sadness “I wish I could have met him.” “Me too. ”
I really wish my mom and dad would have met my son.