She had come for a blood pressure check.
Would I mind and did I have a moment inbetween patients and she really didn’t want to waste my time?
Her eyes avoiding mine until the tears that silently found their way down her cheeks, revealed that the real pressure was not in her arteries, but in her heart.
And please, please—she was so ashamed of what she had done, but she had had no choice. And she hoped that I would understand.
She needed a safe space to cry—to share the memory of the son she had birthed 9 years ago to the day, but whom she had given away.
Knowing herself unable to mother, her heart (still) mourned. Like a pulsating umbilical cord she bled pain—every single day.
Afraid to share.
Because…what kind of mother gives her own child away?
And so we sat.
Nurse and patient.
Woman to woman.
Mother to mother.
And we remembered the day she gave birth and fought that fierce loss that tore the fabric of her being in two. Watching the life that had grown under her heart for 40 weeks, wrapped in sterile green—vernix from her body covering his—leave her life.
How was it possible to mourn a child for the rest of your life and not splinter with grief?
Not fold in on yourself from shame?
Was it possible?
And together, we remembered the other woman—who, with empty womb, became a mother that day.
Years of heartache evaporating in the face of this gift.
And we remembered the boy.
…we remembered him.
And so we sat, until she could stand up under the weight once more, and breathe.