(Content warning: pregnancy loss)

Dear baby,

You’re seven centimetres, going on eight. You’re active, moving around so much, spinning in the womb at every ultrasound. Your little hand is curled into your face. Your little heart is beating, but not strongly enough.

In many long months of praying for you, and in three months of carrying you, I already love you so much. I already picture you as part of our family. You were conceived out of love, through love, and with so much desire and intention.

I wish we could bring you into this beautiful life we have created, the life we had dreamed of for our family. This Pesach I wanted so badly to start our own traditions and have our first seder as a soon to be family of three. A rehearsal for next year when you would be with us. Instead, we’ll be at the hospital, monitoring your heart, waiting for you to pass on from this life.

We might not get to have you for much longer, might not get to hold you, might never know if you were a little girl or a little boy.

I’ll never see your smile, or hold your hand in mine, or hear your cry, or the sweet sound of your laugh, or see if you’re more like mummy or daddy. None of it matters. Because I love you. Because you made me a mother. Because your little heart caused ours to grow and expand so much with a love we didn’t know was possible.

On the other side of this great love is a tremendous grief. On the other side of birth is death. The cycle of life is so abstract until you’re literally carrying it in your womb. Until you’re sick from it, fatigued from it, queasy and nauseous, anxious and hopeful for your baby.

I don’t want to say goodbye. All these months of carrying you have filled my heart with so much peace, imagining our lives together. I am so grateful to have had the experience of connecting with you. I will always remember seeing you on the ultrasound for the first time, celebrating with frozen yogurt, your aba’s head on my stomach, and his funny voices and conversations with you, and not me (even though I was right there!).

It’s a grief I’ve never known before – mourning you, mourning our family. I want you to know that in the time we have left together, I will mother you. I offer you my endless love, the promise that you will live on in my heart, forever. That your spirit will always be with me, with your daddy, with our family. I offer you all the love of our friends and family who pray for you, are excited about you, whose souls are bound with yours in this lifetime. What a loving, warm, sacred community you would have entered into.

I wish my love could cure everything. If my love could be poured into a medicine vial or transmuted into limitless doctor’s knowledge, or the consciousness of the universe, and then transmitted to you, channelled directly into your heart, to make it whole, to cure you, to keep you with us, it would. Instead, I’ll pour my love into simply loving you, and mourning you, and missing you, and honouring you. I’ll let that be enough. I’ll send my love to myself too, for comfort and strength. I’ll pour it into your aba, and our family, which I can picture as whole, complete, and big – one day. Which will always include you. I’ll pour it into compassion for other women, other mothers, going through these heart wrenching difficulties, labouring in love for their babies, and for the strong, brave men supporting them.

Mummy loves you.