To my daughter: I am sorry

(Trigger Warning: Child loss)

So many things can leave a lasting impact on anyone. Everyone is affected differently as well. Loss can be really difficult for anyone to face, no matter who it was.

When I found out I was pregnant with you after the rape, I planned to keep you and raise you as my own. The thought of you brought so much joy in my 14-year-old life. I was so excited to see you, hold you, and watch you grow into who you would become, but I didn’t get to do that.

I carried you for 23 weeks and did not face any complications along the way until the end. I had a really good beginning to my pregnancy, but I started to get really sick around week 16 and almost lost you then. The doctors planned to keep me for observation and monitoring until birth because they said you were affected, too. We tried to keep you in as long as possible to give you the best fighting chance possible, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. You were stillborn on December 1, 2011, at 8:58 PM. You were 8 inches long and only weighed 9 ounces. They are numbers I will never forget. We did everything we could for you to have a possibility of survival. I did everything I could for you. I feel like I failed you, though. I know that I didn’t, but it’s always the “I could have done more” mentality. How much would you have weighed if you were full term? How long would you have been? What would your first cry have sounded like? Would you have a full head of hair like I did? So many questions, but there are no answers. I am sorry I couldn’t have done more.

When you were born, I refused to hold you, or even look at you. I was so furious about the situation. You would have brought me so much happiness in my life, but you were dead. How could you bring me happiness? I didn’t hear you cry. I didn’t hear your heartbeat on the monitor. All the doctors and nurses were silent because they knew and didn’t know what to say. What even do you say to a hopeful mother waiting to meet her child when you know for sure that the baby is dead? How does the mother even cope with that? I don’t even know and I’ve been through this loss with you. I just wonder how light and small you would have been in my arms. What if holding you and seeing you gave me some closure? Or would it have made it worse? I will never know. I still love you with all my heart and will never forget you. You are apart of my life, even if you are in a different and better place than here.

So, I am sorry for not giving you the love and attention you deserved from me on your birthday. I’m sorry that I let my anger overtake the love I have for you. You deserve so much more my love.

On the night I lost you, one of the nurses took me over to the windows and the stars filled the sky that night. “She may not be here with you, but she will always be looking down on you from the stars”, she said. I will never forget that. Every night I look for the stars. I will always wish that there could have been more with you, but I will never forget you.

I love you, Jocelyn. That will never change.

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