Goodbye, my Sonny John
The day after I missed my period, I had one of the most amazing dreams. And if you know about me and dreams, you know I have lots. My oracle guide, who has been with me for many years appeared to me, filling the dreamscape with her beautiful face and headdress. Then in an instant, she shrunk down in front of me and hugged me tight, tackling me to the ground. But it was the feeling I woke up with, the feeling of love to myself, from myself, a feeling still foreign.
I called my partner in tears, he asked if I was okay. I’m pregnant, I stammered through the crying. He responded, with an oh fuck, seriously? But that oh fuck quickly transmuted over the weeks into excited baby banter and a beloved name.
After I got back from an ultrasound, I cut the strip of 4 pictures of our baby in half and gave the one where he was sticking out his tongue to my partner and he put it up on the refrigerator. We laughed at how our baby was already a little twerp and it was because we are a couple of assholes.
We were already synced with the cord. He was well wanted. It just took me some time to reinvent the trajectory of some life stuff and brought roaring to the surface some emotional flashbacks from my previous pregnancy. But this time would be different.
The contractions came fast and painfully hard. I felt something stuck, and I reached down and pulled his tiny body from mine. As soon as I touched him, I knew it was my baby. I just kept saying no over and over. No. No. No. I expected him to move but the stillness in his body seeped into my palm as I held him for the first time. For some unknown reason the song Sunny by Boney M was wailing in my head. I looked at him and said out loud, ok Sonny.
But you can see all his toes and fingers. His tiny little pointed chin. You meet your son for the first time and already have to say goodbye and it blows away the thoughts you conjured for this little soul and that familiar first newborn gaze where you say to your baby, I have already known you and you don’t remember much about the before time.
I called my partner and tried to desperately choke out the words, I lost the baby. I couldn’t, I don’t understand.
He looked cold, I quickly stood up and grabbed a scooby-doo washcloth. I wrapped him up it so just his face stuck out. He looked a ridiculous amount like my partner, he even folds his hands the same way when he’s relaxed.
For the rest of the day and into the next I felt like a mama monkey dragging her dead baby around, like some deep instinctual grief mixed with denial. I stared at him in my palm, his tiny hands folded over his chest, lifeless and so damn perfectly formed. I kissed his head.
I kept asking my partner, what do I do with him? I just didn’t want to put him down. He wasn’t supposed to be here yet. But what do I do with him? What do I do with his body?
I can’t bear to suffer in my own deafening silence on this one. As I watch my belly shrink back down with no baby to cradle in my arms, I weep as I hold the imagery of my Sonny and send him all the love I can bear to muster from a broken heart.
The field of why lays fallow, this was all so unexpected, and an explanation won’t sew up my gaping hole of grief. When I say to my partner, I just want him back, he brings me in close to his chest and he whispers to me, I know baby, I know.
I bought an artisan flowerpot and buried him under a pretty perennial. And he will travel with me when I set out from this place. As Willy Tea says, “this road brought me to you and it will take me away, and all I can do is pray. All I can do is pray.”
Goodbye, my Sonny John.