Hope died in my arms last night.

So I often have dreams that leave me shaking, but this has been the worst. This one broke my heart all over again.

(Trigger warning for mums who’ve lost bubs)

Last night I dreamed I woke up with horrible cramps in my stomach. I was panicked and sweating and suddenly a baby was born. I had no idea I’d been pregnant. She was so early and we thought she was still born. Then she took a shuddering breath and we wrapped her up and drove like the world was ending to the hospital.

They wouldn’t let me in the room while they treated her, but when they finally did she was pink and breathing and totally perfect. Tiny, but beautiful and oh so very mine. In the way of dreams she was already able to look at me and I fell in love immediately. I felt again the way I did when my other babies were born. As though my heart had filled up suddenly and grown too big for my body. I was even able to hold her gently against my skin in the hope it would increase her chances. I named her Hope Josef and prayed that she would be ok.

We fell asleep in a rocking chair in the premie ICU. When I woke up she was so still. I could feel the wrongness of it. I began to scream and was swamped by nurses and a doctors, but it was too late. They ripped her from my pleading arms and then turned back to me with the truth written all over their faces.

I collapsed. I couldn’t breathe for screaming. Husband tried to wrap his arms around me but I couldn’t stand to be touched. They wanted to put me in the psych ward. So I ran. I ran and ran and ran. I ran so far I couldn’t find my way back.

I woke up breathless and my arms felt so heavy, like they used to when I fell asleep with my babies in my arms. I was crying.

Now, hours later I’m still feeling so out of it. Sadness has settled down onto me like a second skin. Is my brain trying to finally process the miscarriage we had years ago? Am I haunted by the baby I almost had? Or by the one I might have next?

And when husband starts asking me for another baby again, how will I tell him I’ve seen where that road leads? How can I possibly explain that I’ve lost Hope already?

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