I’ve been thinking about our hearts
How you listened to mine beating for months
How I listened to yours beating for months
How you felt the steady rhythm of mine creating a soft vibration against your forming body
How I watched yours on a little black screen, smiling at each rhythmic rise and fall

I’ve been thinking about our hearts
How they were both strong and steady for nine months as you grew
How every appointment yours was listened to, mine was listened to
Perfect, they always said

I’ve been thinking about our hearts
How yours began to suffer as I worked to bring you into this world
How I watched the little blue line that represented your rhythm and no longer smiled at how it would rise and fall
And fall
And fall
How the doctors put hands on my trembling body, in my trembling body to help your unstable heart
How every push brought you closer to this world, but also seemed to pull you further away
Are you slipping away
Are you slipping away

I’ve been thinking about our hearts
How the doctors watched yours and mine on little black screens outside our door
How the footsteps sounded each time they rushed down the hall and into our room
So many times they rushed into our room
How they stared at your heart on the monitor, not smiling or speaking
How they glanced at each other, no words exchanged but speaking volumes
How they listened to your heart and nobody said it was perfect
How the midwife with the kind but worried face looked into my wild eyes and whispered, “close your eyes if it’s too scary, close your eyes when the doctors rush in, any second they will rush in.”

I’ve been thinking about our hearts and how yours grew even more unstable as we tried to separate you from me
For hours, for days we tried to separate you from me
How the room filled with five, then ten, then twenty people
How the hallway filled with even more
All the people in masks watching your heart
All the people in masks begging you to separate from me
How the doctor looked deep into my eyes, “she needs to come out now”
I’m trying
We’re trying

I’ve been thinking about our hearts and how yours finally became stronger when you were released from my body and put into my arms
Perfect, they said once again

I’ve been thinking about our hearts
How mine suddenly felt the absence of yours
Did it grieve without you nearby?
Did it work too hard to bring you into this world?
Did it forget how to beat when on its own?

I’ve been thinking about our hearts
How each day yours grew stronger and mine struggled more and more
How I felt it pounding in my chest with love for you…maybe too much love for you
How I watched my own heart rise and fall on the little black screen, felt it beating irregularly, too fast then too slow
But still beating
But still beating
How I laid awake and watched my own heart beating on the little black screen
My womb empty
My arms empty
My heart crying for help, frantic in my chest
Was it searching for you
Was it searching for you

When two hearts beat side by side and that’s all they know
Why wouldn’t they suffer when forced to part
Why wouldn’t their rhythms rise and fall in dramatic ways, protesting their parting
They would
They would

I’ve been thinking about our hearts and how they are near each other again
Not inside my body but nearby as I hold you tightly to my chest and feel your breath on my neck

I’ve been thinking about our hearts and how yours is stable and rhythmic.
Perfect, your doctor says
How mine is stable and mostly rhythmic, but sometimes I still feel it beat off key
My hand quickly moves to my chest and to my neck
It’s okay, take your time
It’s okay, she’s still here
It’s okay, she’s still near

I’ve been thinking about our hearts
How mine beats differently now
Searching for a new rhythm
Learning how to beat again without yours next to it
I’ll give it time, I’ll give it time





12 thoughts on “Parted

  1. Your stunning words and photos….the pain for you, Isaac and your family…..your talent and ability to share is amazing. You put your reader right there with you. The JOY is also astounding. I can not thank you enough for being brave enough to share this experience! OMG!!! xoxox

  2. Courtney, so powerful and beautiful. Baker will cherish this when she is older.
    So happy things have settled down and you can just be a mom. Love to you❤️

  3. I don’t know what to say.. that was powerful. I’m not often truly moved by anything, but I was by that.

    Congratulations to you and Issac, may God Bless you three with many days of joy.

  4. Your words took me through your incredible birth experience! All I can say is Wow, what a range of emotion! Beautifully written, Courtney, thank you for sharing! We are so very grateful to know that all three of those hearts are beating now at home and united! God bless you, Isaac, and your precious Baker.

  5. OMG Courtney, this is so incredibly beautiful! Thank you for writing and sharing.Love you and Baker and Isaac SO much!!❤️

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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