I Never Held My Love
By Judy O'Dell 
Just three weeks before my “due date”, placenta
previa (premature separation of the placenta)
occurred and labor began. A day later my 4 lb
4 oz. son was born. He did not utter a cry at
birth, for a few minutes he struggled between
life and death. After an “eternity” he gave a
cry and was whisked to the premature baby
nursery. I spent two and a half days gazing
at him from outside the nursery window,
watching him struggle for life. Death won
out and he was lost to me forever. My only
close look at him was in the hospital
examining room, after his death, and later at
the mortuary. At no time was it suggested
that I hold him and being in shock at the
time, it never occurred to me to ask.
I will always regret that although I was
pregnant for eight and a half months and
delivered this baby, I never held him in my arms.
In speaking with many parents of stillborn
babies or premature babies who died, I have
never heard of one who regretted having
held their infant. After all, that is the only
opportunity one will ever have.
If you are ever a support person for a
parent whose baby dies, please urge them
to hold him or her so they will not spend the
rest of their life, as I have, living with the
fact that “I never held my love.”

Summer 1983 Loving Arms