It had been days since I had last taken a shower. My body longed to be cleaned, my skin tinged with blood and my face salty with tears. The medications I had been on for the last four days had finally been turned off and I was beginning to regain control of my muscles. Though I really would have rather been alone, my legs could not yet support my weight and my new husband brought me into the bathroom.
He sat me down on the built in stool there in the hospital shower and helped me undress before then undressing himself. He turned on the shower and allowed me to lean my full weight onto his shoulders and the warm water washed over the surfaces of my skin. The water washed over my once full belly which was now empty, swollen and bruised. I watched as the red-brown water slipped down the drain and I began to cry again.
There I stood, 21 years old, unable to wash myself and my husband of just one month gently took the soap in his hands and washed me as I sobbed. I was nothing, just a shell of my former self. Crying over what was lost and clinging to what remained.
He washed my back and tumid breasts, my distended stomach and in between my legs. The tears flowing freely then. He washed my legs taking care to remove any dried blood that may remain from my delivery days before. Gently he wiped my face with his hands and then held me and we cried, morning the loss of our daughter.