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Friday, November 23, 2012

(7 Years After) Losing A Baby

As a woman, when a pregnancy ends and there is no baby to hold, it can feel like your world has literally exploded into nothingness around you. It can feel like there is no hope left in the world. It can feel like you'll never know happiness again.

I know because it happened to me seven years ago when I miscarried and lost my daughter, Elyssami Faith. It felt like my soul was being torn from my body along with my baby.

After 7 years, that morning and the first few days that followed are still etched in my memories as vivid as if it were happening now. It's not something I think I'll ever forget, just like I won't forget how much love I felt for that little life growing inside me.

There are some things I wish I could forget, like how I went to work that day and all I could do was cry; or how the physical agony ripped through me as my body let go of everything that had kept her alive; or how my own husband created deep emotional wounds asking if I was "over it" two days later and told me he was glad I had lost our daughter. Some things are better forgotten but they stay in my mind anyway.

There are some things I hope I'll never forget, like how it felt to have that little life growing inside me; or what a miracle it was; or how it felt to love so deeply and wholly even before meeting that little person.

And then there are the things I couldn't keep hold of, just the way I couldn't keep hold of her. That's the thing about a pregnancy that ends without a baby - you don't just lose a baby (as if that wasn't enough on its own). You lose all the hopes and dreams you'd had for her. You lose your sense of safety. You lose some of your innocence. You lose confidence in your body's ability to create and sustain life.

You lose a part of yourself.

And then... nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants you to say you had a baby and she died. People don't even want to hear you call a miscarriage a baby, let alone help you honour and remember her. Nobody wants to acknowledge you as a mother, like you don't deserve membership into that special club because your baby never kept you up crying all night -- but they don't realise, she did. The only difference is that it wasn't her crying, it was you.

I've been told that given enough time, all wounds will heal. I don't believe it. After seven years, though, I do believe that we learn how to live around the wounds. You don't get over losing your baby - it's not a hill you get to climb and when you're at the top you get a great view - that's not how it works. It isn't a gap you can fill, a wound you can heal - there is a piece of you and a piece of your life that is and always will be missing.

The thing is, though, you don't have to get over it. You just have to get through it, accept it, learn to cope with it... and live around it.

I'll never forget my daughter. I don't want to. However brief it was - she lived. She was loved. She deserves to have her name spoken, to be remembered and loved. And she will be because I am her mother and I will always love and remember her.

1 comment:

  1. i like the part about being kept up at night by crying