Dealing with the loss of a baby is not something we are ever prepared for. For many women that have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth, it can be even more difficult. Having never held their living breathing child leaves some women feeling very isolated in their grief. Primarily, because others around them do not know how to approach the matter and avoid addressing it altogether out of fear of upsetting the grieving mother.
No matter if you were a few weeks along, full term, or fed and bathed this child. The love you feel for that life is very real and your grief is justified. Part of the grieving process is searching out the “Why?” “Why would I be given this gift of life and lose it so early?”
My “Why?” is Your “Why?”
Today is a particularly difficult day for me. So I am doing my due diligence in re purposing my pain into love. I hope that my personal story and search to understand can help you ease the pain of your loss and give you a sense of peace.
Eleven years ago today, I gave birth to a stillborn son. I was due to deliver in November, but went in for a routine check up and there was no heart beat to be found.
I remember the initial panic and disbelief. I remember my doctor’s reassurance prior to the second Ultrasound that everything was probably fine. I remember the look of pity on the Ultrasound Technician’s face when she looked at me to confirm there was no fetal heartbeat. Quite simply, I remember every single detail of that day as it were yesterday.
I had no choice but to endure a vaginal delivery that would normally yield a crying, curious, bundle of life, yet I gave birth to silence. When asked if I wanted to see him and my immediate response was “No.”
I was confused. What should have been the highlight of my life, consumed me with a sadness that I couldn’t have anticipated. The loss that I felt for a child that I never “knew”, in the conventional sense, was alarming to me.
How could I feel such sadness and feel such loss for someone I’ve never met?
Motherhood Begins At Conception
From the moment a woman finds out that she is a mother to be, her world changes. Love is more than just a warm fuzzy feeling, it is an energy. It is an intent. You begin to want the best for your baby, dream of their future, imagine how they will look and what their personality will be like long before you meet them. A mother’s love materializes instantly.
For hours I contemplated my confusion. Finally, I came to the most obvious and simple conclusion there was. I AM his mother! I have loved him from the second I knew of his creation. Even if he never experienced life outside of the comfort of my body, he still had a VERY real life. It mattered. It deserved to be acknowledged.
I was ready to see him. I held him in my arms. I wept at the coldness of his tiny body. I mourned what SHOULD have been. I verbalized my love for him. I sang to him. I rocked him. Over the next two days of my hospital stay, I loved on him as I did my other children. I mothered him.
The Hardest Thing I Ever Did
The hospital stay was over. It was time to go home. I was given a Memorial Box. It contained a pillow, a diaper, his hospital bracelet and his crib card. I was wheeled downstairs to and discharged without my baby. I simply left with a box of trinkets commemorating my loss. I felt a virtual sense of paralysis at the pain of leaving the hospital without my son.
Then what happens? You go home reeling from a loss that you feel you have suffered alone. That is not necessarily true, however. Most people simply have no clue how to approach a mother that has lost a child. For mother’s that lost a child before birth, even fewer know how to support you. That makes the journey feel incredibly lonely.
Part II of The Grieving Process
Months after the loss of my son, I had experienced most of the traditional stages of grief. Depression, bargaining, and denial had all been processes that I was able to manage.
I was stuck on Anger. Not the jumping up and down raging kind of anger, but “WHY?” Why did this happen to me? What is the purpose of this in my life?
I found no answers. Close friends and loved ones tend to offer the standard fare. “It’s part of a divine plan”. That in itself was not enough to satiate me or leave me feeling any better about life’s most recent lesson.
Through my search for meaning in such an ugly situation, I ran across an explanation that resonated in my soul. How do we recognize the truth? We know it by the way it feels. For me, this was my truth. I found a reason that allowed me to let go of my “Why?” More than bringing me acceptance, it brought me peace and comfort.
Keep an Open Mind and Open Heart
I ask you to put aside strict adherence to any spiritual beliefs and keep your mind and heart open to this beautiful theory.
If we are sent to this planet as part of a divine lesson plan, there may be lessons that take many lifetimes to learn. It may not be recognized in cultural and religious practices that you are accustomed to, but incarnating the soul multiple times isn’t a new concept.
Please open your horizons. Be mindful that there is more mystery turned into reality in this experience called life than you could fathom.
You choose your parents. Not to dip back and forth between issues, but for whatever reason/lesson required of you this time around you chose the parents you were born to.
Apply this to the life you lost. Why would a child choose a mother and father that it would never have a conversation with? The child that you loved so fiercely, and wholeheartedly had a short lesson plan. In the cycle of Karmic lessons, that soul that you gave a brief life to was only missing one lesson.
What lesson could that be you ask? Unconditional love. This is where your peace lies. This is your purpose. You were able to give that soul the greatest gift the Universe has to offer. You have given that child all it ever needed, unconditional love. Love that will not waiver, that will not dim over time. Love without boundaries, or requirements.
We as women do more than bring life into this realm. We are portals to higher dimensions and planes of existence. Through our love the soul grows and graduates into it’s true divine purpose.
I hope that this helps you heal and come into the acceptance of why you find yourself here. You have my love and support. And as always, Happy Healing!