Ema Frieda

I was just going through some of the things I wrote towards the end of last year.  And one piece of writing still brings me much joy.  I would like to share it with you.  My friend became pregnant with her baby girl a year after I became pregnant with my little boy.  Her baby was due at the end of September/beginning of October as mine was.  My friend messaged me on the eve before my son’s first birthday to say that she was thinking about me.  Her daughter was born on the eve before my son’s first birthday.  And ever since then her baby little Ema Frieda has been a great blessing to me.  Smiles each time she looks at me, knowingly. Another interesting thing is – if her daughter would have been a boy they would have named him Sebastian-David.  They decided on that name many years ago, but never got blessed with a boy…   It would have been very scary if her baby had been born on my Sebastian’s birthday. Is God telling us something?  

I have let my shield down significantly since I met baby Ema Frieda. Crazy as it may sound – she is one very special baby. My friend’s baby. Lenka’s baby. David’s baby. It is almost as if this little girl possesses healing powers. I feel drawn to her. When I see her – I feel a peace settle into my life like snow quietly falling and settling on the cold hard winter ground. And so as I seem to be more confident around this little girl Ema Frieda, more confident around other babies, my guard is down, and out of nowhere grief comes in to party around my broken soul – reminding me cruelly of what I have lost and what is not to be. Trashing my heart, and guild eating at me for not being able to keep Sebastian David safe.

Ema Frieda – little Miss Sunshine. A little lady in the making was born the day before my son’s first birthday, and has a smile for almost everyone she meets. I feel happy when little Ema gives me a big toothless grin and does not mind being held by me. Ema does not cry when I hold her – this comforts me, this slowly builds confidence in my shattered heart, allowing me to feel that I could have been an OK mom. I feel blessed that I can cuddle her, and lucky to be able to see her once a week.
My armour down, and I allow myself to feel every emotion under the sun. The tears wash over my face as I look at this little girl’s beautiful face and realize the gift she has given me. The gift her parents have given me. To be allowed to be a part of their baby’s lives. Allowing me to hold her, trusting me. Something I am so thankful for. Something I needed without knowing.

When their pregnancy was announced – around the time that I announced my pregnancy to my parents but mine was a year before I remember how happy I was. And I could see their happy faces. The faces full of hope (which they deserved completely) – I felt my world crumpling around me. Every step of the pregnancy would be every step I took only a year earlier. I felt my world crashing around me, and I wept and wept because my son was gone – my hope was gone. And I could see the new parents to be hopeful faces. I couldn’t talk to them for months. I was afraid that they did not want to speak to me, for my own haunting pregnancy was marked with death. Their pregnancy too close to home for me. But towards the end, I felt I needed to come to peace with my warring heart and we both approached each other and talked. It felt like a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders. I felt at peace. I was happy for them. I felt accepted, I felt that they understood and the rift that seemed to be so big closed in, and began to overlap once more.

I prayed for months and months so that little Miss Sunshine could come out safely from her mom. I was afraid that a repeat would occur and I did not want to see that happening. I was so afraid, so I prayed, I prayed for the baby they were going to have, I covered them in prayers, whilst my own lost son was no longer here. My grief buried in silence.

Then out of nowhere my grief exploded, impounded me, as I lay on the floor in my room crying for my little baby. For the fact that I will never be able to see him smile like little Ema Frieda does for me. That I will never be able to hold him, and stare into his eyes and experience what it is like to look after him. The most difficult thing for a mom is to let their baby go, in perfect peace with our Heavenly Father. I had to align myself and let Sebastian go. Knowing that one day I will meet him once more. But will he remember me? A world where grief and happiness clash. Where grief and happiness overlap and it becomes one, a part of who I am. A part of me will always cry for Sebastian-David who was born sleeping, never to breathe alone on this earth. My boy, the powerful current of unconditional love that I felt for him remains within me.

Sometimes I feel like I am having a deja-vu moment. I look at Ema Frieda and I think – this time last year my son would have been doing the things that she is doing now. I look at her with sadness but with joy and peace in my heart. At least for her family no heartache like mine would have to be experienced. The pain that I try so hard to bury. That I try so hard not to associate myself with. The pain, the longing of wanting to hold, of wanting to sing lullabies, of wanting to care for a little being that would be dependent on me. That would look up to me, and run to me when their whole world is falling down. I did not have that. It is long gone, the reality I so desperately want to cling onto. My reality broken, shattered, into a million tiny pieces, as I grasp my way through the thickness of the fog that is clouding my brain as I learn to keep on breathing. To keep on going. To put one foot in front of the next foot as if climbing a steep mountain.

This is my story, this is my song – where a world of grief and happiness clash, where a world of grief and happiness overlap and become one. A changed person. A multitude of emotions cross my face as I learn to weave through each one carefully and learn to accept that my son is with the perfect father. After all – did I not pray for him to have the best father in the world? This is what he got. My prayer was answered. In a way I wanted? No! But I know God has his reasons, and I trust his reasons are good, and so I will cling onto God as I learn to move forward slowly, but surely.

The even scarier part of Ema Frieda is that if she had been a boy – a long time ago her parents had decided on a name, a name so close to home, a duplicate: Sebastian David. Sebastian David was my son – born on 29th September. My thoughts take me to another world – where I think if Ema had been a boy and the baby was born on 29th September but a year later instead – what would it have been like to have a baby share my son’s birthday and name? For all we know it could have been role reversals. They could have gone through the loss of their baby, and I in return could have had mine. But it did not happen that way.

Sebastian David. Sebastian David. Sebastian David – my son. My son. The son that changed his mommy’s world forever. The moment I knew that I was carrying Sebastian David my love was indescribably beautiful for a little being that I never met. I must remember the power of this connection that I had with him, the connection that we will always have. Sebastian David is not my God. Sebastian David is not my idol. He is my son, and I love him like a mother should, but God has always come first in my life, and in God’s life we would come first. I know that my son is in the safest hands possible. He is with his Father in heaven.

But I ask myself – will this boy, my son Sebastian David that touched my heart in so many ways ever know how much his mommy loved him? How much she wanted him to know the love she felt for him, but that the day he died, she let him go to be with Jesus, with God because that was the right thing to do. To let him be free like the birds in the sky, knowing that he is looking down at me. Proudly. Yes! His mommy is a survivor. Sebastian-David you gave me hope when I needed it the most, and you continue to show yourself in the smallest ways… thank you for being a part of me.

Ema Frieda – a gift of God. God brought her down on this earth. A unique baby. A happy baby. Little Miss Sunshine has given me constantly a ray of hope when I feel the sadness pressing onto my heart intensely. I am thankful for knowing her, for being able to spend time with her. For being able to experience a tiny ray of hope in the minefield of darkness, and I know that grief can only party for so long before it grows weary of the peace that I have within my heart. Thank you Ema for bringing a smile to my face each time I get to see you. Thank you Lenkda, David for allowing me to be a part of your daughter’s live. Your beautiful child. A blessing in disguise – one that I will cherish forevermore.

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