BrOKenEsS

I wrote this a few weeks before my son’s first birthday…. nearly a year ago….

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A year ago I was eagerly anticipating the birth of my son’s arrival.  I was eagerly looking forward to a future that every pregnant woman was looking forward to.  We watch our bodies change shape.  We watch as our bumps form and we watch as our tiny little seeds become into little human like creatures.  It is amazing to watch how a little embryo turns into a human.  This is the miracle of life.  The beauty of a life being created.  The beauty of watching little things grow that slowly become little people.   A year ago, I felt like I had so much to live for.  So much to marvel at the amazing things that God’s creation can do.  A year ago I was preparing to become a mother.  To become a mother of a living thing.  Heck was I nervous?  Hell yea. I was nervous.  I was scared.  I was frightened but I was excited.  I talked to my bump every day.  I prayed over my bump every day.  I was excited.  I was looking forward to God’s blessing pouring onto my life.  I was nesting.  I was preparing my son’s baby cot.  I was preparing his clothes into neat little piles.  I had his stroller ready. All cleaned up.  I had his outfit picked out for when he was born.  My bag was half packed for the hospital.  My life was brimming up with full of hope, joy and peace until the unthinkable happened.  Until my world came crashing down.  Until everything I was working towards, everything I was looking forward which was no longer possible. I was living.  I was more than living.  I was walking alongside God and my son had the whole world at his feet.

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The crashing feeling that occurred in slow motion step by step.  The morning of the 26th of September my heart but skipped a beat as my contractions started, blissfully unaware of the sea waves crashing violently against the wall.  I was brimming with excitement.  I remember texting a few friends the following message: ‘today is the day my world will change forever, today is the day that my son will come.’  So blissfully unaware of what laid ahead of me.  I was cleaning, cooking, smiling, singing laughing, until a certain point when I realised that I hadn’t felt my little boy move.  I told my mom I don’t think I have felt little Seb move all day.  We did all the things that the books and doctors tell us to do.  I laid on my side waiting for movement.  Nothing.  Panic slowly started to creep in.  Yet still very calm and collected.  Next thing I know is I get bundled up to go into the car.  My sister and stepdad go to my aunt and uncle’s house while my aunt comes with us to go to the hospital to do some translating.  We wait what seems ages before the emergency doctor tells us to go upstairs to the high risk pregnancy ward.  We wait again, but it seems to be taking longer.  It seems to be an eternity before the nurse comes in.  The clock is ticking.  My heart is beating.  The clock is ticking away slowly but precisely.  Then the doctor comes in – says there is probably nothing to worry about.  How wrong was that!  The waiting begins again, he asks my mom and aunt to leave the room while he investigates further.  Then the words come ‘I am sorry but your son is not living.’ The violent crash comes and slams against my heart.  My heart freezes.  My world spins to a standstill no longer moving forward.  Just stuck in time.  My little Seb is gone.

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The beating of my heart races against my throat, erratically as I hear the clock go tick tack tick tack tick tack.  The heartache, the pain, the numbness, the shock, the anger, the fear all rising in one big cloudy emotion.  Emotions that I did not really know existed.  My heart stopped beating.  My world stopped spinning.  I stopped living.  The day my son died, a part of me died to. A part of me was buried forever in the endless seams of stiches that was calmly being knitted.  The hospital stay, the long hospital stay, the long waiting.  The only thing I was aware of was how the clock slowly ticked forward, time did not stand still.  My heart may have stopped moving forward, but life all around kept moving forward.  Kept going forward.  The death of my child was the end of an era.  The loss of my beautiful child broke me.  Broke my spirit.  Broke me into a million pieces.  I didn’t know what to do anymore.

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Just breathing, just breathing was all that consisted of my world.  I just laid there in bed breathing, crying, screaming, breathing, and crying.  Heavy tears of heartache.  Heavy tears.  My eyes lost its brightness.  My face lost its shiny glow from pregnancy.  My spirit was crushed.  I did not want to breathe.  I just wanted to fade away with the sands… This happened a year ago bar two and a half weeks. Four days of labour, people telling me to exhale through each contraction, and inhale when there was no contraction.  For four days I laid there on my hospital bed inhaling and exhaling, inhaling and exhaling.  I felt like I was in exile.  I felt like my whole world was just frozen into time. Sometimes I wish it were.  No pain relief, I had to get through 4 long days of labour by myself with no pain relief just the support of my dearest mom.  A year ago we had the whole world at our feet.  We were so happy, we were so eager to meet this tiny miracle only for it to come crashing down.  No-one should have to experience the death of a child.  No-one should have to experience the death of a baby… and then have to go through the pain of giving birth for four long days I just laid there.

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Existing came into small stages, after leaving the hospital I did the bare minimum.  I did things so that I could exist, but I didn’t seek to do things actively.  I did not have the energy or the care in the world.  My pain was too great.  My sorrow to overwhelming.  As I write this, I get taken back into that dark place that I was at the very beginning. The tears that racked my broken spirit.  The tears that did not sound like me.  The hollow cry of a broken mother.  Of a mother grieving.  Something no-one should ever have to hear.  The cries, the anger, the pain, the sadness, the guilt all eating at me.  All eating away at my life.   A 101 different emotions racing through my body, from fire anger to profound sadness to living.  I tried to distract myself.  I tried to focus on the good things in life.  I tried to forget that I was ever pregnant with my son.  But it slowly catches up with you.  You get reminded.  You crash down again as the memories come flashing in front of your face like a movie scene.  Forever it will be etched into memory.

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Death versus life, someone told me 9 months after my son died that I should slowly decide what I want to do.  Whether I want to merely exist or whether I want to live life.  Live life to the fullest – which should be an obligation to Sebastian.  An obligation to Micheline.  An obligation to Elouise.  To choose life over death when you have nothing to live for was the hardest choice.  But I had to honour my children’s legacy.  I had to honour them.  I had to show the evilness of this world that even though death occurred inside my womb, that I should not live within my own tomb but to live life, and skip down the road like I used to when I was pregnant with Sebastian.  That I should choose life over death.  That I should do something that will remind me of my son, my daughters to carry on their legacy and to not let pain take over my life.  To not let the darkness take over my life, but to let colour come back into my world.  My babies were stillborn, still born, born still, and I am still a mother even if they are not here now.  Still born, still a mom. My babies are my daily reminders of the hope that does exist in this world.  There is a hope, if we allow colours to come in and not let the darkness overtake our tired sagging shoulders as most of us often feel. The grief journey is a difficult one, but it is rewarding.  It takes us on all these twists and turns, and so we learn to survive.  We learn to live.  We learn to laugh to again.  We learn to smile again.  All in small tiny baby steps.  We learn to live life to the fullest.  We know now how fragile life is.  We know now the darkness that can lure behind a blissfully happy pregnancy.  We are the people that can help others along on our journey.  We are the people that can make a small difference in this world.  We live freely and we learn to smile.  We are survivors.  We are mothers.  We are fathers. We are all united in this together. We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  My babies were still born, and I am still a mother.

3 comments

  1. wow. thank you for sharing this personal moment. writing about your emotions literally had me in tears as i read through this. you are a mother & you carry so much wise advice.

    Like

  2. You have been on a very long journey through grief and trauma, and whether you are aware of it or not, God has been with you, and has taught you so much. I believe your faith story and your beautiful emotional poetry will help many many people.

    Liked by 1 person

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