Reflections like Mirrored Reflections

Almost a year to the day since my son was still born and my own ‘cancelled’ baby shower I arrived to celebrate a friend’s upcoming birth. I was excited for her, but full of anticipation to see what would happen. I pray that she will not have to experience the sadness that surrounds still birth. I pray so much that she will never have to experience the kind of pain I went through. A pain that is not easy to live with. Reminders of this type of pain are seen all the time, everywhere. 

According to my church they were planning a baby shower for me but the weekend it was planned for was the weekend I ended up in hospital already facing my son’s still birth. What I did not know was that they were planning a baby shower for me. It was supposed to be a surprise that never happened. The surprise that was to unfold had to be cancelled as quickly as possible. The baby shower that they planned for me turned into an event of intense prayer. A time where people were praying so that I would pull through. A time where people reflected on how fragile life can be, and a place where people begin to become aware of the fragility of life. 

So when my friend from church approached me about the baby shower, she asked me if I was ready to be included in such events. In all honesty I was never sure if I would be ready for such an event in my life again. A baby shower where you come to celebrate the pending birth of a baby. The joys of facing motherhood not alone but together with the people around you. The excitement is felt so clearly as the crisp cool air outside. The last time of being childfree without having to juggle a baby in your hand. One of the last times you will enjoy being able to eat alone without juggling a baby from arm to arm. A time to say goodbye and to say hello to new beginnings. This is what baby showers are supposed to be. The time to welcome new hopes in the world that will come and go come and go. The time to face motherhood knowing that you will not be alone on this exciting journey but that you will have people around you that will want to help you and share the joys of seeing your baby grow. 

I struggled emotionally at the baby shower. My life mirrored like a reflection back. The stages of this lady’s pregnancy was almost identical to the stages of my pregnancy. The changing of baby bump from an almost non-existent baby bump to a fully grown baby bump. This was my life last year until my world came crashing down on me. The reminders of what was to be but never happened. My reality a stark difference to this lady’s reality. I am happy for her, I grief for my own loss. I grief for my son. I grief for the loss of being able to mother my child. I grief for the fact that I was never able to hold him, or sing to him, or never able to watch him grow. I was privileged to carry my little boy for 9 months but not to see him grow into a young man that he could have become. And as I sat quietly in the back room weeping for my own loss I could hear the excited shatter of all the ladies around, as the darkness clouded my face once more, and the tears flooded my face. My love for my son will never cease. 

Why did I put myself through a baby shower of someone whose due date is so close to that of my own due date but a year ago? Why would I put myself through such pain? Why would I put myself through this, when my own son’s birthday is looming in the great big distance? I needed to face my fears, I need to face the demons inside of me. I could no longer let my hurt get in the way of me enjoying life. I wanted to show my support to this lady whose impending motherhood is looming in the distance even closer than it was before. Though she started being a mother the day she conceived that little girl inside of her. I needed to prove to myself that I could get through this. Though at the same time I didn’t know if I would cry or not. Grief is such an uncertain journey full of twists and turns, but I had to face my demons. I knitted some gloves and some feet gloves for my friend’s baby out of love for her, and to show her that despite my own loss I will be ok. It is well with my soul. It is well. Even if the tears come. When the tears come, it reminds me of the love that I felt for my son. It reminds me that this kind of love does exist and that he was real. That he was not just in my imagination. 

The baby shower merely marks an end of an era and starts up a new era. And so as I approach the end of the 1st year of my son’s passing, I face the world with a renewed hope, and I trust that God will provide, and show me the way. He will lead me on the path of righteousness. He will guide me, as I lean more and more onto him for wisdom and his love and understanding. Knowing full well that my son is safe in the arms of Jesus.

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