Reflections from 3 Years Ago: 8 Months Since Your Passing

Another piece I found 8 months in the journey after a stillbirth.  And to this day I still remember the details of those days vividly.  I still remember the anguish, and as his 3 Birthday passing comes my way – I wonder where my life would have been if he had been born.  Would I have written a book, and have a testimony of restoration at the foot of the cross?  Would I have helped so many helpless women and men and guide them to the cross?  Admittedly, I am having a bit of a low at the moment. Sleepless nights makes everything harder.  But in a weird way its like my body is reliving the weeks prior to his death and after his death.  I remember when I was still pregnant with my son I was restless, and couldn’t sleep.  Only now nearly 3 years on I am a different person. Stronger, but still at times grieving.  I still don’t always understand why he had to die… But I have come to accept it, and I have come to embrace life, and enjoy life to the fullest.  If i were to remain bitter and angry all the time – how could I have helped myself?  How could I have helped others?  I want to live a life of joy and peace, and be a light for people who live in the dark.

It has been 8 months since you passed away.  8 months since my world went from a moment of pure joy to moments of deep darkness, and a hidden sadness.  I was thinking on the weekend, and I never imagined in my younger years that I would be giving birth to a still born baby. You just don’t anticipate those kinds of things.  I have aged with this experience.  I do not feel young, but I feel that years have taken over my body, and I just feel very weary. It is not written in the pregnancy manual book about the dangers that lurk underneath the dark waters that pregnancy can bring.  I often wonder why it is not talked about.  Why people want to stay quiet about it.  Why there is a huge stigma about it?  Why is it hushed and put underneath the carpet?  In essence your womb was your baby’s coffin.  That is the only thing they ever knew in life.  They only knew the comforts and safety of their mother and heard their mother’s sing them lullabies.
On the weekend, I met a little boy called Sebastian.  He must have been about a year old.  Then yesterday, in the same town I met another woman who had a little boy called Sebastian.  Was it just a coincidence that I heard the name twice on my son Sebastian’s 8 month angel anniversary?  Or was it just that it so happened.  I do not know.  I went away on a mission’s trip with my church.  I did not want to go, because I am struggling emotionally on all levels at the moment.  I feel like darkness is taking over.  Like a small film of clouds slowly creeping over my eyes again, so that I have to search blindly for God again.   I was thinking I really do not want to go.  But I did go.  And I had fun.  There was a boy about 8 or 9 years old, and he just came up to me and gave me a big cuddle.  How sweet was that?  Maybe children sense sometimes the sadness in adults around them.
I shared my testimony on Sunday with the local church in Lucenec.  A few people told me afterwards that people were crying when they heard my story.  I did not see the sea of people before me; I was too focused on sharing my own testimony, that I could not see people before me.  My legs were trembling, my arms and hands were trembling, my body felt so floppy and I felt so weak afterwards that I just collapsed back onto the bench that I was sitting on.  I stood in front of a crowd of people I never met and I reminded them that God is with us through every trial whether we know it or when we don’t even realize that He is with us.  A few people from the church came up to me afterwards and said that they felt overcome by the testimony and that it was so powerful that they had tears flowing down their face. My thinking is if I could change a small part of their lives and give them something to learn from my own experience then God worked through me to deliver that.  I wanted nothing more than to remind them of God’s love, and that God is with us all the time.
But the question remains – did I really want this experience of giving birth to a stillborn baby so that I could testify amongst people I have never met before and tell them about my pain and joy of learning how to live past this horrific event that happened to me all but a few short 8 months ago.  Every month I pass, the pain and the memories are as clear as the day it happened on.  Flashbacks occur of laying in the hospital bed, ready to give up on life.  My face shallow pale, grey, my body weak from the contractions that racked through my body but no progress was being made. My emotions were completely all over the place, not fully understanding that I would have to give birth to my dead son.  Not knowing how to do this, not knowing what to expect.  Begging the nurses please let me see my baby. Wanting to die, wanting to be taken away to heaven.  Not knowing how I would keep going.  Not caring whether I would live or die.  At that point I had no desire to live.  For a long time afterwards I had no desire to live.  I just wanted to hide away, and forget that I existed.  I did not want to take part in this world.  I did not want to take part in any activities.  I just wanted to curl up and sleep till the pain disappeared.  Somehow, this did not happen, and the Holy Spirit came into my life, filling me with the strength to fight to live, giving me a desire to keep going; giving my heart a desire to want to have a husband, to want to have a family.   Is that selfish of me wanting to have a husband, a family?  So, every day I try to live again for myself; to keep Sebastian’s memory alive in my heart.
When I write to Sebastian, I often tell him of how much I miss and love him, and all the activities and dreams that I had planned to do with him, which is no longer possible.  All the things I wanted to do with my child like any mother would want to do.  I wanted to protect him and teach him about God’s wonderful love for us.  But then, often as I think back to the days when I was pregnant with my son, I felt that my son was wiser beyond his years, teaching me abou God’s love again, and giving me the hope that I needed to carry on with my life after I left my abusive husband. This was my dream.  This was my hope. But that came crashing down, 8 months ago.  I ask Sebastian if he can help father God give me a husband and a small family of my own.  I hope that one day this desire is fulfilled.  I do not know how I would react, if it did not happen this way.  All I ever wanted to do was be a mother to children, love children, eventually becoming a foster parent.  But now that dream seems further and further away then what I want it to be.  Maybe it is selfish of me to ask for a husband and for children.
Next month marks 9 months since he passed away.  I had him for 9 months, and he has been away from his mommy for 9 months, then it will be 10 months. 10 months away.  He will then have spent more time in heaven with our Heavenly Father then with me.  Will he remember me?  Will he remember that I used to pray with him every day?  Will he remember that I was full of love for him?  Will he remember that I used to sing him lullabies?  Will he remember that I used to place my hand on my belly and talk to him, and tell him of all the dreams and hopes I had for the future with him?  Will he remember that I used to skip down the road on the way to work?  Will he remember how I used to dance in the kitchen while baking pancakes or cooking dinner?  Will he remember how I lovingly created his blanket?  I wonder if he will remember his mom or if he will slowly forget me? Will he remember how he used to give me 3 gentle kicks in the morning as his way of communicating with me? Oh how, I wish that I could just wrap him up and give him one huge big bear hug.  How I wish I could tickle his little feet, and his little belly, and tell him how much I love him.  How I wish I could say to him that I am so sorry that I could not give him more then he deserved.  How I wish that things were so different for me.  But they are not.  The reality is different.  How can a mother live past that pain?  How I wish I could see him grow.  But it is not this way, and so my heart continues to believe that perhaps one day God will bless me with a husband and with a little family of my own.  But I am so afraid of what the future holds for me.  I am so afraid that somehow this overwhelming desire will never happen, and that I will remain by myself.
I am afraid of what the future will hold for me.  I am afraid that I will never fully reach the happiness that I had a year ago.  I am afraid that if I become too happy and filled with too much peace that it will all but shatter into a million tiny pieces again.  I am afraid to live because each time I reach a point of peace and joy it gets snatched away.  I am afraid that my son Sebastian won’t remember the time he spent with me, I am afraid that he didn’t know how much I loved him.  I am afraid of so many things.  I know that God is our one constant thing in our lives, but then why does God give us desires of the heart?  Why would he give us desires of our heart, and then not let it happen?  I often question why did God allow me to get pregnant, and only for my son to be taken away at the very end.  Why did this happen?  Why did God prepare me to become a mother and then it was taken away just like that.  Why?  I just don’t get it anymore.
If Sebastian had not died 8 months ago and 3 days, I would probably not have gone on that mission trip, nor would I have been able to share to the world that our God is an amazing God, and that He gives us comfort in times when we do not even realize that He is doing it for us.  I probably would have been looking or sitting in a new job.  As was planned to have about 6 months maternity leave, and then find a job so that I could provide for my little baby.  But this did not happen.  Instead, I have to learn to treat myself, which I find so difficult.  I do not know where this life will lead me to.  I do not know whether God will grant my heart’s desire.  But I can only but hope and put my faith in Him that maybe one day this will happen.
There are times, periods, that I feel I am not a social creature, that I am so asocial.  I feel that I need to be more social so that people talk to me.  A year ago things were different I was social, I talked, I laughed till I cried, I smiled from ear to ear, I could not wipe the smile off my face.  I had full faith in God, but now I just do not know, how to smile or how to laugh freely like I used to.  I feel that puts a distance between me and the people in front of the looking glass.  I feel like I am peering life through a looking glass, and I wish that sometimes I wasn’t.  I feel like I am standing behind the looking glass, and everyone else is standing in front of the looking glass, glad that they do not have to go through what I went through.  I can almost see that they are relieved that they do not have to carry this burden.  I feel like I am trapped behind this looking glass, as I try and carve myself out of this looking glass, which is impossible.  Once you are behind the looking glass, your life has diverted into another direction, and you have to humbly accept that this is how it will be.  Your life will no longer be the same.  You will look at others with babies/children and know that your family will never be complete.  I wish things were different for me.
My heart but bleeds openly for what I lost, and I carry this cross on my back.  It hurts, but somehow I will learn to live with the pain, and learn to accept the pain, the grief that comes and goes in waves.  I try no longer to think of the milestones my son would have reached.  There is a life time of significant events Sebastian would have reached, like growing his first tooth, his first birthday, his first day going to kindergarten, losing his first tooth, and so many more things that I will never get to see him do. I am 8 months further into this grieving process and slowly I am learning to live again, but it is a challenge.  It is a challenge in learning how to smile and laugh again.  I take small tentative baby steps back into the world as I wobble over time and time again, and then pick myself up again, and slowly glue the broken puzzle pieces back together so that eventually it will form in an uneven heart that attempted to be put together again.  This is how I view my life now.  Maybe it will be different 8 months further down this line.

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