Tag Archives: child loss

A Moment with us, Forever in our Hearts

13 Mar

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. It is on purpose. Life goes on and we have to live in the present  and hope in the future in order to really grow positively.

My sister was pregnant with her first and I thought long and hard about whether or not I’d write anything during that time. After a few months of pondering, I decided I would stay away from blogging for a while.

My sister and I are twins. She’s my best friend. The kind that knows and feels my pain and vice versa. It comes naturally. I couldn’t take the chance of causing her anguish or sadness at this important time in her life because of what I was still going through, so I decided to live in the moment. With her. And the new joy we were all anticipating.

I cannot lie. I was nervous. We are identical twins after all but, thank the good Lord all went well.

Over the passed nine months, I’m thankful for hope restored. My sister and my adorably handsome nephew give me hope.

There is still not one day that goes by that I don’t think of my Demilade. It is amazing that I carried the boy for eight months and only got to glance at his face for a few hours and yet, I can never go a day without thinking of him. If he was born breathing, he would be turning two years old today. It’s hard to imagine but I had already pictured him at different stages while he was still in my tummy. Those images don’t go away from your mind, but the sadness that usually accompanied them does wane.

Now my husband and I tease about how my genes were overruled. I guess my sister and I have weak genes. It’s not fair! :). I sometimes find myself chuckling about his flat feet and wide finger nail beds. I don’t know how he’d have ended up looking but I am so grateful for a visual.

As I remember my boy on the day I laid eyes on him, I am grateful for strength, new life and healing.

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Babies everywhere!

29 Sep

I’m not sure if I just notice it more if every woman on my friends’ list is having a baby but, everywhere I look there’s a baby born. In the last couple of days two acquaintances on one social network have had baby boys; in the last two weeks two others have just successfully completed their pregnancies with live healthy babies. One of these new babies is also named Christian. How can I possibly not wail for my boy???

I’ve kept it together over the last six months and have actively tried not to be outwardly affected at seeing others so happy with their new additions. I’ve attended baby showers and baby birthdays, hoping I can heal faster. However, deep inside, I’d rather be anywhere else! Afterward though, I feel like I have conquered something monumental.

A few days ago, I saw yet another parent flood my Facebook news feed with pictures of the newly born child. I’m sure my reaction was the same as the other friends who looked upon this little angel and oohed and ahhed at the cuteness of the little one. What always follows for me though, is what was wrong with me that I didn’t deserve these kinds of moments. What did I do wrong? And why should I be happy for anyone else (although, I am)? On this particular day, I just cried as I was filled with so much emptiness. Why did this have to happen to me? To us?

Life can be so cruel.

‘Your brain is injured, it needs time to heal’

26 Aug

God is good. All of the time…

Have you ever prayed so hard for something that seemed so elusive? I’m not talking about a better job, more money or even someone to love you. I’m talking about something that seemed like it was completely out of your control and reach, even though you prayed fervently about it. I have.

Over the last five + months, I have prayed for one thing daily: peace of mind. I have not had it since the moment the doctors told me that my child’s heart had stopped and that my 33 weeks and three days of pregnancy would end in broken hearts for me and my family.  It is one thing to mourn the loss of my child but, it is totally something else to also have to deal with post-partum anxiety at the same time. I’ve had it badly.

I was left feeling like I was on the outside looking into my own life. I didn’t recognize who I was anymore. Afraid to be alone, go outside, take the elevator, sit in my car in traffic, travel any long distance away from the apartment I call home, ride the subway, and fly among many other ‘normal’ things. Most of all, I was afraid of being afraid.  My fears kept me up at night and when I finally did fall asleep; my fears caused me to abruptly awake an hour or two into slumber. It was mentally taxing and I was physically exhausted and frustrated because I could not rest. I did not rest.

Every night I prayed the same prayer. Reminding myself that God is in charge and that He is bigger and mightier than I and that I was choosing to overcome this great obstacle no matter how long it would take. When I wasn’t praying for the hurt and pain to go away along with my panic attacks over the most normal routines, I challenged myself to face my new fears once or twice per week. I took trial runs on the subway and even went underground. I shook in distress and sweated the whole way but, it was one step to conquering one fear and getting my life back. Every single time I challenged myself the result would be a sense of accomplishment and then deep depression. I thought will I live my life this way forever? Surely, there is much more of the world I want to see. This cannot be it for me. So these exercises/challenges became worth it and instrumental to my recovery.

I continued like this for the first three months often getting frustrated and sometimes losing hope. At my lowest moments I relied on my husband and my sister for reassurance. One evening, my sister was visiting and although I tried not to alarm her, I know my husband kept her abreast of everything happening with me. I unloaded on her my emotional and mental state and beat myself up a bit about how long it was taking for me to get back to normal. She looked at me and said something that has made me look at my temporary inability to thwart off unfounded fears in a new light. She said to me, “your brain is injured” and like any other injured part of your body, it needs time to heal.

Wow.

It seems so simple but how many people overwhelmed by traumatic and tragic experiences beat themselves up and think they’ve lost their marbles when in fact, there is good reason for that state of mind. I lost a child and my body had to abruptly stop a biological and physiological process before it was able to finish. Of course I’m going to be affected, my mind and body is trying to figure it all out too.

When my sister said those words, I immediately changed my outlook on the healing process. I knew now that I didn’t have to push myself so hard. That if all I could handle was one task or challenge per day, then I was not going to allow myself to get frustrated for not being able to do more.

At five months post-partum, I am where I couldn’t even imagine one month ago. I have been on four trips and 10 planes. I did it! Flying has been my greatest new fear. The thought of sitting on a plane for several hours (I’m African, remember we have to go a long way to visit family) was debilitating and would send me into panic.

As much as my husband wanted to whisk me away to some exotic place where we could try and forget our pain for a short time, I just couldn’t bring myself to entertain flying. But God works in mysterious way, I had to two opportunities to fly locally, one for an hour and the other for two and a half hours. The one hour flight was the most nerve wrecking and agonizing. Everything that could go wrong ran across my mind and I was a mental mess. There were tears but, as the old saying goes, no pain no gain. Thanks to these two short flights I was able to fly all the way to Malawi and then Spain earlier this month. The impossible became possible.

Although, I am still not eager to jump onto the next plane or be by myself, the fact that I have flown 10+ hours at a time on several planes and to different far away and unfamiliar lands, has given me new vigor. I can do anything (through Christ)! And with my sister’s sagely advice, I know that my mind is still healing and I will have peace again.

 

Not Again!

14 Jul

I have been sleeping OK for the last couple of weeks. I no longer wake up in fear and panic over small things three or four times per night. I can finally say I’m getting uninterrupted sleep (even if its only 4-6 hours).

It has become normal for me to not fall asleep until after midnight and if I don’t force myself, I can be wide awake way into the early morning hours. The inconvenience to my daily routine is noticeable. I can hardly leave my home for work by 8:30 am. This is not sustainable. Something has to give.

I woke up at 4:00 am this morning for no particular reason. Heart racing, head pounding and an uneasiness that I can not explain but, it keeps me up. Wide awake. Its been a few weeks since this kind of episode and after falling asleep early at midnight, I looked forward to sleeping straight through to 6:30 am or 7:00 am.

Immediately, I ask when it will end. When will I go back to my 8-hour- per night sleep pattern? There are few things that frustrate me and not being able to sleep is at the top of this list.

One thing is for sure, I have come a long way from March 13th, 2013 when my world was shaken and changed forever but, I am gradually working on becoming “normal” again.

Mother’s Day Sweetness

1 Jul

I have the best family and friends!

I was extremely nervous about my first Mother’s Day because well, I don’t physically have a child. Its hard for those of us who’ve had children but no evidence of them, to really feel like we are a part of this holiday. I thought about how I would react if I was wished a Happy Mother’s day from others. I knew everyone around me had no idea how to approach this. I didn’t either. It was very sad but, I managed to smile a few times thanks to my parents, sisters and husband who made it a special one anyway.

My sister and her husband took my husband and me out to brunch. A tradition around these parts it seems. I never noticed this until, of course, I too became a mother. All the children and grandchildren dressed in their Sunday-best to treat Mom to a day off her feet. The first time Moms being appreciated by their husbands while both are in awe of their child.  No cooking for Moms on this day. She is truly queen for the day.

I was reminded by my parents when they wished me a happy Mother’s Day, that I really am still a mother. Childless and all. I can’t thank my family enough for the love poured over me. The icing on the cake? My twin sister bringing me a blue orchid. Blue for Demilade. Little did she know that I had just thrown out all of the flowers from friends and family that had finally died. Something that made me very sad; and there she was with new flowers!

Still more, before I could lie down to sleep for the night, my 16 year old sister sends me this poem she wrote:

Our Precious Time”

By: Auntie Kambuza

I love the precious time we had

I love your gracious body that held

My whole being – an eight month term –

A miracle of life, a wonderful sum.

I loved the rubs, feels, and warmth.

I felt your laugh, tenderness, and joy,

The care that mommy and daddy bestowed

Maybe not face to face,

But a deep connection felt,

That’ our case.

Oh, how I miss the compassion that flowed, but

Please know I’m in glory with the Lord.

So please don’t cry, don’t be sad

Because I’m grateful for the time we had.

Forever and always – our unbreakable bond

Will overlap into the Great Beyond!

So to my lovely mama and dada too

Have a Blessed Mother’s Day.

I LOVE YOU!!

– Demilade Christian

Our Precious Time

I Hate Odd Numbers!

1 Jul

Wow! Talk about not being in control of one’s own life. I learned the hard way. A rude awakening, if you will. I am not in control of anything that happens in my life.

The bible scriptures say that no man knows the day nor the hour of his death. Its funny because we also really don’t know for sure when we will enter this world either. I’ve never thought of this until now. Technically, Demilade came into and left this world at the same time. I don’t know when he actually passed.

Before 9:11 am on March 13, 2013, I expected him to make his debut on a nice even numbered day of the week, Sunday. He was to make his first appearance on an even numbered date, the 28th of the fourth month of the year. Everything seemed to be in order according to the way I had imagined the tiny details.  However, God has his own plans for us and sometimes they do not align with our own.

Its such a minor detail but, to me it underscores the strong dislike I have for odd numbered anything. I got married in 2011 and both of us being African guaranteed some back and forth regarding the wedding date. I had a conniption at the suggestion that my wedding day should occur in a month other than June or August (guaranteed pleasant weather and only two even numbered months of the summer). I mean,  wasn’t it bad enough we were getting married in an odd numbered year (although, I comforted myself by adding all the individual numbers: 2+1+1=4. Voila!). Its crazy, I know, but I really do not like anything odd!  I think there is a term for this where one’s mood is affected/determined by numbers or colors. For me, when I can control when an important event happens, I would prefer it to fall on an even date of an even day of the week.

You can imagine how unlucky I felt on March 13, 2013. No adding of any numbers would make me see this as anything but bad. Of course, time and meditation on God’s word will change this perspective. My life was spared on March 13th. It is spared on every odd numbered day that I continue to see a new day. I can never not like March 13th again. Even though it was the worst day of my life, it is also the most meaningful in my life.

I don’t know why I had to lose my child after carrying him for 33 weeks and 3 days. I don’t know why I developed Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. And I don’t know why none of the doctors who saw me did not diagnose me and get me help, even with glaring symptoms. I will likely never know but, I have learned a valuable lesson: there is only so much we can plan and prepare for and the rest is up to God.

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