Life After Loss
The last year. It’s like a blur that I can recall every moment but yet it fades to thin air. Thin air because every moment I recall leads to an outcome I never dreamt of. It led to a life I never thought I would live, but yet here I am. Living it. It awakens me, and it may awaken you. Knowing that the unexplainable really does happen. That pain so deep really can exist. In some way, I disliked recalling the moments of pain because
I felt like I once lived in the shadows of others pain.
I remember reading stories of infant loss, still birth, miscarriage, infertility. I’ve read them all and I’ve sat their weeping. Weeping because I was yet to be a mum at this point but could picture exactly the pain those people may be feeling.
I would weep knowing these people would be going through the worst time of their life, yet I had never lived that pain. I would watch the ELLEN show as she would share tragic stories and give a gift of love to these families that wouldn’t take away the lifetime of pain but would take away a moment of it. I felt their joy, but I felt their despair.
It was over three years ago when I was first scrolling through instagram and what popped up in my newsfeed was a beautiful Canadian woman almost full-term in her pregnancy practicing yoga.
She looked so gracious and elegant and at the time I was developing a keen interest in the practice of yoga and meditation through my friends own passion for it. We would download an app, walk to the beach and follow the routines of the app and call it our yoga session too.
Yet this woman that I came across that was pregnant and practicing Yoga, I was just drawn to her. I though ‘one day, I can’t wait to be pregnant’. I clicked follow and thought nothing much more of it.
Then one horrible day the sun decided to set and would no longer rise for this beautiful woman as she had given birth to her baby but he was to pass four days after birth. At the time, it was an unknown cause.
This amazing woman, who had done everything right, with a healthy pregnancy and birth went on to lose her son just four days later. My heart instantly sank and my connection to her was sealed.
I couldn’t comprehend unfollowing her. She just went through the greatest pain yet she spoke every word of that pain and every word of it I felt to the core. What went wrong? How did this happen? I read her birth story and each year she would share it again.
Amelia was broken, but there was still such a spark in her.
A strength of courage, a strength of positivity. Amelia went on to fall pregnant four months later and gave birth to her beautiful, healthy, baby girl. Her second pregnancy gave answers to her first. Symptons of Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) developed after thirty-seven weeks. It is a condition of constant itching as it is most known for. It essentially is a liver disease but only known in pregnancy but is fatal to a growing foetus. She remembered these same symptoms from her first pregnancy and demanded it was time for baby to come out. Thankfully, Lily was born healthy and weeks later tests confirmed it was ICP. Lily’s life was saved by her brother Landon.
I sat reflecting on my own life in that point in time. Thankful for all that I have and all that I hope to have.
It is when I reflect on that very moment that I wonder. Was this always my destiny too?
Are our paths pre-defined and we meet the people we are meant to meet because each person serves a purpose in our life?
I came across Amelia and I was captured by her journey. I was connected to her pain and empowered by her strengths. It would only be now, three years on that why I felt that way makes much more sense. It is because she would be the first that would hold my hand through my own pain.
There is a craving of relation in infant loss. It is bittersweet but you just crave for the thought of knowing you’re not alone and seeing someone come out of the darkness on the other side. You want to see that you can still live a normal life, breath the same air and smile with the same meaning. It is almost like learning to walk again because your learning how to live but how to do it with half of your heart torn in two.
It is through my own grief that I can recall every connection I unconciously made in the lead up to my birth. Those that crossed my path had a journey of their own, a local business owner was raising awareness for stillbirth, before shortly after another woman was in threatened pre-term labour. I watched every week as she reached another milestone and sharing her gratefulness made me reflect on my own journey because really to have a perfectlly healthy pregnancy is just lucky.
It is nothing more than just luck
In some way, I try to find peace amongst the thought of whether this was always just our pre-defined journey or not. We find a way to be thankful for all that we still do have, while appreciating what once was. Life can still be whole. It will just be a different kind of whole.