Thinking of you today

Today, we acknowledge and remember you and your precious baby(ies). Sending lots of hugs your way and leaving you with this quote:

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I can tell by Steven L. Channing

I can tell by that look friend, that we need to talk.
So come take my hand and let’s go for a walk.

See I’m not like the others -I won’t shy away.
Because I want to hear what you’ve got to say.

Your child has died and you need to be heard.
But they don’t want to hear a single word.

They say your child’s with God ,so be strong.
They say all the “right” things that somehow seem wrong.

I’ll walk in your shoes for more than a mile.
I’ll wait while you cry and be glad if you smile.

I won’t criticize you or judge you or scorn.
I’ll just stay and listen ’til night turns to morn.

Yes, the journey is hard and unbearably long.
And I know that you think that you’re not quite that strong.

So just take my hand ’cause I’ve got time to spare.
And I know how it hurts, friend, for I have been there.

See, I owe a debt you can help me repay.
For not so long ago, I was helped the same way.

And I stumbled and fell through a world so unreal.
So believe when I say that I know how you feel.

I don’t look for praise or financial gain.
And I’m sure not the kind who gets joy out of pain.

I’m just a strong shoulder who’ll be here ’til the end.
I’ll be your Compassionate Friend !!!

Life continues

I just could not understand how others (both known and unknown) were able to laugh, smile and celebrate whilst I mourned my loss. I remained in hospital for a couple of days after Isaac’s departure and being in there was like being in a cocoon which I did not appreciate until I stepped into the big ‘unfeeling’ world. As we drove home, I felt like hanging a sign on my head to portray the ordeal I had just been through in order for others to stop and stop carrying on as if nothing happened. Everywhere I turned it seemed it was business as usual. There were good days and bad days. I could not understand how people could pay us a visit and after conveying their condolence then engage in mundane talk, at that point I did not care about what was happening in the world. All I cared about was what had taken place in my world. In hindsight the ‘mundane’ talk at least helped take my mind off grieving continuously and focus on other things. From personal experience and my observations, I am of the opinion that majority of people who haven’t been through a similar experience are unable to understand the ups and downs of baby loss. My previous post ‘Out of sight is not out of mind’ highlights a few issues. Hence they may be unable to provide the on – going support (a phone call to check how you are, a shoulder to cry on when you need one, remembering the birth day of your baby(ies) and giving you space/time to adjust) required even days, weeks and years after the initial episode.

The day came when we made the decision ourselves that life indeed had to continue for us. We were very conscious that both our children (also Faith, who was born after Isaac) would never be forgotten. We planned and looked forward to a future with more children. I believe each mum can sense when it is time to forge ahead and when that time comes mum may life give you reasons to smile again!

A new dawn

I came across these quotes recently  ‘when life gives you limes rearrange the letters until they stay smile’ and when life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.’ Of course, it was not easy for me to smile after trying to conceive month after month with no success nor after conceiving twice and losing both babies when all was deemed fine. But I came to that point shortly after we lost our second child, that although discouraged I refuse to be down and defeated. In my mind I decided not to be a victim but to be a victor despite my present or future state.

It took a lot of effort as both quotes depict (rearrange the letters until… and show life …) but it was a daily and continuous fight both internally and externally to keep smiling. Just having that mindset gave me the courage to face each day expectant that everything would be alright even if I did not achieve my desire of being a biological mum. Of course physically speaking I had many reasons to smile: we were still together, I was still alive, my blood pressure was under control, the assurance that I would see my kids again and finally my purpose in life was worth me hanging on.

I am grateful that I now have two boys that make me smile each day and for the opportunity to walk beside and encourage other women who have been given limes and I pray you would have many reasons to smile soon.

It is good to talk!

I have always been the strong one. I have always given my shoulders for others to cry on. I have always listened to others discuss their heartache and hardly shared mine, because I could handle my own, until the day I went into hospital to give birth to my first son. After 8 hours of labour with intense pain and in and out of sleep, I woke up to find the room full of medics and the Registrar asked me ‘do you understand what is going on? We cannot find a heartbeat! I nodded my head but thought it can’t be and I was waiting to give birth to my son and was positive he would be born alive. He never uttered a sound after he was born, you could actually hear a pin drop in the room. It is a scenario no one would ever wish to live again and I did nine months down the line.

So, being the person that I am, who could I talk to? I am so grateful for the relationship I have with my husband, we talked a lot and sometimes we sat quietly as words sometimes could not express how we felt and other times we cried individually and together. But we believed against hope and were confident our story would have a great ending.

Despite my secretive nature and keeping things to myself, I knew I could not handle this on my own. Yes, I talked to God but I also needed to talk to other people. I found it useful to talk to others who had gone down this road before, women who were currently in my shoes and people who had never walked in my shoes before (medics, strangers, friends and family). The interesting thing was although the people I spoke to could not reverse what had taken place nor guarantee a ‘happy’ ending they provided a platform for me to ask questions, they listened and sometimes their encouragement brought comfort and gave me a glimmer of hope. And sometimes their comments made me very upset. I certainly had mood swings. The funny thing I discovered that though my situation looked bad some other women had it worse off than me and I ended up crying for them and myself after hearing/reading their stories.

We all need an avenue to be real, to say how we really feel and that in itself is liberating.