I have been waiting for this day for a very long time. Last February Sean and I sat in his office, in our little apartment in Wisconsin and read the results of a pregnancy test – positive.
My due date is today – September 23, 2016 – and this day has and will always be a special day in my heart. It may seem so silly to some, to have such a strong feeling toward a date that a doctor guesses at, more or less, but the date represented a new chapter, a turning point in my life from which I would never come back from. Though pregnancy can be a challenge, and in all fairness mine was pretty easy, looking back on it, it was one of the most amazing times of my life… perhaps the most amazing, in some ways. And as today has approached, I have looked upon it with excitement, anxiety, a little fear, and hope that I had what it took to carry our little one into this world with strength, and show him a love and compassion unlike any I had been able to show before.
I have spent months pouring over books and articles reading up on and learning how to apply techniques in order to have a natural and drug free birth. For me, I felt it was the only way that I wanted to bring him into this world – to sustain just a little pain and suffering in return to be fully present for those first moments he arrived. I want to hear his first cry and feel his warm skin and heartbeat and drink in all he was, holding him until the nurse forced me to let go. What I had learned of mindfulness, breath, and connection between the mind and body through all my yoga training I was to apply toward this experience, and though everyone told me I was crazy, I was determined and confident in my ability to do so.
Thirty-nine days ago, my water broke. I was only at 34 weeks and 3 days. As I got to the hospital I was told that not only was there no fluid left, my baby was breach and there was no way I could have a vaginal delivery. Instead, he was cut out of me. I was so drugged up I barely remember the first time I saw him and his first feeding was out of a bottle from a stranger. My heart breaks over and over again.
In passing moments, when I am distracted with things around me, I still think I’m pregnant, reaching toward my belly, thinking I still feel him inside. My brain still hasn’t processed what my body has undergone, my heart even less. The connection I’m supposed to feel to my son still hasn’t come, lost in how he was brought into the world, or perhaps never fully developed in the loss of time.
Today is September 23, 2016 and I sit here writing this post with the most amazing little boy, healthy, strong, now pushing 8 pounds and full of spirit. This hole that I have felt with the loss of all I had hoped for is simply one side of a coin for me, as I think loss so often can be. For though I still mourn the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and the experience I was so hoping to have through birth, it is truly and amazing and surreal experience looking into the eyes of your child, especially one that I haven’t fully processed is even here still.
We all have experienced loss, pain, heartache. One thing that I continue to struggle with is that mine is not valid. I understand many women can’t even have children, or they do get pregnant and miscarry. And yet, I believe we each have the right to feel whatever it is we feel. Loss is loss, no matter the scale. My hope is that although I am still in the middle of processing, and perhaps I can apply some of the techniques I was to use in delivery to find peace with this, my story gives another hope. It’s ok to cry, to mourn. Talk it out with someone who will hear your struggles and not judge. If you don’t have anyone, there are many support lines you can reach out to as well. Just remember that at the end of those tears to pick yourself up. I will continue to tell myself this, and hug my son and perhaps I will wake up one day and the connection I so desire to have with him will just be there, filling up the space where space once existed.
My hope for you today, and every day, is to Be You. Fearlessly.