After Levi passed, I told myself for a lot of years that I would never want to have another child. I never wanted to feel so much love for as long as I lived. I drank and abused my body with drugs, numbing myself of all feeling. Until he came to me on the fifth solstice after his Death. That miraculous glimpse of him showed me that I was meant to nurture. I was chosen to care for him while he was learning what it is to be human. He felt the pain of being human, but he also felt unconditional love, and I am sure that I was chosen for a reason.
When my husband and I decided to try for a baby in 2010, and that baby passed at 12 weeks gestation, it compounded all of that hurt over and over again. I felt like I was never meant to be a mother. I felt like maybe I was only meant to learn the lessons that pain can bring. My midwife said to me, “As soon as we discover that we’re pregnant, we already plan a full lifetime of love for that child, and losing them can feel like an entire lifetime is lost.” It’s so true.
At the time of that loss, there were a lot of friends and family members who were also expecting. I am ashamed to admit it, but I was so JEALOUS. I hated those women for being happy, posting pictures of their growing bellies, announcing their joyous births and sharing pictures of their happy little babies. I hated them for not having to feel the pain that I felt. And I am ASHAMED. I know now, that even though a woman may not have suffered the loss of a child, or suffered a loss through miscarriage, a woman who has children certainly can and will feel the pain of another woman who aches to hold her babies in her arms.
Now I have been on the other edge of that sword. I became pregnant again a year later, and although I was nervous, I was also ecstatic. When we passed the first trimester, and began to share the news with our loved ones, a close friend was suffering a loss. And I realized that she must be have been feeling some of that hatred towards me during her time of grief. I hate that life and love can be so cruel. I never want another woman to feel this immense pain, though it is part of what it is to be a woman, to be a mother. Emotional pain is, unfortunately, part of the human condition. We learn from it, grow with it, work with it, or become dead inside.
I have a 5.5 month old daughter now, her name is Ghanima. She was born on Oct.6, and that would have been the due date for the child I miscarried the year before. It’s funny how sometimes life events can be so parallel. Her birth marked an otherwise sad date, gave it a new cause for celebration. When she started to roll over, and laugh, and now is starting to sit up and eat her first foods, I am overjoyed, but always in the back of my mind I reflect about how it would have been if Levi, and our middle child, had reached those mile stones.
I hope that I will not be too over protective of her as she grows up. I know that I can’t put her in a bubble, but some nights I find myself checking her breathing. Some days I find it hard to bring her to places where she might catch someones cold, or pick up a sickness. My husband is very supportive, he has a good way of putting things into perspective for me, gently reminding me that she is a strong, healthy baby. I try not to be such a worrier, but it is something I fear I will always struggle with.
As parents, we feel so much, our love is a giant entity, isn’t it? It is amazing that one heart can be so full, even at times when it feels like it should be empty. I am simply in awe of the human condition.
Levi and I, June 20th 2004. His last day of suffering.
Ghanima and I, January 2013