This is a story about patience, triumph, and faith in a God that makes things right in his own way, at his own time.
It was February 16th. It started out as a day full of promise. How could it not? I had beside me a remarkable man with whom I shared a love story more beautiful than any book ever written. To crown it all, our first child had just let me know he was ready to be born. As I remember it, the sun shined a little brighter for us…or so thought. You see, I was as excited as any first mum would be to finally have the baby but it was more than that for me.
Flashback to the previous year. My boyfriend and childhood love was leaving the country in 6 months. Out of the blue, one day he lifted me up high in the air as he often did and asked me to marry him. It was all so perfect. Our plans however did not include a pregnancy but it happened. I was 23 and in my final year…my husband was leaving. It seemed like the worst timing ever. I had mixed feelings. I missed my husband terribly, I couldn’t afford to give in to the pregnancy symptoms because I had studying to do. My body was changing uncontrollably. It was all stress. Till the baby started moving. I remember falling in love as it dawned on me that a life was growing inside me. It felt awesome! I talked to him. It came naturally.
As my due date approached I got excited. I was finally going to meet this stranger I had been talking to…who had taken over my body for the past months. My husband was coming home to witness his son’s birth. Shopping for baby things was so much fun.
I fell in labour in the early hours of the morning. We called my mum and my brother. They insisted on coming over to drive us to the hospital. My brother and I are the closest siblings ever, different as we are. He was so excited he rambled on throughout the ride. He would be the baby’s mentor. He would groom his nephew in his image. Him and my husband argued over who the baby would look like. He just couldn’t stop talking.
Just before 5 pm, I was told to start pushing. Out came the baby. It was a stillborn. Where did it go wrong? When did it go wrong? Why did it go wrong? How did it go wrong? These are questions that plagued and still plague me. Where there should have been a cry, there was silence. Deafening silence. That’s how I will forever remember that minute. My arms were empty.
My brother had the unpleasant task of burying the nephew he had been so eager to have. He describes it to date as the worst day of his life. My husband and I couldn’t do it. I remember losing days. The pit of grief yawned wide, swallowing me. I was lost in it. I did nothing to fight it. I nodded when people talked but heard nothing they said. Sleep eluded me. My milk came in. It hurt terribly. My husband, my mum and my brother. They watched me suffer. They were at loss for what to do. They suffered with me.
Eventually I looked at them. I learned to talk to them. I felt angry…disgraced…guilty…defeated. The rug had been pulled out from under my feet. Everyone around me was having babies. It was so easy for them and this made me feel like a failure. Why hadn’t I been able to accomplish this seemingly easy task?
I eventually became a mother, four years and another pregnancy loss later. My road to motherhood was a broken and bumpy one. Today, I liken this experience to a scar and not a wound. It doesn’t hurt as much. I will always have unanswered questions. I still have those unused baby things. I stilI struggle with insomnia. When I am pregnant, I am anxious till the baby comes out alive. I still wish I hadn’t gone through such a painful experience. No woman should have to. But that cloud is gone and I am grateful that even though it will never make sense to me, God had good plans for me.