People keep asking me when I would post the full story of the experience that eventually inspired the birth of this blog, OMT’s DIGEST. My response? ……. “When the time is right I will know…I can’t tell when but what I know for sure is that at the right time I will publish that story.” Today is exactly four years after that life changing experience and I believe it’s the best time to talk about it.
This post ‘The shattered joy of parenthood‘ is a snippet of my story with a focus on what I took out of it as a result of the experience. Losing a baby or child, having a miscarriage or experiencing a stillbirth as a mother is one experience I won’t ever wish for my enemy. There are no words to describe the feeling. It was through my personal experience that I realised that most mothers have gone through this but it’s usually not spoken about until another mother is hit by it!……then comes the revelation and shock. Of course I won’t expect anyone to go around broadcasting bad news that they would prefer to remain buried for the sake of their sanity.
Coincidentally as I type this post, I just received news from a friend who had a member of their church lose their baby at 7 months! Very sad indeed but unfortunately as I have come to realise in life, that is the sad reality. These things cannot be explained but the ability to pick up and move on in life is and how we can use this bad experience to help others is what truly matters.
This was one experience we never expected to hit us. Call it naivety or probably I was a greenhorn to bad occurrences. Just maybe……… I won’t go into the nitty-gritty as that would be published in several subsequent posts. I will never forget the feeling, the shock and denial. How I felt going home empty handed the day I was discharged from the hospital. It was so surreal, like a dream. At times I think I am over it then at other times I feel like it’s the end of the world for me. The worst is not having to deal with only this psychological pain but also the physical pain from the emergency surgery in my case. I remember being on the phone with a friend and sister, whilst she was induced for her baby boy who had been declared dead. I mean its already painful giving birth to a live baby but imagine going through labour and also knowing that you are going through the birthing process for a dead baby. Its tough and no matter how strong you are, just know its ok to cry.
I was heartbroken and kept wondering why this happened, at least Jesse (my son was named after his brother we lost) who was the last straw I was reluctantly clutching to could have survived at least. I didn’t even get to hold him due to the surgery….although I spotted him whilst lying down and as he was been sent to the NICU due to his underdeveloped organs. The doctor asked if I wanted to see those who had passed that is Jayden and Jordan and I don’t know why, probably for closure or curiosity I gave an affirmative nod. I remember seeing them lying lifeless, their tiny bodies on the silver medical tray. I couldn’t tell what the emotion was at that point.
Through this experience (19.20 and 22 February 2014 are unforgettable days for me a day after hubby’s birthday), I have become a listening ear to other mothers who unfortunately go through what I went through. Some even have worst experiences than myself but the thought of being able to help another is very comforting. It becomes very difficult to relate to others and vice versa, at one point you are accusing someone of not checking up on you after your loss and on the other hand you are mad at them for taking you back when you are moving on with accepting and getting over your loss. Would talk on this another time.
These are a few realisations that came to mind:
- Limited mother support groups
If there are any of these, they might be limited as I am yet to come across one. If you know of any kindly get in touch so I share to help others.
- Limited counselling at church and hospital
After my experience and discharge from the hospital was expecting to at least be referred to a psychologist by the hospital but that didn’t happen. On the night we received the news, we actually begged for my hubby to stay the night at the hospital but no that was not possible! He ended up sleeping in the car and the best comfort was to watch him from upstairs whilst talking on the phone with him.
I believe there should be counselors for this, the same way we have counsellors for marriage. Apart from the psychological pain, an experience of this sort especially for first time parents can cause a drift in their spiritual life.
- Difficult for friends to relate to you
It becomes very difficult for family and friends to approach and start a conversation unless they are very close to you.
- Appreciate the fact that men and women grief differently
Essentially, let’s agree to disagree. This is not a time for partners to accuse each each other of who is over or under grieving. That is if such a word exists. An experience of this sort, either strengthens or weakens your relation, so understanding each other is key!
I therefore choose this day to officially launch my Facebook support group, “RAINBOW ANGELS SUPPORT GROUP” for grieving parents, those who have experienced this before and also those who out of the abundance of their hearts love to be a comforter and also provide a listening ear to others. There is always something positive expected out of such an experience so let’s get talking and reach out to help those who sometimes feel no one understands them.
“You may never know, but your worst experience might just be that strong motivational force needed in the life of another……….the difference lies in SHARING your experience.”
I have shared mine, what is your story?