A Stillmother’s Birthday Wish

November 5, 2017

By Sanda Rathamone


Twenty-five candles and all of them is for you.
They say that if you tell others your birthday wish that it will not come true. If I do not tell others my birthday wish...

Well, they already know what it is anyway. I really do not have to tell you, it is obvious - is it not? 

My birthday is on the 15th of November and I am actually dreading it. Not because I am now entering my mid-twenties and that in just five more years, I will be thirty, but that I should be a 25-year-old young woman with a just turned 1-year-old boy in my arms. And if you go off and say that “I am still young, I can always have another, more, etc,” I would really appreciate it if you didn’t. 

Because that is not necessarily true and infertility does not target just one particular age group nor does it always happen for one specific or known reason. I have become very familiar with the extremes, anxieties, and heartache of infertility for the past four years, including a year and six months after stillbirth. 

Yet, what you could say is, “I hope that your wish comes true, you deserve it.” Not that it really matters anyway. What matters is the belief that I am deserving of my wish, my dream in being a mother to at least one living child. 

A wish for a baby is something no one could ever take away from me. Although, it is not just a wish, it is an instinct - a maternal instinct - that cannot be turned off, no matter how beaten and defeated I feel from the disappointment of infertility or the disappointment of my husband’s response in that the truth is: We are not prepared. 

The question is, will we ever be? Is anyone ever prepared for anything in life at all? And could we ever be fully prepared for what life has in store for us - whether it is wrapped in a sparkly box and dropped from the sky or a curve ball thrown at us at high speed - unexpectedly? Plus, that sparkly box could just be all an illusion and that curve ball could be one of the most heart-opening experiences that alters our life forever. 

I was never prepared to lose my son at five months pregnant. Moreover, no one is ever really prepared to miscarry, either. Who would be? And I don’t think that I could ever be prepared to lose another one. That is something I am not sure I could handle. But, I have made it very far from where I was. I have undergone huge changes and surpassed many obstacles in grief and loss. And I am still here, breathing, showing the world that I still believe in my dreams. That whatever is thrown at me, I still have so much love to give and blessings to share. 

The answer is not about being prepared, but about trust. Trusting that what comes is what comes and what goes is what goes. Trusting that what happens in our lives is to prepare us for our fullest potential.

I am patiently waiting for those two lines to appear or an orange butterfly to arrive. Whether these two lines or orange butterfly comes in a sparkly box or thrown by a curve ball, I truly welcome it. Because there is nothing else in this world that I am asking for. There is nothing else more important than love and family. And there is nothing else that I have not suffered and survived. 

I would trade a birthday cake for a positive pregnancy test. I would trade a birthday song for a lullaby. And I would trade a birthday wish for a miracle in my arms. All just for a life to grow in a womb that is filled with so much love to offer and come into this world, carried in arms that will always be full. 

My husband and I both have our birthdays this month and we are planning a trip to spend a weekend away from this crazy place we call home. It is a trip to a place - one of where we hope that Elijah would love as much as we do.

Even though this trip is just for the two of us, I know that in my heart, it is a trip for four.

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 Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

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