September 22, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

 “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"A dream is just a wish without a plan." I don't remember where I read or heard this from. Maybe it was from a bumper sticker or a line from a movie. But I remember that my husband read/heard it, too.

My dreams when I sleep at night have been about babies. My dreams when I am awake are also about babies. All I can think about - even with my impending busy schedule - is how I lost my only baby and when I will have another.

The whole baby ordeal started way before we got pregnant with Elijah. After he died, this baby obsession intensified. All I want is what I lost. Nothing else matters.

This is on my mind every day, 24 hours and 7 days a week. Like a chronic pain running through my veins. The pain worsens when a pregnant woman crosses me or a newborn baby is crying. 

I don't know if the terms obsessed or addicted truly describes it, but they are probably words that my husband and perhaps so many people who read my blogs assume of me. I have used the word obsessed before, but really, it runs much deeper than that.

I am not obsessed. I am not addicted.

I am hurt. I am yearning.

And I want it to stop. 

I want to stop thinking about babies, but I can't. My mind won't let me shut it off. Sometimes, I want to be put out of my misery and hope to God that He takes away this painful, foolish desire. If I am not meant to have children, then why embed this dream, this stupid, stupid wish, deep inside of my heart? Why torture me with this?

And then I hear my husband's voice:

"Don't make yourself the victim." 

I wanted this baby, not God.

I prayed for Elijah, not God. Not even my husband.

It was my foolish prayer that led him to die.

When I find the time to silence myself and still the mind, I know that God wants me to have a child. I know that God wants to open my womb. I know that God hears my cries, my questions, and my prayers. I know that He knows my pain, even when I am "at odds" with Him.

I know that God was the reason why I found the name 'Elijah' and gave it to my son. Seriously, I know because I never wanted or thought to give my future children any biblical or traditional names. My pregnancy with Elijah felt "godly" because of how my prayer for pregnancy was answered in no less than a few weeks, however, it took years to get there.

It took years, and again, it will take years. It is now a little over two years ago after Elijah died, still leaving me childless with no subsequent pregnancies.

The grief from stillbirth is a tremendous weight; something that I will always carry with me. Secondary and unexplained infertility is another heavy load. Mix grief from stillbirth + secondary and unexplained infertility when I see pregnant women or babies (triggers) is intense; it often feels like vaginal contractions during labor, but in my heart. My heart has been going through labor for years, hard, rough, and treacherous labor that sometimes feel like it will literally break my heart in half and fall out of me when I'm crying.

I wouldn't be surprised if I died of a heart attack from heartache. Because I feel this heaviness in my chest every day.

A part of me have always known why every month, there is little hope. Why those months have gathered into years. I never wanted to admit this to myself or said it aloud because I didn't want it to be true.

It is painful to not be in an agreement with making a baby. It feels lonely to wish and pray alone. 

Yet, I know that I am not alone... in another sense. I know that many women struggle with the identity of motherhood, trying again for another baby, and trying to get their partners on board. I know that many women are going through the same conversations, the same arguments, the same, "It is natural to want another baby after loss, but the other person doesn't."  At least not yet anyway.

Patience is a virtue they say, but how long do you wait, until that opportunity passes by and long gone? How long does it take to jump?

After Elijah died, I was afraid of almost everything. I didn't want to make the wrong decisions, especially if they had cost me more than what I had, which was nothing. I didn't want to lose at life some more. I was lost and confused. I lost my faith. I lost my goddamn mind and forgot who the hell I was.

All I had were tears for a million repeated days of grief. 

Life after losing a baby at five months pregnant made me realize that I have little to no control of what appears around the corner, what paths will show up, or the next mountain I would have to climb to not only get to the top, but also to the other side and continue my long journey home. When I remember this, the one thing I no longer fear is death (specifically my own death).

I have nothing left to lose, losing Elijah had cost me everything; it cost me my entire old life. His death was a house fire, burning my home to ashes. I had to start a whole new life and slowly rebuild my identity, my confidence, my priorities, my faith, my dreams, and my wishes. I had to find ways to restore my soul in the dark.

I guess you could say that I went through a "dark night of the soul" after loss.

Losing Elijah made me realize what was truly important to me and what I wanted. I tried new things, I learned new things, I met new people, I saw new opportunities, I visited new places.

Recently, I took a huge risk and decided on a whole new career that I would have never decided upon, if Elijah hadn't died. And I am proud of myself for jumping. I am proud of what I have become so far and will become soon.

I realized that if I lingered too long, fearfully gazing into the choppy waters, I would never know how deep I could dive and explore a whole new world, unless I jumped. 

I am not afraid of anything, anymore. 

Grief - I have accepted - is a huge part of my new life. I have come to love it, even when I am crying alone at 2 a.m.,  wishing and praying alone for my child. I know that I am still loved, that I have done my absolute best, that the moon, the sun, and the stars conspires to help me. That my faith in God is the only thing that will guide me in this new life.

I never needed a plan. I just needed God.

I needed faith to see the stars.

With love,

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

Photo: pinterest

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