White Flag

July 17, 2019

By Sanda Rathamone


"Infertility has stolen my life."

Despite a solid three years before we finally fell pregnant with Elijah, his pregnancy was a miracle. As a last resort, I made an honest prayer for a long-awaited child. The miracle was that God had heard and granted my prayer two weeks later. 

After five months of pregnancy, Elijah was not here to stay; he couldn't survive an extremely premature birth. I questioned God many times on why He would give me this child, just to take him back. I felt cheated and unloved; it was cruel. I questioned my worth. Was I not deserving? Did I do something that had upset God? Was my prayer foolish and had caused my baby to die?

I decided that perhaps something good can come from this loss and the pain. I tried to find something meaningful, something to sweeten the bitterness that leaked from my wounded heart. 

I found that the good were wonderful, amazing people, people who understood me when family and those closest to me couldn't. People who didn't judge me. People who were challenged with and suffered loss as I have. People who were far away, but were kind to mourn alongside me. People who knew absolutely nothing about losing a child and still made an effort to share a piece of their heart with me. I learned that these people were not just people, but gifts of love, gifts from God. 

Everywhere I went, God would sprinkle these loving souls to keep me afloat, to show me that there is more, much more for me to see, feel, touch, love. 

I discovered the good in myself, the parts that pushed me to be more, see more, do more: my vulnerability, my courage to face my fears, my empathy, my understanding, my curious nature in wanting to learn and grow. But no matter how many good things I could find, I lost this part of myself that knew how to love my body. I lost my ability to see the beauty in being a woman. 

There is this brokenness in every inch of my body and I feel this terrible chronic pain of emptiness. Who knew that emptiness could feel so intense and heavy, a baggage full of aching pain?

Another three years has passed without carrying another baby. This inability to conceive brought on a burning fire deep within my belly, more fear, more pain, more passing of time. For every month, my heart broke over and over as I watched my hopes and dreams fall and crumble away from underneath me. I think and cry about it everyday. 

For six years, that fire burned, was put out by disappointment, all just to be reignited and put out again and again; that's what you call "hope." I saw a whole other side of hope - death. What's more cruel than losing a child is losing hope over and over again.  Hope for change, hope for something to happen, hope for something new to appear. I have come to point where that fire has burned everything inside of me. I have nothing left to hold onto, everything has been consumed by the fire and left me deserted and homeless. My body has become ash and what is left are tears to shed for I don't know how long.

Last night, I cried until my brain told my body that I needed air. I raised my white flag high up above my head:
"I surrender, God. I can't do this anymore because it hurts too much. I'm getting off this ride, it's going nowhere. I am sad that what I thought would make me happy, isn't making me happy anymore. I tried, I tried with everything I had, I really did, but this whole thing has controlled my life for years and I'm not happy. If I have to give this up to be happy, then that is what I'm going to do. I leave this all up to You. Just please, take away this pain."
I remember right out of high school, I told myself that I didn't want kids. I didn't want to be a stay-at-home mother like my mom. I had already given up my childhood long ago to care for my younger siblings. I wanted a career, I wanted to do something that made me happy, I wanted a "purposeful" life.

As I am approaching in starting my career, I feel empty and unsatisfied. I would sacrifice my career for the child I lost. I realized how much of a privilege it is to be a stay-at-home parent, unlike my mom who always made it a point that if she didn't have kids, she'd be "free," she "wouldn't care." To this day, she still "isn't ready" to be a grandmother.

The desire to have children came along when I met my husband and I used to believe that this strong desire was from God because I didn't plan on having kids. Even though I knew that deep down, I would be the perfect loving mother for any child. I also thought about adoption long before I met my husband; today, I cannot even consider that idea because it hurts. It's strange how beliefs and dreams change as we grow and experience new things, but never in my life did I think that I would have lose a child to realize how much I wanted to be a mother.

I have been patient and depressed for far too long. I am hurt with defeat and lost more than I could bear. Please, God, grant me peace. I don't want this pain anymore.

With love,
Must Read:
Read Elijah's Story, "From Gender Reveal to a Spontaneous Delivery"

Photo: millk.co

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