3 years ago today, I was labouring to deliver my stillborn daughter. I was frightened, overwhelmed, traumatized, and heartbroken. It hurts to think about it.
Shortly after I gave birth to my stillborn daughter Mia, my husband and I were given the difficult task of picking a place to scatter her ashes. And though this task was both tragic and morbid, we somehow found ourselves embracing it for what it was. We knew that this would be one of the only things we get to do for our daughter as her parents. All our other parental responsibilities that we so longingly dreamed about, were stolen from us.
I’m finding it difficult to write these days. This month of June is a heavy one for me, because it is the month that would have been my daughter Mia’s due date, on the 22nd. My sadness disguises itself as many different things, and my grief twists its way around everything I touch. I sit down every morning to write to you, but no words come.
So instead, please join me as I revisit memories of a warm, cloudy afternoon in May.
Three sisters and our dog, playing by the small trickling stream, stepping on slippery rocks, wetting our feet in the cold water.
Holding hands and running through the hills made of long, long grass.
And walking bravely at the edge of it all – where the blue mountains meet the sky.
“Nature is a woman’s best friend. If you are having troubles, just swim in the water, stretch out in a field, or look up at the stars. That’s how a woman cures her fears.”
We are daughters of the woods.
We are daughters of the earth.
This experience is good for me.
It’s good for me because it turned my entire life into a giant question mark.
And I think it’s a good thing to feel like that from time to time.
I have seen how fragile life is. It was a topic that I had been contemplating before I became pregnant with Mia. It was a concept that had become illuminated in my life. And now I know it more deeply.
Last summer, I had been thinking about death and my own mortality a lot. For the first time, really. At the time I finally realized that I was walking through life like I was invincible to death. And I felt that was a foolish way to live when I understood that life is not promised to me.
Going through this journey with Mia has taught me that death is just as beautiful and just as necessary as birth.
And now, I see the gift of life.
In my mind, I picture two newborn babies. One, perhaps a child of my future, who is born alive. And the other, my Mia, who is born sleeping.
The difference between these two babies, the life that exists in one, and the life that is absent in the other, it is invisible. And yet it is everything.
My baby was born still,
in a quiet room,
with her big eyes closed.
But she was still born,
just sleeping soft,
held 6 months in my womb.
My baby was so small,
that she fit right in
to her father’s hand
My baby was
still born, but she was still held
My baby’s heart did not beat,
but mine was broken,
cracked in two
and yet all the while,
bursting in ecstacy for her
because my baby was
still born, but she was still loved.
My baby was born in quiet room,
and she did not cry,
but the roar of her presence
was so loud
because my baby was
still born, but she was still heard.
The next day
my baby was taken away,
to another room and another world
that we could not go,
but she lives on within us
because my baby was
still born, but she is still ours
My baby was set free,
in a soft stream
of cool flowing water,
my baby was born still,
but she was still born
and still my daughter.
A messy poem I have written for our girl. It isn’t perfect, and nothing seems to flow, but it is the truest reflection of what is in my heart.
Well, I always said I wanted to make my blog more personal – to write about my experiences and about life as I’m living it, rather than it being a textbook of instructions. And now it can’t be anything but intimate. I can’t write anything other than my truth, and what is at the center of it. And right now, the center of it is a blend of deep grief and gladness.
I like to write. Writing is soothing and healing for me. And so I will write.
I love this part of the story. It’s my favourite part.
For most people, the best part of pregnancy is having a baby. For me, it was going labour and birthing my daughter. For me, the best part of pregnancy was the pain. It’s a morbid and sad thing to realize, but I have not known it any other way.
I don’t know what it is to give birth to a baby who is alive and who I can bring home and watch her grow up. But I know what it is to give birth to my daughter. And it was the most beautiful experience of my life.
This is the the hardest story that I am living, and the most difficult one to write about.
I knew I wanted to share this part of my pregnancy with you too, because it is real and true and heartbreaking and a part of my life that I cannot ignore or deny.
But I am conscious that it is not only my story to tell. It is also my husband’s story, and his comfort is mine and his pain is also mine. So it is only with his permission that I share this with you today.
We had to say goodbye to our sweet baby girl at 6 months of pregnancy.
I read this lovely little story in the book “Conversations with God” (I apologize I do not remember which book 🙁 ) and I would like to share it with you. This is my shortened version, similar to the one that was paraphrased in the book.
Once upon a time there was a little soul who lived in Heaven with God. This little soul was getting ready for being born on earth again and was asking God some questions about it.
The little soul had decided that when she was born she wanted to experience one of the divine attribute of God. The little soul had many to choose from, such as: kindness, unconditional love, infinite possibilities, abundance, sharing, helpful, considerate to others etc.
God asked the little soul “Well, little soul, have you decided what part of your true self you want to experience in your new little life?”
The little soul thought about it for a long time and finally decided “I know what I want to be now! I want to be a special part of God called “forgiving”. That’s what I want to be. I want to experience myself as that; as forgiving.”
God smiled and gently explained to the little soul “The only problem is, there is no one to forgive.”
“No one?” The little soul could hardly believe what had been said.
“No one! Everything I have made is perfect. There is not a single soul in all creation that is less perfect than you. So, then, who will you forgive?”
Just then, a happy spirit stepped forward to the little soul and God.
“Don’t worry little soul, I can help you!”
The little soul was delighted. “You can?!?!?!?!”
“Certainly!” Chirped the happy spirit. “I can come into your next life and give you something that you can forgive.”
“Why would you do that?” asked the little soul.
“I would do it because I love you.”
The little soul was surprised.
“Don’t be so surprised little soul. We have done all of this before and many times before. We have been through all of it. We have laughed together, cried together. We have been good to eachother, we have been bad to eachother. We have been male and female, we have been lovers and enemies. We have been both the victim and the villain. And we always come together, always bringing eachother the exact and perfect opportunity to experience and express who we really are” the happy spirit explained further “and so I will come into your next life and I will do something so terrible to you so that you experience forgiveness. So that you can be the one who forgives me.”
The little soul was so excited and happy to have found such a friendly spirit that wanted to help the little soul.
“But in return…” the happy spirit continued “I have just one favour to ask you.”
“Anything, anything!” cried the little soul “what can I do for you?”
“In the moment that I strike you and smite you,” the happy spirit replied “in the moment that I do the worst to you that you can possible imagine – in that very moment…”
“Yes?” asked the little soul….
“I needyou to remember who I really am.”
This is one of my favourite little stories. It is about forgiveness and love.
It is about remembering. Remembering that you are perfect.
Remembering that there is nothing to do but to love. And when you remember that, everything becomes easy to do.
Moving on becomes easy. Letting go becomes easy. Saying sorry becomes easy. Being happy becomes easy.
And if our paths have ever crossed, and I have ever hurt you – with my thoughts, my actions, my fears, my intentions, my words – I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me and to forgive yourself.
And God said “Always remember, I have sent you nothing but angels.”
Because we all have those days. When all you want to do is feel better. About yourself. About your relationships. About your love. About your life. About your world. About your priorities. About somebody elses priorities. About your reality. About your truth.
Bring your attention to your body.
Let’s start outwards and work our way in. Bring all your attention to your body. This is step one in the grounding process, because when we are upset and scattered, we are ungrounded.
So get connected with your body again. How does it feel? What hurts? Where are you holding tension? What doesn’t feel right and balanced.
Just experience it. You don’t have to do anything about it.
Bring your attention to your feelings
How are you feeling? Take the next minute to literally name your feelings.
Sad. Frustrated. Lonely. Bored. Scared. Nervous. Heavy. Stressed. Disappointed. Let down. Heartbroken.
Now take the time to express your feelings.
In a safe and appropriate way. Even at this stage, we are not “fixing” the problem. We are just done with resisting the problem. We are accepting these feelings. We are going to do what we can with these feelings. We are going to express them.
Cry if you need to.
Scream into a pillow you need to.
Think about it for a while if you need to.
Complain about it to yourself if you need to.
Now you can release these feelings.
And it will be easy because you have not resisted them.They have lived their purpose. They served as a universal indicator of something that is out of balance in your world. You don’t have to be sad. You just had to listen.
At this stage, you can simply call your guides and angels and hand over whatever is troubling you to them.
What can I do now?
Now ask yourself, what can I do right now that will help bring me to peace in this situation?
Maybe you can make a phone call. Maybe you could explain how you feel in a loving and non-overly emotional and non-blaming way. Maybe you could go to sleep. Maybe you could get organized. Maybe you could start doing some work. Maybe you could talk to somebody. Maybe you could let something go. Maybe you could take more time for yourself. Maybe you could put yourself first. Maybe you could just relax.
Take action now.
And whatever it is that you decide that you can do right now – do it. Make your peace a priority in your life and take the steps you need to take to make this your truth and thus your reality.
Feel better soon 🙂 We all can.
I don’t know you but I know that when you came alive, you were born to be someone very special.
I don’t know you, but I know that when you were a child, you looked at the world like it was a wonderland, and somewhere along the way, wondered where the magic went.
I don’t know you but I know you have loved someone more than you thought you could.
I don’t know you but I know that there is no one else in the world quite like you.
I don’t know you but I know you’ve looked at your naked body in the bathroom mirror and felt totally disconnected with your body.
I don’t know you but I know that you have some memories from a long time ago that still hurt to think about today.
I don’t know you, but I know that there was a moment in your life when you asked yourself the painful question “is there something wrong with me?”
I don’t know you but I know there came a day when you debated whether you should chase the colours of your dreams or just be “real” and troubled over why those two lives couldn’t be the same.
I don’t know you but I know that one day you woke up and looked in the mirror and felt completely beautiful.
I don’t know you but I know that you’ve once hurt somebody just because they hurt you first.
I don’t know you but I know that you’ve hurt somebody with your words and realized that you could never take them back.
I don’t know you but I know that you believe in love, and even in the times you don’t, I know you would if you let yourself fall.
I don’t you but I know that you’ve felt betrayed.
I don’t know you but I know that you’ve privately questioned things you’ve spent your life convincing yourself and other people you’re sure about.
I don’t know you but I know that sometimes you wish you had more courage.
I don’t know you but I know that you’ve cried and felt better afterwards.
I don’t know you but I know that somebody you love has died.
I don’t know you but I know that you’ve felt stuck in a job that you’ve out grown.
I don’t know you but I know that you’ve been afraid to leave, even though in your heart, you knew you had to.
I don’t know you but I know there is something in your life to be very proud of.
I don’t know you but I know that you sometimes still think about the one that got away.
I don’t know you but I know that you there are times you look back on your life and see the way all the seeming coincidences have all been in your favour.
I don’t know you but I know you have felt judged for who you are.
I don’t know you but I know that there is someone out there who loves you and believes in you and wants you just the way you are.
I don’t know you but I know it hurts when somebody doesn’t believe in you and your big dreams, no matter who that somebody is.
I don’t know you but I know there is someone who thinks you are the coolest person ever without even trying.
I don’t know you but I know that you have pictured how life would carry on if you died.
I don’t know you but I know there have been moments where you have felt completely cherished and loved.
I don’t know you but I know there are times when you have made a difference, even when you don’t believe you have.
I don’t know you but I know that as a teenager, you tried hard to fit in and stand out, all at the same time.
I don’t know you but I know there’s something you are very good at, and could be even more wonderful at.
I don’t know you but I know you have a talent that you neglect because you don’t believe you have enough time or money.
I don’t know you but I know that if you just took a moment to realize how loved, howcherished, and how special you are, you would find yourself in all your friends, and families, and enemies and strangers. And you would see that your stories are everybodies stories, and that doesn’t make them any less important or any less meaningful. It just makes us human. And real. And you would see how together we are in everything we have ever faced, and will ever face in our lives. And you would see that you are never really alone. And you would open your eyes, your arms, and your heart
and you would come home.